As I’ve said, Seattle lacks a list of 101 foods and drinks that you need to try. I like lists, OK. Just ask Double S. On our first date, I asked her her top 5 favorite bands and top 5 favorite movies and I’m still dealing witht ramification of those questions. it’s tough to be me. Anyway, so this lack of a 101 list is not a life threatening thing, but who doesn’t want to try to taste 101 different things in a city? Answer: Nobody. Don’t travelers or newbies to the City need…nay, deserve such a list? Hell, when I first moved here, I thought all Seattle had was one disgusting terriyaki joint after another. Yeah, I called it disgusting. Mystery meat coated in a sweet sauce. Yum! Sarcasm. Anyway, I say yes (to my earlier question). I started a few weeks ago and came up with my first 5, including salads and dry sodas and pastries and ice creams! Here are the next 5.
- Fran’s Gray Salt Dark Chocolate Caramels. I’m a big lover of the salty sweet combo. Lucky for me, salt caramels are pretty popular right now. The best of the best, according to yours truly, are from Fran’s. The Vancouver list I mentioned sends you to some Canadian salt caramels, and they’re pretty good, but Fran’s, man! The quality of the chocolate and of the buttery caramel and the amount of and quality of the salt on top are perfect. Don’t skimp on the salt! Fran herself has three locations in Seattle, and I’ve also seen these around town in fine groceries and markets. BTW, the Obama’s discovered these on the campaign trail, and love ’em as well. That doesn’t make me forgive him for the drilling and the problems with the health care bill, but, a fun fact.
- Poppy‘s Nutter Butters. Poppy is a super popular newish restaurant on Capitol Hill. Their thing is thalis, many individual dishes served together on one tray. The place is highly seasonal too. For instance, right now they have nettle soup. We didn’t make it there for a dinner thali, but we got a dessert thali during my birthday weekend extravaganza. The nutter butters were the highlight, especially if, like me, you grew up eating Nabisco Nutter Butters. Nutters Butters were the F’ing S, y’all! Way better than those girl scout peanut butter cookies, probably because they had more chemicals, thereby making the peanut butter creamier and the cookies better. Of course, I sang the jingle when our tray arrived. I couldn’t find a commercial from my day (80s!), but I did find this slightly creepy version of it from the 70s. I guess I’ve been in the wrong line of work too long, but this guy just screams chester molester. His PO better not find out he’s at that playground! I’m sorry! I’m jaded!
Anyway, Thali’s nutter butters are a delicious blast from the past. One inch cubes of peanut buttery goodness, with a flaky bottom half reminiscent of the best Butterfinger you ever had. PS, the chef at Thali, Jerry Traunfeld, is going to be on Top Chef Masters (three Seattle chefs!), starting this Wednesday, which will last me till we get the real Top Chef some time later in the summer.
- Tall Grass Bakery‘s olive fougasse. This bakery is in my old nabe. If you are walking by and they’re open, do pop in and get a fresh baguette. They are awesome when they’re fresh. Double S and I have been fans of their olive fougasse, which basically looks like a large artisinal pretzel with delicious olives and onions baked in. An olive bread pretzel, people, you cannot go wrong. We’ll sometimes have this for dinner with cheese and olive oil, maybe some salami and wine and a salad. All from the farmer’s market. Seasonal!
- Jolly Roger Taproom‘s onion rings: Best onion rings around, son! The Taproom recently moved from it’s little spot right under the Ballard Bridge to a new spot on Ballard Way. The Taproom has Maritime Pacific beer, brewed right there in Ballard. My favorite is the Old Seattle Lager, but I don’t like those super hoppy beers that everyone in Seattle craps their pants over. Which of course reminds me of this. Look, it’s Dr. Spaceman! So sue me, I love portrayals of incompetent professionals. My Yelp avatar is Lionel Hutz. My resume has been submitted several times to I Can’t Believe It’s a Law Firm. RIP Phil Hartman!
- Veraci‘s pepperoni slice: When I first moved to Seattle, I was distraught at the state of the pizza situation here. Not anymore, friends! The first of my good Seattle pizza finds is Veraci. Veraci has a store front, sure, but the best place to get it is from their traveling wood fired oven at the farmer’s market. You can find them year round at the Ballard and Fremont farmer’s markets.
This is great Neopolitan pizza, chums. Wood fired oven. Thin thin thin crust, ever so slightly charred, which is the only way it should be, cooked for just a couplea minutes. They have all the West Coast pizza toppings you could want, but why bother? Classic pepperoni is where it’s at, friends.
90 to go!