#8 Seattle Coffee Works

When it comes to coffee, there is truly no place like home (Seattle, that is). I’ve yet to travel to a place inside or outside the states that trumps Seattle in the coffee department. If you ask Seattleites whose coffee reigns supreme, you’ll get many different answers which is a good thing. There are many incredible macro, micro and nano roasters in the city and it really is tough to choose “the best”.

My favorite coffee shop is Seattle Coffee Works which is located across from Pike Place Market. SCW works with small farmers in Central and South America to provide small direct trade coffee that is truly out of this world. SCW roast their beans twice a week. When you’re used to buying beans roasted no more than four days earlier, you become quite spoiled. If you have any questions, do a taste test for yourself. Let’s just say the freshly roasted beans won’t taste the same as your average stale supermarket beans.

If you hop up to the “Slow Bar” at Seattle Coffee Works, you get to experience the vacuum pot and converse with one of SCW’s many friendly and experienced baristas. The vacuum pot is a slow brewing method that uses two chambers where water vapor and a vacuum produce one of the best cups of coffee you’ve ever tasted. The slow bar is a destination for our visiting friends and family since the coffee is delicious and the vacuum pot is quintessential Seattle. Seattle Coffee Works has a $6 flat rate shipping policy so if you are so inclined, you too could wake up to some of Seattle’s finest beans.

* I have not received any free product to endorse or alter my opinion about Seattle Coffee Works.

Seattle Coffee Works

Lots of Coffee Options

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#9 Formaggio di DeLaurenti

I always love going to Delaurenti’s cheese counter in Pike Place Market because they have the best selection in Seattle. I try to be helped by the same guy because he has a knack for remembering my likes and loves (I’ve only eaten one cheese ever that I’ve disliked). During my month-long stay in London my affinity for cheese turned into an addiction. Once we were back in Seattle,  I realized how lucky I am to have such an incredible selection of cheeses so close to home. David and I are now in the habit of having cheese boards for dessert whether it’s at a dinner party or a small one for the two of us. For dinner parties, I always label the cheeses so our guests know what types of cheeses they are enjoying. Recently I’ve started to save all of our labels so that we can keep track of all the different types of cheeses we have experienced. It’s always a good idea to get to know your cheese monger and to build a relationship with him/her.

I love that cheese is simple yet so complex. Every cheese (even bloody American cheese) has a mixture of history and science behind it. More often than not, it tells a story of terroir, dedication and love. Goat, Cow, Sheep, Buffalo, raw, soft, hard…there are cheeses to suit every person and every mood. Next time you’re at the grocery story, head to the cheese department, ask some questions, learn a bit and bring some cheesy love home with you.

“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese”- Willie Nelson

A Small Portion of Delaurenti Cheese Counter

Cheese Board

New Year's Cheese Board

Cheese Board in London

Exploring Borough’s Market

Comparing Pike Place Market in Seattle to Borough’s Market in London is like comparing Market Basket or Safeway to Whole Foods….or store bought vanilla cupcakes with hard, sweet bakery frosting to homemade chocolate cupcakes with a whipped chocolate butter cream frosting. I hate to put down Pike Place because I feel lucky to live close to it and enjoy it immensely when I am in Seattle. The Market represents a large part of Seattle culture and dates back to 1907. Borough’s Market on the other hand dates back to 1014. During my trip to London last year, Lisa took me through the market and I quickly fell in love. What I didn’t realize was that when I visited it in 2010, it wasn’t technically open. Last Saturday Matt, Lisa, David and I hopped on the tube to see the market in all it’s glory when it was open.

I thought Borough’s Market was my mecca last year when I didn’t realize it wasn’t “open”, so I wasn’t prepared for the culinary over-stimulation that occurred during my visit this year. Our first stop was St. John Bakery which is the bakery to the beloved St. John restaurant started by Fergus Henderson. The British Chef is world renown for his philosophy in nose to tail eating. Although there weren’t any noses or tails in this doughnut, it was fluffy and lightly covered with sugar. The inside was oozing out with vanilla bean pastry cream and it was one of the greatest sweet treats I have ever put in my mouth. This gourmet and gluttonous adventure continued throughout the market with a plethora of cheeses including fresh mozzarella di bufala that was made right in front of you, fruits, vegetables, cured meats, game, poultry, red meat, pork, pasta, olives, olive oil, jams, cookies, pastries, cakes, and breads. Need I go on? I know I’ve forgotten loads of things, however from all the pictures below, you will certainly get a feel for this market full of contagious epicurean energy. I have such admiration for a marketplace that has been in place for over one thousand years. I will enjoy Pike Place Market when I return to Seattle, but my love and adoration for Borough’s Market will always be in the back of my mind and in my heart. Ok, so you think I’m exaggerating or being dramatic, but you are just going to have to visit this market and see for yourself.

Update from the Brothers: Through our communication via email, it seems like the Brothers are doing well although unhappy without me. The refrigerator has been broken for weeks, clearly unhappy with the leftovers that it has been stocked with lately. Here’s a quote from my boss’s email, “Nick is doing fine. Playing Santa at the zoo and cooking for us elves. We so look forward to your return.” It’s nice to know I’m missed….

St. John & Stilton

Neil's Yard Dairy

Cheese!

Potted Meats

Take a guess what's in this cheese

The Leaning Tower of Brownies

Bread Galore

the.best.doughnut.ever

Monmouth Coffee- Amazing

Speck

Nduja

Happy Girl

Sebastiano and I

The Weed Cheese

About to go into Grilled Cheese

best.grilled.cheese.ever, ask Anthony Bourdain

David and I

A very special thank you to David for taking many of the wonderful pictures from Borough’s Market.