Sunday, 31 July 2011

USA 2011: Seattle Part 4

Originally I had planned on my final day to go out to Georgetown Liquor Company to have one of their Picard Sandwiches, which is meant to be the stuff of legend, but they are a bit far out and with their open times and public transport I was worried that I might have difficulty getting back for my early afternoon train to PDX. As my next plan, I had hoped to go to Plum Bistro for breakfast. Their website sad they opened at 9am, but on the vegan map it said 8am, so the night before I rang them to find out what the opening time was. Turns out it was 11am! Perhaps a website update is in order?

So, what did I eat for my last breakfast in Seattle?

I had bought a Hillside Quickie sandwich the day before, thinking I might take it on the train. I had accidentally booked a hotel room that did not have a fridge, but I figured I would keep it in the ice bucket. The ice bucket turned out to be an impractical affair, really just designed to look pretty but with no insulation and very small, so I just crammed it in and hoped for the best. I ended up eating it for breakfast and it was rather damn tasty and I did not die of food poisoning from the rather dodgy refrigeration overnight. Hurrah! I also had the cinnamon doughnut that I have bought from Mighty-O the day before, and it was HEAVEN! Mighty-O wins my heart for vegan doughnuts.

After my hasty little in-room breakfast, I decided to embrace the touristy and walked down to the famous Pike Place Market.

The downside of the markets is that there is a lot of fish there. Dead fish. On ice. Which melts and runs in fishy smelling water all over the concrete in some places. The upside of the markets is that there are loads of pretty things there, like these buckets of beautiful peonies. I love peonies! Probably because they are so pink and pretty! There are also lots of amazing produce stalls there.

Totally awesome, right? And so pretty! Check out all the colours!!

You cannot have a true tourist experience without getting ripped off for some sort of touristy thing, so I chose some very expensive cherries. Chukar Cherries are a famous attraction at the markets, according to guidebooks, so I went there. I bought a bag of dried mixed cherries, and also a bag of Pinot Noir Extra Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries. I am now actually uncertain as the the veganity of these. When I asked the girl she knew what vegan was and pointed me to the two dairy free and vegan varieties, but after purchase I noticed that the allergy warning doesn't say 'may contain traces of' but says it 'does contain' dairy... so they are sitting in my cupboard at the moment and I haven't eaten them. I have read the ingredients a billion times, and it all seems vegan. After buying them I noticed this and asked the girl, but she said that all the chocolates just had the same warning on them, even though they didn't all have dairy. Anyone have any light to shed? Otherwise they shall be regifted.

In addition to the markets, there are also several little arcades with different shops. In one of these I stumbled across the Pike Place Market Creamery. Now, normally I wouldn't give a creamery a second glance, but the sign mentioned soy so I went to have a peek. They had several shelves in their fridges for soy products, including tofu and tempeh.

It is handy if you are doing some shopping down at the markets and need something extra to go with the delicious vegetables you've just bought! They also have a ridiculous collection of tacky black and white cow-themed things to purchase.

As I was wandering around, I stumbled across a bakery called Cinnamon Works, and was just casually glancing at what they had, not expecting anything to come of it, when I was smacked in the face by the following...

Vegan cinnamon buns! Heaven! Joy! Rapture!

It turned out they also had many other vegan goodies there. In retrospect, I should have stocked up on a couple of things for my train trip later that day.

But I just got the cinnamon bun. It was really good! Though next time I will get the uniced version. I thought I would try the maple icing on one, and it was nice but so super sweet! Plain cinnamon buns are where it is at!

One of the famous things to see at the markets is Rachel the Pig, seen here with Francesca my travel cat. Rachel is a piggy bank that raises money for charity. Unfortunately, she is right near a big fish market, so it is a smelly visit. This is the fish market where they throw the fish around and tourists clap and take photos as dead fish fly through the air. Ewww. Omnivores are a crazy bunch.

After the markets I went down to the waterfront and walked along. On one of the piers, they had this gorgeous old-style carousel. Sadly it wasn't open yet, or I would have gone on it, but stunning! I also stuck my head in Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, which the guide books all said was a must see. To be honest, I don't see the attraction.

Finally, I walked up for a quick viewing of Pioneer Square.

I picked up some lunch as I was walking back to take to eat at the hotel. Apparently there is vegan clam chowder somewhere at the markets, but I didn't know this. I went to Cafe Pho. All the vegan options are clearly marked. The service was speed of light, as well.

I got the Tofu Pho, which was really nice, though you couldn't really get the full pho experience of eating out of a big steaming bowl. The soup base was really nice.

I also got some Tofu Rolls with Peanut Sauce, thinking I would take them on the train with me. However they were not in a good container for taking anywhere, so I ate them with lunch as well. Nom.

After a quick post-lunch stroll around the Westlake area of downtown (which was right next to my hotel), it was into a taxi and off to catch the Amtrak to Portland!

I will take you on my PDX adventures starting from my next post, however I just wanted to say a word about Seattle. I loved it. I was so sad I only had 48 hours there. The people who tell you to skip it or do it in a day or two are lying. There is so much to see and, most importantly, so much to eat. I am determined to make it back there one day to eat at the places I didn't get to and revisit the places I loved. I also thought it was just a really beautiful city, and very easy to get around. Oh Seattle, I heart you. I will be back.


  1. Is it totally lame that I was mostly excited by the hanging peppers & garlic? Haha. they're like gorgeous colourful food sculptures! Awesome photos!

  2. I have a friend who work in the food industry in Canada. I asked her about the ingredient list of dark chocolate that usually include either a "may contain traces of milk" or a "may contain milk." She told me that it was really difficult to clean the production lines of chocolate. Something to do with high fat content, water being bad for the proper chocolate crystalization, etc. She more or less told me that it was nearly impossible to garanty the absence of milk in dark chocolate unless you made that chocolate on a dedicated line. I suppose it's possible that "contains milk" might be there for that reason, and not because milk was part of the recipe...

  3. We have exactly the same issue that Chantal mentions here in the UK! There's a company called Green and Blacks who used to have the vegan logo on their dark chocolate range. They got bought by another company, Cadburys, who stopped using the logo and added milk to the ingredients list. When questioned they said that the chocolate recipe hadn't changed but it was because they used the same equipment to make the milk and dark. They clean it by flushing it with chocolate between batches so there is the slight possibility that there may be traces of milk from the machinery although no milk is added to the recipe. They've also said they will be getting dedicated machinery for the dark again soon which is good news for allergy sufferers too!