Seattle

Adventures in Seattle.

After spending three great days in Newport, Oregon, Shan and I were definitely craving the city. We absolutely loved all the time spent outdoors hiking, kayaking, and exploring the coast. Now we were yearning for hip restaurants, unique shops, and coffee served by tattooed baristas. Seattle was the perfect medicine! Making the most of our day and a half there, we arrived around 5pm, briefly settling into our Airbnb loft before venturing to The Walrus & The Carpenter, a fantastic little restaurant in Seattle’s Ballard district. Arriving to a full restaurant, with a 45 minute wait, we knew we had picked a good spot. The fact that we could wait at The Barnacle next door was even better. They served us three great cocktails and the finest of Lay’s potato chips (yes, they served potato chips while waiting, it was awesome). When offered more chips, I hesitated, but Shan enthusiastically replied “I love chips!” Pleasantly buzzed and ready for food, we took our seat at The Walrus & The Carpenter.

Cocktails & Chips at The Barnacle in Seattle

To start our fantastic meal, we made a selection of fresh oysters, revelling in the distinct flavour of each, before digging into potato salad, steak tartare, and fried oysters. Satisfied, but not wanting to miss out on anything, we hummed and hawed over dessert while gazing into the open kitchen. Watching our newly befriended Canadian cook fire off dish-after-dish, we were entranced as he tossed bread into a pan before serving it with a rich looking sauce and generous amounts of whipped cream. It was bread pudding, and we knew we had to have it. More reminiscent of french toast than a mushy bread pudding, it had a perfectly caramelized exterior, soft interior, and was drowning in the most amazing espresso butter sauce. ESPRESSO AND BUTTER!! How could we say no to that? Completely satisfied, we were ready to call it quits, but our new chef friend had other plans. He sent out a complimentary plate of fresh bread, cheese, and honey with cracked pepper, and we enjoyed every bite. We then settled up, said our goodbyes and tried to make it home before passing out.

A fantastic dinner at The Walrus & The Carpenter, in Seattle.

Well rested, we began our next day at Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, ready to see all we could see, and eat all we could eat! We started with a walk through the market, entranced by all the fresh seafood, beautifully arranged flowers, and some of the ripest fruit we have ever tasted. Shan and I imagined what life would be like living in Seattle, walking hand-in-hand through the market, romanticizing the beautiful dinners we could make. If only we had more time. It was impossible to be surrounded by all that delicious food without getting some of our own. We started with Greek Yogurt from Ellenos, sampling a few flavours before settling on Cafe Latte, and Lemon Curd. It was hands down the best Greek yogurt we have ever tasted. Flavourful, thick, and creamy, with none of that bitter chalkiness so many store-bought varieties are symptom to. Continuing our walk through the market, yogurt in hand, we arrived at Rachel’s Ginger Beer, a recommendation from the staff at Barnacle. Ordering the Cucumber Tarragon Ginger Beer, we weren’t disappointed. It was super refreshing, not too sweet, and had plenty of that ginger spiciness I love.

Seattle's Pike Place Market

Fed and watered, we were almost ready for our next stop, but first we needed to buy some flowers and fruit, and see the gum wall! Satisfied, we made our way to the Ballard district, parked our car and set out on foot. We instantly fell in love with this neighbourhood. It reminded us of Riversdale in Saskatoon, but fast-forwarded 5 years. Scattered around every block were unique restaurants, affordable vintage shops, and charming clothing boutiques. We wandered store-to-store, falling in love with Seattle a little more with every step. I purchased some props, and Shan picked up jewellery, before discovering what would become our next favourite neighbourhood – Fremont.

We parked, and I immediately lost Shan to a shop called “Pipe and Row” while fussing with a parking meter. After finally paying for parking, I wandered inside to find her lusting over a romper she had to have. She looked hot, I supported the purchase, end of story! Ready for lunch, we made a brief stop for Pho before stepping foot into the Fremont Vintage Mall. Finding peace among an abundance of vintage finds, we roamed room-to-room, filling our arms with food props, a light fixture for our bedroom, and a beautiful glass bottle imprinted with “Bourbon”. It’s like they knew Shan and I were coming. Done with shopping, it was time to begin our food tour! Walking through Fremont, we came across the beautifully designed Bluebird Ice Cream. Craving ice cream since our amazing experience at Salt & Straw, we decided to step inside.  Trying out two flavours, Marionberry, and Snickerdoodle, we were very happy with both flavours, and the ice cream was great, but it didn’t compare to our beloved Salt & Straw. Regardless it’s definitely worth checking out!

Seattle's Ballard & Fremont Districts

After ice cream, it was back to Ballard. Rather than settling in to one place, we decided to try as many as possible, starting with a couple of drinks at the Gothic styled Hazlewood. The cocktails we tried were refreshing, but poorly balanced. Fortunately, they were inexpensive thanks to their 1/2 price happy hour. Next up, we HAD to try “Sexy Alley Puffy Tacos”, a drive-by style window we walked past earlier in the day. Standing on the corner of Sexy Alley, we excitedly dug into our Puffy Taco. A deep fried tortilla topped with carnitas, guacamole, refried beans and more. Maybe it was the name, the sexy alley, or perhaps we were just really hungry, but it had to be one of the best things we ate all day! After some deliberation, we settled on the patio at Percy’s & Co, where we enjoyed some excellent thyme infused cocktails, and steamed clams with fresh bread that totally hit the spot.

Eating our way through Seattle's Ballard District

Ready to make our way back to the loft, we passed Ballard Pizza Company and figured, “What the hell, a little pizza wouldn’t hurt!”. After enjoying a thin, crispy slice of cheese & jalapeño pizza, it was time to leave our beloved Ballard. With the sun beginning to set, we made our final stop at Seattle’s Great Wheel. Our timing couldn’t have been better. Settling into the ferris wheel, we watched the sun dip below the mountains and the city light up. It was the perfect end to an amazing day in Seattle.

Seattle's Great Wheel at sunset.

It was finally time to settle into our loft, curling up to watch Grey’s Anatomy on the loft’s projector, before resting up for our long drive to Montana.

– Bob

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