Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

I read the Modernist Cuisine blog post on Mayuri on the morning of the October Seattle Foodies lunch. I mentioned it to my dining companions at Café Juanita and Carol suggested that we drive to Redmond since we were already on the Eastside. I was curious about this Indian grocery store as I haven’t been to an ethnic supermarket in Seattle except for Uwajimaya.

In a neighbourhood shopping mall, Mayuri has a distinctive red and blue sign. A family business, Mayuri means peacock in Hindi and they also own restaurants of the same name in Bellevue and Bothell.

The inviting aromas of the Subcontinent greeted us. The compact store had aisles of dried herbs, spices, pulses, grains, flour, condiments, snacks, frozen goods, fresh produce, kitchen merchandise and pantry items.

Packets of dal, split lentils, peas and beans, were on sale.

Red baskets contained dried herbs and blended spices such as fenugreek, cumin and garam masala.

Jars and tins of ghee, clarified butter, were stocked in a variety of brands and sizes.

Shelves were laden with tapioca chips and other fried snacks.

Plastic boxes and cylinders dispensed the staples of grains, pulses and flour in bulk.

The fruit and vegetable section had fresh garbanzo beans.

Plentiful of okra and Thai chilli were sold by weight.

Bunches of fresh herbs were at the bargain price of ninety nine cents.

Mayuri is where to shop when cooking Indian cuisine!

Summer may be late but spring definitely sprung in Seattle. On a pleasant warm day a few weekends ago, we moseyed down to Local 360 to try their spring menu.

A pretty posy greeted us at our table and I love the rustic feel of the décor. In the short time it’s been open Local 360 has become popular in the neighbourhood. Its local, organic and sustainable philosophy would be futile without wholesome, delicious food, and they deliver on both.

Interested in the origins of the eggs in your omelette? Curious about where the cream you just stirred into your coffee come from? The favourite vendors chalkboard looms large over the dining room, and the wait staff will either know the answer or go find out!

Mr S ordered the corned beef Rueben and there was a artistic swirl through the rye bread. On the outside, it seemed a basic sandwich.

The inside revealed layers of corned beef and sauerkraut with melted cheese. It was a juicy Rueben but I found the combination a little salty and in need of a side salad.

I opted for the lamb burger on the specials menu. The waiter mentioned they were butchering a whole lamb and the patty was minced in house. The burger was flavoursome but Mr S thought the cheese and aioli overshadowed the lamb.

I returned on the day Local 360 Mercantile opened. The Mercantile has its own entrance and frontage on Bell Street. The retail store is a much needed addition to the area for weeknight dinner groceries and forgotten ingredients.

Similar to the restaurant, the Mercantile had a featured chalkboard highlighting local producers.

A small vegetables section was at the front of the store but there were no fruits. Shelves lined the wall and were laden with carefully displayed packets, bottles and jars. At the back were beer and wine, and the in-house butcher.

Many of the vegetables were priced by count and not weight. The fridge stocked perishables such as milk, and loaves of bread and baguettes were available.

The Local 360 products were interspersed among branded ones. A good selection of muesli, pulses, herbs and spices, salad dressings, sauces, marinades, condiments and olive oils were neatly arranged.

Fresh pasta, house made preserves, eggs and cheeses were stacked in the deli part. A panini press was on top, with an enticing ‘available soon’ sign taped on.

The butcher had a variety of cuts and sausages. I enquired if they will expand into cured meats and the woman said hopefully in the coming weeks.

I bought some potatoes and beets and left a happy customer!

In the four months I’ve lived in Seattle, I’ve visited Kerry Park thrice and walked up the Counterbalance each time. I huff and puff over the three humps for the exhilarating view of Downtown Seattle, Elliott Bay and Mount Rainier. On a clear day it takes your breath away, literally and figuratively!

After reading the map, I decided it was more sensible to catch a bus than to walk up to the Queen Anne Farmers Market. The bus wound its way up Queen Anne and the bus driver kindly let me know the stop for the farmers market.

Queen Anne is a lovely neighbourhood, leafy and suburban. The farmers market had a row of stalls on a closed street and a separate area for fast food. Each week features a chef demonstration and musical entertainment.

It was a warm day and after a couple of laps of the stalls, I was ready for a cold treat.

I ordered a vanilla bean ice cream cone from Parfait Organic Artisan Ice Cream. Speckled with vanilla bean, the ice cream was served in a beautifully patterned waffle cone. The ice cream was fragrant, but a little icy.

I was just in time for the demo with Chef Vuong Loc of Portage and June restaurants.

Chef Voc made a spicy strawberry salad with rhubarb and Dijon vinaigrette, and Mt Townsend Seastack cheese. Interestingly the salad had both raw rhubarb and parsnip, ingredients that are usually stewed and roasted respectively.

Chef Voc shared the anecdote that as a child he ate raw stalks of rhubarb sprinkled with salt.

I’m fascinated by Chef Voc’s knife skills. I’m a slow and clumsy cutter and I find it the most tedious part of cooking.

It was a generous sample of the spicy strawberry salad with a lovely balance of flavours – sweet strawberries and parsnip, creamy cheese, spicy mustard greens and tart dressing.

All the ingredients used in the chef demo were locally sourced and available at the stalls.

Appetite whetted, I wandered over to the fast food stalls and snacked on a Maria Luisa empanada.

There is a communal table with an emerald chequered tablecloth and a variety of cuisines available. The Palermo chicken empanada was a tasty parcel of shredded chicken, red bell pepper, sautéed onions and a special mixture of herbs and spices.

I resisted the beignets from Where Ya At Matt and was captivated by the Veraci Pizza wood fire oven trailer.

Columbia City Bakery had a tantalising array of breads and baked goods.

I bought a bread roll and the sourdough was soft and dense, with a chewy crust.

I didn’t know there were different types of bacon until I moved here. Proper British Bacon sold both British and American bacon!

The bee display at Island Apiaries was a star attraction for children where the game ‘spot the queen bee’ was played. To my alarm several children tapped the glass case enthusiastically.

There were many fresh produce stalls stocked with seasonal fruits and vegetables. I bought a bunch of organic asparagus, to be grilled and served with quinoa this week.

Each stall had vibrant hues of reds and greens.

It was a pleasant downhill stroll home!


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