I haven’t posted anything new to fraises et tartines for over a week now and it’s not because I’ve lost my foodie steam. It’s because my husband and I were in Seattle! We decided to go to Seattle for vacation this summer because we have some good friends who recently moved there and we wanted to see their new digs. Plus, Trevor has always thought he wanted to move there (without ever having visited) because he loves rainy weather. Unfortunately for Trevor, fortunately for me and the rest of Seattle, the weather was beautiful. We had a great time with our friends and lived like Seattlites for a few days. We went hiking, running, walking, visited the farmer’s market, drank lots of coffee (at least I did), drank lots of local micro-brew beers (at least Trevor did), ate good seafood, and fully enjoyed ourselves.
Here are some food and drink highlights from the trip:
1. Small independent coffee shops
– I had always heard that Seattle had good coffee, but this was definitely confirmed for me on our trip. Seattlites take their coffee very seriously. I think part of the reason Starbucks has done so well throughout the rest of the country is that people like to know what they’re getting before they get it. They have associated a specific taste to a tall low-fat no-whip mocha, and would prefer not to risk paying for a “sub par” mocha at an independent coffee shop. I have sometimes agreed with this myself. There are times when I’ve gone to an independent coffee shop and have been sorely disappointed with the quality of the coffee (a few exceptions in the vicinity of San Jose- Los Gatos Roasting Company
in Mountain View, and the small turkish coffee place on University in Palo Alto). Well this was definitely not the case at the coffee shops in Seattle. Their coffee was exceptional. I might
even venture to say better than Peet’s (I can’t believe I just said that out loud…sorry Alfred Peet!). Anyway, that definitely takes Seattle up several notches in my book.
2. Ray’s Cafe
– Situated right on the Puget Sound, in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, this was a great place to enjoy a nice dinner and was well worth the wait. We were seated on the deck, with an incredible view of the water, some islands, and the Olympic peninsula. All of us opted for seafood of some sort, and all were very pleased with our choices. As the evening went on and it got chilly outside, the waiters distributed blankets to the guests, which I thought was a charming solution to the consistently chilly weather. After dinner, we were too stuffed for dessert, even though were would have loved to try the Chocolate Chili Lime Souffle Cake or the Lime Creme Brulee (Notice a trend here?…We really like lime). Now we have a good excuse to go back next time we’re in Seattle.
– Oh my goodness the drinking chocolate here was amazing. It rivaled the Spicy Mayan Hot Chocolate from Chuao
in San Diego (which is one of my favorite things ever). I got the Cayenne Hot Chocolate and it was a delicious combination of dark chocolate and spicy cayenne. I give it 4 stars. But beware, even in a small cup, this was very rich. I would have to be careful to limit myself if I lived near a Chocolati.
4. Farmer’s Market– We went to a Sunday farmer’s market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. It was a lot like our markets here, only there were several stands selling grass-fed beef and pork. Looking at the prices, they were about the same as what we pay for grass-fed beef through our CSA, but with the added convenience of being able to get it at the farmer’s market. Cool! It was kind of nice walking through the market knowing that I could not buy anything. Normally I would have been tempted by the beautiful heirloom tomatoes, or the mounds of fresh berries (they have tons of them in Seattle). But this time, I only bought one small “souvenir.” A bag of culinary lavender that I plan to use in some future baking projects. I’ve had my heart set on trying to make macarons someday, and I’d like to flavor them with lavender. I’ll report back on that at some point.
Well that’s it for our trip to Seattle (at least the food aspects). I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things, but this will have to do for now. Overall it was a great trip and we’re looking forward to going back some day!