Last time, my stomach was to be found digesting crêpes and coffee, bahn mi and spring rolls, and piles of raw fish. It was happy, and thus wanted more.
As tasty as Bambuza was, I knew there were greater things to be had. My subsequent lunches were eaten at the Pike Place Market, a food-Valhalla if I’ve ever visited one. I spent a good long while just wandering around, feasting my eyes on fresh-from-the-river/ocean fish, piles of gorgeous mostly-local produce, and stall after stall of food sellers and cookers and eaters. I ate too, of course. Many of the vendors had samples of fresh produce, breads, oils, vinegars, jams and more – I took part, and often bought a small helping more to snack on as I walked.
Across from the market proper are the shop-stalls, from bakeries to specialty cheese and beyond. I stopped by a few… I had a hot, sweet and savory humbow (steamed pork barbecue buns) from the Mee Sum Pastry Shop – basically, a dim sum cart in market-stall form. At the Russian bakery Piroshky Piroshky, I gorged on all sorts of pastry-enclosed goodness, and also non-enclosed (“gorged” may be too strong…I ate one there, took a bunch to go for breakfasts, etc.). The beef & onion, potato mushroom & onion, and apple cinnamon roll were my favorites.
The one disappointment at Pike Place Market was the Original Starbuck’s. Coffee at this ‘Bucks is just as overpriced and under-delicious as at its every clone across the universe. Oh well! Come to think of it…I had a lot of at-best-mediocre coffee on this trip. Why is Seattle so famous for coffee?
Having spent the afternoon at Pike Place, my second night found me again searching for a quick bite en route to a beer, but a strange sign above Quinn’s Pub ensured that the two quickly combined. The sign said: “Fois Gras Night – proceeds benefit [some charity].” I immediately stepped inside, squeezing into a bar seat between a raucous group of it-girls and a few guys all too happy for a neutral buffer. Our former editrix here was Swiss – maybe it rubbed off?
I learned from the friendly bartender that Fois Gras night was only technically for charity: sales were to benefit some group which protests fois gras: counter-protest by aggressive irony or something like that… So I had the fois gras mousse with brioche, and some local special draught beer that was all hoppy and delicious. It was as delightful as I’d hoped, though not the “light” dinner I’d planned. The music was a mixed selection of hardcore punk and 80’s pop, which also worked for me.