Eating…Seattle: Second Helpings

Before I left for Seattle I made a list of new restaurants to try while I was in town. I am nothing, if not prepared. Especially when it comes to eating. That is no joke.

I didn’t get a chance to try too many new things, since we were kind of pressed for time with all the wedding events that had to be done [including an amusing family get together at the house – oh the copious amount of beer that had been consumed that day] but I did try a few good places and revisited some familiar sites.

After getting picked up at the airport, we stopped by the Jewel Box Café for boba milk tea and a Seattle Dog for me. If you don’t remember from last time, a Seattle dog is a hot dog on a slightly toasted bun with cream cheese. Don’t knock it until you try it. The one at the café was passable, though the street vendors make a much better dog. I think the bun was a bit too toasty to wield to the dog and there definitely was not enough cream cheese.

On Thursday, the family got together at Red Hook Brewery for a few [hundred] pitchers and food. I’m not a real fan of beer but somehow I had a glass pored for me and I slowly, and I mean, S-L-O-W-L-Y, sucked that thing down over the course of the lunch. And we were there for at least a few hours. The food was your typical pub food: burgers, sandwiches, other stuff, and nothing really to write about. The shenanigans that happened while we were there..well, we had fun.

Things turned towards fun on Friday. J and I went to pick up some cupcakes from Trophy with a Groupon he bought and I had the pleasure of picking the flavors. Oh, I was in heaven. We ended up with the following: two pineapple upside down, two hummingbirds, snickerdoodle, red velvet, lemon, salted caramel, snowball, triple chocolate, something else and the monthly special: the Elvis. As soon as I saw the sign, my eyes lit up. Not because I was a fan of Elvis, but because it was a banana cake with peanut butter frosting drizzled with honey. Can you say delicious?

I tore into that cupcake as soon as physically possible. The frosting was perfect: just the right amount of peanut butter, not too sweet and delightfully light and fluffy. I’m not a big frosting person but I wanted to lick it all off right then and there. Trophy, my goodness. I puffy heart you.

Then I took a bite out of the cake. It was moist [much better texture over the red velvet one I had previously] and banana-ey and…FILLED WITH COCONUT. I was appalled. And disgusted. And utterly crushed. Oh Trophy! Why do you hate me so?! I was miffed but because the frosting was so delicious, I suffered through the rest of the cake. I sat there with a very noticeable frown on my face. I was NOT happy. Who puts coconut in a banana cake? I was mad that the clerk at the shop failed to mention they baked their cake with coconut. What if I was allergic to coconut? Who thinks to ask if there’s coconut in a banana cake?! Oh. You? You think to ask if there’s coconut in a banana cake? You disgust me. I later tried the snicker doodle and was disappointed with that one as well. The frosting was too sweet and the cake was dry and flavorless. It reminded me of a corn muffin. Not very appetizing to say the least.

At least lunch didn’t disappoint. After picking up the cupcakes, J and I headed to Paseo since we were near the neighborhood and it was only a few minutes before it opened, which was key since a line quickly formed soon after we arrived [with another 10 minutes to go before opening!]. They serve Caribbean sandwiches and other stuff and the smell from the bbq was intoxicating. I ended up getting the #1: Grilled Pork sandwich and could not wait to sink my teeth into that baby.

By the time we got to the house, the baguette had soaked up just enough of the sauce to make it a bit more pliable but seriously, this was the best pork sandwich I have ever eaten. I could have done with less lettuce as it kind of just got in the way, but the grilled onions, the meat, and the aioli sauce…simply delicioso. One of the groomsmen was more than excited to talk to me about the joys of eating at Paseo and was shocked that I didn’t have to wait in line for 45 minutes like he did. Timing is everything. I will definitely be adding this to my “must eat” list for any and all future trips to Seattle. We had the rehearsal dinner at O’Asian Kitchen but I wasn’t really feeling the food so I didn’t have much to eat.

On Sunday I made revisited a past favorite, Piroshky Piroshky, for breakfast. I was kind of shocked to find a line at 9 in the morning but hey, at least it’s quick moving. I picked up a potato, onion and cheese piroshky as well as a cinnamon cardamon braid to munch on. The piroshky was just as delicious as I remembered and I happily tore into it as I walked around the market. I was going to save the braid for later but later came a lot sooner than I anticipated and sat on a bench to enjoy the view before hiking it to the Space Needle.

After saying by to the newlyweds, I headed out on my own to do a little foodie adventuring. Thankfully the two places I planned to visit were in the same area as the hotel, my biggest issue was just finding parking. What a hassle. I stopped by The Yellow Leaf Cupcakes to pick up, well what else, a cupcake. There were a lot of flavors vying for my attention but the blood orange cupcake caught my eye. I had never seen that flavor anywhere before and had to snap it up. I saved it though for later so I could indulge at my last stop of the day: Serious Pie.


I had heard of Serious Pie thanks to Food Networks’ “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” series when Tyler Florence was expounding on the deliciousness of the chanterelle mushroom and truffle cheese pizza and  my desire to check it out only heightened when A and J both heartily endorsed it. The restaurant itself is tiny and filled with long benches for communal dining. I was a little nervous about my time since I only had a couple hours before I had to return the rental car but thankfully being a single diner was an advantage and I was seated within minutes. I gave the menu a cursory glance since I knew exactly what I wanted, much to the apparent disappointed from my server, who seemed put off that I refused to hear the specials [but in my defense: why would you wait until AFTER I placed my order to ask if I want to hear the specials? Why don’t you lead off with that?].

The pizza itself was really good. It was a thin crust/flatbread-esque pizza that was crispy and chewy and slightly salty, though it was a little too salty in some areas. I really enjoyed the mushrooms and the floral fragrance from the truffle cheese [I think]. I had to consciously tell myself to slow down or else run the risk of scarfing the whole thing down in minutes.

After lunch, I had enough time to hit up Kerry Point to enjoy my cupcake and take in one last view of the Seattle skyline before heading home. I was excited about trying the cupcake and even purposefully stopped eating just so I had room to eat the cupcake. It was a beautiful looking layered cupcake, I’m not sure what they were but from the looks of it, possibly a yellow and red velvet, with orange buttercream frosting and a dollop of what I assumed to be blood orange puree.

I tasted the frosting but couldn’t discern any flavor. It just tasted like whipped cream or something. I was confused but forged ahead, taking a bite out of the cupcake itself. It was dry and also flavorless [which was why I couldn’t figure out what flavors the cake was – if they were flavored or maybe they were just colored batter. And as far as I know, you can’t taste colors while sober]. The only thing that had any kind of flavor was the orange filling, which was appropriately sweet and orangey. Cupcake: FAIL.

I was utterly disappointed and ended up not finishing the cupcake. I just couldn’t get over how flavorless that thing was. Would I be open to trying another flavor? Probably, but I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way to try it either.

All in all, while this wasn’t my best attempt at stuffing my face, I still enjoyed my meals, especially the heavenly pork sandwich and pizza. I know where I”m going next time I’m in Seattle!

Farewell, my Seattle

After that long, exhausting and food filled day, we kept Sunday pretty casual. Besides the fact that I would be flying out later that afternoon.

We got tickets to check out Pixar’s Up in 3D that morning so set out in search of breakfast. We didn’t want to end up at Starbucks so we wandered around downtown in hopes of finding something, anything that could be eaten for breakfast that wasn’t cupcakes. We eventually made our way back to Pike Place Market and hoped to get crepes but since the place had just opened and was already filled with customers with only one employee, we had to abandon ship.

But we stumbled upon a little bakery near the fish throwers that was home of the Texas chocolate doughnut [the very same one from Saturday] that had the most delicious hunk of cheddar and onion bread. Oh my goodness, I wish we had each gotten two of those things, they were THAT good.

Up was such a fantastic movie. I loved it. I just love Pixar. They do a fantastic job of marrying adult and children humor fairly seamlessly. And Doug was my favorite character. Genius people, genius. It was also unexpectantly sad yet very touching. I did almost cry [just like in Wall-E] but, oh it was so sweet.

It did make Amalia pine for Fenton’s though. I do have to say that it’s weird watching a Pixar movie outside of the Bay Area because of all the local references that are peppered throughout the films. For what it’s worth, the people there probably thought they made up Fenton’s instead of being excited to see a local business there.

Anywho, after the movie, we made our way to Kerry Park to take in the Seattle skyline and just kick back. While we were there, we watched this fanatical guy try to take pictures of his wife and daughter. It was insane. He had his camera set up on a tripod and he was shouting directions to them on how to pose [a little to the left, a couple inches, no! go back…there!]. His daughter was so over the whole thing [and no, she wasn’t a teen] and it was kind of embarassing. I’ve seen professional photographers get better shots with less direction. Seriously. Just take the picture. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

From here, we still had some time to kill before heading off to the airport so we made a quick trip to the Capitol Hill area for that frozen custard we didn’t get the day before.

When we walked up to Old School Frozen Custard, we could already smell the fresh waffle cones they were making and boy did we kind of get overwhelmed with the choices. You can only eat so much frozen custard by yourself. Which is really just a shame. I would have LOVED to try out several of their offerings. This will definitely be a place I’ll visit again and again.  After what seemed like a painfully long decision, we both ended up getting the Home Room sundae [two scoops of vanilla frozen custard with brownie pieces, hot fudge sauce, whipped cream and topped with a cherry]. The custard is so much creamier than ice cream.

And that was pretty much the end of my visit. We made our way to the airport and my flight ended up getting delayed at little but it was okay because I ended up falling asleep in the terminal. It was a much needed nap. I really had a fantastic time in Seattle, albeit a quick trip. But I’m looking forward to visiting Amalia and JoAl again and hopefully have the bf along with me.

Because I can’t wait to hit up and eat all that food [and more] again. Mmm. I’m dreaming about every single bite.

Please, sir, may I have another Seattle?

When we last left our intrepid travelers, we had just finished adding to the eclectic gum gallery in Post Alley. From there we hopped in the car to head to see where we’d end up next. Capitol Hill was an option, as was the Chinatown/International district. However, we found ourselves ending up at Safeco Field to check out the Mariners.

I know; how awesome was that random decision? Amalia and I used to be pretty good fans of the Mariners back in the 90s when we were in junior high/high school [we will admit it was for Alex Rodriguez but we knew the ENTIRE team – as Amalia is just as nutty, if not more, about sports as I am]. In fact, we had spent the night before chatting about the team at dinner [with enough references to Jay Buhner and “little” Joey Cora to make JoAl to roll his eyes at us]. I got to check out the new stadium, saw some 90s era Mariners baseball [yay Junior Griff for hitting that game-winning double in the bottom of the eighth! Just like old times!], got to see former Giants Joe Nathan [who has filled out remarkably well!] and David Aardsma, and eat shish-ka-berries.

What’s are shish-ka-berries? Think chocolate-dipped strawberry kabobs. So delicious. The chocolate added just enough sweet to the berry. I think they should start selling these puppies down here! Plus points.

I enjoyed the new stadium but was put off by the old-school jumbotron. What is up with the two-tone binary stuff, people? You’ve got a fancy new stadium and it looks like you just dug up the centerfield jumbotron from the Kingdome and brought it here. Minus points.

After the game we headed to Ballard to stop by Cupcake Royale to finish the “Trophy Cupcake vs. Cupcake Royale throw down extravaganza.” Here I picked up the monthly special, Rainier Cherry [from the website: chunks of Rainier cherries from Olmsted Orchards, and a splash of Clear Creek Distillery Cherry Liqueur in a sweet pink buttercream topped with a sprinkling of uniquely crunchy organic, roasted cocoa nibs from Theo Chocolate]. Amalia picked up a Royale w Cheese for herself and a Peppermint Party for JoAl.

So what’s the final verdict? Cupcake Royale all the way. The frosting was also just sweet enough but the cake. Oh the cake was moist and spongy and definitely had the best flavor.

After polishing off the cupcakes, we headed out for some dinner at Ivar’s where I was introduced to a fabulous view of Lake Union [yup, the same lake they filmed the boat house scenes in Sleepless in Seattle] and of an awesomely unexpected landing of those floating planes. Oh, and a gigantic Alaskan King crab leg. Seriously, Amalia and I both ordered half a pound of crab legs and it turned out that just one leg ended up being half a pound. I kind of wish I had taken a picture of it. Anywho, they gave you the tools to tackle it but the shell cracker thing is completely useless when the cooked meat pulls away from the shell so when you press down on it, it just squeezes together instead of cracking open. So I had to be all Neanderthal about it and use my hands. It would have been cool had the legs not been so prickly too.

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I’ll take a Seattle with a side of fries, please

We started Saturday bright and early since we had planned a pretty packed day, so we were out of the house and on our way to our first stop by 9 am.

And our first stop? Trophy Cupcakes.

Cupcakes for breakfast? Why not? We’re grown ups. Besides, we’d need the jolt of sugar to help power us through most of the morning’s activities. Amalia gave me a quick oral tour of Wallingford [where Dave Matthews lives and apparently once joined a pick up game of catch with a friend’s boyfriend] on our way to the first part of my “Trophy Cupcakes vs. Cupcake Royale throw down extravaganza.” It is quite possibly the cutest little store ever; much cuter than Sprinkles. And I will say that I like these cupcakes more than Sprinkles. Yeah I said it.

Anywho, Amalia had the carrot walnut cupcake and I opted for the red velvet, which was good despite being crumbly [I had cake stuck in my nails afterwards]. The frosting was very cream cheesy and not overly sweet, which I liked. In case the cupcake didn’t supply me with enough sugar, I added a cup of hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows that were divine and large [and I just realized that I didn’t get a picture of the cocoa – DOH!].

After getting our fill of cupcakes, coffee and cocoa, we made our way to the Space Needle, which is my new favorite tourist attraction. You can see the Needle from just about any point in downtown Seattle and I love that. So much so that when I was driving home from the airport on Sunday, I was disappointed to not see it in the skyline of San Francisco. The Transcontinental Pyramid’s got nothing on the Needle. We did head up to the observation deck to check out the amazing view of the city.

After descending from the Needle and rummaging through the gift shop [how convenient that the elevator down takes you right into the shop? Well, the better for me to pick up a Lego version of the Needle. Oh yes I did] we made our way to Pike Place Public Market, yes, home of the flying fish. But apparently flying fish are on the endangered species list because we only saw one go zipping through the air. Apparently the fish there are more expensive then at the other booths at the market so locals tend to go elsewhere. So they tossed fish in hopes of getting more business. Then people started coming to just watch them toss fish. So now they only toss fish when people buy them. Of course why buy a “flying” fish for 10 bucks [I’m guessing on the price] per pound when I can get the same fish for half price just a few booths down? I can make it fly myself.

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