Over the past two months Jarred and I have frequented Fremont on occasion and loved exploring this Seattle neighborhood. Our various trips included stopping at the famous Fremont Troll (an 18-foot-tall concrete troll crushing a VW Beetle with its hand), lingering [read: staging photos] along the Burke-Gilman Trail as it winds along the Lake Washington Ship Canal and popping into restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques alike. However, when my friend Kasey brought a Sunday market in the area to my attention I knew a subsequent trip was imperative.
With Sunday’s weather forecasted as a vibrant, sunny day in the mid 60’s we knew conditions couldn’t be more optimal this time of year. The year round market is open rain or shine, but we decided shine was much more preferable. In order to maximize our consumption at the market, we purposefully omitted breakfast from our daily routine and only sipped on coffee as we strolled to church. Following the service we retraced our steps back to our apartment, climbed into the Jarred’s vehicle and traveled north across the George Washington Memorial Bridge in search of the Fremont Sunday Market.
The massive, multicolored flags made it impossible to miss the entrance as we approached 34th Street. Positioned behind the decorated sign was an expansive, European-style street market that housed over 100 local vendors. Prior to Sunday I was under the impression the market was solely a food festival, but upon entering I realized the extent of my limited assumptions. We were instantly greeted with fresh flowers, eclectic clothing, handmade crafts, furniture, food and so much more.
With a plethora of options our main objective was satisfying our appetites, however as a sucker for succulents I couldn’t resist as a tent full of these colorful beauties entered my view. The occupant was Coloring Nature – a succulent designer with a wide variety of arrangements potted in teacups, logs, wine corks and other interesting containers. I combatted the urge to purchase enough to fill the 4Runner and selected one lucky winner to accompany us home. Thankfully the gentleman was kind enough to package my succulent for later retrieval so I could continue my quest for lunch unencumbered by an arrangement. Talk about quality customer service plus a basic understanding that food trumps all.
A few short tents away from Coloring Nature stood one of the most delectable sights my stomach has ever witnessed; a massive wheel of sizzling hot cheese. The aptly named vendor, Fire and Scrape, fires Raclette cheeses and then scrapes the goodness onto the food of your choice. This practice originated in the Alpine regions of France and Switzerland and can be traced back as far as 1291. The second the gooey deliciousness hit my tongue it was obvious why this edible tradition has continued through the ages.
Fire and Scrape offered their services over potatoes, veggies or Le Panier French baguette sandwiches. We decided upon the latter and ordered “The Forager and Pig” – warm mushrooms covered with two slices of extra peppered bacon and topped with a scrape – from their menu. It’s hard to imagine, but it tasted even more heavenly than the description alluded. If you’re on the fence about visiting Seattle, this dish alone should entice you to plan a vacation to The Emerald City.
After our savory fare we craved something for our sweet tooth. The remedy came in the form of a fish-shaped waffle. The technical name for this treat is Taiyaki – a Japanese donut filled with various sweet ingredients that apparently is all the rage in Japan. We split a waffle stuffed with jumbo marshmallow, chocolate and crushed fortune cookies called “Gimme S’mores.” Considering BeanFish food truck was awarded “1 of the 10 most awesome Asian-fusion food trucks in America” (I did verify this claim) they clearly don’t need my endorsement, but they definitely got it.
Our final stop before retrieving my succulent arrangement was at Alexandra’s Macarons. Neither Jarred nor I had previously eaten one of these confections, but it would have been inconceivable to walk by Gertrude (the hot pink 1973 Volkswagen mobile macaron boutique) and not indulge. For our initiation we limited our order to only two in the off chance we actually disliked something involving sugar – French toast for jbabe and espresso dark chocolate for myself.
We saved our petite desserts and ventured home with anything but empty hands and empty bellies. We widened our horizons and palates by consuming food we never previously sampled and/or knew existed, but now can’t imagine not including in our diets. I don’t know if Fremont truly is the “center of the universe” as their locals like to boast, but I do know that their Sunday market should not be missed. Moral of the story: come visit us and stay until Sunday evening.
[Side note: when we got around to devouring our macarons we found out we’re huge fans! I may or may not be stalking her instagram account as we speak to determine when and where I can get my next fix.]