Seattle: Chowders

I never thought I’ll go on a diet – me and food? It’s always a love relationship.

One thing that I really miss about Seattle is the wide variety and amazing soups and chowders filled with fresh seafood. My favourites are those places that have sampler platters! Four different chowders in a meal. Ship me over please someone.

In everyday situation, I normally can’t finish an entire meal on my own. In USA, I find that the portions are so huge! Each meal seems to feed two of me. Chowders and soups are easier for me to finish.

I didn’t manage a picture but my favourite soup was the crab and corn bisque from Seastar. If you’re ever in Bellevue area, it’s a great restaurant although the prices veer on the pricier side.

My most memorable chowder experience came from Duke’s Chowder House in Southcenter Mall. I love having variety in my food and the ability to build my own platter.

Quad Dinghy, 11.20USD

The most affordable soup that is a one-meal dish (not literally) is clam chowder at City Soups near the Seattle office that I visited. With each soup, I believe you have a choice of toppings and a side of a bread. I vaguely remember my meal being affordable, about 5 – 6USD?

Clam chowder (I think) with mushrooms topping and cornbread

My most underwhelming chowder was probably from Pike’s Place. I went there with a lot of expectations, my brainwaves went, “Omg it’s Pike’s Place Chowder! So many travel sites recommends this!”

When I tried my first spoon, it was just a “Oh.” Not in a good way.

Locations

Seastar restaurant and raw bar
205 108th Ave NE. Suite 100,
Bellevue, WA 98004

Duke Chowder House (They have a few locations)
757 Southcenter Mall
Tukwila, WA 98188

City Soups
601 108th Ave NE # 130
Bellevue, WA 98004
United States

Pike’s Place Chowder
601 108th Ave NE # 130
Bellevue, WA 98004
United States

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Seattle: Forza coffee

Forza is this little coffee joint, not as commercialised as a big chain but not one of those “single store” cafe. This stop wasn’t a deliberate one but I was craving for a chai latte before heading to where the tourist hot spots (Seattle Space Needle and EMP Museum) were.

Forza has an Italian origins and I remember my chai latte to be one of the best I ever had. I tried Googling for other locations nearer to my hotel but there were only a few locations available. The outlet that I popped by was near the Seattle Needle but has been reported to be closed.

There was only one other customer when I was there and it’s a great place to sit back, chill and read a book. I was quite intrigued by the decor too.

See the table?

It’s filled with coffee beans!

Check out the locations of Forza’s outlets to see if you’re near one.

Seattle: Trabant (U District)

Before I went to Seattle, I was a latte kind of girl. My friend, got me to try chai latte when I was there. It’s really hard to find a good chai latte in Singapore. The best one I had in Seattle was at this little cafe in U District, the chai latte was aromatic (which didn’t smell too herby/spiced) and the milk added to the fullness of the beverage.

Sipping hot chai latte in the cold weather was my sneaky comfort. I finished it so fast I forgot to take a picture of it. But it was a good chai latte!

Trabant was like this hipster cafe where patrons typed away furiously on their laptops. It’s complete with a graffiti filled toilet.

 

Trabant Coffee & Chai
1309 NE 45th St
University District
Seattle, WA98105
Trabant Coffee & Chai on Google Map
 

Seattle sight: University District farmers market

I love visiting markets – it’s this aunty-ness in me that finds it super fulfilling. The farmers markets in USA are quite intriguing and different from the local ones we have in Singapore – well, I bet they say the same thing when Americans come to Singapore.

BUT Singapore markets are so different. The Seattle market that I went to, was more of a “look see” market with fresh yummy homemade/home grown goodies and local farmer’s produce. Sounds like the ones we have in Singapore – nah, I think it’s quite different. Simply from the way these farmer markets are laid out to the type of produce they sell and crowds they attract. I also think, these farmer markets are more “hipster” than your regular Targets and Walmarts. Farmers markets are typically open on weekends only.

Coupled that with sunshine, breeze and 18 degrees weather, how more perfect can you get?

The market that I went to was Seattle’s University District Farmer’s Market. It’s a food market stocked with local produce, opened on Saturdays mostly.

I realise flowers are a big thing. In Singapore, we hardly buy flowers to display at home unless we get them as a gift

Mexican food for the day: Horchata (a Mexican milky drink) and some.. flour/meat mixture thing

For market opening days and hours, see Seattle Neighbourhoods Farmers Markets.

U District Farmers Market
5031 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
U District Farmers Market on Google Map

Seattle: Crumble & Flake

I had lots of great food when I was in Seattle but Crumble & Flake was that one bakery that I’ll recommend all visitors to Seattle to check out despite its awkward opening hours. I don’t remember this place listed in major travel guides but vaguely remember seeing it online and on Trip Advisor.

It’s a little pretty nondescript bakery nestled in a corner of Capitol Hill.

As you can see, very sadly, I don’t have any pictures. The first time I went it was closed. The second time I went super early, before I headed into office.

I’ll recommend the Smoked Paprika and Cheddar Croissants, macarons and pink pepper shortbread. Go early as each batch of goodies are baked in small batches each day.

Address
1500 E Olive Way, Capitol Hill, Seattle
Crumble & Flake Google Map

Hours (or until sold out)

Wednesday – Friday: 7:00 – 3:00
Saturday – Sunday: 9:00 – 3:00
Closed Monday and Tuesday

Seattle: Taylor’s Shellfish

Seattle is a coastal city with lots of seafood, cheaper, fresher and with way more varieties as compared to Singapore. I also liked that in US, sampler platters are very common, giving customers more options as compared to a single set item.

If you’re a fan of fresh oysters, then Taylor’s Shellfish is your thing. It’s somewhat like a mini supermarket/oyster bar at the same time. You can purchase the oysters unshucked or get them shucked and slurp them on the spot. Taylor’s offered numerous types of oysters from different parts of the  Pacific coast, ask the staff, he’ll gladly explain them. I was at the Capitol Hill (Melrose) branch.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of oysters but I enjoyed the couple of oysters I sampled at Taylor’s, they were a little briny, fresh without an overly fishy smell and makes me think of the sea.

You can check out the menu

Numerous locations in Seattle but here’s the one I went:
Address
1521 Melrose Ave, Seattle, WA
Google Map

Hours:
Sun-Thurs 10am to 9pm
Fri-Sat 10am to 10pm

Seattle food: Dick’s Drive In

Dick’s Drive In was one of those names that kept popping up in my research for my Seattle trip. In fact, in 2012, Dick’s Drive In was voted as one of the “most life changing burger” in Esquire’s poll. There’s also a Reddit thread discussing In-n-Out (which I didn’t see) and Dicks Drive In.

There are seven locations at the moment and I went to the Broadway outlet, not so early one night.

When my US colleagues asked me what were a couple of places I’ll like to check out and I told them Dick’s Drive In and they went like, “yeah, it is a quintessential Seattle experience.”

Wrapped in gold foil

I had a deluxe, fries, a milk shake and tartare sauce. It was quite an inexpensive meal.

If you check out Dick’s Drive In menu, this meal would have cost:

$2.90 (burger) + $1.65 (fries) + $2.30 (milk shake) + 0.05 (tartare sauce) = US$6.90 which is about $8.50 in SG. If you change your MacDonald’s for a milk shake, it’s probably about this price. I would pay for Dick’s Drive In any day over MacDonald’s.

Dick’s Drive-In

115 Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102

Seattle food: Dinette and Broadcast coffee

It’s been a while but I’m just getting started on my posts on my Seattle trip in March 2013. It was my first ever solo trip and the memories are still very vivid in my mind.

I had my first brunch at Dinette in Capitol Hill which serves European style brunch. The menu changes very frequently so you might not get the same stuff every time. Dining in USA tends to veer on the expensive side (USD10 or more) and I guess that’s why most people doggy bag lunches to work. Groceries are way cheaper and a prepped lunch will probably cost about 5USD or so?

Also, the portions in US are huge, I never seemed to be able to finish anything.

Oh, and, I never had a bad coffee ever in Seattle. It simply doesn’t seem to exist – bad coffee I mean.

Dinette
1514 East Olive Way
Seattle, Washington 98122

Broadcast Coffee
1623 Bellevue Ave
Seattle, WA 98122