Seattle surprised me. For a city so full of culture, delicious food, fantastic museums, interesting architecture, and rich history, it was easily explored over a long weekend that felt laid-back and entirely unpretentious.
Seattle also shocked me. It was not all pretty pictures. Even coming from Austin, I was taken aback by the extent of their very apparent housing issues.
Travel has a wonderful way of opening our eyes a little bit wider.
No exaggeration, I have had some of the best, most memorable food in all my travels at Pike Place Market. We sampled many places, but if you’re looking for the short list of unmissables, I would send you to Ellenno’s Greek Yogurt, Pike Place Chowder, and Piroshky, Piroshky. I cannot stress how good Ellenno’s yogurt and Pike Place Chowder are. I swear I would choose that yogurt above ice cream any given day. We ordered a sampler of chowder, and were not disappointed with a single variety. At Piroshky, Piroshky, go for a beef and cheese, the perfect, warm breakfast (or snack) on a drizzly day.
While you’re at the market, take a moment to watch them throw fish at Pike Place Fish Market…
…and pick up a flower (or a bouquet of flowers) at one of the stalls.
While it did satisfy my need for warmth and sustenance after our journey to Seattle, I do have to disagree with Oprah on Beecher’s: I think world’s best mac and cheese is a stretch. I personally prefer an au gratin style macaroni and cheese to one made with bechamel.
Because of the time difference, it was easy enough for us to get up early and head to the original Starbucks at the market before the crazy queue began, but it was… just another Starbucks. The Starbucks Roastery and Reserve, on the other hand, was a neat experience. Sure, you can get your regular cuppa joe (with beans roasted in-house), or you can order flights of the same coffee brewed using different methods, or even coffee flights paired with chocolate. Even my non-coffee drinking husband could appreciate it.
If you have known me or been following the blog for, well, any length of time, I am sure you are acquainted with the fact that I have an insatiable sweet tooth. When I found out there was a restaurant dedicated to warm and gooey molten cakes, I had. to. go. Hot Cakes was most certainly a highlight.
Our last meal before boarding our flight home was Salumi, a small artisan Italian meat shop run by Mario Batali’s parents. The day we went, his mother was hand-making gnocchi in the window before they opened shop. I would advise you to arrive early as the humble restaurant cannot accommodate many patrons at once. And, if Mario Batali’s father asks you if you want their gnocchi recipe, you say yes.
At some point along the way, Dale Chihuly’s glass became an unintentional, reoccuring theme in our travels, so we couldn’t pass up the chance to visit Chihuly Garden and Glass.
The first trip Anthony and I took together was a roadtrip to Little Rock, Arkansas (yes, really) to see a Nathan Sawaya exhibit at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. On display was a Chihuly piece that was gifted to the former President and First Lady.
Then again, in Las Vegas, we saw the infamous Bellagio ceiling.
On our most recent excursion to Louisville, Kentucky, though we had no knowledge of the installation prior to our arrival, I almost wasn’t surprised to find Chihuly glass at the Maker’s Mark Distillery.
Even if you opt not to go inside, you cannot miss the Gehry designed EMP Museum. The photos below are the view from what I would consider the back side of the museum. If you do opt to go inside, you’ll find a tornado of guitars and neat props like a zombie suit worn in Michael Jackson’s Thriller video and Seattle-born Jimi Hendrix’ passport.
One of my favorite memories from our trip was perhaps the least touristy and the most spontaneous. My cinema-loving husband bought us tickets to see a silent film at the Paramount Theater. Walking in made me feel as if I were stepping back in time. I have seen my share of silent films, but this was the first time I had seen one with a live organist playing the score.
While you’re in town, pick up some Theo Chocolate. You can’t pass up the Dark Chocolate Cherry and Almond Bar.
If you want more than the highlights, check out our Seattle map. I would be happy to answer any questions about places we went.