12 Oysters and a Dungeness Crab, please! – Why Seattle is a Cloudy Paradise

Things have been quiet here on After The Market because I have just started a new job (very busy!) after getting back from a trip to visit the Cloudy Paradise of Seattle, inclusive of its neighbouring Cascade Mountains and its islands.

There are many wonderful things about the port that flanks the Salish Sea: the parks, the views, the music (who can forget Nirvana or Jimmy Hendrix (there’s a whole museum devoted to him) and have you heard Macklemore’s ‘Thrift Shop’ yet? We Seattlites are oh so proud…, the art scene and lively coffee shops, however my favourite things, you might have guessed, are the food and drink.

Rich and vibrant and full of cuisine creatives, Seattle is a place to have a foodie experience inclusive of succulent fruit from the state’s orchards, perfectly sweet crab and balanced, briny oysters pulled from the bays, beef grown on grassy island farms and fish straight out of the waters of the Pacific. And did I mention the fried chicken?  It is a feast of color with plenty of cocktails and local wines to drink on the side. The micro brews are incredible too and growing fast thank goodness, because no one can get enough!

I know it’s not considered the sunniest spot for a vacation but for a foodie, you’d be crazy to pass it up. Seattle has got it goin’ on!

If you don’t like the looks of creatures of the sea, look away now, for this is mainly what I ate… and ate, and ate, and ate. In fact, at this point I think I’m so full of omega’s that I might be part fish myself.

So, here’s a run-down of my trip, all of which I’d highly recommend:

The Ballard Annex –
Blue Pool, Treasure Cove, Kusshi, and our favorite Naked Roy oysters with fresh grated horseradish and lemon juice. Bam! The variety of mollusks were well presented and delightfully filled with sea water, each flavour having been explained to us for its level of brine vs sweet. The staff know their stuff. But then, for $2.50 an oyster they ought to… well worth it though. I don’t think I’ve had better oysters.

Then a whole Dungeness Crab to split. Perfectly paired with the recommended rose wine, which cut through the buttery tasting crab with each sip, readying the pallet for the next bite.

And them maybe some more oysters… just to help wash down the rest of this rose.

Ballard Annex Oyster House
5410 Ballard Ave NW< Seattle, Wa 98107 (206) 783-5410  www.ballardannex.com

2) Snap Dragon (Vashon Island)

Fancy a trip to an island for the day? I’d highly recommend a jaunt around Vashon, the perfect little town with a HUGE community feel. Great beaches, whale watching, boating, cycling, art and people watching. The motto of the island is ‘Keep Vashon Weird’. They certainly do – in the most wonderful way.< Along with The Hardware Store, where you can get great burgers and fabulous apple pie (ask for Debbie's), check out Snap Dragon for its incredible salads and delightful baked goods.  I recommend the carrot cake, cream cheese cupcakes, (which are more mug sized than cup).

And the Fresh Pear and Cinnamon Rolls.

Megan and Adam have made a really amazing cafe out of an interesting space right next to the gas station. Disregard the gas station and don’t be fooled by it’s locale, the food is stellar and creative with seasonal dishes and serious flavour, especially tahini.

Veggie only with plenty of vegan options and you’ll never go away hungry. Everything is HUGE and almost all local. Chances are you’re eating something out of a Vashon garden.

Snap Dragon is open 9am-9pm, is kid friendly but quiet and has a very casual feel that welcomes long stays.

Snap Dragon
17817 Vashon Hwy SW
Vashon, WA 98070
(206) 463-1310 

3) Canon

Move on to some boooooozing. Seattle is full of lush cocktail bars, micro brews, hipster stops and bathtub gin, which I sadly didn’t get to try all of – limited time and only one liver… but the main point is that Seattle drinkers set the bar high. (Sorry about that horrible pun…) 

I was delighted by the mastery taking place at Canon in Capital Hill, where you can order 36 brands of Absinthe, over 50 Whiskeys, and a ridiculous number Tequilas. Really for a proper drinker, hence very few seats and a select crowd.


4) The Wandering Goose

Then you may want to make you way over to The Wandering Goose for a Southern food fix to go with the Southern rye settling into your belly. 

The best fried chicken I have ever had (bar my own Southern Gra’ma Noner’s), crispy outside, juicy inside, slightly spicy, not too salty and not too much panko. Seriously, you too can be a fried chicken connoisseur. The grits are great and the collard greens… well what do you think about chard cooked in bacon grease? Yum? 

Yum. Oh and another thing, coconut cake. Get some. We had to reserve ours though so be warned, it gets gone quickly. 

They have 30 seats, do breakfast and lunch daily and dinner on Fridays only. Cooking classes are also on offer and they promise you’ll get your hands dirty. (Jealous.) 

The Wandering Goose
403 15th Ave E (btw Republican and Harrison St)
Seattle, Wa, 98112

And the best thing about my trip? New recipes and inspiration to put out to you! Coming right up: Tarte Tatin, Beignets, Clam Chowder, Crab Cakes, Carnitas, Prawn Fajitas and proper Guacamole… get ready to eat!


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