Monday, September 17, 2012

Sleepless in Seattle

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time in Seattle Washington. The Pacific Northwest is a bustling region of culinary fixins ranging from scrumptious fresh seafood to eclectic ethnic eats. My first evening in town I was treated to a fine meal at local favorite eatery '13 Coins'.

13 Coins was named one of the Top 5 of Best Late Night Restaurants in the U.S. by Food Network. 
The restaurant gets it's name from a Peruvian tale in which a young poor man seeks to marry a young wealthy girl. The girl's father asks the boy what he has to offer in order to marry the young girl. The boy reaches into his pocket and pulls out 13 coins. The coins became symbols of love, care and concern. Each of the restaurant's tables are decorated with 13 coins as reminders of the story.

13 Coins is an elegant experience featuring a retro Vegas look complete with high back tables, captain's chairs and an exhibition kitchen that allows customers to watch chefs perform their amazing work right in front of their eyes. 13 Coins is open 24 hours a day and has been a local Seattle landmark since 1967.

My brief food excursion started out with some of 13 Coins seafood treats. Our party enjoyed a bucket of fresh clams cooked in white wine, butter and pesto sauce. Members of our party also enjoyed pan fried oysters, rock lobster and filet mignon. I personally enjoyed a seafood saute of jumbo prawn, fresh scallops and sole mixed with onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and lemon cream.

No trip to Seattle would be complete without a trip to the Public Market. The Public Market is one of the oldest public farmer's markets in the U.S. The market contains numerous shops including some of Seattle's best seafood vendors. It was refreshing to see the bright colors of fresh seafood everywhere I turned.

One of the best eats I enjoyed was a 'Dungeness Crab Cocktail' which consisted of a 'shot' of fresh crab meat resting on a sweet and spicy cocktail sauce. I delicately 'baptized' my shot in lemon juice and a dash of hot sauce. Mercy...

In the midst of the seafood extravaganza, there was also a smattering of food vendors serving various foods from Korean 'Bi Bim Bap' rice bowls to foie gras.

Amidst this 'food paradise' I happened upon a place that only existed before in my dreams: A restaurant that serves nothing but sausage. Meet Uli's Famous Sausage.

Uli's Famous Sausage Company is owned and operated by German butcher Uli Lengenberg. Uli makes   his sausages at the market using fresh ingredients with no artificial coloring or chemicals. Uli's also carries sausages from all over the world. German Brats, South African sausage, Mexican Chorizo and many international favorites. Some of the unique flavors Uli's carries include Fresh lamb sausage, Smoked Apple Sage, Rosemary Sage Chicken and Chipotle Tequila Sausage.

I sampled a very unique sausage made from smoked bacon. Served on fresh baguette and covered in a sweet and spicy slaw, this sandwich was heavenly!

No trip to Public Market would be complete without visiting 'Pike Place Fish Company'. By now the world has seen the dazzling fish 'throwing' exploits the market has become famous for on Food Network or Travel Channel. The fish are still be thrown everyday with plenty of crowd cheers and banter among market staff.

For those of you that follow this blog, you know that Chinatown in any city is my favorite place to be. Seattle's Chinatown is no exception. Known as the 'Chinatown International District', Seattle's Chinatown is a community of many diverse Asian people and businesses including Japanese, Korean, Thai, Filipino, Laotian and Cambodian nationalities. 

An amazing Dim Sum joint where I feasted on steamed har gow (homemade dumplings filled with shrimp), pork buns and jasmine tea.

My next stop, Kau Kau Barbecue was recommended to me by a good friend who lives in Seattle. Kau Kau is famous for their bbq duck and pork. Pork (Huo Rou) is marinated and slow roasted and served with a side of sweet plum sauce. The pork retains a crisp sweet outer shell while maintaining a juicy meat filling inside. Gracious....

My last day in Chinatown was bittersweet. On one hand, I found a Dim Sum restaurant  called 'Dim Sum House' that featured '60 cent' Dim Sum items. I also found an amazing Chinese bakery called 'Mon Hei Bakery' where I dined on a sweet shortcake covered in buttercream frosting. 

The downside is that I decided to try chicken hearts. Now, some of you might think that the fact that it is chicken hearts would be reason enough not to like them. It wasn't 'what' it is, it was the fact that the texture was similar to an inflatable chicken liver that you had to chew on like a wad of Big League chewing gum in order to get down sort of spoiled the show for me. Nonetheless, it was an experience. 


Seattle has a tremendous food culture. I think I could probably spend a couple of months eating my way throughout the city but I must get back to barbecue pits, tater babies and southern accents. So is the life of the Biblebelt foodie...

1 comment:

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