Happy Monday! It is Monday, right? I’m still in a blur from the past three days. Tired and running on coffee, but I did have a great weekend out in the Pacific Northwest visiting Gnocchi and her new digs in Seattle. It was honestly the perfect visit filled with good food, lots of laughing (LOTS) and the perfect mix of adventure and glamour. And because every trip is in some way a quest for most awesome foods, I came home with a full stomach and a suitcase full of jam (more on that later). With that, we have another edition of me, eating the world. This time, Seattle and Olympia.
Our first food stop was Paseo, a hole in the wall sandwich shop with cramped quarters, limited seating and a line out the door. And for good reason. I’ve waxed poetic before about my love of anything between two slices of bread, so Gnocchi’s suggestion that we eat here took no convincing. I love me a good sandwich and Paseo served up a GREAT sandwich. We went halvsies on two of her favorites: the Caribbean Roast (pork shoulder slow roasted and marinated with lettuce, aioli, pickled jalapenos and caramelized onions) and the Paseo Press (roasted pork nestled atop sweet banana peppers, draped with sheer slices of smoked ham, Swiss cheese, and caramelized onions; all melted together), all with a side of scallops with red beans and rice for good measure.
Oh. Em. Gee. If you’re in Seattle. GO HERE. If you’re near Seattle, GO HERE. If you know the secret to teleportation, tell it to me so that I can go here every day. These were two of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. It rivals the club sandwich from Flore that I still drool over in my dreams. They were messy and drippy and gooey and everything a sandwich should be. Evidence that the most innocuous looking restaurant can pack the biggest punch.
Saturday we got up early for some hiking in Wallace Falls, traipsing through the rain and pausing every now and again to do some yoga, since we heard it’s what all the cool kids were doing.
We built up quite an appetite and what better way to celebrate a hike than with some ice cream? There is no better way. Gnocchi raved about the Horchata from Bluebird Microcreamery, so of course we had to go. However, when presented with ALL the flavors, I opted for salted caramel (duh) and phluffhead (Chocolate. Marshmallow. Caramel. Mmmm), which Gnocchi then tried to steal from me because it was that good. With so many amazing flavors, it was hard to choose. Not only did Bluebird have some tantalizing options, but they also have beer. So, combine those two things and this place is a must visit.
Later that day we went to Olympia to be fancy at a masquerade ball at the Capital and stuck around until Sunday for some sunrise sea kayaking and seal watching, and one of my favorite things in life- a farmer’s market.
Famished after the kayaking, we tucked in at Dingey’s for some crab cake benedict. I’m not a huge eggs benedict fan (the Italian benedict notwithstanding), but this was kind of perfect. So fresh, not to hollandiase-y and shockingly not at all heavy in my tummy. We both were really sad once it was gone, but were relieved since we had enough room for dessert. Yup, pre-noon dessert. It’s a thing.
Our thing happened at the Blue Huron Bakery Stand. We couldn’t make up our mind on what to get when presented with all the freshly baked delights, so at the suggestion of its lovely proprietors, we got the Turbo cookie, a breakfast cookie of sorts that was not too sweet, not at all greasy, with a hint of molasses and huge chocolate chips. Good decision. They also have all sorts of non-dairy, vegan and gluten-free options, so check out their site.
The final stop on this pacific northwest culinary tour was the Johnson Berry Farms’ jam stand. There, I satisfied my urge to impulse bulk buy fancy, regional jam. The jam dude patiently let us try about 7 flavors of jam before I settled on my three favorite sweet ones: Marionberry (regional specialty), Bumbleberry (blueberry/raspberry/marionberry) and Tayberry (raspberry/blackberry). I’m set for a while, until Gnocchi comes back to visit and I make her bring me more. If you’re in the area and don’t make it to Olympia, they also have a stall at the Pike Place Market in Seattle so that all of your jam needs can be met. And who doesn’t have jam needs? We all need a little jam in our lives.
So that’s it. Any time I go somewhere, I eat where people tell me to eat. As if I know better? In the grand scheme of a city’s restaurant directory, my choices may not be the most fancy or hip, but that doesn’t make the food any less delicious. Good food is good food and it really is as simple as that.
I leave you with a few remaining pictures to remind you that, while traveling, it’s advisable to pose like/with statues.