Snacking through the northwest

Susanne and I took an enjoyable, leisurely stroll through Seattle’s Pike Place Market on Monday, indifferent to the intermittent light rain. We stopped at a cheese producer—DeLaurenti—and watched the large bins of curds get hand-sifted by the staff. Tasting the freshly made cheddar resulted in happy gasps from each of us. Having wanted to try my hand at cheese making, I asked if they had any rennet, an amino acid used to make curds. They pointed us in the direction of the Creamery, a small store, obviously focused on dairy products. Four oversized ceramic cows and one sleeping store dog later, I had the rennet in hand.

We stopped by a pirouska storefront and shared an onion and mushroom breaded pastry, warm and delighful and useful for keeping our hands from freezing in the 40-degree weather. We looked at pottery, always a favorite of Susanne’s, homemade children’s hats, stopped to smell the flowers, looked at some pasta from Pappardelle’s to get ideas for new pasta to make at home, and listened to a  banjo player who was sharing a bit of soul just out of reach from the drizzle.

My knee finally started complaining after a couple of hours. We stopped for tea and crumpets—no, really, we did—and enjoyed some creamy Earl Grey. I have determined, sadly, that I just am not a fan on Yerba tea, finding that it’s too musty for my taste. I do, however, continue to enjoy the sound of the word Yerba. So I will have to like it from an intellectually removed distance. The crumpets were tasty—they’re a bit like the love child of an English muffin and a thick, buttermilk pancake. I had mine with butter, and Susanne chose honey. We thought we were pretty nifty folks until a woman walked by us with one covered in Nutella. Egads! Who knew such a thing existed? I attempted to make a move on her crumpet, but Susanne kept me in check. There’s probably a Crumpet Police force in existence somewhere. No laughing now, there are still places in the US where stealing a horse brings up the death penalty.

We ventured out, later that evening, to Quinn’s Pub in the Capitol Hill section of Seattle. For appetizers we shared some rather pedestrian pistachios and a nicely lime-and-olive-oil infused plate of green and black olives. Susanne and her friend Jesse each ordered a flank steak with frites, and I had fish and chips (same as the frites). The steaks were marvelous, a little over the top with the charring, but nicely tender inside, and paired well with a rich gravy and chewy, nobby little mushrooms. My fish was tender and delicious, but a bit too thickly battered, which quickly went from crispytown to mushville. I was content to eat the fish out of the batter. I was also surprised that the establishment doesn’t have tartar sauce.

After dinner we went to the Wild Rose, a women’s bar, for their weekly pub quiz game. I was a repeat customer back in DC, at Fado, where their trivia game brought something like 50 people in every Monday night. There’s something about sitting around a dark Irish pub with other frazzled government employees that equates to serious competition without the energy of turning foul. Here in Seattle the gang was much, much smaller, and the teams were limited to 4 people, max. Back in DC you’d get the whole of a division of say, the Census, and those folks were tough to beat. Crazy survey nerds!

After bombing out the first round of C-list celebrity photos, our team caught fire and won the contest, by a large margin. I really didn’t know what became of Danzig, though, and we missed that question in the round of “this place used to be this other name, what is it called now?” We walked away with $30. Not bad for a couple hours of answering questions!

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2 Comments on “Snacking through the northwest”

  1. March 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    MMMmmmm, snacking!

  2. March 21, 2009 at 6:33 am #

    Great quiz action! $30 is good but the real way to win the quiz every week is to be the quizmaster.

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