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Quintessential Seattle ingredients for visiting home cook

>> Quintessential Seattle ingredients?

I am really fussy about ingredients. Here are my favorite farmers market purveyors. I visit these vendors at the University District farmers market. Most of them sell at more than one market. I'm listing the products that WA does well. Don't bother with sweet corn or tomatoes. Our farmers grow them nicely, but our climate inhibits the development of best flavor/texture.

Potatoes - Olsen Farms. Grown in the NE corner of WA. Many varieties. Excellent. Also, their frozen meats are very good. Excellent ham.

Ozette potatoes. Homely, sincere tubers. The oldest WA potato, brought here by the Spanish via Peru, cultivated for centuries by the coastal Makah people. Olsen Farms doesn't sell them. I buy them from Alm Hill and other vendors.

Garlic. Inchelium variety, oldest garlic strain in North America. From the Colville people. I buy it from the garlic guy.

Apples. Jerzy Boyz. They have a passion for antique rootstock varieties. Orchard is in Chelan and they recently lost 20% of their trees to wildfire. Apples, wonderful pears, table grapes. They pick at the exact ripeness. Their apricot preserves are outstanding.

Chicken. Stokesberry Farm. They raise them in pasture using chicken tractors, and do their own processing. They source their feed carefully. Also eggs and duck. Their frozen beef has great flavor.

Cheese. Try the sheep cheeses from Glendale Shepherd of Whidbey Island.

Eggs. Of all the egg sellers, I think Growing Things Farms tastes best. Stokesberry a close second.

Beets, Kale, Collards, Turnips, Chard, Rutabagas, Radishes, Walla Walla onions. Washington farmers excel at these. If you see rabes (kale rabe, collard rabe, etc.) be sure the try them. For this type of produce I like Alm Hill, Nash, and many others.

Honey. Flavor varies widely among vendors. I love Seattle Urban Honey.

Lavender. Of course.


Mair Taki Farm - Yakima valley. Japanese produce. Don't miss this. They have things you won't see anywhere else. Many varieties of Asian greens, radishes. Fresh ginger. Big selection of hard squashes. Walnuts.

Rockridge Orchards. Asian pears, French crabapples. Ciders. Vinegars!

Tonnemaker. Orchard and fresh produce. Frozen and dehydrated fruits and veggies. Everything they sell has great taste and texture. Lovely dried cherries.

Rachels Ginger Beer.

Iggy's Krauts.

NuFlours bakery. Gluten-free breads and pastries.


Aug 31, 2015
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Quintessential Seattle ingredients for visiting home cook

Visit one of the big weekend farmers markets. It's a very different experience from Pike Place - a neighborhood feel, not touristy. I love the U District farmers market -- 9am-2pm on University Way. This market is devoted to food -- produce, meats, poultry, seafood, prepared foods, food trucks -- there are no crafts vendors.

Directory -

Aug 31, 2015
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Food Trucks?

"I Love my GFF" quinoa bowls. Healthful and delicious.

Aug 29, 2015
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Chicken - Less than 4lbs

You might check Stokesberry Farms, at farmers markets. Their bird sizes varying seasonally. The owners have very high standards and do their own processing. Tasty. http://www.stokesberrysustainablefarm...

I would phone them. If they have smaller birds, they can bring it to a market near you.

Aug 25, 2015
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Rockridge Orchards & Cidery--A Beer Oasis in Enumclaw

I like the RockRidge stand at the farmers market. Here's what I buy.

- Apple Cider vinegar. Lovely flavor and perfect acidity. This is my all purpose vinegar. I buy it in 1 gallon glass jugs.
- Rocksalmic apple vinegar. A balsamic style, aged in french oak barrels. Intensely applely, sweet, syrupy.
- Pearsalmic vinegar. I think this is made with asian pear. I use it only for beets. And never add salt to the beets. Just cooked beets and pearsalmic. So good.
- Root beer. Really good.
- Bottled cider. (alchoholic.) Makes a great gift. Everyone likes it.
- In the Spring, giant stalks of lovely rhubarb.
- In Fall, French sweet-tart crabapples for eating out of hand.

Best of the farmer's markets - Seattle area

If you go to the U-Dist market, you could ask the market manager.

My opinion... Salmon is both an inland and ocean fish. Our Puget Sound ecology is infused with marine nutrients -- from salmon and steelheads. Oysters are grown in tidal waters. These products beautifully complement all of our farm and orchard products.

Jul 13, 2015
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Great Vegetarian Dinner

I've been to Araya's several times. The buffet is consistently good, nothing special, a bit pricey. I would not go out of my way to eat there. It's reliable and the room is pleasant.

Other options near the U-Dist:
- Chaco Canyon. Vegan organic cafe. They have a large menu. I love their soups and fresh salads. Not crazy about the baked goods. They have three locations in Seattle. The U-Dist location has a welcoming vibe, very community oriented.
- Sunlight Cafe on Roosevelt. Big comfortable place. Classic hippie vegetarian food.
- Krittika Noodles on Latona Ave. Typical Thai menu. Very good quality, nice flavors.
- Jewel of India on University Way. This is my favorite buffet in Seattle. It looks like a real hole in the wall, but nice and peaceful inside. Buffet includes some veggie options, and all you can drink hot chai. Very nice food.

Jul 13, 2015
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Best of the farmer's markets - Seattle area

I visit the U Dist and Ballard farmers markets regularly. BOTH markets have foraged food and fresh seafood. U-Dist has Loki Salmon and an oyster vendor. Ballard has those two seafood vendors, and Wilson Fish.

I love Loki. Excellent whole and filleted salmon. Sold fresh in season, and frozen off season. Their frozen salmon portions are expertly packaged and offer great quality year-round. Their smoked salmon is very firm, and on the sweet side. Expertly packaged and great for day hikes. At the U-Dist, Loki has a cook's counter serving salmon patty sliders, salmon-potato hash, and chowder.

I love the smoked salmon at Wilson Fish. It's soft and succulent, on the salty side.

Jul 13, 2015
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Your favorite chowish discoveries of 2013.

All these items are sold at the University District farmers market, and other places:

Mair-taki farm. Cucumber kimchi fresh pickles. So very good. No longer in season. I will be craving them until the summer.

"Keep it Real" grain-free granola. I gave these for holiday gifts and everyone loves it.

Rockridge Ochards rocksalmic vinegar. Apple vinegar aged in french oak barrels. This season's batch is even better than last year's. They also have a "pear-salmic" vinegar.

+1 for Rachel's ginger beer.
Another poster mentioned Pinky's Kitchen. Their freshly-made potato chips are really good.

Dec 23, 2013
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Great Take Out for Group in Green Lake

+1 Mr Gyros.

I really like the Thai food at Krittika Noodles.

May 17, 2013
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Gluten Free Seattle

Hi. This question has been asked and answered several times this year. Try searching this board, or scan the list of discussions.

Here's a good GF resource list for Seattle area:

budget gluten-free dining?

I'm GF, and I like:
- St Dames
- Portage Bay Cafe (long waits during peak times)
- Razzi's on Greenwood Ave. has a lunch special. Their GF food is really expensive, but the GF breads/pizza are good.
- I like the soups and juices at Chaco Canyon.

Here is a list of coffee shops that serve d.floured GF baked goods. Soooo good.

You can get more detailed advice if you temporarily join some of the GF groups and read their discussion boards and comments in past meetups. I like "Sensitive in Seattle".

Many Seattle restaurants offer GF options. If you don't need a separate kitchen, you should do fine at most places.

May 14, 2013
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Nut allergies in Seattle

Given that this is a severe allergy, you might post your query on the "Sensitive in Seattle" site.

May 12, 2013
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Best lox (SEA)?

Loki makes a VERY nice lox.

Apr 25, 2013
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Another BBQ Disappointment-long

I ate an early dinner at Bitterroot a couple of months ago. The pulled pork was good. I complained to the waiter about the cole slaw. The cabbage was fresh off the shredder. It had not had time to relax and marinate in the dressing. It was a pile of crunchy raw cabbage. The waiter just shrugged. I thought the prices were ok, considering the location.
I didn't like it enough to return. Maybe if they had acknowledged the slaw problem....

Apr 03, 2013
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Beef ribs around Seattle?

Try calling Gabriel's Fire. I think he makes beef ribs on occasion.

Jan 01, 2013
val ann c in Greater Seattle

All-beef salami in Seattle

Olsen Farms makes a summer sausage that they sell year round. I believe it is all beef.
They are at the farmers markets in Ballard and University Dist.

Dec 21, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Grocery Store Soup - Who Has the Best?

Marketime Foods in Fremont has really good soup. Daily soups are posted on their web site.

Dec 21, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Business trip to Seattle need recs

Korean and French flavors. Very fresh. The kitchen counter bar is spacious. It can be a bit noisy during peak times.

Steelhead Diner would be a bit more relaxing than Revel. It has small kitchen counter bar and a very nice cocktail bar. It gets mixed reviews on this board, but I've been many times over the past three years, and I always love my meal. And very good friendly service.

Oct 27, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Tacoma spot with decent food, TV viewable from dining area

This suggestion is a bit off the wall... Infinite Soups has more than a dozen really good homemade soups everyday. They have no seating. But their customers are welcome bring their soup and sit in Malarkey's Pool & Brew. It's right next door. It looks like a dive from the outside, but it's spacious, with lots of daylight, and nice people. My husband and I sat in a booth, ordered cokes from the bar and hung out for a bit.

Last time I ate three cups of soup - a chicken chile verde, a pumpkin curry, and a potato cheddar. So good!

Oct 25, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Anyone been to St. Dames in Columbia City?

Had dinner there last weekend. Very pleased with all aspects -- food, beverage selection, service, space. The chef is really on her game. I'm sure you know it's all vegetarian. For people with food allergies, they are very accommodating.

Jul 03, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Can you describe your cooking style in three words?

Local, simple, easy.

Jun 18, 2012
val ann c in Not About Food

best wedding cakes in greater seattle?

Dolce Lou. The cakes happen to be gluten-free, but really really good taste and texture. You can try a slice of cake at one of her farmers market booths.

Jun 14, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Brewin around? or other coffee shops Bitter lake?

+1 Neptune.
Makeda. Cute neighborhood coffee shop - on a side street. Good coffees from Seven Roasters.
If you're staying at Bitter Lake, you'll want to explore the Greenwood neighborhood. If driving Greenwood Ave is too congested, 3rd Ave is usually faster. Or take the #5 bus.

Jun 09, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Brewin around? or other coffee shops Bitter lake?

I like the Bridge Coffeehouse. They serve Stumptown. You would probably have to drive there. It's on a church property on Haller Lake. A serene spot. Lots of parking.

Jun 07, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Best Korean or authentic Chinese (any region) in Shoreline? Dinner out tonight!

About six weeks ago, we had lunch at the new place that replaced Kaya. I don't remember exactly what I had... something usual like bibimbap or tofu stew. That day I thought the food was mediocre.
However it was only one visit, and all restaurants have off days. I'd like to hear opinions from other diners.

May 28, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Best Korean or authentic Chinese (any region) in Shoreline? Dinner out tonight!

Lately we've been going to Sura in Lynnwood, 19226 Hwy 99. It's not exceptional. But the food is quite good in a traditional way, and the service is friendly. I always like my meal there.

Haven't been to Haeman Galbi for several months. My last few meals were lackluster and the place is really shabby. (I don't mind shabby if the food is really good.) Perhaps it has improved.

Kaya has changed ownership. It has a new name. We tried it a few weeks ago and didn't like it enough to go back.

If you want REALLY good food, meet at Revel in Fremont. they do Korean flavors. It's not traditional, it's fusion. They use really good ingredients. Also you will get a much nicer atmosphere for your meeting, and can stroll around Fremont after dinner.

May 22, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Grocery Store Soup - Who Has the Best?

I like "Got Soup". He sells frozen quarts at many of the farmers markets. They will deliver a certain quantity to your house.
He has about 20 different kinds in inventory.
I've enjoyed the following:
* Caramelized Onion and Apple Braised Cabbage-Vegan $11
* Coconut Curry with Chicken and Brown Rice $12
* Corn and Shitake-Vegan $11
* Moroccan Lentil-Vegan $11
* Red Curry Squash and Basil-Vegan $11
* Smoked Tomato Bisque-Vegan $11
* Wild Mushroom-Vegan $11

May 20, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Help with 4 days 3 nights in Aug

Revel. Yes. They have the grill going on the patio.

Will you be here on a Monday evening? Go to "Taco Night" at Sitka and Spruce. The regular Sitka staff has the night off and chef Alvaro serves simple traditional food. So so good.

Senor Moose gets lots of raves on this board. I don't like it so much. Lunched there recently to give it another try. The freshly fried chips were very nice. Good guacamole. On the waiter's recommendation, I ordered chilequilles with chicken. Not good. Shredded chicken breast-meat was oily and the oil tasted stale and some of the chicken was dried out - like it had been sauteed and stored. The other ingredients may have been ok, but that oily chicken ruined It. That was my second disappointing meal at Moose and I don't plan to return.

May 19, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle

Best hotel to stay at for a Ballard Crawl?

What are your needs for a hotel? Do you need lots of comfort and service? Or are you willing to rough it? Do you want a conventional hotel? B&B?

If you want to stay in Ballard, near all the restaurants and bars, I would search and I've used vrbo for rentals elsewhere in WA. Never used airbnb.

Have fun. If you're in Ballard on a Sunday, don't miss the Farmers Market.

May 06, 2012
val ann c in Greater Seattle