With the Fourth of July being this week, I felt it was the most appropriate to feature a place in the United States. Thankfully, I took my first trip to Seattle, Washington a couple of weeks ago so it is a perfect fit for our destination this week.
For most of the trip my husband was working which left me with hours to wander the city on my own. Wandering time!
My first stop is probably one of the most visited places in Seattle – Pike Place Market. I’ve been to plenty of farmer’s markets so I wasn’t anticipating anything too exciting, but this little area was wonderful.
What would a trip to Seattle be without a stop at the first Starbucks? Well, almost, first Starbucks anyway. The current store at 1912 Pike Place Market is actually where the original store moved, but it has been there since 1976.
The store is very tiny and slightly confusing. There are two lines, one to order and one to wait for your drink. While that is how most stores work, the layout makes it difficult to figure out. One angry man began yelling “This isn’t how we do it in New York!” I felt like yelling back, “Yeah, because you aren’t in New York!” But, I kept my mouth shut as I waited for my grande soy latte.
Look closely for the gold first Starbucks marker. It’s about waist high and blocked by the line of people waiting to order. I really wanted to pick up one of these mugs pictured below, but didn’t want to carry it around with me for the rest of the day.
A few doors down from Starbucks is a tiny Russian bakery called Piroshky, Piroshky. If I didn’t have a few friends provide me with a list of things to do in Seattle I might have walked right by this place. Luckily, someone did give me a list of places to eat!
I ended up ordering a chocolate hazelnut cream pastry. I took the time to sit down with my latte to savor the piroshky instead of trying to balance my coffee, camera and breakfast “candy.” The piroshky was pretty good, but there was an interesting flavor that I wasn’t used to. I’ll definitely make a stop here if I make it to Seattle again.
My next stop was the Pike Place Fish Market. Funny thing is that the company that I’ve worked for the past 15 years plays the Fish philosophy video that features this place as part of training. I’ve seen this video at least five times, so I had to see how much fun these guys actually have.
I didn’t get a sense that anyone working here was having as much fun as portrayed in the video. That was a bit of a let down, but they did appear to be more enthusiastic than the vendors around them.
Too bad my hotel room didn’t have a kitchen. I would have bought a lobster tail!
That “We ship Fish for Father’s Day” sign almost worked on me. I hadn’t bought my dad’s gift yet, and I thought “How cool would it be to get one of these guys in Illinois?” Fortunately, I remembered my dad doesn’t like salmon. That would have been an expensive bad gift.
If you have never seen the Fish Philosophy video here is a report on the success of the program.
The tour guide in this photo above was cracking me up. He was hamming it up for the crowd. Pun mildly intended!
Look at these gorgeous peonies! I want to surround myself with them all. I was so bummed to see people walking around with flower bouquets full of these beauties. I didn’t want to pay for flowers to just sit in my hotel room. It might be time for a trip to the L.A. Flower Market.
I consider myself a mac and cheese connoisseur. So when I heard that the “world’s best” mac and cheese was made in Seattle I had to taste it.
Beecher’s is clearly very popular with a line for cafe items and a separate line to order cheese. I took a seat along the window to eat my mac and cheese while watching the cheese making process. The mac and cheese was pretty good, but I wouldn’t say world’s best.
Curious to try this dish for yourself, but not headed to Seattle anytime soon? For $30 and shipping + tax, Beecher’s will send you your very own World’s Best Mac and Cheese Kit.
Pike’s Place Market was a great place to wander in the morning. I enjoyed just observing the daily lives of the vendors, the over-zealous tour guides and the camera-wielding tourist. This area seemed like the perfect blend of tourist trap and every day life.
My next post will take you inside the Chihuly Glass and Garden exhibit and to the top of the Space Needle in Seattle. Until then, check out some of my post from last week about traditional foods from Brazil including Brazilian cheese bread, candy and shrimp stew.