Posted by Lauren
Hi! Time for excuses, ready?
It takes me about 12.5 hours to drive to work, try to squeeze in a little workout + shower, #dowork, and drive back home. And that’s with someone to carpool with! I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to move in less than 2 weeks to a place so close to work! All that said, it’s no wonder that blog posting takes a backseat these days. I find myself wanting to blog and read other blogs, but then I think about uploading pictures and I cringe. I should get another monitor at home (so ridiculous) so that I can have WordPress, Picasa/Finder/Preview, and Hulu all in big enough windows. I digress…. Let me jump back to how I have a lot I want to blog about — second part of Costa Rica trip, last two days of Portland trip, Father’s Day, all of the Seattle trip. Moral of the story: trips – computer + friends + family – free time = hard to blog in real-time.
I did not blog on Monday night because I went to Yogurtland with a few of my favorite AOII girls: Megan, Katie, and Kelley.
I loved catching up with them! Crossing my fingers I see Katie at tonight’s Cal Poly alumni event in SF.
I did not blog on Tuesday night because I decided to save my run for the evening.
I did not blog on Wednesday night because I came home to bake cupcakes with Nicole for Sam‘s birthday.
And, now it’s Thursday! Almost an entire week has gone by since the whirlwind Seattle trip! As Nicole mentioned in her last post, the Seattle trip was awesome; space needles everywhere. Last Friday, after the giant surprise (Nicole + Mom + David took off work and flew up to Seattle WITH me!!) and an easy light-rail ride from the airport to rainy downtown Seattle, we got ready to go on a food tour!
If you know anything about me, it’s that I LOVE food and I REALLY LOVE food tours. When you combine eating and walking, you basically net out at zero, right? Well anyways, my mom and David booked the Savor Seattle Food Tour of Pike’s Place Market and we headed there as soon as we got into the city. The tour began at the newer Pike’s Place Starbucks. When I walked in, I was greeted with a sample of hot cocoa and my Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Rem, who flew all the way to Seattle from Illinois!! So surprised that they were there for the weekend. Sneaky family members ;)
The guide introduced himself and explained that we would not only try a bunch of food, but also learn a lot of history about Pike’s Place. I don’t want to ruin the surprise if, one day, you find yourself on this very tour. Instead, I will quickly run you through the food stops:
First Up: Daily Dozen Donuts
Takeaway: extremely fresh + made right in front of you… mmm doughy
Second Stop: MarketSpice
Takeaway: one of the oldest spice shops around, they had a creative spin on black tea (cloves, cinnamon, orange peel) that made their tea famous (very much like Good Earth Original)
Third Stall: Pike Place Fish Market
Takeaway: they really do yell and chant and throw fish back and forth. We sampled three types of smoked salmon, all of which tasted fresh, complex, and savory.
Fourth Place: Frank’s Quality Produce
Takeaway: like other Pike’s Place fruit stands, these guys sell Washington-local produce as it is seasonally available. The origins of Frank’s really exemplify the “community” heritage of Pike’s Place farmers and vendors. As you can see, Nicole could barely contain herself when she saw apricots.
Fifth Stop: Pike Place Chowder
Takeaway: Everyone has a favorite chowder (for me it’s San Luis Obispo’s Splash Cafe), but this place has the triple-crown awards to prove they do it the best (arguable). Nicole had vegan coconut corn chowder, while the carnies of the tour had seafood bisque and the famous New England clam chowder.
Number Six: Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Takeaway: cheese made in-house, for all eyes to see. We had a block of white cheddar (unpictured) on homemade crackers along with ooey gooey mac n’ cheese #nom worthy
Lucky Seven: Piroshky, Piroshky!
Takeaway: Looking back, this might be my favorite stop of the day! The potato/cheese was melt-in-your-mouth status. Even more memorable? Their creation story. An anonymous donor left enough $$$ for the family to open up (they struggled and almost had to close). Turns out the anonymous donor was a Piroshky-maker down the street who wanted to help out. These days, people would never do that for the competition!
Eight’s Great: Chukar Cherries
Takeaway: Ya, ya, your salsa has a short ingredient list. Move over and let me try more of the chocolate-covered cherries and nuts! Of all the places on the tour, my family spent the most money here throughout the weekend. First off, their cherries are high quality and local. Then you go and cover them with chocolate, dust with cocoa powder, and/or infuse with Cabernet… need I say more!? The truffle cherry was my favorite!
Not a stop: The NOT-so-original Starbucks
Takeaway: Our guide informed us that this is actually the second location of the original Starbucks. The first location no longer exists (torn down building or a fire?), but they moved the license to this location after opening two more locations outside Seattle. So that makes this the fourth location.
Number Nine: Etta’s Seafood
Takeaway: Etta’s Seafood is a Tom Douglas restaurant. Tom Douglas is a chef hotshot. Let’s see him on Top Chef! … The crab cake popper was light and moist, definitely balanced well with the housemade tartar. Nicole had a slice of cornbread and enjoyed it. Too bad I couldn’t try both ;)
And that was our last stop! Thank you so much to my family for scheduling this behind my back! While on the plane and light-rail I kept mentioning that Pike’s Place was my #1 destination.
After we said goodbye to our guide (who was hilarious by the way) we continued to walk around Pike’s Place Market. Read: we sampled more chocolate-covered cherries :) I loved the market’s hustle and bustle and the diversity of vendors. The flower stands blew me away. All the arrangements looked like they would cost $30-$50, but sold between $5-$15. If I lived in Seattle, I’d go there before every party for fresh, gorgeous flowers.
Eventually we made our way over to Safeco Field and the Link Stadium for the race expo…
This expo was much more enjoyable than previous Rock n’ Roll expos:
- the vendors were awesome
- we discovered my new favorite protein bar (it’s like a peanut butter kit kat!)
- I had my gait analyzed by Brook’s
- Nicole + my mom picked out some merchandise
- Rem + Marilyn met Jim Ryun (former World Record Holder in the mile and silver medalist in the 1500 at the 68 Olympics)
I left the expo early to hop on a work call and find Krizia, who had just arrived from San Francisco! I’m a spoiled girl – friends and family flew/drove up to Seattle for me?! WOW.
Question: Do they do food tours where you’re from?
Dishcrawl is pretty popular in the Bay Area, and I know SF has a couple of food tour options (chocolate, beer, whiskey, etc…)
Question: Have you been to Seattle? Ever try one of these Pike’s Place stops? Any place you’d like to try? Donuts, smoked salmon, chocolate-covered cherries, piroshkys – oh my.
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