Food Travelogue: Seattle/Tacoma

Pike’s Place Market

Alec and I recently visited Seattle and Tacoma for a tour of a few colleges. I have always loved the area, in fact it’s where Matt & I honeymooned. The culture and people feel a lot like Minnesota–friendly, outdoorsy and full of an appreciation for art and sense of place.

We had less than 48 hours so we didn’t do much other than visiting the campuses in Tacoma and downtown Seattle. I was quite surprised by how different the two cities are–again, it felt like Minneapolis vs St. Paul. Tacoma is definitely a “big” town that feels small. Lots of local stores, independently owned, beautiful art throughout the city (a glass museum that I wished we’d had time to visit). Of course, gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier and Puget Sound. Alec was annoyed by the number of times I said “Look another rainbow!” It does rain A LOT, but at least it’s not snow 😉

The area is known for its coffee and beer, and actually a growing winemaking and craft distilling (whiskey primarily) community. I hope I get to go back soon for more grownup sampling. We stuck to coffee and what goes great with coffee? Breakfast foods! Some food highlights:

  • Breakfast biscuits with spicy remoulade at Biscuit Bitch (who could resist a name like that!)
  • Chocolate sandcastle donut, a chocolate cinnamon sugar combo. I’d go back to try salted caramel.
  • Bacon cheddar waffle at Red Elm Cafe in Tacoma. The 2 sisters who recently opened this charming spot were so friendly I wanted to hang out all day.

I’m very grateful Alec gives me excuses to travel and eat! 😊



The beauty of place (eating local on Kauai)

Being in a new place always recharges my soul, and one that is as beautiful as Kauai is almost unparalleled. 10 days in paradise, can’t wait to go back (with the boys, I promise!)

Food highlights:

  • Hawaiian shave ice. (Yes, “shave” not “shaved” is correct.) To compare this to a snow cone is like calling a Lambourghini just a car. It’s light, ice snowflakes topped with exotic flavors like guava/passionfruit/mango, served over macadamia nut ice cream and drizzled with cream. Yum. 
  • Sashimi ahi. Just look at the color on that fish! 
  • Longboard beer, a refreshing nutty lager. Pairs surprisingly well with ahi. You can find it on the mainland.
  • Poke. Endless variety–the best we found was at Koloa Fish Market. Avocado (I’m forever spoiled by butter avocados from the farmer’s market), spicy ahi, chili pepper ahi and spicy shrimp were some of our favorites. 
  • Gorilla bowl, which was a poke bowl on steroids with ahi, ona and salmon, plus avocado, cucs, unagi, wasabi aioli. This is Kauai in a bowl!!!
  • Acai bowl, which is like a smoothie in a bowl topped with fruit, granola, yogurt and coconut. The idea is that the bowl slows down how fast you eat it 😇 I’m mixing this into the breakfast routine at home because it’s so nutritious and filling (even if I have to use frozen, not fresh, fruit). With a cup of Kauai-grown coffee of course!

We will go back…this is a place where “eating local” is delicious!

Oysters on the Embarcadero


We just returned from a mother-son trip to San Francisco. Mostly we were looking at a few colleges, but it was also a chance to eat! 

It’s a joy to travel with Alec because he’s adventurous–I never have to search out “kid-friendly” menus, we just find the best places, including trying new foods like oysters. (“Mostly they taste like whatever you put on them,” was his summary.)
We ate our way through the Ferry Building. Highlights: the gruyere on the breakfast sandwich from Cowgirl Creamery, strawberry icecream from Humphrey Slocombe, mexican street corn from Gotts, cold press from Blue Bottle coffee, salami sandwich from Boccalone/Acme Bread. And of course eating oysters outside in one of the greatest cities in the world 😉

Some say the boys are spoiled. I think I’m the one who’s lucky.