Directly following my trip to Peru, I left on a research trip to the West Coast for two weeks. What was I researching? Glad you asked: a book on Stadium Eats! Um, yeah, without a deal in sight currently (hint, hint, anyone reading this who is interested!), I went to preemptively scout out the 6 West Coast stadiums and eat my way up and down the West Coast at the same time, starting in San Francisco, working my way down to Los Angeles, then San Diego, back up to San Francisco and then to Seattle! Phew! Tune in at 4:15 EST (or 1:15 PST, lunchtime on the West Coast) for the next 6 weeks to see what I ate and where I ate it… and how I gained 10 lbs in two weeks!
I know Pike Place Market isn’t where all the locals shop. But you know what? Some locals do shop there (as evidenced by my strolls through the market!). And this was my first time in Seattle. So please save all your horrible comments about me going to the Times Square of Seattle, or other similar comments about “how could you” (unless it’s “how could you not eat that!” etc)… it was necessary. And, you’ll find, my opinion at the end states it isn’t only necessary… it’s amazing.
My first jaunt to the Pike Place Market began innocently enough; I took a stroll down to the waterfront from my hotel, then curved up along the water towards where I thought the market was. As it turns out, this is the worst way possible to walk there – it requires climbing these intense hills to get to the market itself. At some point, I followed some tourists into a hallway and discovered an ELEVATOR climbing the last of the hills for me and quickly boarded, which, when I walked out of it, led me to the above. Ooh look cheap fried food! Of course, I’d actually just woken up from the nap I took after Salumi, so I groggily stumbled past this and kept going. (Plus I had a game shortly after, and since I planned on walking there, I really hadn’t much time to eat everything. This is very much an eye candy post and not much more!)
Directly next to this stand was a fried-offal stand – that alone should make snobs who haven’t been to Seattle and think that PPM is for tourists only rethink their stance. Fried chicken livers, hearts, and gizzards… come on… I really wanted to, but couldn’t justify the stomach space as I intended to eat like a monster at the game (and I really did wind up eating like a monster).
Fresh fruits galore!
What a beautifully laid out stand!
I wound up going back the last day I was there and buying sugar cane for the BF from this stand (and yes, I brought it back with me in my suitcase); he speaks constantly of being a kid and getting these in the Bronx and spending hours happily gnawing on them…). He was thrilled with it and though I thought the piece I picked looked a little dry, he loved it and said it was great. I’m such a good girlfriend 😉 (and today is our 7 year anniversary! Happy anniversary, love of my life!). (Neither of us have seen it in NYC in a while… but nor have we really looked, I suppose.)
That is a HUGE tail. My hand is about 7.5 inches from tip of middle finger down to wrist. Ridiculous!
Without my hand blocking the view
Same stand… it’s not just peeled/cooked/deveined shrimp (probably not in that order), but it’s fancy 😉 haha
King Crab, also fancy…
*tears of joy* Dungeness crabs. They do a business here, alright; we can get Dungeness crab in NYC, yes, but cooked, cleaned already? I’m not so sure about that (I’ve seen it in Asian markets, and they definitely don’t do either of those things, mostly cuz we want to clean them ourselves – non-Asians “clean” by removing all the bestest parts!!! – the tomalley, the brain, the liver, all the goopy parts that are basically essence of crab and I lurve those parts!)… and look, packed for up to 48 hours so you can take it on the plane with you. Of course, later on, I saw another stand that said up to 72 hours… so someone figured out a better way 😉
I thought that was real until I noticed a chunk of his foot missing. /shudder Imagine if it was real?!
Glorious fruit with mostly alright/decent/comparable prices to other stores
So, I was trying to sneak a ninja shot of this woman who was pushing her Bassett Hound (I think?) in a stroller and walking another one – it was really crowded inside!, tourists and locals alike – and it came out super blurry. I felt like a horrible person when she turned and asked – not unkindly (though not quite kindly, either) – “Did you get it?” and waited while I took a better picture. Maybe he has bad legs – he doesn’t look so young – but it was really cute and yet, a little strange… to see a dog being pushed in a stroller like so in a very crowded market.
Why yes. Yes I do 🙂
My sister, FeistySis and her husband are both attorneys (not sure if I’ve ever mentioned that here), and they like to tell me: “Trust me, I’m an attorney.” Ummm, no. I took this picture for them 🙂
It’s the original Starbucks! I don’t really broadcast this, but I’m pretty into my soy lattes from Starbucks; they require no sugar and are a nice caffeine boost to start my day. Do I think they’re amazing coffee? Don’t know. I don’t drink enough coffee to really be qualified to make a statement on that. But it was cool going where it all began. I mused to myself that working at this SB must be a promotion or a real boon, because it is constantly super busy… and there must be some SB prestige that comes from being manager of this location! Also interesting was learning that Pike Place Market does not allow chain stores to open locations there; the only way this happens is if they are the first of their kind. Starbucks falls into that umbrella, as does Sur La Table, whose flagship store is literally around the corner from this Starbucks. I had no idea. Very cool – and very interestin to see how the logos and stores have evolved into what they are today… (You betcha I went into Sur La Table and drooled a little bit! Ok, a LOT over the Staub collection! I know what I’m getting for my birthday!)
Truffles and mini cheesecakes from the Confectional!
Dim sum at a random stand along the same ‘street’ as Starbucks (the way PPM is set up is pretty weird/hard to follow and know you’ve done everything; there’s a street over a street, don’t ask me how that works, but it’s really interesting and I’m sure has to do with the regrading of the streets post-one of the fires, or maybe just because Seattle is really freakin’ hilly).
More gorgeous fruit displays. I love it. I need to rent a place with a kitchen for a week or two in Seattle so I can shop through the market and cook for a week… or two… maybe do a swap with some other foodie who wants to do so in NYC??? 😀
Back to the entrance I’d come from, and I spotted a chocolate dream cake up… but for $5.75, I pass.
And one last snapshot before I left for the game… a huge gummy bear made out of gummy bears! So awesome! And genius to put your business info on there because I surely would not have remembered the name (I didn’t even go in because I don’t like candy that much). And I only took this one photograph…
And another day, I went back and bought these super cute bottles of local/organic milk, chocolate and latte flavors. Tasty! from Golden Glen Creamery from this really cute dairy-oriented shop that was hard to find the first day that I just stumbled into another day. I warn you though: the milk is $1.85 or similar; the deposit is $2+ so I wound up paying $4 for each (you get the deposit back if you bring it back to the store, but I liked the bottle and kept one, but then didn’t have time to return the other, so I now own two of these adorable bottles…).
Yvo says: There is so much to see and eat at the Pike Place Market, it would be pure ignorance to tell anyone to skip it simply because it is a tourist attraction. Sure it’s a bit annoying when the tourists are stopping to photograph everything (ahem), but overall, there’s just amazing stalls! I didn’t photograph all the artisan jewelry or crafts that were everywhere; I bought fish bone earrings cuz they were cool (and hello, Pike Place Market)… and yes, I witnessed people “catching” fish (there’s a huge stall that does it every once in a while, and people gather around taking pictures and video and basically clogging up that part of the market). It was really cool, and there were some really great stores around – I’ll elaborate more in another post – that I would go back just to visit. There are plenty of restaurants inside the market, though I didn’t try any, and there’s a specialty donut shop, and ooh! there’s also this really awesome gourmet market, DeLaurenti’s, that actually sells some of the cured meats that Salumi offers, among many other European goodies (a full line of Kinder products! and Ciocciolina (sp?), the chocolate pound cake!). I also didn’t manage to take pictures of Beecher’s but they’re making cheese on the spot and have tons of goodies as well! There’s so much to see, do, eat here, that this post – overflowing with pictures as it is already – can’t even do the place justice.
I highly recommend anyone visiting Seattle set aside a few hours to wander around at least once during their first trip. It’s an experience you have to have. I can honestly say I don’t think there is anything quite like it; NYC’s Grand Central Market is awesome but it’s one hall, and this is multiple floors and streets of goodness.