Dazzled by the Emerald City.

As I’m writing this post, my new Starbucks Pike Place mug (SPECIAL EDITION BABY) is perched on a book next to me, once filled with a homemade latte dusted with cinnamon. Mmmm. So–I’m sure y’all know what I’m writing about today!

I definitely did some of the touristy gems whilst strolling around in scenic Seattle. You know, Pike Place and gawking at the glorious fish on display and trekking up hills in 90 degree heat. Waiting for eons (okay, exaggeration, it wasn’t that bad….) in the line to enter the revered original Starbuck’s to buy the Pike Place mug and blinking rapidly at the flurry of fellow tourist cameras going off everywhere. Eating TO-DIE-FOR chowder at Pike Place Chowder and attempting to creepily offer a pigeon a piece of my bread bowl but that actually just turned out super awkward because the pigeon just ignored me. Call me the pigeon whisperer.

ANYWAYS. I was definitely spoiled that weekend. I was visiting my best friend and she, excellent tour guide, ensured that I had a fantastic foodie experience. For dinner the first night she took me to Din Tai Fung in University Village—which, I learned, is a swanky dim sum restaurant. Awestrucking.

There were these large windows where customers could see the chefs making the dim sum with calm expertise. Pretty legit. And this restaurant is the first one I’ve been taken to (P.F. Chang’s doesn’t count) that doesn’t have the weird Asian restaurant carpets and rickety metal teapots. Or those awesome plastic rice tubs. The place swarmed with activity, and I admired the sleek black furniture and the wall décor of traditional dim sum baskets lining the walls in flowing geometric patterns.

We ordered some noodle dish and this dim sum basket that was like a cross between a siu long bao (a juicy pork dumpling) and a ha gao (shrimp dumpling). Oops, I apologize for my poor attempts at Cantonese English. The dim sum looked like a sea anemone, no joke—the siu long bao was the bottom part and the top part was the shrimp dumpling. But it was delicious. And then we couldn’t stop cracking up when we tried eating the hybrid dumpling because at first bite a lot of savory juices came out….and then I joked that “its water broke”. Good golly.

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Photo creds to Allie Husari! That’s the dumpling I’m talking about.

But after dinner, we still had room in our tummies for ice cream! My friend took me to a place called Molly Moon’s, which is really famous in Seattle.

I tried a sample of their Earl Grey tea ice cream, which was good but I wanted a bigger punch of tea in the flavor. So I jumped in for the Stumptown coffee option instead. I couldn’t help but stick to my Portland roots, and the concoction definitely did not disappoint. The Molly Moon’s employee told me that they grind the beans fresh in the back before adding to the ice cream, and the result is this creamy, robust, and sweet flavor that has just a hint of coffee bean grittiness. I really liked how it wasn’t too heavy as well, making me gladder that I had saved room for dessert.

Day two consisted of a stroll in Pike Place Market. One of the highlights of the day was—you guessed it—digging into that beautiful bread bowl of chowder. I decided to go with the seafood bisque, a steaming tomato-based soup of generous chunks and hunks of salmon, Pacific cod, and crab. All piled in with bits of carrots, taters, celery, and a hearty helping of oyster crackers. Simply exquisite. One of THE best ways to eat seafood. Did you know that Pike Place Chowder even has catering?? Ideas, ideas. I was very reluctant to leave the Emerald City at the end of the afternoon, and alas, I embarked back on the long drive back to Portland. Still, a worthwhile trip!

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