Flying though mountatins

Last month, I flew to Seattle to spend Fourth of July weekend with two of my favorite people. As a complete newbie to the Pacific Northwest, I was eager to breathe in all the outdoorsy exhalations the Emerald City had to offer (and of course, consume as much food as possible).

Seattle Skyline

Seattle ferris wheel

Is it just me or is Seattle having a cultural moment? Between watching The Killing and reading Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, I’m beginning to feel well-versed in the city’s neighborhoods and landmarks. Seattle in the summertime is beautiful with plenty of attractions to fill a long weekend away. Not to mention the hills! I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that much inner thigh pain.

Must Sees: 

Discovery Park (Magnolia)

Discovery Park

Seattle’s largest public park off the Puget Sound contains almost 12 miles of trails. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon in nature with beautiful water views and plenty of friendly Seattleites full of casual pleasantries.

Gas Works Park (Wallingford)
Gas Works Parks
Yes, it’s in 10 Things I Hate About You, but it’s also home to the only remnants of a coal gasification plant in the US. The structures are certainly an odd feature for a park, but the view of Seattle’s skyline is one of the best. You can view residents partaking in some of their favorite pastimes such as paddle boarding, seaplanes, boating, kites, and twiddling locks of their brightly colored hair.

Pike Place Market (Downtown)
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is a public market that opened in 1907 and overlooks the Elliott Bay waterfront. The market contains unique and delicious vendors like Beecher’s Homemade Cheese, the first Starbucks, Piroshky Piroshky, and the ones I’ve listed in Must Eats.

Nordstrom Flagship (Downtown)
My idea of heaven is the department store Nordstrom, and the flagship is like Nordstrom on crack. Celine! Proenza Schouler! Stella! It’s phenomenal. When you can’t afford any of their luxury goods, head to the Rack which gets the grade A Nordstrom’s cast-offs at pretty reasonable discounts.

Must Eats: 

Paseo’s (Fremont)
Eating Paseos
The Caribbean Roasted Pork Sandwich was everything a sandwich should be. Perfectly toasted baguette slathered with aioli, crisp lettuce and caramelized onions are an excellent supporting cast to the featured star: moist, juicy, saucy pork. I’m actually salivating while typing this. It’s that delicious.

Fainting Goat Gelato (Wallingford)
Fainting Goat gelato
When it comes to frozen treats, I consider myself quite the connoisseur. I can easily tell you the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten is Leopold’s in Savannah; the best frozen yogurt is Victory Garden here in NYC, and the best gelato was at Capogiro in Philadelphia. However, now I’m torn. Fainting Goat Gelato was even creamier than Capo’s. In a flavor toss up, it’d be hard to pick a winner. I would be happy to participate in a side by side comparison if someone would please set that up.

Ellenos (Pike Place Market)
Ellenos Greek Yogurt
I don’t think a free sample has ever led me to so quickly jump into a line before. After the first droplet of this Greek yogurt touched by tongue, I knew I had to eat as much as I could before my plane boarded the following morning. I made the mistake of ordering a mini (I know), so I WENT BACK and got another one. I love Fage greek yogurt but this stuff is way beyond anything you can find in a refrigerated section. I was skeptical when I saw the free samples but when you think about it, Edy’s in no way compares to homemade ice cream. Why would I expect any differently of yogurt? If this place opened in New York, I would be one happy human being.

The Crumpet Shop (Pike Place Market)
Lulu & Crumpet
I’ve never eaten a crumpet before and now I’m afraid no crumpet will compare to The Crumpet Shop’s. You can tell they’re baked fresh daily. I chose the ricotta, honey, and walnut combo. It was fantastic! I regret not buying a six-pack to bring home.

Cafe Campagne (Pike Place Market)
Cafe Champange
The first morning in Seattle I was starving after a severely delayed flight and a dinner of terminal Shake Shack custard and KIND bars. Before Lulu and I munched our way through Pike Place Market, I needed eggs. Enter a happenstance trip into Cafe Campagne where we dined on French omelettes filled with spinach, herbs, and goat cheese served alongside housemade chicken & pork sausage, roasted potatoes, and baguette. The hearty breakfast allowed us to hike the endless trails of Discovery Park without hanger rearing its ugly head.

Sitka & Spruce (Capitol Hill)
If I were to describe the quintessential food scene of Seattle it would be farm to table with a heavy hand of egg yolks, ampersands, and wood. Sitka & Spruce offered all of these with bonus points for the communal table. The food was exquisite in a way that surprises you. It’s one of those menus where you understand half the ingredients, order on a whim, and realize there’s an entire world of food you’ve yet to explore and even simple foods, when supremely fresh, can add new dimensions. I’m mostly talking about my salad of young lettuce, banyul’s vinegar, sheep’s tomme, and hazelnuts I previously mentioned in my post on Kale Salad. However, Lulu’s dish of thick bread, egg yolk, and morels was something I would never have considered ordering and yet that one bite was more flavorful than a day’s worth of meals.

Theo Chocolate Factory Retail Store (Fremont)
I used to think walking into a Ghiradelli store was something special with their one square of free chocolate. Ghiradelli ain’t got nothin’ on Theo Chocolate. If Augustus Gloop walked in, he would never leave. Every single chocolate bar they make is displayed with its own plastic container of free samples. You can try every kind and then go for another round. I left with Type-2 diabetes after declaring Chocolate Chai the winner of a competition called, “Which Chocolate Bar is Brenna’s Favorite?” I am afraid to tell you how many rounds it took.

Crumble & Flake Patisserie (Capitol Hill)
Pistachio croissant
Make sure to pop by Crumble & Flake on the weekend so you can nab a Pistachio Croissant. I love pistachios and their addition to a croissant is fantastic. We sampled their macarons as well but they were very disappointing. I really wish I had tried a Cheweo!

All in all, a fabulous trip!