Saturday, September 20, 2014

IFBC 2014 Pre-Con: Feel Good Foodies Hit Pike Place Market

Almost everything we do at Feel Good Foodies is planned down to the T, planning is a big part of our day jobs, after all. Our approach to 'Day 1' in Seattle was no different, and despite our late-night arrival on Wednesday, we set our alarms for 9 a.m. Thursday, aiming to roll out of bed and conveniently cross the street to explore Pike Place Market. Well, anticipation got the best of us, and we both popped out of bed by 8 a.m. ready to go. We spent the entire day exploring this little but robust part of the city.

After walking past the original Starbucks for a quick picture (I was a barista for three years, so this was a must-do!), we entered the Market and were greeted by friendly vendors and lots of samples. Some of our favorites included:

Sampling smoked salmon and talking NYC with the guys from City Fish Co.

Tasting just about every preserve, marmalade and sauce that Woodring Northwest had to offer (try the strawberry rhubarb)!

Indulging in Black Forest and Pinot Noir cherries from the adorable folks at Chukar Cherries.

...And tasting every single oil and balsamic vinegar from OMG! Olive Oils. We both decided we couldn't live without the White Truffle Oil. Favorite balsamics included White D'Anjou Pear and Barrel Aged Vanilla Fig.

All of this tasting occurred before breakfast, but we found it in ourselves to roll over to Lowell's for a late brunch.

I had the San Juan Benedict (one smoked salmon and one crab), and Alycia had the blueberry, lemon, ricotta pancakes. The Benedict was perfect. I liked that it was atop sourdough bread rather than an English muffin, and the seasoning on the Holandaise sauce was just right. The pancakes were rich and sweet, and everything tasted incredibly fresh.

The main attraction of the day though was catching a fish at the Pike Place Fish Market. You'll be happy to know that we both succeeded.

We rewarded ourselves with a tasting flight at The Pike Brewing Company, and a walk through Post Alley to leave our mark.

We stopped through the aquarium during octopus feeding time, which was quite incredible. Did you know that octopus change colors depending on what they're doing? When they're active they turn an amazing red color, but if they're sleeping they tend to camouflage with their surroundings (sorry, no pictures). 

When we thought we were done for the day, until we happened upon Copperworks Distilling Company, a local craft distillery and tasting room, on our walk back to the hotel. 

This vodka, let me tell you. It had just enough of a hint of vanilla, and it was so smooth. The gin was good as well, less dry than your standard and just a bit more subtle in flavor. The third that we tried was a limited edition malt barrel gin, aged in an American Oak barrel that was previously used to age malt whiskey. The taste was complex and interesting, and I'd love to see a skilled bartender creatively incorporate this one into a signature cocktail. 

Ok, I'm exhausted just writing about this day. Alycia will pick back up later to tell you about the best sushi we've ever experienced.

Feel good,

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