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Please help with prodigal daughter's visit home

Will be in the NW in August, staying one night at the Edgewater in Seattle, a few days on the Peninsula in Port Townsend area & Lake Quinalt (how is the food at the Lodge?), and one night in Seattle at Inn at the Market. We'll have a car.

We want to host a picnic for friends with bread, cheese, smoked fish, wine, fruit, etc. from the Pike Place Market--any recommendations what not to miss there? Possibly in the lobby at the Edgewater or at the sculpture park--thoughts?

Should we have a meal at the Edgewater's restaurant?

While in Seattle we are thinking of Matt's in the Market and Salumi, any other suggestions?
Lark? Anything in the International District? Ray's Boathouse? It has been a long time since we spent time in Seattle. Anything great near the art museum?

We like Ajax on the Peninsula, anything else near PT or Lake Quinalt, or Whidbey we should try?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.

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  1. My favorite cheese place in Pike's Place Market is basically across the street and kitty corner from "the pig." It's a little stand across from a place that sells a bunch of brightly colored chinese purses and sandals and other sundry items. I always have magnificent luck with their cheese and they are more than happy to give recommendations and help you put together a killer cheese plate.
    If you're willing to either take a bus (#49 is a good one) head to Volunteer Park on Capital Hill. It's so beautiful this time of year and there's the Asian Art Museum there as well. It's on Aloha east of Broadway. I'd only go there during the day though - it's rather famous for the illicit activities that go on at night. The arboretum and Japanese Gardens would be another great place for a picnic, but it's further east and you'd need to drive or take a cab.

    I wouldn't eat at the Edgewater's restaurant. I went there once and the food was really only so-so. Plus, we had a horrid sommelier who protested that the very corked wine my parents ordered was not corked.

    If I can think of anything else, I'll be sure to add, but this is all my tired brain can think of right now.

    1. my dear babette (and long may you feast...)

      1. the food at lake quinault lodge is, sadly, commercial yuck of the worst kind
      2. while not disagreeing with mariannas about the cheese guy in the market, he sells only chunks (no slices) and his selection does not approach that of dilaurenti's only 100 feet south who can provide you with everything you need for your fete (except fruit but this IS the market) including wine and will even pack your basket it you provide one for them.
      3. the sculpture park is stunning but lacks shade; bloedel reserve on bainbridge may suit you better or the seattle arboretum
      4. the newly reopened matt's is wonderful even if it's not the old matt's - salumi is strangling on its own success - ray's new chef is keeping up the tradition of fine cooking - sunday brunch at edgewater is a stupendous show; the meals during the rest of the week are pleasant but not spectacular. the new steelhead diner (across pine from inn at the market) is great fun.
      5. across from the new museum is union, the best upmarket restaurant in seattle. the museum cafe has, interestingly, been getting some nice buzz

      1. Thanks so much, I love Chowhound.

        There used to be a bakery in Pioneer Square with great whole wheat cinnamon rolls (dating myself?) is it still there?

        What would be an option for eats while at the Lake Quinalt Lodge? Good place in Port Townsend to pick up supplies, or something near LQL?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Babette

          Sounds like Grand Central Bakery. They've been there forever and generally have good stuff (though when I ordered a cinnamon roll, I took a bite and thought! Hey! They should have warned me it was whole wheat!).

          1. re: christy319

            I got a (2001) copy of Best Place Northwest which mentions Macrina Bakery & Cafe--any comments? Also, I think I've read about a great bakery in Ballard.

            1. re: Babette

              Macrina is great, and very worth a visit. As is Tall Grass Bakery, which is probably what you read about in Ballard and is frequently discussed here. There's also an old-style bakery in Ballard that makes great pastries, but the name escapes me right now.

              1. re: kkbriggs

                I'm guessing the bakery in Ballard that was mentioned is Cafe Besalu. It's in the same block as Tall Grass Bakery.

        2. About bread: is there a particularly good source for whole wheat bread in or near Pike Place Market?

          1. A picnic from the market is my very favorite thing. My suggestions:

            - Cheese from DeLaurenti's for sure. They have a wonderful selection and will give you tastes of anything. Everything from very local cheeses to artisinal cheeses from the other side of the world. Marvelous selection

            - For whole wheat bread, go to Le Panier in the market and get whatever their whole wheat loaf is. It's wonderful.

            - For fruit, get peaches from Sosios. Also, if any of the local stands are up in the outside part on Pike Place itself (generally best on Wednesdays, maybe Sundays too), look for local fruit there, or check if the folks at Alm Hill still have raspberries. Their stand is in the market itself, across from the northernmost fish place. I bought rapsberries for my out of town guests there today who had clearly not eaten proper raspberries before and were stunned.

            Enjoy yourself! And get extra snackables for the trip to the Olympic Peninsula. If you like fruit and local cheese and stuff, you may want to stop by one of the bigger farmers' markets (if it matches with your schedule) and pick up some treats.

            1 Reply
            1. re: seattledebs

              three sisters bakery - one of the oldest stores in the market smack in the middle on pike place adjacent to jack's fish spot - always has a wide variety of breads and rolls including whole wheat and multi-grain choices. also, tell the guys at sosio's that you are packing a picnic so they will choose fruit not quite as perfectly juicy as those not intended to be transported any great distance. the washington wine store near the virginia street end of post alley will have a great selection of well-chilled local wines.