Seattle

Seattle-opening-graphic

With about 48 hours in my schedule – and a completely insufficient jacket – I headed to Seattle this past weekend to visit my friend Joe and to also attend a dinner party hosted by my friend and fellow blogger Matt & his lovely wife Danika. Oh, the lengths I’ll through for a good party, I tell ya!

It’s been about 7 years since the last time I visited Seattle. While it’s only a quick jet up the west coast I always wondered why I never made it up more often. Seattle has its share of amazing bloggers and people I call friends, but it took the constant, never-ending emails of a certain persistant British lad who just happens to have a very nice name to force me to visit. Alright already, I’ll be there!

(Yea right…he asked me once and I bought my ticket immediately. If you know Matt and Danika you know why!)

So, this dinner. Oh my stars this dinner. No, really. There’s no way I could do him justice so just visit his blog for a recap of the entire evening. And you’ll also see who was there and if you look closely you’ll see me stuffing my fat face with pork crackling. Do not ever put chicarrones in front of me and expect to have any left to share. Just don’t. Don’t do it.

Although my trip was too short I did manage to pack quit a bit of activity in.  I thought I’d compile the 10 things I loved about Seattle, in no particular order. And while I really had an amazing time in such a beautiful city it’s really the people that made my trip so special.

Macrina-bakery-2up-web

10. Macrina Bakery • 615 W McGraw St • (206) 283-5900

There is a huge shortage of adorable cafes in my life. When you live in Southern California it’s just something you deal with. In order to make up for my environmental  deficiency I asked my friend Joe to immediately take me for coffee and a pastry somewhere and to my surprise we ended up at Macrina Bakery. I had a delightful muffin and a great latte while I watched the caffeine slowly bring my friend Joe to life. I think he started complaining about heart palpitations or something.

skillet-burger-540px

9. Skillet • Roving restaurant, different locations

You know what I did immediately after breakfast? I braved the chilly wet weather and stood outside eating one of the best burgers of my life. And I’d do it again in a second if it involved anything from Skillet, the roving airstream that serves amazing burgers and sides. While standing up freezing my ass off isn’t my ideal manner in which to dine it was totally worth it. And getting to hang with Traca was delightful. And two parting words: Bacon Jam.


Pike Place Market

8. Pike Place Market • 1501 Pike Place

No visit could be complete without a visit to the Pike Place Market. Since 1907 this vibrant market has been a bustling center of food and commerce and quite a sensory overload. I wasn’t doing any cooking this trip but it was nice to grab a few apples and snacks and admire the colorful residents all around.

Stumptown Coffee & Might O Donut

7. Stumptown Coffee and Mighty O Donuts

On the second day of my visit my friend Joe offered up a cup of Stumptown Coffee as we sat on his couch gossiping about the 3 Bs: Britney, Boys and Booze.  We were happily singing bad 90’s pop songs to each other when I raised my cup of Stumptown to my lips and was completely distracted. What happened next was one of those moments in your life when you realize you’re having a perfect moment and one damn perfect cup of coffee. So immediately after finishing up my cup of coffee (and my Toni Braxton — or was it Whitney?) I had to get my hands on this bean, and boy did I ever. I came home with 5 or 6 pounds of the stuff and have been on Cloud 9. Speaking of Cloud 9, everyone told me I couldn’t miss Mighty O Donuts and by golly they were right. Vegan donuts never ever ever tasted this good.

Molly

6 . The Woman On The Right. My Heart Be Still.

Reason #7 why I love Seattle: Orangette. As soon as my childish boy crush subsides (will it ever?) I might tell you how utterly gorgeous, stunning and wonderful she is in person. But right now I’m still in Swoonsville. As I told her, when the physical presence of a writer is as dreamy as their words you’ve grown to love it’s a very magical thing. I’ll stop now so she doesn’t think I’m some sort of crazy LA stalker.

Joe Keeps A Secret

5 . Bloody Mary Interludes at Oddfellows Cafe & Bar • 1525 10th Avenue

In my dreamlife I will have enough time to read the newspaper, play with my dogs and then walk to an adorable cafe for a Bloody Mary with friends on any given afternoon. Since that’s not likely to happen any time soon I made sure to seize the moment with Joe at Oddfellows. The gorgeous open space was so relaxing and the drink was delicious. So was my oatmeal. What, you think I can live on olives and the pickled asparagus in my cocktail alone?

(and that’s my dear friend Joe above, apparently passing judgement on me for drinking during the day even though I spy a mimosa not far from him)

Melissa & Matt

4 . Melissa of Traveler’s Lunchbox • www.travelerslunchbox.com

Early on when I began food blogging I was inspired by Traveler’s Lunchbox. I was captivated by Melissa’s writing that fused travel, food and memories together so perfectly. I couldn’t wait for new posts so that I could see the world through her eyes and learn about something unique and delicious.To me her food and travel writing is some of the best I’ve ever read and transports me each and every time. We struck up a long-distance friendship, always keeping in touch throughout the years. When I found out she was moving back to the states from Scotland I was beside myself.  I knew I had to meet her and her husband Manuel and I was thrilled they’d be heading to the same dinner party.

I didn’t leave her side the entire night and I was lucky enough to meet up with her for brunch the next day before heading home. You’ve heard me say it a million times before and yes, I shall say it again: blogging is one of the most amazing things I have ever done. I’ve met the world’s brightest people this way and Melissa is a shining example. I miss her already!

more coffee

4 . Coffee

Yea yea yea, I know I already mentioned coffee in #7 but really people, it bears repeating. Any city that does coffee correctly really deserves accolades. But I don’t need to tell you this. Sigh.

Dinette

3 . Dinner at Dinette with friends • 1514 E Olive Way

I secretly pray for moments like this: friends with smiling faces come together over food in a neighborhood restaurant, enjoy a bottle or two of wine, and share a moment in time that feels comfortable and meaningful yet relaxed and just perfect. These are moments of what I want my memories to be made of. Joe and Mike, you rock. I love you guys.

World Spice

2 . World Spice Merchants • 1509 Western Avenue

I hadn’t planned on heading to Seattle and stocking up on spices and chiles. But one whiff led to another whiff which led to me filling my arms with herbs, spices and dried chiles and peppers. I couldn’t resist! The staff was super friendly and I wish I had a shop like this near me.

The Party

1. Matt & Danika and The Entire Group Of Seattle Food Bloggers (and you too, Bradford!)

I met Matt & Danika last summer at a So Cal Food Blogging Dinner held by my friends Todd & Diane. Matt said he was inspired by the gathering and wanted to host his own party. Now I know some may say hopping on a plane for a dinner party is excessive but I don’t see it that way. I would have crawled on my hands and knees to get there and all I can say is that it was one of the most amazing nights I’ve experienced in a long time.  I simply cannot do the evening justice so I urge you to head to his blog to read about the evening.

Sometimes when I’m down or frustrated with the world I only need to close my eyes and think back to moments like the party at Matt’s house. No agendas, no hidden motives, no need for anything but people coming together to share a meal and love one another. Because that’s what it was — pure love. I get choked up when I think that people can connect like this when we all lead such hectic lives and sometimes forget to slow down. But it’s possible and I thank god I’m alive to experience it.

Matt and Danika, thank you for making it an evening I will remember forever. And can you make me some extra rillette and paté and send it on down? Thankyouverymuch.

Comments

  1. says

    Incredible [but I certainly don’t need to remind you]. Your site is an inspiration and your photography.is.brilliant. Launched my own food blog earlier this week, and I hope some day it can be as witty, as full of great recipes, and as well-received as yours. Thanks as well for the intermittent tips to newbie bloggers and photogs. Would love for you to pop over some time!

    Cheers,

    *Heather*
    http://squirrelbread.wordpress.com

  2. says

    Oh my. What a lovely trip this looks to be; it is a wonderful gathering of people and places you’ve put together here. You know, I love my Canada, but I have often said that if I did ever move Stateside, I might be a Seattle kind of girl.

    Love the new digs too!

  3. says

    Matt, you are as inspiring as the people who inspire you. Thanks for the great post. Now I’m REALLY looking forward to my upcoming trip to Seattle.

  4. says

    World Spice is definitely one of my favorite places in the city. Next time you’re in town, check out Top Pot donuts (really good old fashioned ones and great coffee) or Daily Dozen Donuts in Pike Place – fresh mini donuts in a paper bag, mmm…

  5. says

    I do love the new site!

    Seattle is one of my favourite US cities (doesn’t hurt that it’s only 2.5 hours away from Vancouver). So much good food, so little time, don’t ya think?

  6. says

    Matt…fantastic recap! Will be off to check out the meat fest! It was great meeting up with you while you graced our Emerald City! :) But damn you! Even I haven’t gotten to skillet yet! :( (Hey…sue me…I live on a freakin’ island for god sake!) Be well, Mister.

  7. says

    So glad you had a good time in Seattle. You did look bloody frozen when you turned up at our door though!!

    Your write up of Seattle, and the party brought a tear to my eye. Wonderful photography mate.

  8. says

    I’ve been living in Seattle for five months, and you’ve put me to shame with all that you managed to do in the brief time you were here. I think I’m going to have to venture out soon and be a tourist in my own city to check out some of these places!

    I completely agree: relaxed evenings with good friends, good food, and good wine are some of the best moments in life.

  9. says

    Matt, this post made my day. So glad you were here, and that we got to meet! You can be my “crazy LA stalker” anytime you want – but only if I can be your crazy Seattle stalker. Fair and square, you know.

    xo

    P.S. You captured Seattle perfectly.

  10. says

    Great site! I’m glad you enjoyed Seattle; your crowd seems fun and really got you to some worthwhile places. Allow me one bummer moment, though. You really could have left Pike Place Market off your list. A vivid, robust shopping experience for sure, but surly vendors and unbelievable overpricing (27.99 a pound for farmed Atlantic Salmon, c’mon guys!) have ruined the place for me. It’s best asset is it’s location in the city with that iconic sign overlooking Elliot Bay and the Olympic mountains to the west.

    But that’s just my opinion and I love living in this city. Even if it means getting treated like a tourist in my own town on occasion.

    Best, David

  11. says

    The new site looks amazing, of course! I love the Seattle photos and the way you presented them. Gorgeous, as always.

    PS. I keep hearing about Skillet and can’t wait to try it next time I’m in Seattle.

  12. says

    Matt, I made it on your blog! I am mid-sentence with a huge bottle of wine in front of me. Classic.

    Glad to have met you! Come back to Seattle soon:)

  13. says

    Matt, what a wonderful round up of Seattle. It certainly makes me want to buy a ticket and go up there and visit ASAP. I especially love the photos/profiles of the cafe’s and restaurants. You really captured some compelling images that made me feel like I was really there (peeking over your shoulder)!

    I’m so glad you made it to Matt and Danika’s. They truly are such wonderful, sweet people.

  14. Nancy G. says

    Love your new site.

    As a Puget Sound local, I loved your write up of your visit to Seattle, although I had to admit I was a bit jealous! You are blessed to have such great friends and readers of your site are blessed that you share it with us.

    Thanks!

  15. says

    The new site is nice, very clean.
    Loved the post on Seattle, I live here and it is really a great place, but you would have enjoyed it more during the summer months. That’s a good excuse to come back, no?

  16. says

    I love the new site!

    Your trip to Seattle sounds astounding. My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip up the northwest coast in the spring, and while we’d originally planned to stop in Portland I think we might have to add a few more days to make a jaunt up to Seattle.

  17. says

    I love this post- I’m from Seattle (and stuck in Idaho right now) and those pictures made me homesick! I sure love it there.

    Oh, and the new site looks great!

  18. says

    Oh wow, Matt! Definitely one of my favorite posts on the site ever. I had my own Stumptown affinity on a visit to Ninth Street Espresso in NYC a week ago and I wish I had the forethought to buy up a couple of pounds because my one bag is half empty already. I’m loving the photos and I have a ton of places to try whenever I make it up to Seattle. Oh, and I have a crush on Orangette too, can’t wait for her book to come out!

  19. says

    Not fair! I was in Seattle this weekend too (from Vancouver, BC), and I decided to wing it on the food, which didn’t work out too well. If only I had this post to guide me.

  20. says

    I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while, but this is my first time commenting. Great post…I know what you mean about Orangette, and now I have Traveler’s Lunchbox bookmarked. Thanks!

  21. says

    Hi Matt! Great post, and I love the Skillet burger photo – it really captures the moment. (Next time, consider tricking out your fries with poutine – oh so good.) We enjoyed meeting you at Matt and Danika’s, and hope to see you in Seattle again sometime soon.

  22. says

    sounds and looks like an amazing trip! i am especially intrigued by the skillet burger – it looks delicious and i love the airstream concept!! burgers are fresh in my mind after a trip for me which included a few fabulous burgers from the Shake Shack in new york.

  23. says

    The new site looks great, Matt. And it sounds like you had a great Seattle adventure. Can’t wait to hear more about Matt and Danika’s dinner! I’m hungry just reading.

  24. says

    Matt, so glad you came to Seattle – my home for the past 10 years. It’s indeed lovely and you hit all the right spots. I’m from Tenn. originally and one of the things I dreamt about experiencing before moving here was cafe-hopping. We love good food and good coffee. Next time you’re here please try these places:
    Cafe Bizarro,
    Le Panier,
    Boulangerie,
    Flying Apron
    and
    Maximilien
    . Okay, 3 out of 4 of these serve French food, so I’ll through in
    one last one: Quinn’s!

  25. says

    Congratulations on your bright & shiny new home! Your words & photos are very inspiring. Thanks for the wonderful Seattle restaurant guide…this will come in handy one day. Cheers!

  26. says

    Matt-
    What a beautiful recap! I knew you were freezing your arse off at Skillet (more than once I heard…it was 86 in LA yesterday! LOL!) I’m wondering if the bacon jam lasted long enough so Adam could have a wee spoonful? Something tells me…I doubt it!

    Come back soon.

    xoxo-
    Traca

  27. says

    Oh, I miss you too!!! Please come back soon. And when you do we’ll get you on that ferry and show you some island-style hospitality. Deal?

    p.s. Your photos and writeup are just stunning! I’m so glad you had a good time here. But next time come in the summer, okay? We have to show you we can do warm too!

  28. says

    You can get Stumptown delivered fresh from the roaster, so the bean flavors will have been properly settled by the time it gets to your door. Definitely some of the best coffee I’ve had in the States.

  29. Tori says

    Aye, Matt Stumptown is a Portland roaster. While Seattle does have awesome coffee, it’s my fair city of Portland that Stumptown rules over.

    They are everywhere now but it’s still nice to visit the original roastery (is that a word?) in a nice little neighborhood in SE Portland.

    Glad you loved it because the people of Portland are proud of them and all they do for fair trade coffee.

  30. Risa Kate says

    Thank you for paying homage to my hometown. I’m moving back to Seattle this Summer after living in LA for the past 6 years, and although I didn’t need any more motivation, this post serves as a reminder.

  31. says

    Hi Matt! It was beyond a pleasure meeting you today. Your blog is what my blog wants to be when it grows up. Your blog makes my blog want to be a better blog. If your blog ever needs an assistant blog, my blog wants to send your blog its resume.

    Needless to say, we will be linking and following.

    xoxo

    Mandy

  32. says

    One of my favorite Seattle posts of all time and just lovely photos! Looks like you got to enjoy it with the best of :) Come again!

  33. says

    That was such a great post Matt!! Dinner at Matt and Danika’s, just dreamy!! I feel the same way you do about blogging and the friendships I have been fortunate to experience. I am dreaming of the West coast!!

  34. Annie says

    As a Seattle-ite I think you are spot on – great slice of life view from an outsider, enjoyed reading this!

  35. says

    Wow! You were near my school (SU) the whole time! I love the Skillet and Stumptown! You should come back and try to venture out of Capitol Hill next time :)

  36. says

    Thank YOU for the recs! I am already planning a return trip to that utterly scrumptous city. The donuts seem to practically fall from the cloudy sky, perfectly roasted coffee flows like water, and fabulous wine & hoppy, palate-possessing beer is always around the corner. Seattle (and Portland, OR!) is a bona fide heaven for caffienated, hedonistic, booze-zealots & nature-fiends…

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