If you read my last post, you might have guessed where I was the past few days. I headed to the Evergreen State to my dear friend Audrey in Seattle. She just started nursing school at UW and graciously hosted me for the weekend. It was my first visit to the city (unless you count a layover in the airport, which I don't) and I was really struck by how much Seattle has to offer. The scenery is gorgeous - there are bodies of water everywhere and mountains galore. No wonder Seattle residents are so outdoorsy! On a clear day you can see Mount Rainier in the distance, and we snuck a peek the day I arrived as it was just barely poking out through the clouds. I also enjoyed seeing the variety of neighborhoods, charming houses, and locally-owned businesses.
Some of the highlights of our weekend included sunset views and city lights from the top of the Space Needle, visiting Pike Place Market, touring the UW campus, a beautiful run along Lake Union, a great 4-hour hike, and checking out several parks and other scenic areas.
Oh, let's not forget the food :) Seattle is fantastic in that it has a plethora of ethnic restaurants, locally-owned places, and countless organic, vegetarian, and vegan options. In other words, you won't have any trouble finding something for everyone. Here's a taste of all the yumminess we experienced!
Visit Pagliacci Pizza around Seattle for fantastic gourmet pizza. Here's our pie:
A slice loaded with tomato sauce, goat cheese, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, artichoke hearts, and drizzled with pesto. Look at that gooey cheese! It was awesome :)
After pizza we hit up T.S. McHugh's, a great Irish pub, for a few pints. I really enjoyed my Mac & Jack's Amber Ale, courtesy of another friendly local brewery. Alas, pizza-induced food coma = no picture taking at the bar :) Audrey had to study the next morning, so we headed over to Café on the Ave. close to the UW campus for lunch/studying/Facebooking :) I had a delicious veggie sandwich (baguette, hummus, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and pickles) and veggie soup:
On our visit that afternoon to Pike Place Market I couldn't help but drool over the gorgeous pastries at Le Panier. Check out these works of art.
Isn't this meringue exquisite? Now that's what I call a work of art :)
Our dinner later that evening took place at Qazi's Indian Curry House, in the Fremont district. Here's Ryan's (Audrey's boyfriend) vegetable dish:
Audrey ordered Tandoori chicken, and yes, it really was that bright!
My chicken and lentils dish. It doesn't look pretty, but it tasted great!
My plate of Indian goodness. The lighting made it hard to take a picture, but I think the blurriness captures the excitement and energy of the flavors all coming together. Don't forget fluffy basmati rice :)
What's dinner without dessert? We walked off our Indian food and headed to Molly Moon's, a ice creamery that prides itself on creating fresh, homemade ice creams and sorbets using all-natural and local ingredients. They made waffle cones right in front of us at the counter and man, it smelled heavenly. I chose blackberry sorbet and spiced cider sorbet for my waffle cone. Yum!
Of course, lots of eating requires exercising to work it off :) Here's me and Audrey (and Ryan's finger on the lens :) ) on our Sunday afternoon hike! There was a beautiful waterfall right behind us, but alas the angle doesn't capture it.
Hiking works up an appetite for healthy food to fill you up. Ryan had stumbled upon Chaco Canyon Organic Café a while back, and we headed over for a delicious vegetarian AND organic meal. Seattle rocks :) I had a delicious kale and veggie soup (I think there were sweet potatoes in it), sprouted grain toast, and a lovely house salad with lots of fresh veggies. It really hit the spot!
It was a brisk and drizzly day before I headed out of town, so Audrey and I stopped for a delicious Puerto Rican lunch at La Isla in Ballard. It was my first time trying Puerto Rican cuisine and I was not disappointed. I found it very similar to several Cuban and other Caribbean and Latin American dishes I sampled while living in Miami.
My Pollo Guisado bowl: pulled chicken over rice topped with green onions, an avocado wedge, and tostones (fried plantain fritters) and garlic mojito sauce on the side. ¡Buen provecho!
There you have it, folks. I also sampled delicious espresso from Caffé Vita, a local coffee roastery, as well as a to-DIE-for chocolate chip cookie from Cinnamon Works at Pike Place Market. Unfortunately, my stomach devoured them both before I could get my camera out :)
I try to make it a habit to support local businesses whenever I visit somewhere new, especially since you can visit Starbizzle on every city block in practically any major city in the world. Besides, it's much more fun to eat like the locals do :)
What are some of your favorite local watering holes?