With the market in our backyard Jarred and I have frequently ventured over in hot pursuit of ingredients such as mussels, scallops, spaghetti squash, loaves of bread, etc. to prepare in our own kitchen. However, we had yet to enjoy the fine dining experience that the market itself has to offer. We decided to remedy that by planning a lunch date at Pike Place. We knew from wandering around after church that attempting a market feast on a weekend would be complete madness and thus picked Wednesday for our rendezvous.
We started our progressive lunch on the corner of Pike and Pine Street at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese around 11 o’clock. Beecher’s is Seattle’s only artisan cheese maker and they pride themselves on creating wholesome and authentic cheese. Their cheese-making kitchen is encircled in glass so patrons and window shoppers alike can become spectators as an expert transforms a vat of local, creamy white milk into cheese.
We timed our arrival wisely as were able to walk directly to the counter and order a cup of their famous “World’s Best Mac & Cheese.” On the weekend this simple endeavor would require waiting in a line that extends out the door and continues down the block. We devoured our appetizer perched on two stools that overlooked the kitchen, which allowed us to continue viewing the live cheese making demonstration. My only regret from our first destination was the rookie move of mistakenly sharing one cup. Sharing isn’t always caring.
We then proceeded into Post Alley in search of a main dish. (Not the location of the Gum Wall in the alley, but out of the proximity of the gum’s aroma two blocks north.) We passed a European sandwich shop that made us take pause, but ultimately agreed the lengthy line already formed in front of Pike Place Chowder was a sign of delectable food to come.
With the menu boasting a variety of chowders that had all received numerous regional and national awards it was difficult to narrow our selection to just one. In the end we chose their oyster and crab chowder with a lobster roll. The chowder which was described on their menu as “the perfect balance of crabmeat and oysters, with a hint of spicy, earthy sausage, flavored with leeks, potatoes, tomatoes and special seasoning” did not disappoint. The lobster roll wasn’t half bad either. I think it’s safe to say we are becoming spoiled with the abundance of fresh seafood at our disposal.
After finishing our entrée we wandered throughout the market popping into stores we hadn’t yet explored. Jbabe is a huge fan of crepes so when Crêpe de France crossed our path we knew indulging was mandatory. We split the Crêpe Au Chocolat, which was essentially Nutella, Nutella and more Nutella sprinkled with powdered sugar. Basically the recipe for pure, gooey perfection in the shape of a triangle. We obviously left no crumb behind.
With our stomachs happily stuffed with mac & cheese, oysters, crabmeat, lobster and Nutella we decided it was time to conclude our lunch date at the market. Considering we have only begun to scratch the surface in the realm of eating possibilities within the market, I foresee several lunch dates in our future. Three down and only fifty plus (I’m completely guessing) places left to taste.