New York City

A direct flight and a memorable NYC cab ride deposited me, My Friend A, and My Friend K at the Double Tree in the middle of Times Square.  

I’ve seen the city on television, but I had no idea what I would soon be experiencing.

After a quick check in, we were off to explore.  Over the next 4 days, we walked, and walked, and walked.  Our feet hurt so badly the first couple of days that we could barely walk to the bed to rest.  That is not an exaggeration!

We had a great trip, seeing many of the tourist sights, hearing the sounds of the city, and dodging the sea of yellow cabs.  My Friend K became an expert subway navigator.  We scouted Manhattan from 82nd street south, through Belvedere Castle in Central Park, through part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, down into the Apple Store, up to the top of the Empire State Building, and southeast through Brooklyn to Coney Island.  

We easily found Starbucks, Amy’s Bread, Serendipity III, and Chelsea Market.  And we walked by countless bakeries, restaurants, and street vendors.

Here’s the link to New York City.

first view of Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA

The Pike Place Market tour was to begin at Starbucks (not the original one) located at Pike Street and 1st Avenue.  I arrived early, not knowing where to park nor where to walk nor where Pike and 1st intersected.

Who would travel without GPS assistance?  The handy little device directed me to The Public Market Parking Garage, conveniently located at 1531 Western Avenue.  I paid $15 for parking.  Some may consider this pricey; however, Seattle traffic is intense.  For a non-resident such as me, the ease of access was worth the dollars.  A nice young lady, walking her bicycle, escorted me up the elevator to the 7th floor.  From this landing one can view the shipping yard and the market wall.  Little did I know what awaited on the other side of that wall.

As I opened the door, and proceeded inside, I was instantly overwhelmed.  There, displayed as far as the eye could see, were shelves and rows and racks and benches heaving with a food lover’s ‘stuff.’  Knowing I could not loiter, I moved along to the assigned destination, all the while assured that before me lay a day of sensory overload.

Pause for a personal endorsement -
I highly, highly, highly recommend the Savor Seattle Food Tours.  I can triple highly recommend this business since I participated in three of their tours.  All were equally informative, led by knowledgeable tour guides, entertaining, and well organized.  All three offered an ample array of tasting opportunities.

Once equipped with communication devices, and served a taste of pomegranate iced tea at Starbucks (dark brown exterior building and brown logo rather than the traditional green), the “Pike Place Market:  Classics Food and Culture Tour” began.

Keep in mind that we were only tasting at all the stops, so portions were small yet quite adequate.

Daily Dozen Donuts -

  • small, just baked and still warm, sugar-cinnamon dusted donuts

MarketSpice -

  • their signature tea: cinnamon-orange, naturally sweet iced tea (very good)
  • smoked salt (reminded me of a grill; later returned to the store and sent my brother’s samples of the salt)

Pike Place Fish – The tourist attraction, and tourists were thickly packed around the long counter.  Yes, we saw the fish fly directly into the hands of one from our tour.    We tasted three smoked salmon samples; all were absolutely delicious!  I think these were the three:   

  • Alderwood-smoked Garlic and Pepper Salmon
  •  Alderwood-smoked Salmon
  • Alderwood-smoked Salmon Belly Strips (an alternative to beef jerky)

Frank’s Quality Produce -

  • thinly sliced, juice dripping plums 
  • round, plump bing cherries

Pike Place Chowder -

  • the award winning clam chowder was thick and rich and just perfect; 
  • the seafood bisque was not my favorite because it was too fishy, which is what one would expect of seafood bisque

Chukar Cherries -

  • savory peach-cherry salsa which was delicious with chips
  • dried bing cherries; I returned to purchase these for my granola recipes
  • black forrest chocolate cherries 
  • mocha cherry 
  • a raspberry truffle which is a dried cranberry coated in white chocolate and dusted with red raspberry powder
  • milk chocolate honey pecans (Yum, yum, yum to all these items.  I think I have listed the cherry-tastings somewhat accurately; we tasted so many!)

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

  • made-on-the-premises cheddar cheese, cubed and served on crackers
  • award winning macaroni and cheese
  • Serious Eats great blog post – click here 


  • Apple cinnamon roll
  • Savory Russian Smoked salmon pate piroshky

Etta’s Seafood Restaurant – a Tom Douglas restaurant

  • Mini Dungeness crab cakes 
  • Lemon tart 

The guide shared vendor trivia as we walked along the tour route, as well as history/trivia of the area.

As you can see, we tasted so many different delicacies.  The list is long, and maybe it’s only important to me (and the vendors), but I wanted you to experience the tour, virtually.  Alone, I could have walked through the marked, looked around, and wondered.  Led by the tour guide, we were escorted around, and in front of, and behind.  And we were fed instantly; no waiting in line, no overstuffing, and no doggie bags.

I’ll post information related to the other tours soon, as well as a link to all the pictures.

Mama’s biscuits – well –close…

(repost from January 27, 2008)
Mama would have used Reelfoot lard, but, since that packing company has not existed for years, that was not an option. The buttermilk would have been Turner, but I didn’t have that either. I used Martha White self-rising flour; I don’t remember which brand Mom used.
Raphe and I braved the c..o..l..d this weekend and went out photographing the Memphis bridge Friday night. Saturday morning we tried to make Mom’s biscuits. They were pretty good. And, they passed my special ‘Mama’s biscuits’ brothers will know what this is!
2 cups Martha White self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup lard
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk (not the low-fat!)
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix flour and baking soda; cut in lard. Add buttermilk and mix with a fork; mix gently to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured area; pat dough quite thin (Mama’s biscuits were thin and crisp); cut with biscuit cutter. Place in hot iron skillet, greased with bacon fat or lard, and bake 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown.

food adventures in Seattle, WA

I’ve just returned from a few days visiting Seattle, WA.  Seattle is a food lovers town.  I participated in a few city tours around Pike Place Market, and tasted many, many dishes of the Pacific NW.  I’m in the process of editing (many) pictures, and I’ll post a link soon.  Also, I’m compiling a list of food tasting opportunities, along with web site links.  Many offer internet sales, and one would be well served to buy from these home-grown vendors.

I also visited Bakery Nouveua in W Seattle.  Watch for a full post related to that experience very soon.