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Seattle: Visiting, Need Help

Hey west coast Chowhounders.. I'm visiting Seattle next week from Toronto, and need a little help.

I'll be staying at the Inn at the Market, which I understand is pretty much right on the Pike Place Market. I'm wondering if any of you guys can recommend some goods that are Seattle-specific that I could take home with me to Toronto for some chow friends.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

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  1. Hi,

    I will also be visiting Seattle (in April) While doing research I found out about a cheese shop at the market called Beechers. They were featured on Martha Stewart - They supposedly make the best Mac and Cheese in the world. They sell it there in tins to take home or you can buy their "kit."

    I am probably just going to buy the kit and make it myself ... to me, that looks like a really good gift!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: boisenewbie

      Perhaps it was oversold to me, but I have not enjoyed Beecher's mac and cheese the couple of times I tried it.

    2. I do love Beechers and their mac and cheese and their cheeses.

      The obvious Market chos choice is salmon. you can buy fresh frozen and they will pack if for you to last 48 hours, so you can fly it home. you could also buy some nice smoked salmon, which is vacuum packed so you wouldn't have to worry about ice.

      Other things in the market that I like are the Chukkar cherries. They are dried and come plan, with chocolate, etc. they are in the main market, so you will find them easily.

      In the winter, there are local farmers that set up with a variety of things--local jams and honeys, nuts, dried fruit. maybe something like loganberry.

      1. indeed, inn at the market could not be more centrally located. not only is the market the best source for local goodies but there is a "made in washington" store and a totem smokehouse within its confines which both feature uniquely northwest products. there is also a shop near the first starbucks which specializes in packing and shipping. as for beecher's cheese, they offer their signature foods frozen in several varieties but not tinned.

        2 Replies
        1. re: howard 1st

          Don't forget smoked salmon! It is different than what you find on the east coast (lox style - no debate on terms intended) beacuse it is heat smoked, so it is flakey. It is sold vacuum sealed, so travels really well.

          Concur on Chukaar cherries and any of the local jams. There is also a very good wine store on the corner just below the inn, and they can recommend some local wines that may be hard to find back east.

          If there are fresh pears left (it is a bit late) and you are inclined to babysit them on the way home, my friends back east are always impressed with the Comice pears, and other varieties. They are so big and delicious!

          1. re: howard 1st

            When I said tinned - I meant frozen in that aluminum tray (That's what they show on their website) ... Just figured people would understand what I meant (It's like calling aluminum foil "tin foil" ... hasn't been tin foil for years but I STILL hear lots and lots of people calling it that.)

            ;-)

          2. Market Spice Tea, Chukkar Cherries, Fisher Scone Mix, Starbucks Coffee, Theo Chocolates, Fran's Sea Salt Caramels (just put new shop in down the block from the market*), Lavender infused things (soaps, honey, candies, etc), & Rub with Love spice mixes (Tom Douglas created).

            Yes- the Made in Washington Store is a great outlet- there is one in the Westlake Mall up the street from the Market. Also, Nordstrom sells attractive reuseable totes at most cash registers (they are silver and have a pouch they zip into) that might be nice Seattle themed gift that chow items can go in :)

            2 Replies
            1. re: natalie.warner

              "Market Spice Tea"

              Great suggestion.. I'm looking to impress a huge tea lover. And sea salt caramels sound like something that might not make it back to Toronto after I'm done with them. Thanks!

              1. re: NovoCuisine

                Actually, if you really want to impress a tea lover - if they're serious about real black or oolong tea (not herbal teas) - go to the Crumpet Shop (in the market, on 1st ave) and get some loose tea (the staff can recommend). This is actually a great place to stop for a snack and a cuppa anyhow.

            2. If you have cheese freak friends, pick up a can (yes, a can) of Cougar Gold cheese. It's made at Washington State University (in Central WA, so not exactly a Seattle specialty) and is very unique to the state. It's very good cheese (like a good cheddar) that is made and aged in a big, flat, tin can.

              1. Be sure to check what the Canadian rules are for bringing in food products from the US! I'd hate to have you buy all this good stuff and then have to leave it at the border.

                2 Replies
                1. re: PAO

                  Yeah I definitely thought about that. I will be flying to Vancouver, and then driving across the border into Seattle, so I think I might be able to get away with some wines and food in the trunk and then airport customs for travelling within Canada won't be a hassle :)

                  1. re: NovoCuisine

                    the last time we went to Vancouver (one of the great food cities in the world--be sure to try Vij's if you haven't already and Meinhardt's is a great grocery store!), we took our cat (she has a chronic kidney failure and has to be medicated daily). So we scurried around to get her rabies certificate because that's what the Canadian website said we needed to get her into the country. So we pull up to the border and the rabies certficate is on the dash and the cat is on the floor on the front passenger side. The immigration/customs lady is asking my husband the usual questions and he interrupts her and says, "by the way we have a cat." Evidently she thought he must be making small talk, because she kept on asking the questions she'd planned to ask and never saw the cat or the rabies certificate! We've brought home food from Canada with no problem; I don't know how vigilant they are going the other way.

                2. Look for the Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards folks at the daystalls down towards the north end of the main arcade. Hazelnuts seem to be one of those things people don't see a lot on the east coast, and theirs are excellent.

                  Other local goodies I like to send out-of-town friends:

                  smoked salmon
                  Chukar Cherries
                  Theo, Fran's, or Dilettante chocolates
                  Washington wine
                  Tom Douglas sauces or spice rubs
                  apple chips (there's a good vendor in the market, across from the fish-throwing guys)
                  pickled asparagus (look for them at DeLaurenti's)
                  Mama Lil's peppers (also at DeLaurenti's)

                  1. Forgot I made this thread, and it was great to see all the responses today.. thank you everyone so much for your suggestions! I can't wait to visit your city.