My friend Tara and I took a 3 day road trip to Seattle this week. Our goal was to eat well, do some shopping, and take in some culture. We definitely suceeeded on the first two points, and failed spectacularly on the last one. However, there are lots of stores that we don't have in Canada (oh the novelty!), and we stocked up on some necessaries as well as each finding some special items (like my 7-inch yellow cast iron frying pan with an enamel coating. It is sunshiny and practical and I love both it and Crate and Barrel. The departure of Caban has left a void that I believe only Crate and Barrel can fill. Please come to Vancouver.).
We stayed at the Chambered Nautilus, a b&b in the university district:
Everything about it was lovely and charming. The lounge not only had a fireplace and computer and printer, but you could also help yourself to tea, coffee, and cookies at any hour of the day. Outside there's a bench shaped like a pig, and inside there's a teddy bear in every room (ours had two). The staff? Extremely friendly and helpful. The food? Totally delicious.
On our drive to Seattle, we had lunch in Bellingham at Casa Que Pasa - home of the largest burritos you will ever lay eyes on. Amazingly, we managed to almost finish one between the two of us. Our first stop, upon arriving in Seattle, was Cafe Besalu in the Ballard neighbourhood. It was an auspicious start (cappuccino, apple turnover, and lemon-pistachio biscotti. How could it not be an auspicious start?). For dinner we went to Delancey, where we shared a salad, their white pizza with the addition of crimini mushrooms (and sausage on Tara's half), and their deconstructed cannoli. It was fantastic - especially the pizza, which was divine.
On our second day, we got ridiculously lost in getting to the Boat Street Cafe, but never was there such a reward waiting for two navigationally-challenged souls.
It was, in short, a beautiful restaurant with beautiful food (including the freshest bread imaginable). We also had the nicest server EVER, who also gave us further recommendations about where to eat in Seattle. (In case you're wondering why the restaurant looks so empty, the answer lies in the fact that weren't able to get there until about 20 minutes before their closing time. There were still a couple of groups of diners at that point, and we were graciously seated and not made to feel like we had to rush through lunch.)
After this much eating out (which was also followed by a little jaunt to the Pike Place Market), we had take-out for dinner from Why Not Pho, and if I lived near this place, I would be getting their noodles with tofu and veg on a regular basis.
We had only one day of eating and shopping left (and a snowy drive to Vancouver to look forward to). I insisted on visiting Grand Central Bakery, after having been to one of their Portland locations a year before (the one by Sock Dreams, naturally), and had been salivating over it ever since. We had a tea break and read our books there before one final meal: lunch at Plum (organic and vegan) and then ice cream from Bluebird (the flavour I chose was made with stout).
Our final stop was at Trader Joe's in Bellingham. I had never been to a TJ, and Tara had only been once before. You just can't get $3 organic monteray jack cheese in Vancouver, people!
In the end, we came back with full bellies, empty wallets, and a desire to go back again. Hey there Art Gallery - we'll see you next time round!