Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited Pike Place Market. It is one of the best destinations to visit in Seattle. During our Seattle staycation in August, Tim and I talked about going back to the market sometime in the fall to buy fresh crab to take home and eat. The time had finally come to buy our crab and I thought it may be fun to buy everything (and I mean everything) we needed to make an entire dinner at the Pike Place Market.
It was a chilly, wet day. We debated walking the one mile trek to the market, but ultimately decided to drive. And so we packed up the car with reusable grocery bags and my polka dot umbrella and headed downtown. We already knew what we wanted for dinner, it was just a matter of finding the right ingredients at the best price. As I already mentioned, crab was picked to be the main course, but we also wanted to indulge in some fresh oysters and a garden salad full of veggies.
The first thing to note about this particular trip to Pike Place Market is how empty it was. With the combination of it being December and a Monday, most tourists were gone and only a handful of people were milling around. It was easy to check out all the different vendors and pick out our ingredients. Our first stop was a vegetable and fruit stand. We skimmed the selection and picked out a head of butter lettuce, a cucumber, some small yellow tomatoes and a ripe pear. I knew I wanted more for the salad, but didn’t want to buy everything from one place. We continued down the market, stopping to snack on a Chinese hom bow and taste some cheese at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. Eventually, we stopped at another vegetable and fruit stand. The vendor was offering lots samples of various fruit, including some red grapes. They were so juicy and tasty that we had to buy a bundle for the salad.
Next, it was time to buy the seafood. We stopped at a few of the seafood vendors, including the famous fish throwing place. It all looked good but Tim and I decided to go to a seafood vendor that we remembered visiting during our Seattle staycation. Back in August, one of the employees at this particular vendor gave us a bunch of smoked salmon to taste as we were roaming the market. We wanted to go back and buy from that same guys that treated us so well in the summer. We settled on getting a variety of Shigoku, Kusshi and Kumamoto oysters. And we took home two dozen. After picking out the oysters, we went for the Dungeness crab. The guy helping us recommended buying two crabs, but we opted to take home three. They were huge! We probably would have done just fine with two crabs.
After picking up the seafood, we only had three things to get- cheese and dressing for the salad and a nice bottle of wine (again, with the goal to buy every ingredient at Pike Place Market). We picked up some cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery and then went to DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine for the rest. It didn’t take us long to pick out a bacon balsamic dressing from Gourmondo and a Riesling from Zero One Vineyards.
I couldn’t wait to back to the kitchen and start cooking. Putting together the meal ended up being pretty simple. We started with the oysters and salad. Tim shucked the oysters while I put together the salad. The oysters were so fresh! I think it is safe to say these oysters were probably the freshest oysters I’ve ever tasted. We had a few different condiments to eat with the oysters including fresh squeezed lemon, red wine vinegar, horseradish, hot sauce and cocktail sauce. The salad turned out great too. It was packed with all the fresh veggies and cheese we bought at the market. The bacon balsamic dressing added an interesting kick as well. It tasted a little like the salad had bacon bits in it. I love bacon so I thought it was great.
Next, we dove into the fresh crab. Luckily, we had the crab cleaned at the market. They were also already cooked so all we needed to do was boil them in a little bit of water for a few minutes to warm them up. We melted some butter and were ready to start cracking. Not to toot my own horn, but I have to say I have pretty sweet skills when it comes to cracking the shell off of crab. I was way faster at it than Tim (though he can hold his own). As we suspected, we ended up buying way too much crab. We only ate about half of it, and saved the second half for leftovers the next day. Just like the oysters, the crab was delicious.
Dinner could not have been better. The food was so fresh and tasty. I loved being able to meet the artisans and vendors at Pike Place Market who made, grew and caught our food. There is something special about knowing where your food comes from and cooking it yourself. That makes a meal so much more satisfying. I can’t wait to go back the market for more!
Have you ever bought your groceries at Pike Place Market? What did you think of the food? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more on great things to do in the city!