As a tribute to Seattle, I have compiled a list of all of my favorite restaurants and places to shop that I discovered while living in the area (Part 1). My next post will include all of my favorite foods I have been privileged enough to enjoy while living in the Pacific Northwest (Part 2). I highly encourage you to try these out if you haven’t already. I’m really going to miss all of them.
This pizza is by far my all time favorite pizza! The crust has a crisp exterior, and it’s chewy on the inside. It has delicious, flavorful sauce with a hint of heat and just the right amount of cheese. My favorite flavors are the basic cheese, pepperoni, and fresh veggie pizzas.
I would love to have the recipe to this wonderful crust and it will now be my mission to recreate it. I’m also not a huge salad fan, but the Pagliaccio salad is the best I’ve ever eaten. It has green leaf lettuce, garbanzo beans, salami, kasseri cheese, red peppers, red onions and their house dressing, which is a Dijon vinaigrette. On our last visit, I asked about the dressing ingredients and I’m going to try to recreate it on my own as well.
I’ve actually only ordered one item on the menu, the Sonoran Spa Chicken (pictured). It is so good, I haven’t wanted to try anything else. I originally read about the Spa Chicken in one of my foodie magazines and went to try it out at the restaurant. It was love at first bite! Sonoran Spa Chicken is two grilled chicken breasts with a portobello mushroom and spinach topped with a vegetable escabeche (pickle vegetables), Cotija cheese, pepitas (pumpkin seeds). On top are two flavorful secret sauces: sunshine mojo and lime chimichurri. That sounds like a lot of components to me, but it comes together beautifully. And, I think feel like I’m eating healthy!
Cactus also makes a terrific specialty drink called Sage. It consists of sage leaves shaken with gin, tangerine, lime juice, and agave nectar. Usually I think of sage as an herb used for turkey on Thanksgiving but in this drink, it is delicious and not at all overpowering. This drink is definitely a must try! My husband thinks their mojitos are the best.
Saulty’s on Alki:
Salty’s on Alki is the restaurant with the best view of the Seattle skyline that you can find in the area. Not only does it have a wide selection of local fish and a wonderful brunch buffet, it also has delicious desserts. It has been a favorite place for my husband and I to go for birthdays and special occasions. They usually give you a free piece of their famous White Chocolate Mousse Cake, on these such occasions. When I go, I usually order the filet mignon, and the Grand Marnier Cheesecake, which is decadent and heavenly. To be honest, I usually skip the piece of cake and go straight for the cheesecake, which is the perfect size to share (although I’d could eat the whole thing myself). I don’t really taste much of the Grand Marnier. I think of it as an ultra creamy cheesecake with the perfect Oreo crust enrobed in dark chocolate. This has to be one of the best desserts that I have ever experienced!
Azul Restaurant and Lounge:
Before my daughter came along, my husband and I would visit Azul once every week or two. We don’t get to go as often these days, but it is still one of our favorite places to eat. Our favorite menu items are the Carne Asada (pictured) and Salmon with Mango Salsa. They also do some crazy good stuff to their green beans (which are served with both of these entrees) and I just can’t get enough of them. The Carne Asada is perfectly seasoned and served with chunky mashed potatoes. The salmon is also served with seasoned sweet potato fries.
If you are in the mood for a mixed drink, my husband loves the top shelf margarita, but my favorite drink is the Pear Martini. Last time I didn’t see it on the menu, but I’m sure they’ll make it for you if you ask.
Where do I begin?… I lived in Seattle for 9 years, and there are several big coffee companies in the area, but by far, Tully’s is my favorite. Before I lived in the PNW, I thought Starbucks was THE coffee. I discovered it one summer when I was in high school. It was a big deal when they finally put in a Starbucks at the new big chain bookstore that was just built in the small town where I went to college. It seemed like there used to be a Starbuck’s on every street corner. But if you ask me, Tully’s is the best coffee the Northwest has to offer. I’m a total convert. Tully’s got me through many early mornings working at Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn and there is just no coffee that compares to its creamy smooth taste. No burnt coffee beans, just rich, bold, high quality espresso beans. I just don’t know what I’m going to do without it. Hopefully I can find someone to ship some to me.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
We first tried Chateau Ste. Michelle soon after moving to the area and after going on several tours at the winery, decided to join their wine club. The grounds are beautiful and every summer they host numerous outdoor concerts where you can bring a picnic and enjoy their delicious wine selection. Over the past few years they’ve made many upgrades to the tasting rooms and it’s a very pleasant place to try new wines and spend a sunny afternoon. My daughter loves finding the resident peacocks and watching the fish and ducks in the ponds.
There are numerous markets that carry terrific local meat, fish, and produce. My favorite is the Central Market in Mill Creek. They have top-notch produce, a large organic section, and high quality meat and fish. My daughter’s favorite thing about taking a trip to the market is to look at the huge tanks of Dungeness crabs and to drive the mini shopping carts. I have always encountered very friendly staff, who let you try out deli meat and specialty cheeses, give advice, and offer to tenderize or de-bone your meat. In the warmer months, you can find a great selection of fresh flowers and plants. The fish counter also makes a terrific crab and artichoke dip that goes great with a fresh baguette.
A couple of friends referred me to the wonderful organic produce of Full Circle Farms. This company delivers weekly or every other week boxes of fresh, in season organic produce and locally sourced grocery items. It has been a great way to try out and incorporate new fruits and vegetables into my diet. I love the fact that the boxes are customizable so I could switch out items that I didn’t care for and they offer a variety of sizes to meet your family’s needs. You can pick up your box at a many local businesses but I had mine delivered for a small charge. I loved that mine were delivered early in the morning and they were there for me when I got up. If I was ever dissatisfied with the quality of any item, they promptly credited my account for the item. They also include recipes in the box (and on their website) so if you don’t know how to use an item, these are easy ways to get ideas! Full Circle is where I discovered one of my favorite cheeses, Mt. Townsend Creamery New Moon Cheese, which I will be sharing with you in my next tribute post.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Foodie Tribute to the Northwest where I will tell you all about my favorite local foods, especially cheeses, that I’ve come to love.
*I’d love to hear all about any of your favorite local restaurants/places to shop and any recommendations you might have for restaurants in the Northern VA/DC area. Please leave a comment with your thoughts/suggestions.