Monday, October 6, 2014

FoodTrek: Eat, Drink, Be Merry - Repeat as Necessary

It's no secret that I've been fully appreciating the fact that my schedule has been freed up considerably. Granted, it's at the expense of a sad loss that still makes my heart heavy -- I miss you forever, Indy! But being out and about, reconnecting with friends and just getting back into the social network of Seattle's food and drink scene has been invigorating to the soul. With no other agenda for this post beyond me going nuts, running around like a madwoman in Seattle, I give you this latest love letter to the Emerald City!

The part of the Pike Place Market Gum Wall that doesn't gross me out - Photo by Wasabi Prime

While I know it's a swarm of tourists and locals during the summer, I can never get enough of Pike Place Market. Rain or shine, I love wandering through its maze-like corridors and constantly getting lost. Don't ask me where anything is, I STILL couldn't tell you, because I still get totally turned around trying to find tried-and-true places.

Sunny day at the Market (and the gross Gum Wall) - and Rachel, the 12th Pig - Photos by Wasabi Prime
I was lucky/unlucky enough to have appointments in Seattle on opening day of the Seahawks a while back. Luckily, friends had warned me of the 12th Man Army that would descend upon the city, so I made it a point to avoid the stadium area and head into the city extra-early, just to avoid the bus delays and general madness. I had extra time on my hands, so I wandered the Market and did a mini eating tour from breakfast through lunch. I even walked down Post Alley, by the Gum Wall, which to this day, despite my fascination with the crazy textures and graffiti, the CSI/DNA cacophony of previously chewed gum grosses me out. Blech.

I love the Chinese bakery, Mee Sum Pastry, which is one of the outside vendors along the Triangle Building in Pike Place Market. It's quick, inexpensive, and you can eat while walking, which was what I had to do, getting from one place to another. I love the curry beef buns -- like a Hot Pocket, but a million times better. Another easy eat-and-run food is empanadas, which the little shop, La Mexicana, sells, over in the Soames-Dunn building, which I use the hanging chili and garlic garlands as a visual reference, even though they're sold at a shop next door. See, that's the way I navigate the market, by the farmer stalls and what they typically sell!

Viva la Pike Place Market - Photos by Wasabi Prime
I treated myself to a sit-down lunch, but not in a Market restaurant -- I was craving a torta, so I had a pork and guacamole torta at Los Agaves, which has a stand in the Sanitary Market building. There's a couple of small tables but people typically get their orders to-go. One of my favorite spots in Pike Place Market is a little sitting area overlooking Western Avenue and the Sound. You can watch the ferries putter by, and since it was a sunny day, there was more activity on the water. I don't know what this sitting area is called, or even if it has a name, I've often found myself there when I've grabbed food at the Market, and just want a quiet place to sit. It's a little ways off the Main Arcade, and it's a spot the locals like to hit, as it always attracts the folks who know where this little nook is.

Copperworks Distillery - subtle sign, no? - Photo by Wasabi Prime
Not far from Pike Place Market, along the waterfront, is Copperworks Distilling Company - they're right across the street from the Seattle Aquarium; the sign is huge, can't miss 'em. I visited this place for the first time for an event for Barkeeper and Company. I went to show my support for their new product, the B-Bag, a specialty bag for bartenders, designed by bartenders. It was my first time checking out the finished product, which is by all accounts the Ninja Bag of Cocktail Magic. Modeled after a tool bag with compartments for all the mixing tools of the trade, it also has padded inserts for a half dozen spirit bottles in the main compartment like lens carriers in a camera bag -- it's a really well-designed product. It's also doing well on Kickstarter -- they got nearly a third of the way to their financing goal the first day it was available for backing. I put in a pledge and if you would like to do the same and/or pre-purchase the bag, check out the Bartender's Bag by Barkeeper and Company on Kickstarter right this very, freakin' second.

Support your local Bartender and Distillery! - Photos by Wasabi Prime
This was also a great opportunity for me to check out a new distillery -- I'd never visited Copperworks before and I very much enjoyed this visit, looking forward to additional trips. Their current products are a gin and vodka, distilled from malted barley primarily grown in Washington. Clean flavors, but with a smooth creaminess that the barley imparts, reminding you that you're not just drinking booze-flavored water. Since this was a private event, they were using the gin and vodka to make gin and tonics with Bradley's Kina Tonic -- which is fantastic -- and a classic Moscow Mule with the vodka. Simple drinks, but when made with quality ingredients, they're taken to the next level and a great way to show off Copperworks' spirits in drinks.

Steampunk heaven at Copperworks - Photos by Wasabi Prime
The gin and vodka are the opening act for the main headliner, Copperworks' all-malt whiskey, which is currently aging in new American Oak barrels as I type. I noticed on all their stills, it said they were made in Scotland -- they purchased four traditional copper stills from the great land of Scot, which have a distinct and beautiful look and shape to them. Three pot stills and one column still, it's like a Steampunk Heaven of copper, industrial bolts and pipes, and hookah-like shapes of metal and glass that populates their distilling room. They do tastings and tours on the weekends, along with bottling parties, so check them out if you haven't already visited. And keep an eye out for their whiskey -- they anticipate its readiness sometime in the next year!

Oysters and Chef in the Hat-spotting at Loulay - Photos by Wasabi Prime
For a sit-down meal downtown one evening, I indulged in an early dinner of fresh oysters and crispy pomme frites at Loulay. I've dined here before, and I knew I wanted an excuse to go back again -- having some extra time on my hands and walking down Union Street was occasion enough! I love their bar, with the beautiful marbletop and cozy bistro feel. It's not a huge space, so I made sure I got there early, ordered a crisp glass of Vouvray, and got whatever fresh oysters were on the menu. And I can eat fries with anything, and they were happy to oblige my craving. I even caught a glimpse of the Chef in the Hat himself, owner/chef Thierry Rautureau, visiting diners before the dinner rush really kicked in. It was one of those moments where you think to yourself, Damn it feels good to be a Gangstah.

The creatures of Seattle - Photos by Wasabi Prime
I've been thoroughly enjoying my re-exploration of the jungles of Seattle, even capturing some rare glimpses of the local "wildlife." I look forward to sharing more outings, as I've been sorely lacking in culinary inspiration over the last year, being stuck at home most days. We will eventually have another fuzzy pup in our lives, but until then, I'd like to enjoy my own companionship for now, and the companionship of fellow hoomins!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to see you back in the swing of things.


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