Woodinvale wineries en route to Seattle

April 16, 2011

We stop at two wineries that were on our original culinary tour to Seattle, way back in 1999: Columbia and Chateau Ste. Michelle. Since our tour, wineries have increased from about 70 to well over 200. The route definitely looks different…A wine passport event is taking place, so at 11 am, it’s very busy with limos and busses carrying passengers with wine glasses and wine passports in hand. They have 40 wineries involved in the event. It’s too busy for a wine tasting, so Jon and I enjoy exploring the gift shops. I purchase a new cookbook on northwest hors d’oeuvres paired with wines, three small acacia bowls and wine pouring supplies (an aerator and filter). Now we’re off to Seattle!

We arrive at the Pike Place Market at 12:30 pm on this Saturday and lucky for us, we find a parking spot several blocks north of the market.

The market is packed and line-ups are everywhere: out the door at Starbucks (where I had my first latte in 1983), the Piroshky store. I’m looking for the Three Sisters Bakery and their rugulach (we’re still outside of Pike Place Market proper). It’s storefront is being renovated “to keep their 104 year old market going for another 100 years…” and they are located somewhere inside the market. If you’ve ever been to the Pike Place Market, getting around is maze-like: lots of levels with twists and turns…We enter the market at the bronze pig and Pike Place fish has a huge crowd around their fish display. This vendor is famous not only for their fish, but making it World Famous. Their special style of customer service has a way of making your forget your troubles and just focus on the shenanigans that are taking place in front of your eyes and the next thing you know, you’re being thrown a fresh fish! Their customer service has been branded and boxed as a training program and I’m proud to say that Gourmet Goodies invested in it in 2002. Great memories of kitchen staff in their whites waving in unison to cars driving by the kitchen, or deliberately making customers smile and laugh when they called in to place an order.

We walk the full length of the market, noting places to stop later for grocery purchases, and then we stumble upon the Three Sisters Bakery in its temporary location on a lower level. We order a Reuben sandwich on Russian black bread and a walnut and raisin rugulach (a cream cheese pastry, sprinkled with chopped walnuts, raisins, cinnamon and sugar and rolled up like a crescent and baked). Ah, my food memories are matched with my present ones!

We continue our outside the market, walking to Pioneer Square. In 1999 this area was trendy and vibrant, but now we’ve noticed that many shops are closed and the ‘life’ of the area has changed.

Walk back to the market and purchase some groceries for dinner in our van: pork chops stuffed with breadcrumbs, spinach and cheese (2 for $7) and broccolini. Walk past the flower stands and enjoy the beautiful fresh cut spring flowers – large bunches are $10 or less.

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