You must MUST take the Seattle Bites tour!
First, let me say a big Thank You to Jan Marie for being so wonderful - even though the ticket site said absolutely no refunds or exchanges, Jan Marie was sweet enough to move us to the next day at last minute's notice (no thanks to Alaska Airlines...) with no problem at all.
This was the highlight of my trip to Seattle. We had wandered around the market the afternoon before and I would have never found or been able to try as many wonderful places without this tour.
Firstly, tours are small! They have up to 12 people, but ours was only 6 (Nebraska game in town - yikes on that crowd). We met up with Jan Marie at the Seattle Art Museum at 10:15 and the tour lasted until almost 2:00 and you're pretty much eating the whole time. We all went hungry and were stuffed by the end.
We had a beautiful, crisp full-sunshine morning (how rare and cool is that?) and Jan Marie was full of energy. We were handed our tote bags and headsets and we were off (they're the only downfall, as they wouldn't rest on my tiny girl ears very well - bring your ipod headsets! They work with her system and you'll have a much more enjoyable time) .
This tour combines history with food, which I found very enjoyable as we walked from venue to venue. She combined personal stories of vendors, history of the Japanese influence and architecture to weave a fascinating story throughout.
Taste - in the museum. We had a smoked salmon flatbread with creme fresh, dill, herbs. They get everything locally and supposedly have a great happy hour (we didn't have time - thank you Alaska Airlines for completely screwing us up...but that's another story). This was a wonderful, light start. As I said, these are not small bites. I won't go into detail on size past here, but suffice to say, each dish was at least six to eight normal bites. This was the size of a square-cut piece of pizza.
Brief history of the beginning of the market while walking there.
Crepe de France - small shop with heavy wooden furniture. Nutella and banana with whipped cream. We have an awesome crepe trailer here, so this wasn't a super highlight, but how can you go wrong with Nutella, banana and whipped cream? We also got a lavender soda that tasted like perfume to me.
Some interesting facts about the architecture and some trivia about the bricks.
I Love New York Deli - Half a pastrami sandwich, potato knish and a pickle. YUM! Okay, I've never had a New York sammich, but this rocked! The bread was fantastic and the meat was seasoned like I've never had before. Husband tried to steal my potato, but I forked him..hehehe...not really, I shared. Gotta love a good garlic pickle.
Walked through market, more history I won't tell you cuz you'll hear it then.
Pike Place Chowder - Holy clams, batman! This stuff was creamy, rich, and had that light-slightly-salty-fresh flavor. Apparently, these guys won....in Boston, and I can see why. (side note, the pizza guy next door was a total flirt and super funny. We didn't have his pizza, but he flirted with Jan Marie anyway).
Uli's Sausage - My husband's the sausage guy and we're mail ordering this guy's sausages. Place is set up with community benches and we were given a history on the owner (degreed sausage maker from Germany, as is the biermeister there). Had two different sausages (spicy one and a bratwurst) and some warm slaw. I've been to Germany and this was the real deal. Rubarb soda was better than the lavender from before. Wasn't "on the tour", but since there were only six of us, we opted to buy our own beer, which I'm VERY glad we did. Took me right back to Germany. They also gave it to us at half price, cuz we were on the tour.
Pure Food Fish Market - famous and y'all probably know all about it, but have you been in the back freezer? Well, you think the front is impressive...had a piece of salmon and some salmon jerky (not my favorite, but it had an intense flavor I'm sure most enjoy).
Corner Produce - Mike(?) was wonderful. He let each of us pick anything we'd like to try and we all got a taste. Most of us bought several things after we'd tasted them - two different types of grapes,nectarine, polout (?) and amazing white flesh peach (I'm in Texas for heaven's sake, they should be better here).
Saffron Spice - Got a really neat history on this guy and he (like everyone) was super friendly. Had chicken tikka masala and saffron rice (bought a huge portion of saffron from him for $10). This was so rich and creamy and aromatic - simply perfect. We also had a yogurt smoothie, which was very thick.
Seattle Coffee Works (with the animated arm in a sling) - Our last stop. We got a demonstration of various brewing methods; the beaker one was the coolest, but produced the least-satisfying. Still, very interesting and a nice finish.
If you've made it to here in my report, you know you'll be getting the bang for your buck and you can tell I was really impressed. Go. You'll not be sorry by a long shot...and say "Howdy from Amysue in Texas!" to Jan Marie.
Pike Place Chowder
600 Pine St Ste 404, Seattle, WA 98101