Fighting-Rest-to-Stuff-My-Face in Washington State (i.e., Sleepless in Seattle)

Well, that’s not entirely true: I did sleep, though the time change from the East Coast to the West Coast did throw me a little bit. I found myself in the Emerald City for work recently and managed to have a few edible adventures that I wanted to tell you about here.

First stop: Ponti Seafood Grill, a delightful an apparently long-standing establishment on one of the canals. 

The way I figure, if you’re dining in the Pacific Northwest, you’ve gotta have some seafood. We enjoyed:

Tempura White (Gulf) Prawns with Mango Coulis (and an accidental order of calamari in the background)

Applewood Smoked Alaska Black Cod. (I ordered this primarily because fish is one thing Alex and I have not yet tried in our backyard smoker and I wanted to see what it was like and whether we could recreate it). If you ever think that fish is not a filling enough meal, try it smoked–the extra flavor will really fill you up!

My boss enjoyed the pan seared scallops with fingerling potatoes and bacon.

And a co-worker enjoyed the tempura nori-wrapped ahi tuna. Kind of like fried sushi? Awesome. Though I’m not a huge fan of coconut milk and even less of things cooked in banana leaves like the rice pictured here.

Okay and here’s something fun: apparently my boss and I, when we travel, are drawn to cupcake bakeries? It seems that in every major city we visit, we scope out the local cupcakerie and sample their wears (exhibit A: Washington, D.C.). Seattle was no exception, and by a happy turn of events, we found ourselves at Yellow Leaf Cupcake. They have an extraordinarily impressive menu selection and I intend to consult it for inspiration for sure, but on our visit only about 8 or 10 flavors were available for our tasting pleasure. (That’s not a criticism, merely an observation; indeed, it’s a smaller establishment so it would not be prudent to offer oodles of cupcakes that may not even be purchased and eaten)

ooOOoo. From left to right, that’s their vanilla, strawberry cheesecake, and blood orange cupcakes. We were especially impressed with the supremely light and airy Italian buttercream on the vanilla cupcake and thought that it could hold its own without the white chocolate sprinkles. The strawberry cheesecake was a bit too sweet for my tastes, though I was fond of the graham cracker crust at the bottom of the cupcake liner. The blood orange was my favorite by far, though I think it’s because I enjoy orange curd which comprised the “stuffed” inner goop in this cupcake (my boss hated this cupcake for that very reason–to each her own). It also had the most beautiful marbled color, imitating the deep blood color of blood oranges:

Of course, while we were there, we had to stop by the famous Pike Place Market area to witness some fish throwing (unfortunately my camera wasn’t fast enough to anticipate the tosses) and check out the wares of local artisans: fresh flowers, cherries and raspberries galore, beeswax soaps and salves, and artisan foods like chocolate spaghetti? 

We held a working lunch meeting over small plates at Sip Restaurant, a classy little place with beautiful outdoor seating and a swanky indoor (wine) bar– a perfect place for meeting friends (as all the young working class seemed to be doing, even at 3pm on a Friday). 

From top to bottom, there’s pulled pork tacos, dungeness crabcakes with gochujang aioli, and a brilliant cheese plate.

And finally, in case I didn’t get enough fish in the three days I was there, we concluded our culinary tour of Seattle by taking a boat ride…

…um, no, that’s not our boat. How on earth would I have gotten a picture like this if it was? I am on a boat, taking a photo of a boat and you can see the mountains in the distance. Beautiful. We were on our way to Tillicum Village on Blake’s Island where we watched a dance ceremony/Native American storytelling show put on by the Coast Salish people. While there, we enjoyed a customary salmon bake meal. Here’s the salmon cooking over the traditional alderwood fire:

All in all, it was a whirlwind tour of Seattle, but that’s the nature of business travel, isn’t it? I did thoroughly enjoy each of these places and hope you’ll consider them if you’re ever traveling through this city. (And I hope you get spoiled by beautiful 70-degree, sunny weather like I did!) If you’re there for a longer period of time, I hear there’s a neat food tour that orients itself about the Pike Place Market, so be sure to check that out.

Here’s a list again of all the places I dined in Seattle:
Ponti
Sip Restaurant
Sky City in the Space Needle
Presse
The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Company 
Tillicum Village 

Have you been traveling? It is summer, after all, so where have your vacation travels taken you? What have you found that’s delicious to eat? Maybe you’re opting for a staycation this year and are recreating meals from previous travels in the comfort of your own home? Did I miss anything big in Seattle? (Cut me a little bit of break, right? I was traveling for work?) Do tell.

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