As I mentioned in my last blog, I just recently visited Seattle for business trip. Of course it could not be all work and all play! I’ve decided to start my series of blogs about my travels with the historic Pike Place Market. Naturally, I’d like to give you a little history: Pike Place Market was originally started back in the 1907 as an outcry to the outrageous prices that the middlemen were charging for fresh fruit and vegetables. Basically they were acting like greedy Americans, purchasing the produce and marketing it up to make big bucks on the margin. Umm…I wonder where they learned that?! Anyway, luckily these farmers wisened up [and listened to the people], and Pike Place Market became the bustling mecca that it is today!
Sure…we all know Starbucks began in Seattle and seriously, for someone who doesn’t even LIKE this java chain (sorry!), I still had to get a picture of the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market. Yep – we all know why their house blend is called “Pike Place”.
Of course I’ve heard of the “flying fish” at the Pike Place Fish Market and I quickly learned that the reason why the owner began this policy of encouraging his fishmongers to throw around the fresh catch and chant along with each other was to inspire a business that was on the verge of bankruptcy – who knew? You can read about the story in John Yokoyama’s book entitled When Fish Fly. If you’re really ambitious, buy some fish to take home because they guarantee no leaking or stinking for 24 hours (though I’d hate to be sitting next to the person on the plane if that claim failed).
Walking through the market was quite a zoo and filled with slow moving tourists, so I recommend getting there early to browse the unique wares. Among the items for sale were paintings, scarves, jewelry, honey, lotions, flowers and so much more!
Naturally you must take a pit stop to rub the nose of the golden pig for good luck!
I didn’t even know about this infamous gum wall until I checked in on Foursquare (thanks tipster!), but I stumbled onto this colorful wall of ABC gum, which is simultaneously disgusting and breathtaking at the same time.
Seeing as it was 80 degrees the whole time I was there, I didn’t know if I could handle the heat from the Pike Place Chowder, so I am saving the pleasure of indulging for the next time I venture up to The Evergreen State. I did, however, enjoy a cup of the “World’s Best Mac ‘n Cheese” from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese (definitely best I’ve ever had) and devour an Onion-Potato-Cheese Piroshky from Piroshky Piroshky (there’s something about the carb-carb-cheese ratio that just gets my engines goin’).
Another culinary treat I indulged in? Ice cream. But not just any….Pomegranate Cheesecake from Snoqualmie Ice Cream, a local purveyor. They did have some ice cream from a San Francisco vendor up there, but I just had to get the local stuff, yaddamean! I was glad to see SF representing to the fullest, though.
Last but not least, I’ve got to include the random tidbit in here. Sure, it’s not in Pike Place, but Top Pot Hand Foraged Doughnuts had to make it in somewhere, right? I held off for 2 whole days, which was a struggle given that this outpost of sugary goodness was only 1.5 blocks from my hotel. The build–up came to a finale with the Raspberry Old-Fashioned, which satisfied my cravings and effectively made the happy places in my brain *sing*. If I ever go back, I would bring a friend (or 5) to break bread with and share in these doughnuts as featured on the Cooking Channel!
Pike Place Market felt like a huge version of San Francisco’s Ferry Building, so I felt right at home and in my element. Rich with history and filled with tons of vendors, this is a must on any Seattle itinerary, and plan on spending AT LEAST a few hours browsing and exploring!