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Brinnon Shrimpfest.....

Hello fellow hounders. Anyone out there been to this. My husband and I planned a journey to SEA over Mem. weekend (We're in L.A.) and plan to go to this with our family and another. What can we expect? We'll have 4 kids under 10 years 'tween us. Can we buy seafood and take it home to barby after?? What's the best way to arrive, with car or without. Thanks for any info YOU can provide.

Happy Eating!!

A Kitchen Queen in California

P.S. I plan to go to a few of these places. Yeh or Nay:

Bagel Oasis
Salumi ArtisanRestaurant - especially
Joanna's Soul Cafe and Jazz Club
Sea Star - Bellevue
La Carta de Oaxaca
Steelhead Diner
Pike Place Chowder
Top Pot Doughnuts

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  1. Kitchen Queen,
    Ah, Shrimpfest. I have been twice in recent years. It’s your typical sweet, small—did I mention small?--town fair with a few rows of vendors – a few crafts, a few politics, some literature on cleaning up the beautiful Hood Canal, a place to get your picture taken in a boat next to a shrimp pot, an inflatable thing for kids to jump in, a beer garden, some tunes, and some of this and that. Arriving with a car is no problem (not sure how else you would get there) – the cheerful volunteers flag you into a spot, or, if the field is full you can always park someplace nearby.

    As for the food, there are some on-site vendors serving typical fair fare – nothing particularly memorable. Then there is the one booth, operated by the festival organizers, where you can find them selling blocks of frozen spot shrimp from the Hood Canal. That’s the stuff you want to buy. They can sell out fast--look for the line. Also be sure to buy your Shrimpfest tee-shirt there. However the first year I went, there were no local shrimp to be found, so manage your expectations. There are plenty of steamer clams around, at the festival or of course at places like the Hamma Hamma Oyster Co. seafood store (I really love that place). Also, check out Patti’s Seafood on the Skokomish reservation in Potlach and see what they have. If the tide is right, dig your own. Between these locations you can assemble enough shrimp, clams, and oysters to have a fine feast. Gotta love Brinnon, wide spot on 101 that it is. Enjoy.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Janer

      Janer - Thanks wonderful info. How does one come about to dig for thier own clams. The kids and even us adults would love this! Thanks again.

      1. re: Kitchen Queen

        Visit the WA Fish & Wildlife site for details on getting a license and a list of beaches. Just south of Brinnon is the Duckabush flats (a parking area is just past the bridge). The low tide on May 26 is at 8:49 a.m and is a 2.3 tide - not terribly low, but might be okay. You'd have to get over there and be ready to dig about 8:15 a.m. Bring buckets & little hand rakes - they are only about 4 inches or so below the surface. Get them settled happily in your cooler for the trip home. Steam them and enjoy with butter & lemon! If this doesn't work out, stop for lunch or dinner at the Timber House restaurant in Quilcene. There's also a seafood store in Quilcene.

        http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishcorn.htm

        1. re: Janer

          Thanks! Really looking forward to this trip -

      2. re: Janer

        The area has been thick with shrimp this year.

        Also, you cannot just go dig oysters and clams. You must have a license. Ditto on wrangling your own shrimp. The fines are STEEP.

      3. It sounds like you'll be group of 8 then, with 4 of you under 10? Not sure where you'll be staying in Seattle, but since your choices are so wide-ranging, I'd say a rental car (mini-van?) would be a wise choice.

        Bagel Oasis has good bagels (and bagel sandwiches and breakfast items) and is a great place for kids as it's big, barn-like and kinda noisy. It's located out in a neighborhood, on NE 65th Street, which is way north of downtown, although it is on the bus line. It's right across the street from Leah's, a Jewish bakery/deli, which has delicious babka and other bakery items (although they're closed on Saturday).

        Salumi is excellent and not to be missed, but with a group of your size, I recommend ordering take-out (maybe even calling ahead) as it's a very small, crowded space and is only open during lunch hours and almost always has long lines. Send in a couple of adults for sandwiches and/or sliced salumi and then go picnic somewhere with the kids.

        La Carta de Oaxaca has really good Oaxacan style Mexican food, but I'd call ahead and see if you can reserve for a large party as it gets busy early for dinner. Or go mid-afternoon (weekdays or Saturday) when it's not so busy. This is also out in a neighborhood (Ballard), so car, bus or taxi would be necessary.

        I've been to Joanna's once and enjoyed some good Southern food, but I wouldn't think of it as a kid's place--more like a supper club for adults. I may be wrong on this, as I don't have kids, but I remember it seeming quite adult. Also, not near downtown.

        I think Steelhead Diner would be great for a big table with kids--although I'd call ahead to reserve. I'm not wild about everything on the menu, but they have a wide variety and it's right in the Pike Place Market, so is very convenient if you're staying downtown.

        If I were a kid, I'd be really happy if you took me to Top Pot--I'd also be happy as an adult. Really good doughnuts with a huge variety.

        Perhaps others will pitch in with additional kid-friendly venues??

        1 Reply
        1. re: SeaGal

          You're the bomb -SeaGal thanks. Sounds like I have made some good choices, thanks again to all of you in SEA who's board I've been snooping through.

          We are 4 adults and 4 kids. Saturday is the only day where we will all be together and that's Shrimpfest day. Otherwise, it's either just hubby and I or 3 w/stepdaughter (7yrs) who lives in Olympia. :)KQ

        2. KQ, I cannot recommend the shrimp fest.. I think it would be a waste of a day in Puget Sound. My suggestion is to go to Mutual Fish after Salumi where you can get the a great range of seafood for your BBQ. Add to your list the Szechuan Dungeneous Crab at Seven Stars Restaurant in the International District and you will have your own great food festival. As to La Carta de Oaxaca, like Salumi, get there early when they first open or you won't get a seat for a group your size.

          1. If you're from CA, especially SoCal, you're just plain silly to seek out Mexican food in the Northwest. If you can manage it, make space for more local seafood, particularly salmon since you're likely to get the best and best-priced copper river salmon in the lower 48 here in Seattle. If you're looking to buy fish to ship back to CA, quite a few stores including most places in Pike Place market (read "tourist trap"), mutual fish co, and central market will ship for you.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SeaFood2009

              Thanks all for the update from the original (2007). We are in the SEA/TAC area twice a year and have been several times since this email. I have been to Steelhead, Salumi and Bagel Oasis. On our last trip just weeks ago, hubby and I went to Coastal Kitchen- wasn't impressed, Moonlight Cafe-Vietnamese-delish!, Voulas Offshore- Guy Fieri rec. DELISH! Gave the leftovers to a chap hanging off the edge of the freeway entrance. Too much food there! And, in the Renton area - a very yummy place called the yellow house cafe and wine bar or ? Can't remember.
              Seafood is ALWAYS in the forefront so, any further recs. are ALWAYS appreciated. We drive all over the state and this trip even drove down to Eugene. REALLY want recs for Gluten Free, Sugar Free meals too!