Thursday, May 20, 2010

Seattle, getting better

It's amazing Ryan and I didn't gain about 20 pounds while in Seattle.  Luckily the city is perfect for people like us who love to walk around.  Had it not been drizzly the day we were on Bainbridge island I'm sure we would have rented bikes.  For this posting I'm reviewing what we decided to be the 'better' restaurants.  The ones where, if you happen to walk buy or notice you are in the neighborhood, you really ought to think about going in before walking past.

Start your day off with a most delectable latte from Cherry Street Cafe.  There are several in town so finding one isn't too difficult.  The baristas are very friendly and watching them make espresso is an art form.  I watched ours for about 5 minutes and was entranced by the entire process.  For some great atmosphere and really really good coffee go to Cafe Ladro.  They sell organic, fair trade, shade grown coffee so you can feel good about your java.  While you are there don't pass up the giant oatmeal raisin cookies, especially if you like the soft kind.  Also, the staff is so friendly you can't help but smile when you leave.

For breakfast take the ferry over to Bainbridge Island and head down town.  One of the first places to greet you is the Streamliner Diner. This is no ordinary diner; the guys behind the counter aren't your average short order cooks.  They have mad skills and can whip up the most incredible creations.  I wasn't in the mood for eggs so I tried the ginger tofu scramble with spinach which I definitely recommend.  Rarely will you see omelets with sundried tomatoes, pesto, or guacamole in them.  If you decide to get a biscuit with your breakfast, beware...they are huge. Tip: unlike leftover eggs, biscuits reheat well in hotel microwaves for late night snacks.  So take the biscuit or homemade muffin to go and gobble up the other goodies.  In essence, if you leave here obviously didn't order anything but coffee.
View of Bainbridge Island from the ferry deck.  Cascade Mountains in the background.

The Streamliner is where we first encountered Freezerves.  We thought the chefs made them, but they are actually made by Sunfresh Foods.  Unlike other preserves or jams, Freezerves are never boiled.  I have no idea how they are truly made, I just know they are some of the best fruit spreads I've ever tasted.  Later on we saw them at several other restaurants in Seattle.

Sticking with the veggie theme, for some very unique chili head back to Pike's Place Market and walk straight up the road from the fish market.  Here you will find Stealhead Diner. (I didn't realize we ate at so many "diners" until just now).  This is some serious chili, it was thick and rich.  The cumin and cinnamon were so fragrant.  This was the first time I had ever seen asparagus in a chili.  The thick coating of melted cheese on top didn't hurt either.  To celebrate our first night in Seattle we ordered oysters (my first time).  I had no idea what to expect, but the little Olympia oysters wet down very easily.  They were served with a bay leaf granita which added just the right touch.  I'm officially hooked on oysters now.  Also, the bread basket here is AMAZING!  Seriously, you have to go to Stealhead if only for the chili and bread.
The famous Pike's Place Fish Market

Need something to quench your thirst after all the walking you will be doing?  Vital Tea Leaf is unlike anything I've ever seen.  The small store has several rows of large glass jars containing mostly Chinese style tea.  So as not to overwhelm you, the owners offer free tea tastings.  It's more than just tasting though, they will tell you about where the tea comes from and how it will cure just about any disease.  Even if you do not buy any tea, it is definitely something to try if only for the experience and entertainment.  Ryan and I were a little worried the air port security would think our dried stevia and loose leaf tea was something illegal; no such luck.

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