Archive for the ‘Downtown’ Category

Anchorhead Coffee

March 29, 2017

If you’re a Seattle coffee fiend, you may already know about Anchored Coffee‘s new cafe downtown. But you may not know about the Quaffle – and no, that’s not a reference to Harry Potter’s favorite sport.  The Quaffle is a waffle made from croissant dough, so basically it’s just as magical as Quiddich.

Fluffy and light it’s not, but if you’re after crispy, thick, and buttery pressed pastry, you’ve come to the right place. The cafe is a satisfying place to get work done or catch up with a friend, with retro decor and comfy and spacious surroundings.

And the coffee isn’t bad either!

 

Mr West

February 19, 2017

So many waffle cafes, so little time. I’ve enjoyed Sweet Iron, Arosa, Metier, and many more – and now I can cross Mr. West off my list.  It’s a sweet spot to work (solid wifi), sip coffee, and devour some excellent waffles. I had to choose between several sweet and savory options – there’s a whole waffle bar with toppings to put on your buttermilk or buckwheat waffle. But I went with The King, topped with drizzled almond butter, bananas, bacon, pecans, and maple syrup.

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The buckwheat waffle stood up nicely to the load of toppings and the almond butter was a nice twist on the classic peanut butter. Elvis would have approved. To wash it down, I got the Coffee Egg Cream – a combination of coffee, milk, chocolate syrup, and seltzer.

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Certainly not the same as the NYC classic, but enjoyable nonetheless (and so few places outside NYC even offer an egg cream). This place is a winner, and an easy walk from the downtown light rail station.

Pike Place Bakery

February 5, 2017

This old-school bakery has staying power – it’s been at The Market since the 80s and draws in the tourists thanks to a solid location close to the fish-throwing action.  They get mixed reviews on Yelp, and the sign could probably use an update, but I can’t deny the attraction of their “Texas Donuts” – literally a donut the size of a small child.

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I doubted my ability to eat a Texas Donut, so I asked the saleslady for her recommendations (okay, I WAS confident in my ability, which is why I didn’t get one). I was told to try the buttermilk bar, a sort of donut/pastry with a sweet buttermilk-flavored filling:

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It turned out to be quite tasty. A little too sweet, but it was fresh, buttermilky, and decadent. I ate half and dunked the other half in my coffee the next day – both experiences were highly enjoyable. I also got the Chinese Almond Cookie at the saleslady’s recommendation:

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Now, I don’t love almond flavor so I wasn’t sure I’d like these. And truthfully, they were a little “almondy” for my taste, but I recognized that the buttery texture was on point, the chocolate filling was a nice counterpoint to the sugary almond cookie, and that the cookies were fresh and made with care. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised  – this bakery is not the tourist trap I was expecting.

Shug’s Soda Fountain

July 16, 2016

If you’re tired of the retro decor/food scene, Shug’s probably isn’t for you. But if you are looking for a spot you can take your kids, hipster friend, date, or silent reading group, Shug’s will work for you! (Yes, there was a silent reading group there when I visited, and no, I didn’t ask how to join even though I really, really wanted to.) The space is light, friendly, and hip without being pretentious or gimmicky, and the location makes it a perfect post-Pike Place Market cool-down.

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There are novelty items (which would actually be standard items in New York) like an egg cream and lime rickey, beer floats, shakes, sundaes, and house-made sodas. The Sundaes were the most intriguing part of the menu – the Brown Derby involves a Mighty-O donut – and I selected the Crested Lourie:

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Coconut ice cream, pineapple, Grenadine, and cashew-coconut brittle. I gave the sundae a thumbs up overall, although the pineapple could have been fresher and the brittle would have been easier to deal with if it were broken up. My date got the Kitty Canutt:

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Cinnamon ice cream, apple compote, and graham cracker crumble. I’d like to return and try their egg cream, malts, and sodas… and maybe that Brown Derby sundae. Because donut.

Choukette

July 9, 2016

I don’t spend a ton of time in Pike Place Market or downtown Seattle, but for various reasons I’ve found myself there several times in the last few weeks. I’ve been surprised to discover the many hidden gems to be found below the market, on Western, including the newly opened Choukette – a bakery specializing solely in eclairs. Apparently, however, it’s not secret enough, because the shop was almost sold out by noon thanks to some unexpected publicity from Seattle Met and an eclair-loving populace.

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There were, luckily, a few eclairs remaining and I was able to try the lemon curd and the salted caramel flavors.

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To be sure, these works of art are meant to be appreciated by aficionados – while they are neither large nor cheap, neither are they bland, stale, or overly sweet. The pastry dough was light and pillowy and was the perfect accompaniment to the cream. The best part, however, were the toppings. The lemon curd was bright and tart, and the salted caramel was the right notes of sweet-salty. Hopefully this little shop can keep up with demand so that I can come back and try other flavors!

Moore Coffee Shop

March 30, 2016

This cozy downtown coffee shop is known for its “latte art” – this goes beyond the usual heart or wavy pattern – but the beauty here is more than foam-deep. Try the Nutella mocha for a decadent pick-me-up (although the Aztec with cinnamon and other spices is also delicious):

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The Moore Coffee Shop also makes sandwiches and sells amazing homemade tamales, but I came mainly for the waffles on my last visit. Made fresh while you watch, there are both sweet and savory options (I need to try the bacon waffle with marscapone cheese). Sticking with my theme of the day, I got a Nutella waffle with banana.

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This simple combo has always been a favorite of mine (I blame/thank Paris for that) but I liked the American addition of maple syrup. Truly a treat.

Pear

July 21, 2014

Pear Deli, IMO, is one of the most underrated lunch spots in Pike Place Market, but the nice thing about this is it’s rarely overly crowded. One of my favorite sandwiches, the grilled cheese with pear, is made fresh here while you wait, and while you wait, you might as well… eat dessert! Especially when there are amazing pear tarts with a perfect pastry/cake texture:

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This was seriously one of the best pastries I’ve eaten in Seattle, and if you follow this blog, you know I eat a lot of pastries. In the name of research, I also grabbed a whoopee pie (for those who don’t know the joys of this Northeastern American dessert, it’s a pair of soft cakey cookies with sweet whipped cream in the middle).

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The cookies were velvety and soft, and solidly cocoa in flavor. The cream was fresh, homemake, and with just the right amount of sweetness. The picture also doesn’t do it justice in size – this thing was the size of a hamburger. Overall, these were the best desserts I’ve had in a while, and were among the best you’ll find at the Market (and maybe even Seattle). Next time you’re at Pike Place, don’t pass Pear by without giving it a try!

Michou

July 12, 2014

There is no shortage of lunch spots in Pike Place Market, and Michou Deli stands out as being one of the best. It’s one of my favorite places to grab a sandwich or salad or sample some unique fare (you’ll find prepared salads using farro, quinoa, or couscous as a base). So I was a little surprised when I finally tried their desserts and found them to be less than I expected. Sure, they’re unusual (where else, other than the Mediterranean, can you find a Tunisian Doughnut?), and maybe my American sweet tooth couldn’t discern the more subtle textures and tastes of international sweets, but I found the snacks I tried to be dry and not terribly flavorful.

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The big circle is the Tunisian Doughnut, which was harder and more breadlike than I was hoping. I thought it also could have used a little more sugar. The little circle is a zeppole, which is an Italian doughnut hole. Again, a lighter texture and more spice and/or sugar would have helped me love this (or maybe I am meant to dip it in coffee?). Finally, the bar cookie (chocolate with a vanilla crust) was actually a little too sweet for me.

Definitely try Michou for a take-out lunch, but I’d say get your desserts elsewhere… and there’s lots of places to choose from!

 

Cinnamon Works

September 4, 2012

So many Pike’s Place Market bakeries… what’s a girl to do? (Try them all. This is the logical conclusion). On a recent trip to the Market, I stopped by Cinnamon Works for the first time.

It’s one of those places that I’d walked by dozens of times, never quite tempted enough to sample the wares (too much focus on gluten-free for my taste).  People say their gluten-free cinnamon buns are very good, but I just can’t imagine life without flour. I selected a regular chocolate chip cookie and an oatmeal raisin cookie.

To tell the truth, I found both to be fine but unremarkable. The chocolate chip cookie was too crackly and thin, and the oatmeal raisin cookie was too dense. People have given this place pretty good reviews on Yelp, so I imagine I’ll try some different goods next time and be more impressed.

 

The Confectional

June 13, 2011

“Forgive me chocolate for I have sinned… I have not yet had my daily confection.”  This is the greeting on The Confectional’s website, which entices viewers with a slideshow of endless cheesecakes. Even more enticing were the free samples that I stumbled upon one afternoon when I checked out their new Capitol Hill location – a quieter, more user-friendly bakery with tables and chairs to eat at.

The Confectional serves an impressive array of cheesecakes and cheesecake truffles, and they make an effort to keep in tune with the season (with summer here, they’ve started serving up a key lime variety).  As I said, upon my arrival I was greeted with a tray of free samples, and was encouraged to try one of each. I sampled the raspberry, the lemon, and the Kahlua.

The lemon cheesecake stood out to me over the others, and the guy working there said it was his favorite as well. I decided it was worth taking one home with me. To satisfy my constant craving for peanut butter, I also got a peanut butter cheesecake truffle.  The truffle was decent, but the lemon cheesecake was really worth the calories:

The lemon flavor was pronounced, but tempered by the white chocolate. The texture was dense and creamy, and satisfied this east coast cheesecake lover.  A great summer dessert for when you need a break from ice cream (that is, assuming it ever gets warm enough for ice cream!), and they also make great gifts for people like me!