We have only spent 2 days in Seattle, but within hours, I was calling our rented apartment home, this city can satisfy my every need and keep me happy for years to come, ( as a food source not a loving partner.)
Having become malnourished from our camping trip we decided to fit 5 desserts into one day...no regrets people, we're living life on the edge here.
No photos of the sweet potato and pecan loaf we scoffed down when we arrived at 'Bauhaus Coffee' but it was marvellous, really moist and just enough sweetness to make it a cake but not enough to make you feel guilty when you walk into the next bakery you see.
Crumble & Flake is a teeny tiny shop/bakery that delights the nose, eyes and awaiting tummies, we shared a delightful flaky pastried cinnamon roll that fell apart all over me and was smothered with a slightly sweetened cream cheese frosting..perfect start to breakfast.
Pike place market is definitely on the 'to do list' of Seattle and we were not disappointed, you don't know where to look as there is just so much to see but your nose is trying to follow the assortment of diverse aromas coming from every direction. We had read of a few places to try in the market but some queues were ridiculous and we had only eaten 2 cakes already so we were starving! Market grill looks fab with a clockwork routine going on between the 3 staff members, it's a show in itself. We watched as our wild salmon was grilled In front of us and every mouthful of the cajun seasoned fish, was as fresh as the North Pacific looking back at us from our view at the harbour. It came served with garlic bread ( baked fresh across the road at 'le panier' every morning) organic salad and sticky brown rice doused in soy.
We Wombled around looking for lunch dessert ( different to breakfast dessert) and came across 'three girls bakery', another we had heard of. Feeling the urge to lick their glass display cases (which showed off fresh pastries, adventurously flavoured gooey brownies and stacks of cookies covered in chocolate chips,) we purchased a crunchy pretzel brownie, blitzed up pretzel base with an oozy Chocolate brownie top, with more melted chocolate dribbled all over.
Steve found us a very special place for dinner on our first night in Seattle, ' volunteer park cafe' is nestled in on a quaint residential street, it has odd shape raised beds full of ripening veg and herbs sprouting up all over the place along the side of the building. These are supplemented with locally sourced goods and they even have their own hens laying them free range eggs. Inside reminds us of a Parisian cafe full of rustic charm and the menu seems to take inspiration from all over the world, serving pizza to pot pie.
The bread and butter to start was a freshly baked sourdough in the form of a small baguette, real crisp crust and loads of whipped up garden butter to smother on top, it was delicately encrusted with pink sea salt and flecked with fresh parsley and lemon zest, making it look like a precious stone. We had our first Mac n cheese whilst in the USA and it was a wow! The cappelletti pasta was coated in a creamy Gruyere, cheddar and fontina sauce, then baked and topped with golden bread crumbs, this dish was so light that we could easily have eaten a whole one to ourselves and more. We shared the free range chicken pot pie, filled with al dente Summer vegetables and a thick, zesty sauce, topped with a diamond of homemade puff pastry, I'm normally judgmental about cubed chicken in dishes, ( it looks so artificial) but the shape actually made the texture of the pie even better and there was no lack of juiciness. Not satisfied with a normal amount of food we also had a prosciutto and arugula pizza, replacing a tomato sauce was a thick, peppery rocket spread very much like a pesto, topped with spicy pickled sweet red peppers, ribbons of salty cured meat and fresh creamy mozzarella.
We were supposed to be going elsewhere for dessert as there are just so many choices in this city, but we are weak, the meal was wonderful and the menu had the words ' salted caramel tart', what would you do? We also ordered a ' muck muck' described by the waitress as a fondant chocolate cake cup injected with cream and syrup. Literally a cake baked in a cup the muck muck was actually not a favourite, although it looks striking with its tower of cream exploding onto a rich chocolatey sauce. The tart on the other hand will fill my dreams for years to come, the base was a cookie crumb, baked until dark, which cuts through the sweetness of the chilled salted caramel, so heavy and indulgent, layered on top was a thick slab of dark chocolate, softly set and sprinkled with those tiny little chunks of pink sea salt.
With the sheer volume of food consumed yesterday, I can't quite believe we're out at 9 am for breakfast at ' Odd Fellows'. As we are the only 2 sat outside I can only assume that people here count 25°C as cold, if they only knew of the English summers inconsistency. Steve is trying to be healthy with a massive bowl of house baked granola, roasted with honey and served with tart seasonal berries and creamy Greek yoghurt, he has also ordered a baguette as long as his arm with a ruby red jam and pale butter. My breakfast arrives and I think I have made a mistake, sitting before me is at least half a loaf of brioche, french toasted and dripping with fruity compote and a pool of mascarpone....I ate it all and even considered spreading on some more butter, but then my heart gave a little warning groan and I put the knife back down.
Meat and cheese make a meal right? Wrongo! The organic vegan restaurant ' Plum Bistro' has the power to make us forget all about our favourite things. Embarrassingly We know absolutely nothing about the ingredients that this place use, so it's pretty hard to describe what we ate, but it was a full table of grains and vegetables, cooked with a lot of imagination. Dishes like the chorizo seasoned minced tofu taco had us convinced we were eating meat. It was spicy, juicy and full of flavour that I would never associate with tofu, finished with shavings of red cabbage and a hot silky, mustard aioli. The 'Mac n yease' is famous here and yes I have spelt that right. A creamy, salty rich sauce coats the pasta but this recipe is so closely guarded, they don't even give it up in their restaurant cookbook, you'll just have to jet over here and try it yourselves. We finish with a trio of mini sliders, the stand out is a BBQ seitan (wheat gluten) with slaw, parsley and hot mustard, the burger is crisp, sweet and sticky like the best chicken wings, (I don't know how to describe something that tastes like meat, but isn't meat, without comparing it to meat!) We come away from the meal with the utmost satisfaction, knowing that as we have been so healthy, ice cream must be on the cards.
Our final Seattle pit stop is Hello Robin. Serving their dreamily, chewy cookies with the famous Molly Moons homemade ice cream, thus creating a 'Sammie'..a generously hearty scoop of daily flavoured ice cream, sandwiched between two cookies of your choice. Feeling the need to intoduce this to our own city. Opting for a sweet and salty maple ice cream with big chunks of walnut, smooshed between an incredible S'mores cookie ( graham cracker, molten chocolate and toasted marshmallow) and Wholewheat, salted chocolate chip, you pick the whole thing up and eat it like you would a sandwich. What a taste sensation!
Thouroughly fooded and sad to be leaving Seattle, will definitely be returning to this hip, happening neighbourhood, until then see ya.
G & S xxx