When you do what we do for a living, even your vacations have a culinary tune to them. My quick trip to Seattle was no exception. It was lovely to get a little food inspiration in a different city. While California has gotten so dry, which is usual for this time of year, it was a treat to be in such a green and lush place. The house I stayed in had the most amazing garden. Sunflowers standing 15 feet high, guarding the beds like soldiers, three kinds of cucumbers (including Lemon, my favorite), four kinds of tomatoes, Japanese eggplant, shishito peppers, tomatillos (can you believe I had never seen a tomatillo plant growing before?)... I could go on, and I couldn't stop munching.
While I got eat straight from the garden bounty, I also got to hit up some delicious restaurants.
Only a California girl would land in another state and immediately eat tacos! It was straight from the airport to The Saint to meet friends where I had a Forteleza tequila flight and totally succulent and amazing Suadero tacos (Braised beef belly, roasted tomatillo salsa, cilantro, red onion). California approved.
The next evening I was treated to such an unexpected experience. I knew nothing of M Bar before being whisked up in the elevator by an impossibly darling and uber hip hostess. Oh the PATIO. A perfect view of South Lake Union, swanky fireplaces and handmade quilts when it got chilly-- which it just barely did. I got served a lively Cava and watched seaplanes land on the lake (commuters I was told, how cool!). Before I knew it amazing plates were arriving fireside. A perfect salad with anchovy and walnuts dancing. A salumi plate, because if you don't indulge in cured meats in Seattle you just aren't doing it right. There was a stunning grilled albacore with avocado, sumac, labneh & fenugreek. Such rich and sultry flavors-. But then, then the other tuna dish came out. A gift from the kitchen. The fish was perfectly seared and topped with shaved fennel, serranos, fried capers and fresh mint. But here is the kicker-- a foie gras sauce made from roasted squash-- no foie to be found, just a wisp of spices that evoked the flavors. Politically safe (something has to be), and absolutely elevated cuisine in every way.
I was on my own most of day 3 so I played tourist. Pikes Market never gets old for me. The original Starbucks always has a line crowded with selfie sticks and those attached to them. The fish mongers do their thing, yelling and throwing fish and it delights me every time. I can't help but swoon over the huge bouquets of flowers (they could be centerpieces all on their own), they literally leave me gaping in awe and wishing they could come home with me. I didn't have my usual fish n chips in the market, instead I was craving a sandwich and I found an amazing one just up the street at Old Stove Brewing. One of the best spicy Italian sammiches I have ever had, but what really was unique and unexpected was the lightly pickled quinoa and broccoli salad that came with it. I had a "what the heck moment" followed by "why isn't this in my life everyday???" feeling.
There was a Mariner's game on the agenda (I do love baseball and had never been to Safeco Field), but I know nothing can compare to our food at AT & T Park (sorry O.co). Before the game I met up with a dear friend at a haunted bar called Merchants in Pioneer Square-- It didn't feel haunted until I went downstairs to use the restroom-- then I got serious chills. I ran back up the stairs trying act cool when I reached the top and my giggling friend. After a delicious local IPA we wandered down the street to.. wait for it.. Damn The Weather. That might be the best name for a restaurant in Seattle, or anywhere outside of California. The food was all superb, but I will never forget those fries. Chicken Fat Fries. No joke. No condiments needed either, just a light squeeze of the lemon provided. Thankfully for my waistline, these aren't in my life everyday! Can you imagine how many weddings I would have to run around if they were?
There were other nibbles, home cooked meals, huge breakfasts and rose all day. Truly a caterers vacation. I was inspired to share my food adventures with our chefs and now with you. Thanks for taking my food "ferry" ride around Seattle. Now it's even harder to get back to work.