Tag: Seattle TravelView All Tags
We liked Chef Charlotte Glaves the minute we sat down with her before a recent dinner at Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails at Motif Seattle, A Destination Hotel. The Cle Elum, Washington native is every bit as light-spirited as the name of the restaurant she works at as Chef de Cuisine.
Growing up as one of five kids to a single mom, Glaves’ culinary palette was mostly limited to tacos, spaghetti and beef stroganoff (Cream of Mushroom style, natch). She grew an interest in food, attended culinary school in Portland and went on to work at Suncadia Resort for seven years.
She recalled the first time she took her culinary school chops home and and made Roast Chicken with Mirepoix (a mixture of chopped onions, carrots, and celery) for her family. They raved about the “fancy chicken.” She later introduced them to an authentic version of Beef Stroganoff. The Cream of Mushroom soup was missed, but the dish was still a huge hit.
Day Tripping / Day Trips / Seattle Travel / Whale-Watching / Kenmore Air / San Juan Island Travel / → All Tags
If you have a day to kill in Seattle and want to get out of the city--and into nature--check out Kenmore Air’s Whale Watching Tour.
For $345, you can fly rock star style from South Lake Union to San Juan Island in 45-minutes to go whale watching. The seaplane ride itself is super scenic – we’ve seen whales, seals and porpoises on past trips. Passengers get dropped on the dock in Friday Harbor, within steps of shops, cafés, restaurants and the whale watching outfitter, San Juan Safaris.
Travelers get to choose their flight times for the one-day getaway. We like to book the earliest and latest flights in and out of Friday Harbor to make the most of the day.
San Juan Safaris takes guests out on its 55-foot MV Sea Lion, a boat that accommodates roughly 40 guests. The three-hour trip is led by marine-savvy naturalists who point out whales, seals, bald eagles, porpoises and geological features along the way. If you want to see orcas (killer whales) in the wild, San Juan Island is one of the best places in the world to see orcas in the wild.
A bacon-wrapped hot dog because, why not?
The food and beverage program at Safeco Field in Seattle has always been good, but they’ve stepped up their game and gone super local this season.
Yesterday, we got to sample a sneak peek of some of the new menu items and can vouch for deliciousness. We’re headed back to watch the Seattle Mariners play on Tuesday night to see how they stack up in an actual game day scenario. We’re confident just like pitcher Felix Hernandez delivers to the plate.
What is it? Twenty-two year old Peregrine Church has taken to Emerald City sidewalks to spread positive messages (of the non-God, thank gawd, variety) via art work that only appears when it rains. Church’s 25+ positive public space messages (and counting, thanks to commissions) have included:
Don’t Quit Your Day Dream
Today’s Weather: Rain
You Have the Power to Make Anyone Smile and
The Rain Is Shining
”It's amazing to take something that makes people sad and turn it into something that makes people happy,” he told King 5. You gotta love a guy that wants to spread smiles.
Church uses “Always Dry,” a super hydrophobic coating that is environmentally safe, non-toxic and non-flammable when dry, reports King 5. Each rainwork is estimated to last four months to one year, depending upon foot traffic.
Want to know if there’s a #Rainworks near you? Check the map.
Seattle Travel / Wine and Food Festivals / Eating / Drinking / Pacific Northwest Travel / → All Tags
If you find yourself in Emerald City this weekend – and thirsty – hightail it to Taste Washington, the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event. There are a handful of fancy schmancy events, but the main attraction is The Grand Tasting, which takes place Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29.
The sip and bite extravaganza goes down at CenturyLink Field Event Center and features more than 200 wineries and 70 restaurants. Be sure to bring your A-game palate and wear your finest stretchy pants. Grand Tasting tickets range from $90-205, and include all food and wine samples. (Yay for no tickets or tokens!)
So, what are we most excited to check out? Walla Walla’s àMaurice Cellars, Yakima Valley’s Gilbert Cellars (we swoon for their rosé of Mourvedre, hello spring!) and Rotie Cellars’ Rhone varietals.
For foodstuffs, we’re looking forward to Jemil’s Big Easy, Purple Café and Wine Bar and Tulio from Hotel Vintage.
Sure, there are lots of fantastic small wine tasting rooms within the (206) city limits. But you won’t find this kind of variety unless you schlep two hours to Yakima or four hours to Walla Walla. And we can pinky swear promise, you won’t find these kind of food pairings if you make the trip. Gah.
[Photo: Taste Washington/Facebook]
Seattle Travel / Tulip Festivals / Festivals / Pacific Northwest Travel / Skagit Valley Tulip Festivals / → All Tags
If it’s winter, you sure wouldn’t know it this year in Seattle. February set an all-time record – the average temperature was 48.8 degrees. The warm weather has been especially tough on skiers, who’ve faced slushy snow, temporary closures and basically, useless ski passes (insert endless amounts of whining here). It’s also affected the local flower industry – specifically, Skagit Valley’s annual Tulip Festival.
The annual event attracts more than one million visitors and kicks off April 1st. This year, Mother Nature threw an unexpected wrench into event plans. Tulips will be in full blossom by March 23 – 10 days earlier than usual.
Tulips are a big business around these parts, the heart of the local farming industry. They’re also a huge tourist draw, which is why it seems every single newscaster in Seattle is FREAKING OUT about the early blooms.
If you’re a frequent traveler, the hotel bar is a necessity. Some are truly great (HotelChatter knows a few); others suck. We’re looking at you, 99% of airport hotel bars.
Usually it's a great place for commiseration, and the bartenders always have the best stories and fellow guests can be a rich source for the local down-low. Besides, after a long day of travel, there’s no better place to grab a nightcap and stumble back to your room.
Still, generally speaking, the hotel bar is not a big draw for local demographics. Drinks may be stiff, but tend to be overpriced and not very sophisticated. Most kitchens avoid taking risks, instead relying on standard issue bar fare and the almighty FryDaddy. Décor often best resembles a dressed-up cafeteria. It fancies itself somewhat of a Little Black Dress, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, but lacks a distinct personality and serves none of these diners, at least aesthetically, all that well. Service varies greatly.
However, Kimpton Hotels have broken that stereotype (yet again) in the Seattle market with the opening of The Palladian, and its bar, Pennyroyal. (Pennyroyal is an old snake oil ingredient.) We were already huge fans of Kimpton’s bars at Hotel Monaco and Alexis Hotel, but Belltown’s brand new (albeit housed in a historic building) addition steps up the cool factor with Pennyroyal.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, ferry travel is a way of life. People rely on this mode of transportation to get to work, for inter-island travel and to get away, relax and explore. If you’re in a rush, it can definitely test your patience. But if you have the time, it’s a great way to slow down and take a scenic forced “time out” on route to a destination. Here are 10 reasons why I’d rather be taking Washington State Ferries (WSF):
Postcards / Restaurants / mSouvenirs / Menus / Seattle Travel / Interviews / Brimmer & Heeltap / Jen Doak / → All Tags
At Brimmer & Heeltap, a bistro-pub in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, they’ll mail their menu in postcard form to whomever you choose. Jot down a sweet nothing, fold it up and they’ll even pay for postage. Such a cool way to reclaim the lost art of letter-writing, right? (We live for handwritten correspondence.)
The neighborhood spot is a favorite for locals and foodies. Brimmer & Heeltap’s chef, Mike Whisenhunt hails from Revel, bringing a loyal following for his locally-sourced dishes with an Asian twist. Proprietress Jen Doak, has worked some of Seattle’s best dining rooms, and brings her warm sense of conviviality to the front of the house experience.
Jen also contributed menus collected from her travels to the restaurant’s “Wall of Menus.” It’s one of our favorite features of Brimmer & Heeltap (aside from Chef Mike’s pork shoulder with kimchi, natch). We caught up with Jen for a quick Q&A to talk food, travel and handwritten letters.
Amtrak / Railway Reviews / Amtrak Cascades / Pacific Northwest Travel / Portland Travel / Seattle Travel / Business Class Travel / → All Tags
The Cascades trains go from Vancouver, B.C. to Eugene, Oregon. The Seattle-Portland leg of the trip takes roughly 3.5 hours. We had originally booked a coach ticket, but as assignments stacked up that would require en route attention, we reconsidered our purchase. Roundtrip tickets set us back $52; an upgrade to Business Class doubled the price. It seemed like a wise investment.
By some miracle of the travel gods, we managed to snag a single seat on the west side of the train. Our spacious seat had two power outlets, so we were able to take care of all our tech needs along the way.
The drop down table fit our full-size laptop perfectly. Free WiFi worked during most of our trip – there were a few spots where it dropped for a few minutes, but it didn’t really affect anything. The best part of the Business Class car though was the single seating configuration. (The other side of the car had two-seat and four-seat face-to-face configurations.) We’re all about making friends on the road, but when there are pressing deadlines, there’s no time for small talk. Besides, there’s not much anyone could say to distract from the views.
Nobody likes long layovers or flights delays. But if you’re hungry and have some time to kill, there are far worse places to get stuck than Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Even if you’re one of those super organized people that arrives at the airport with plenty of time to spare (WHO ARE YOU?!), it’s a mighty fine place to be.
Here, passengers can eat like a Seattleite at several locally-owned and operated establishments. Ready to nosh? Here are our favorite picks:
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Where to find it: Concourse C
Don’t miss: Try Beecher’s famous “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese – it was one of Oprah’s ‘Favorite Things’ in 2010.
Booze Travel / Seattle Travel / Drinking / Bars / Dry January / → All Tags
New Year’s resolutions are BS. For a few days, maybe weeks, each January, well-intentioned folks buy into wishful “new year, new me” thinking. And who doesn’t like the promise of a clean slate full of possibility?
But making goals should be a year-round endeavor, because your job may suck, jeans not fit or you want to save money – at any given time. Besides, a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology reports that only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving their resolutions by the end of the year.
So what exactly do the temporary teetotalers of Dry January, or Drynuary, hope to accomplish? Create new habits, like drinking less? Atone for excesses committed during the holidays? The season is already riddled with enough guilt and stress. It hardly seems fair to reward those who survive with a month of alcohol abstinence.
And FWIW, a recent article in New Scientist cites, “Many people who drink alcohol choose to give up for short periods, but there is no scientific evidence that this has any health benefits.”
So in the, er, spirit of moderation, we've got a round-up of favorite places to get sauced at in Seattle.