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Travels: Seattle, WA

Travels: Seattle, WA

Seattle is very green. That’s the first thing I said when we landed at Sea-Tac Airport. Chris and I wanted to do a vacation where we really rested, and we settled on the rainy city for it’s low-key culture. We had nothing planned out expect eating and taking everything slow (which was exactly what was needed). Other than our allergies acting up on an all time high, it was a great trip.

 

Culture

Seattle doesn’t really feel like a metropolitan city. There aren’t many people out and about. Maybe all the rain makes everyone stay indoors a lot; even downtown lacks the hustle and bustle that I’m used to with big cities. Or maybe it’s because they’re surrounded by nature all the time so people would rather spend their time away from concrete buildings? Regardless of the reason, it was an interesting experience to see a downtown area that wasn’t full of people pushing each other around. Seattleites are pretty damn friendly. We were extremely impressed with how nice everyone is in Seattle.

 

I have to say though, Seattle hobos are a lot meaner than the ones in SF. Our hobos are pretty jolly and some of them will even watch your car for you for a small fee. These hobos were screaming at people who walked by them. Chris has a theory that they’re just upset because they’re constantly wet….

 

Attractions

Chris and I didn’t really do much sightseeing. We looked up a bunch of places we could potentially visit but ended up only going to a fraction of them – the rain might have had something to do with that. Mostly it was just us not wanting to deal with crowds or traffic (OMG, there’s so much traffic). Since we stayed downtown, we were really close to a lot of well-known landmarks so we braved the wind and water and visited what was close to us.

A few of my favorite were:

Seattle Aquarium

WE GOT TO SEE THEM FEED SEA OTTERS! And they fed an octopus! If you’ve been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, you’ve pretty much seen it all. The Seattle Aquarium is very small in comparison, but their sea otter habitat is one of the best I’ve visited. It’s very open and you’re very close to the sea otters. We spent almost two hours just standing in front of the sea otters watching them play, eat, and swim.

Theo Chocolate Factory Tour

This was recommended to us as a must go. The outside of the factory was very unassuming because it was a cute little factory in a red brick building in a residential area. Theo is the first organic and fair-trade chocolate in the world! Pretty damn impressive for a small operations place. It was a one hour tour showing the chocolate making process from pod to bar. They even have their own onsite confectionary kitchen to make caramels and jellies. Try their Bread & Chocolate bar (70% dark chocolate) if you’re ever there, I know, it sounds weird but trust me when I say it’s goooooood. Since it’s an actual factory, you have to wear hairnets 🙂

Dining

We have friends who live in Seattle and provided us with a lengthy list of all their favorite places to eat (thanks Casey and Suzanne!). Chris and I were only in Seattle for a week so there was no way we were going to hit up every single spot, instead we prioritized our list of must-eats. We ate at roughly 20 places (yes, we ate a lot) and here are some of the highlights:

 

Marination Station

Great Korean/Hawaiian/Mexican fusion place! This is a super casual joint. They started off as a food truck and was voted America’s Best Food Truck! They produce and package their famous sauce to sell and it was pretty damn good. But my favorite was their kimchi quesadilla. It was filled with cheese, kimchi, Kalua pork, cilantro and topped with slaw, pickled jalapeños and crema. I now will only eat quesadillas filled with kimchi.

 

Quinn’s Pub

Wild boar sloppy-joe. That is all you need to know. And maybe foie gras poutine fries too.

Bluebird Microcreamery & Brewery

(1)   They hand make their artisan ice cream in small batches to make sure that flavor is key.

(2)   Their ice cream is so freaking creamy it’s like eating custard (LOVE).

(3)   They make their waffle cone to order and it is a THIN waffle cone so it’s perfectly crispy.

(4)   Everything is made in-house with lots of local ingredients (Theo chocolate!). Boom.

 

Rain Shadow Meats Squared

Celery soda! Bitter celery taste with a hint of sweetness and fizzy water. What more can you ask for to pair with a meaty sandwich and awesome fingerling potato salad? This place butchers and cures their meat right in front of you. ‘Nuff said. Definitely try the porchetta sandwich.

 

Ellenos

Greek yogurt! Super good. Not very tangy but still very rich and creamy. Set up like a gelato shop and they mix their yogurt with all different kinds of flavors.

Crush

Want to pamper yourself? Try Crush. The restaurant is inside a renovated house – it was an interesting atmosphere. The food selection is quite good. Remember to try the wagyu beef zabuton. It was a delicious cube of meat that you can cut through with a butter knife.

 

I liked a lot of the food Seattle has to offer, but I do have two things that weren’t my fave: (1) overuse of truffle oil and (2) Cannlis. A lot of times, restaurants relied heavily on drizzling truffle oil over every other course and every single dish would ultimately taste the same. Cannlis was one of those restaurants. It’s supposed to be the oldest and fanciest restaurant in Seattle; obviously, we had to go. Service was wonderful, but the food was not inventive at all. You can tell that the menu hasn’t changed in quite some time. Don’t get me wrong, the food was prepared correctly, nothing was egregiously undercooked/overcooked, but the food was neither creative nor seasonal. The only saving grace was the pastry chef. The seven course tasting menu consisted of two desserts (what the what? Ratios are totally off. I’d only expect two desserts for something over a ten-course tasting menu). Still the service was extremely impressive at Cannlis.

 

So not everything was a success, but still a lot of yummy places I’d eat at again. Until next time Seattle! And I’ll remember to bring my umbrella.