This year summer never came to the bay. It rained a lot till April and somehow we slipped into a late-winter/fall like weather, skipping the summer entirely. Not that I am complaining. I am one of those people who are perfectly happy spending my weekends cuddled on sofa reading a good book with a cup of coffee instead of sun-bathing on beaches. This weekend we were in store for another such chilly trend. Having put off my plans of an outdoor lunch for a more warmer day, I was resigned to stare into the foggy day sitting on my porch and what better past-time to engage in than mind-lessly browsing through pictures of some old happy chilly days, spent with family, laughing and having fun. That was exactly our last Thanksgiving's Seattle trip!
Visiting Seattle's famous foodie-hangout Pike place market was definitely on top of my list. Seeing those old photos rekindled the memory of that market so much, that I thought I will share a small photo journey with you all.
Pike place market is an old marketplace founded in 1907 near the heart of downtown Seattle. It is a wonderful collection of shops overlooking the bay. It proudly boasts of an exhaustive fish market, a permanent farmers market and various specialty food stores. This market is also home to the original relocated Starbucks store (hence their house blend name 'Pike Place Roast'). Being a bay area resident I thought pike place in nutshell is a San Francisco fisherman's wharf on steroids :-)
We started off with a shop with the most unique dipping oils I have ever seen! It had varieties like this 18-year old aged balsamic, fig balsamic, roasted garlic-rosemary cabernet, truffle oil blends, sesame-ginger and many more! I so much enjoyed tasting these dipping oils with their crusty house-bread and an equally engaging chat with the hostess. After I long tasting deliberation I finally decided to go with the roasted garlic and rosemary cabernet.
Being a seafood fan I then proceeded to the seafood shops and what a variety! The shops and the folks at the pike place celebrate seafood in a most unique way! We saw a variety of fish, oysters, squids, seaweed, lobsters.. you name it! Then there is this unique "flying fish" shop where the tradition is to throw a fish (yes, heavier ones too) from one end of the shop to the other instead of passing it by hand.. here is how it goes: one server who places the order for a fish shouts the name of the fish that was just bought. All the other servers unitedly echo the name of the fish that they heard and then the server closest to that fish throws the fish in air and other server will have to catch it before the order is delivered. Needless to say heavier the fish more is the fun :-) Unfortunately I didn't get a good photo of this fish throwing ritual but there is one here.
The shops carried amazing fresh variety of seafood like colorful parrot fish or these lobster tails:
or this scary monkfish!
Even if you are not a seafood lover I am sure you will still find a lot of interesting unique shops to keep you entertained like this mushroom vendor carrying a cauliflower mushrooms (at $20/lb):
then there was this chocolate shop carrying the most unique chocolates from around the world including some unique mexican spicy varieties with chilis.. chilis and chocolate, now we are talking!
and a shop I spent a lot of time at with such unique pastas I could ever imagine:
and a varied jelly shop..
There is so much more to pike place than what I have described here. There is a shop with some very delicious chocolate covered cherries, then there are some ethnic clothes stores, an herb and spice shop, shop with the most unique salts that I have ever seen... the list goes on! Eventually I got tired of clicking photographs and just decided to enjoy the place :-) Pike place sure got me feeling like an Alice in Wonderland!