Seattle, the famously rainy and overcast city, was gracious enough to give me a warm and sunny welcome. We had such a wonderful view of the mountains on an uncharacteristically clear day — a lovely start to a perfect weekend!
If you have any semblance of a sweet tooth, you have to stop at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream. The most decadent, delicious flavors with locally-sourced ingredients. I suppose for the most part, it goes without saying that many restaurants and cafes source locally in Seattle. An example for other pockets of the country to follow. A sundae I would happily relive: Theo’s melted chocolate ice cream, salted caramel ice cream, hot fudge, candied hazelnuts, fresh whipped cream, chukar cherry.
There’s a popular donut shop right next door to the one in Queen Anne, but I’d pick ice cream over donuts any day. This sundae made me think of how incredibly dangerous it’d be if Batch Ice Cream in Jamaica Plain opened up a scoop shop. A short walk brings you to Four Winds, an eclectic fair trade shop with excellent jewelry and homegoods.
My favorite stop wandering around West Seattle was by far Fleurt, a gorgeous flower and indoor garden shop. It was the day after Valentine’s, and they still had rose petals scattered around the sidewalk out front. The most amazing flowers — I would have loved to buy myself a bouquet if I lived there — and a light, fresh spring scent filled the room. I could have stayed there for the better part of the afternoon.
Oh, the beauty of social media! While receiving so many excellent tips on places to check out while I was in town, I also reconnected with some friends from my semester in Australia, who I hadn’t seen in five years! We ate dinner at Local 360, a wonderfully-sourced and rustic restaurant with great food. Then headed over to a dive – Lava Lounge, where a Pacman game was our table, classic – and then Whiskey Bar a few doors down for my favorite drinks of the weekend.
Cafe Besalu! I love that my friends don’t let me down with recommendations of little spots to check out in this or that city. I was told by a few friends to go to Besalu for great coffee and incredible croissants, and was definitely not disappointed. We made a few bakery stops throughout the weekend, but this was definitely my favorite. As croissants should be, theirs was their perfect level of flaky, buttery goodness with still-melty chocolate. So good. Also loved the hazelnut twist. So indulgent.
We checked out some of the area shops, and headed over to the Ballard Locks.
So fun exploring this park. There’s a really cool amphitheater, trails, the beach — all good things. Really wonderful connecting with another friend I hadn’t seen in three years, this one from an environmental field studies program in Costa Rica, and another friend from that program who moved from New England to Seattle. World getting smaller.
I couldn’t come to Seattle without cooking fish. We picked up a few bright ocean perch and I baked them whole in parchment paper stuffed with sauteed onions and garlic, sliced & blanched purple potatoes, and lemon. Sauteed kale and rainbow chard with caramelized onion and golden raisins. Herbed rice. Simple, fresh, and comforting.
I hadn’t cooked whole fish in just about a year, since my experiment with joining a Community Supported Fishery where I picked up 4-6 pounds of whole fish a week, in hopes I would teach myself some tricks. Each Thursday, pick-up day, became overwhelming as I tried to figure out what to do with all that fish, a quantity that exceeded our needs, even with 2-3 other people in the house at the time. But I’m now ready to tackle cooking whole fish again, and look forward to posting some recipes here.
Oh, and the gum wall. Okay, why not, Seattle.
Had to see the troll! And eat way too much chocolate at the Theo’s factory store. They offer tours for a few bucks, but we didn’t have time to check it out. So many caramels — I’m not joking about the ridiculous and amazingly necessary indulgence this weekend.
Awesome views of the city, from the industrial side to the bustling downtown, and through to the mountains. Only $6-9, higher than the Space Needle, and WAY cheaper.
Odds and Ends
Also got brunch at Geraldine’s Counter, a super inviting, bright spot in Columbia City. Get the corned beef hash with poached eggs and a biscuit – solid comfort food.
Super fun music & dance party at The Comet Tavern in Capitol Hill. We got there pretty late, so only caught a few songs, but I’d definitely go back.