on the road: seattle part 2

16 Sep

Time for part 2 of our trip to Seattle. If you need to catch up on part 1, please go here.

Before we left for Seattle, everyone we talked to that had been there said we HAD to go to the market. That would be the famous Pike’s Place Market.

Now, I love markets. As you know I have a routine about the local markets here in Minneapolis.

This is one of those markets that is open every single day. I was most excited about visiting Pike’s Place. In fact, I made Brette promise me a whole day there. In the back of my mind, however, I wondered if I was going to be disappointed. It had been built up sooo much. It’s like being the last one to go see what everyone says is the ‘best movie ever made’ and thinking it was just okay. Brette was even more worried of this phenomenon than I was. He was expecting a number of vendors would be selling “crap” that they didn’t even make.

Thankfully, we were not disappointed. Just the opposite. We were ecstatic and loved everything about the market (except maybe the crowds) and went there not just one day, but every single day we were there. Sometimes more than once!

I learned from a vendor that you must prove that you make/grow/produce the product you sell. There are five vendors who have been grandfathered in but other than that, you have to prove yourself. I love that.

They have everything at this market from the famous fish guys, produce, jewelry, restaurants, flowers, honey, nuts, wood products and a zillion other things.

The famous fish guys

OMG Peaches! That’s how the guy described them to me and he was right, the first word’s out of my mouth were “Oh my God!”.

Brette’s favorite street performer.

Yes, we had two cameras along.

It was near the market that we found many of the more casual restaurants to enjoy. The food in this part of town is nothing short of amazing. I don’t think you could go wrong with any of the options around. Just follow your nose to whatever smells the best. Here are a few places our noses took us to.

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese:

Brette picked this one for lunch. The menu had a number of sandwiches featuring cheese that they make right there on site – and you can even watch them make it! I started up a conversation with the gentleman behind me who turned out to be a local who worked near by. He goes to Beecher’s a couple times per week. He made me try a sample of their mac and cheese (well, made is strong word. It didn’t take much convincing) and he helped me decide on sandwich.  All of their sandwiches are of the grilled cheese variety. Mine featured their flagship cheese along with tomatoes and basil. Brette went with one that also had the flagship cheese along with soft shell crab. They were the perfect food to eat while standing against a wall and watching the hustle and bustle of the market. We were very satisfied. On a side note: the Seward Co-op is now selling Beecher’s Flagship Cheese!

Pike Place Chowder:

This is also right in the middle of the market craziness but absolutely worth seeking out.

They have a variety of chowders including a classic clam chowder, a manhattan version and even a vegan version!

We both opted for the special which was a crab and oyster chowder. Brette got his in a bread bowl and I opted for a regular bowl along with a market salad which was chock full of fresh veggies from the market. We didn’t speak much while we were eating. It was that good. It was piping hot with lots of crab and oyster chunks and the creamy broth was soul-warming and it didn’t come across as super heavy. This would be on my “must go back to” list for the next time I’m there.

Piroshki on 3rd

We first saw Piroshki at the market and then on the way back to the hotel we noticed they had another location right next door. I loved the name and I loved the smell coming from the door, so we stopped in for breakfast one day. The woman working who I assume was one of the owners was adorable. Brette could have listened to her russian accent all day long. She was great at helping us pick our piroshki.

So what are piroshki? According to the Piroshki web site, they are small baked or fried turnovers or dumplings with savory meat, vegetable or fruit filling. They use recipes from Russia where they were originated. We ordered a sweet and a savory plus coffee which she insisted came with cookies. Who was I to argue?

When I asked what her favorite savory was, she answered quickly that it was whatever one just came out of the oven. So, we went with that – the spinach, egg and cheese. Our sweet was a rhubarb filling in a butter flake crust.

a blurry view of the spinach, egg and cheese

I thought they were both super tasty and if I lived next door to this place, I would likely try whatever was fresh from the oven on any given day. I think Brette would too as long as he could listen to her talk.

Cafe Campagne

This cute french cafe was on many people’s list as a place to go. I like cute french cafes so it didn’t take much convincing. We ended up eating there twice. Once for breakfast and once for brunch. The service was not super fast, but I really enjoyed the food there. Our first meal wasn’t anything crazy spectacular but I loved that they had plain yogurt and house made granola. It was perfect for me that day. So was the chocolate croissant.

The day we were there for brunch was after our 8 mile run along the scenic waterfront. We were hungry and ready to eat.

I ordered: OMELETTE AU BASILIC French rolled omelette filled with basil, topped with fresh tomato compote, served with chicken and pork sausage. It was hands down the best omelet I ever ate. Perfectly cooked so it just melted in my mouth. The make their own sausage and after not having meat for so long, it was a great way to get reacquainted.

Brette ordered: BURGER D’AGNEAU* Lamb burger with grilled balsamic onions, roasted red peppers, aïoli and pommes frites.

He pretty much went into a food coma afterward. To say he enjoyed himself would be a massive understatement. He didn’t make it all the way through the mound of pomme frites but it was a very solid effort.

I would go back to Cafe Campagne (am I sounding like a broken record yet?). I loved the atmosphere and I half expected to be able to speak french just from being there.

Now for Safeco field.  We’re pretty big Twins fan and we love being able to go to games at different stadiums. We really liked Safeco, but it’s not as nice as our brand new Target Field here in Minneapolis. I know, I know. They are 10 years apart in age and the new one is always going to be nicer. I get it. Still, have you been to Target Field? It’s so awesome!

It was a nice cool night for a game and of course while we were there we had to try the stadium food specialties.

I heard a rumor they had sushi. I was expecting the pre packaged sushi you find at the grocery store, but was surprised to see the gals at Rice n’ Roll, rolling sushi to order. Sure, it took forever, but it was darn tasty. How many times can you eat sushi and watch a live baseball game?

Brette followed his nose to the field specialty – the garlic fries! Good gads, the garlic on these suckers was crazy! There was easily a whole head of garlic on these fries. We did not make-out like teenagers that night.

Instead we watched the Twins BEAT the Mariners and had a leisurly stroll back to our hotel.

Why yes, we are wearing the same sweatshirt. No, we did not communicate clearly what we were packing for the trip.

One last food find I must mention for Anne’s sake. I missed her on this trip as she and Pat are great travel buddies. One thing about Anne is that she can sniff out ice cream shops better than anyone. Being on my own, I had to make her proud.

I found one! It was even Gelato! It was pretty fantastic too. I tried a dish of the chocolate along with the marscapone. Anne – it was great. I was only sad you weren’t there to enjoy it with me!

This was such a wonderful weekend getaway. We really liked Seattle despite the hills we were not expecting. I had no idea Seattle was hilly. Why didn’t anyone warn me?  I could spend a whole post just on the hills and the giant one Brette forced me to climb.

If you have a chance to visit Seattle, I would highly recommend it. How can you not love views like this?

6 Responses to “on the road: seattle part 2”

  1. Melissa Hjelle September 17, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    Did you get to meet the scary Monk fish?! This would be most ugly fish you ever saw that you must get close to him to get a better look and then he moves! LOL. I fell for that one in this market– the fish guys had him rigged up to a string… sneaky guys!

    • jen September 17, 2010 at 9:27 am #

      I did not meet the scary monk fish and I think I’m happy about that!

  2. Fav Sista September 17, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Loved these Seattle posts. I want to go now! I can see Gary and I tooling around that place. The picture of you with the sushi is my favorite. Sounds like a wonderful get-a-way. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kate September 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    What makes Beecher’s even more awesome is that they take a percentage of their profits and put it into a foundation that’s teaching Seattle school kids how to read food labels and enjoy “real” foods. My son came home from school one day last year completely disgusted with Gatorade. Made his mom very happy!

    My husband always get the orange/cardamom twist at the Piroshki place.

    And when we went two days later to see the Twins play the Mariners, the Mariners won!

    Fun to read Jen, thanks!

  4. anne September 17, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    Thank you for thinking of me:)

  5. Kori September 19, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    Jen, you are making me want to go back SO BAD (it’s been a year already!). I laughed when I saw your picture of the peaches. They were fantastic, weren’t they? Seattle is a great food lover’s city, especially those of us who love all things real and fresh! I too, will be back.

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