day 42 – Travelogue – Seattle

I indulged in rabbit stew and a buttery, slightly sweetened butternut squash soup at the Local 360 restaurant.  All of their food is sourced from no farther than 360 miles away, hence the name. Washington has game, dairy, seafood, berries, cherries, and nuts to name only a few resources.  The creamiest, sweetest milk and butter from local and no hormone given, free to roam and live and eat grass- fed cows. I believe they massage them as well.

Which brings me to Beecher’s handmade cheese house on Pike Street where we fondly experienced their signature smooth, sharp and dreamy macaroni and cheese.  Displayed next door is a floor to ceiling glass enclosure where cheese is made for all to see and be educated about (always learning) in immense containers.  Supposedly, Martha Stewart’s favorite cheese is Beecher’s Flagship cheese, which is used in the sauce we partook of.  I am sure she shops back east from their Flatiron, NY store.

We also ate and I brought home roasted and caramelized pecans, bought at a stand in an indoor food court by the Space Needle.

After exploring the theatrical, twinkly night view from the top of the World’s Fair Needle and the exquisite, ethereal and colorful Chululy gardens and glass museum, we ate at Skillet Counter, in the food court. Again, I devoured butternut squash soup (even fresher and creamier, less buttery than the first one from Local 360) and picked at my son’s incredible lemony pancakes.  Crisp and lusciously fried up on the outside, fluffy and tangy with an essence of vanilla on the inside that lingered in your mouth, these were absolutely the yummiest, most delectable and tender battered up cakes my taste buds had ever tasted, ever.  Next opportunity, that is what I am ordering at Skillet Counter, no matter what time of day or night.  And as simple, bare and unassuming as the place may appear, it actually may be the first chain of eateries I want to be taken to, next time… a la In ‘n Out Burger when out of towner’s come back to visit us in CA.

Pike Street Market is unbelievable.  Imagine stand after stand of artisan food, supplies, groceries and goods with samples for everyone, dedicated fellow foodies oohing and ahhing too and a boisterous roar of activity, languages, song and laughter.

I ate cherries, observed fishmongers entertain, listened to modern washboard minstrels, and beheld every manner and vast quantities of remarkable crustaceans, unfamiliar crazy looking fruits and unusual vegetables I had never even conceived or heard of.

I tasted and purchased cinnamon almonds, rose petal jelly, chocolate hazelnut sauce and apple ginger chutney.

There were numerous and assorted types of pastas, sauces and homemade wares, including soaps, soups, dips, breads, t-shirts, etc.  It reminded me of the Ferry Market in San Francisco or Eataly in Manhattan.  The best of the best local fare  – served up in the quickest, closest, oldest manner of selling your wares. Ahh. A delight and a pure rush to all the senses.

On the morning of my return, we ate brunch at Toulouse Petit, a corner-dining establishment that had a wait and a line outside the entire time before, while we ate and after we left. For a darn good reason.  A bustling staff hustled and continuously brought customers delicious fare from the busy kitchen. I had fresh crabmeat eggs benedict. I had to have more fresh seafood.  The day before we had gorged on fried fish in baskets on the pier by the Aquarium.  Looking back, it seems inconsiderate and debauched of us to devour seafood by the fish museum.  Needless to say, I came back a few pounds heavier, even with all the walking and sightseeing.

After brunch, and right before we had to head out to the airport, the clouds lifted and I was able to peek at snow-capped Mount Rainer.  The Cascade Range is visible from hilly, steep Seattle, across the Puget Sound.  I was amazed repeatedly, all weekend and in retrospect, at how J easily parks backwards and on a slant, as M runs out to purchase a parking ticket you stick to the inside of your window.  I suppose the strategic placing of automobiles is not to test you on your parking expertise and maneuvers, but to keep the vehicles from sliding down the precipitous hills.

M and J graced our threshold today.  They are visiting and staying with us for the holidays.  I desire to relive and to continue the discourse of our wonderful weekend together.  Our Seattle ex-pats are home.  Our New York college faction is here, cooking up a storm for Christmas Day.  Our tree is brimming with colored paper, ornamental boxes and cutesy decorated winter-themed bags.  Our family is one again, all three significant others adding interest to, enhancing  and revving up the hilarity, the festivity and joy!!  Let the teasing season begin.  My husband and I are beside ourselves with happiness, smiling from ear to ear, giving each other knowing, emotional nods.  We drink in our brood as they watch My Little Ponies, play X-Box together and create new memories.  It’s all about the kids, it’s all about our love, it’s all about the family….and….of course….it’s all about the food.

Make sure to put out special Christmas cookies and eggnog for Santa Claus and elves, tomorrow night.

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