Eating (and drinking) my way around Seattle
This South Carolina girl hopped on a plane bound for the International Food Blogger Conference in Seattle last month. Gap Creek Gourmet was a Brand Ambassador for Leopard Forest Coffee Company during the conference and I spent six days eating, learning, sightseeing and talking coffee with the masses.
The first question everyone asks: what was my favorite part. It wasn’t the coffee, or the ocean breeze, the Space Needle, or the zoo. Believe it or not, it was the yogurt! Seriously. Ellenos Greek yogurt at Pike Place was a short walk down the hill from our hotel and it was by far the best thing I ate during my trip. I swung by for yogurt four times while I was there. One day, I had it twice in the same day! I have been to two grocery stores in two different states since I’ve been home and so far nothing has come close. It was the perfect texture and thickness and came in flavors like Lemon Pie, Marion Berry, Chai and Latte. I had them layer the flavors in their Walkaround cup so I could savor the rainbow of choices while I walked around Pike Place. See that heaping cupful of tastiness?
Did you know the first Starbucks EVER is located at Pike Place in Seattle? I have been a Starbucks girl since I was a teenager, so I was super stoked to see the first one. And on the train ride in from the airport I spotted Starbucks headquarters. Totally added that to the list, too, and gleefully made it to both. There is a company store in Starbucks headquarters that has shirts, pens, and tons of other swag. I brought home goodies.
There is no shortage of coffee shops in Seattle. Storyville is one of my favorites. We were exhausted after walking all over the place, so decided to go inside and sit for a while, sip on some coffee and recharge. The decor was so warm and beautiful. I felt like I should be in my pj’s curled up in the chair by the fire with a book. Yes, a fire place. And the coffee counter looked more like someone’s fancy house bar than a coffee shop. Such a perfect afternoon hangout!
Flowers, donuts, and seafood. Pike Place is almost sensory overload. Colors, sights, sounds and the constant urge to eat everything in site. You could buy these giant bouquets of flowers for $10! It was like nothing I had ever seen. Lucky Seattle people!
Daily Dozen’s little doughnuts could be the death of me if I lived in Seattle. They come in a brown paper bag of six or a dozen and you can get one flavor or assorted: Chocolate covered with sprinkles, powdered, plain fried or maple bacon. Oh heavens. There goes my mouth watering again.
I actually called my husband and asked if I could ship seafood home. He said no, but I swear he would have considered it if he could have seen the piles and piles of fresh, beautiful seafood all around the market. Giant crab, huge fat Alaskan salmon and the biggest prawns I’ve seen in my life. Yes, I watched them throw the fish, too.
Every single blog out there about what to do while you’re in Seattle says you have to have the clam chowder. The lines were absolutely rediculous for most of the places, but I did find this little seafood booth called Jack’s without a line and grabbed a bowl to go, oyster crackers included. While it cooled, I made my way to Rachel’s Ginger Beer where I ordered a Blood Orange Ginger Beer and sat down at a table to enjoy my chowder. I SERIOUSLY wanted to ship some Ginger Beer home. I so wanted my husband to experience this incredibly spicy ginger soda, too, but the shipping cost as much as the ginger beer! Um. No. Maybe for Christmas. The guy told me it would fly well, but I was hesitant after my water bottle exploded all over the girl beside me on the airplane. Made me wonder what a carbonated drink would do to the inside of my suitcase.
Prioshky: a delicious handmade Russian pie stuffed with sweet or savory deliciousness. My roommate Fervent Foodie told me Piroshky Piroshky was not to be missed. She’s more of a savory girl, but I headed straight for fruit filled pie with sweet and tart cherries. Not too sweet and not too much filling, just perfect. I couldn’t even finish one of these things because they are huge.
Have you heard of Sparkling Syrah? Where have I been?! I wandered into The Tasting Room at Pike’s Place one afternoon and tasted my way around some of Washington’s smaller family owned winerys’ offerings. One of which, was this beautiful sparking syrah. As soon as I got home, I called Community Tap to order a good one that I could share with my husband and friends.
You have to try this wine. It will seriously rock your world. Stay tuned for Part 2 and more tasty adventures from Seattle!