Day 1 in Seattle and Vashon: Doing what we do best…eating!

Brunch at Joule, Coulotte with eggs

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my husband and I drove up to Vashon Island from Portland to spend Labor Day weekend away from the city. On our way up, we made a side trip to Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood for brunch at Joule. We had both heard rave reviews about their food but had never been in before. In all honesty, I went in with fairly low expectations simply because of the hype but was totally blown away.

First of all, I loved the concept of their brunch menu. You can pay $17 for a walk through their buffet and you get to order an additional entrée as well. For $12 you can do one or the other, but it was well worth the money to try both. The bonus is that you get the best of both worlds — you get to eat something immediately (and we were SO hungry after the three-hour drive) but you also get a hot dish made to order, which can’t be beat.

The buffet isn’t the basic cafeteria-style line up of eggs, pancakes and toast. Instead it’s a small table of fabulously prepared items, all based on a theme. While we were there, the dishes were southwestern inspired: peaches in habanero syrup with cilantro, jalapeño pimento cheese with homemade crackers, green tomato jam, corn salad, corn bread, pickles and more.

I filled my plate and cleared it in record time. Everything was so good, but the peaches were the winner, perfectly ripe, sweet and spicy.

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Business trips are better when your business is meat!

Beef Tartare, Rain Shadow Meats Squared (Pioneer Sq)

Beef Tartare, Rain Shadow Meats Squared (Pioneer Sq)

I posted a teaser last week about my business trip to Seattle in which I promised more pictures would be coming. I have finally gotten my act together so here’s how I spent my 5 days “working” in the Emerald City! (As a side note — working in the meat industry really has its perks — we ate constantly.)

On the drive to Seattle from Portland, we stopped in Olympia to get dinner at the Water Street Cafe. The food was pretty fabulous and the pasta special was super good. I’m going to ignore the sprinkling of dried parsley on the rim.

Stinging Nettle Raviolis with Fiddlehead Ferns

The next day, my friend and co-worker Breezy and I embarked on day-long trip around Seattle doing sales calls.

We started in Ballard:

Watching our lunch cook

Watching our lunch cook at Stoneburner

Roasted cauliflower with agro dolce sauce, and an incredible pizza with sausage, olives and mozzarella.

Roasted cauliflower with agro dolce and an incredible pizza with sausage, olives and mozzarella. Oh yeah, and a bottle of rosé.

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Meaty pictures to make up for a brief absence…

To make up for having spent some time away from WordPress (reading and writing), I am going to woo you with some fabulous food porn from my recent business trip to Seattle. Luckily for me, my business is meat and so my five days up north involved a lot foie gras, salami, wine and a bit of tequila…followed by more wine. It was quite the trip…

I’ll get a bit more in-depth later, but here are some tasty teasers for you:

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Eating well in the Emerald City

Party favor: Pumpkin & Bourbon Chocolate Bar

Party favor: Pumpkin & Bourbon Chocolate Bar, Canlis Restaurant

My husband and I had big plans for Nov. 18th. We had heard about a pretty amazing dinner involving some big names in the culinary world. René Redzepi (of Noma fame) was headed to the Pacific Northwest to do a dinner with local talents Matt Dillon and Blaine Wetzel.

Sadly we called an hour after the ticket sales opened to find the dinner had long since sold out. And, to add insult to injury, the wait list was twice as long as the number of reserved seats. *Sigh*

To make ourselves feel better we decided to go up to Seattle anyways. I cashed in my last vacation day and we spent 36 blissful hours in the big city to the north.

Our first stop was in West Seattle to meet up with one of my friends and his girlfriend. We hit up Ma’ono Fried Chicken and Whisky and indulged in their brunch claim-to-fame: endless mimosas for $12. Since I wasn’t the one driving, let me tell you — I got my money’s worth! Also the fried chicken was amazing. Seriously.

Fried chicken, biscuits and endless mimosas at Ma'ono

Fried chicken, biscuits and sausage gravy at Ma’ono

The next day we set out for one of the newest darlings of the Seattle food scene: The Whale Wins, run by Chef Renee Erickson. The vibe of the restaurant was an interesting juxtaposition — minimal but somehow still homey and warm with a touch of feminine charm. If I lived in the city, it would probably be one of my favorite spots to go. The service was great and the food was fantastic.

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And yet another reason to love pork…as if you needed one!

As promised, a few mouth-watering tidbits from Cochon 555, undoubtedly the porkiest culinary event in the country:

Pig in the Sky: Cochon 555 in Seattle, WA 2013

Pig in the Sky: Cochon 555 in Seattle, WA 2013

Cochon 555 is essentially a competition that features different chefs from the same city all cooking a different heritage breed of pig. Beyond that it’s a celebration for chefs and food fanatics across the nation to eat as much pork as possible in one afternoon.

This year’s PNW bout was held on St. Patrick’s Day at the beautiful Cedarbrook Lodge just outside of Seattle. Each chef put out several pork-filled courses to be first scored by a panel of judges and then enjoyed by the masses. The highest-scoring chef will go on to compete in Aspen for the title of “King or Queen of Porc.”

As a very lucky attendee, I suffered the hardship of walking around, gorging on pork in various forms, sweet and savory.

Here’s a few of my favorite swine-filled sweets:

Chef John Sundstrom of Lark wowed the crowd with his chicharone nutter butters.

Chef John Sundstrom of Lark wowed the crowd with his chicharone nutter butters. This was one of my all-time favorite bites.

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Things That Make Me Happy: Seattle Sights and Bites

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One of the reasons I love my job as a meat distributor so much is the edible perks. I not only get to go to fun culinary events, like the one my company hosts every year, but I also get to make “sales calls” to visit my customers. And those calls usually always revolve around eating. Hey, since they buy meat from me, the least I can do is show my appreciation and eat some of it!

Last weekend, my husband and I planned an eating pilgrimage to Seattle that came to a pinnacle at Cochon 555. And since we were already planning the road trip, we decided to spend the day before the event eating our way through the city. There will be plenty more pictures to come but here’s a quick preview!

The Aunt Annie's Biscuit Sandwich at The Wandering Goose

The Aunt Annie’s Biscuit Sandwich at The Wandering Goose: Fried chicken, bread & butter pickles, mustard and honey, all on a buttermilk biscuit!

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