Tillicum Village…a traditional Northwest experience

On a surprise sunny day on Memorial Day weekend, an essential Northwest tradition was experienced by spending the afternoon at Pike Place Market, the Seattle waterfront, and Tillicum Village.

At Pike Place Market, we hit a few of our favorites…DeLaurenti, had a BBQ pork hom bow at Mee Sum Pastry, walked through the market and stopped by La Buona Tavola, where a jar of fig preserve with balsamic vinegar was purchased  www.trufflecafe.com.  La Buona Tavola specializes in truffled products, Italian specialties and wines from Italy and Washington State.  See May 2010 post for more Pike Place Market fun.  The water glistened as we walked along the waterfront.  Stops were made at the Ye Old Curiosity shop and Exclusively Washington (Pier 54 next to Ivar’s)  www.exclusivelywashington.net.

Tillicum Village is a fun trip for visitors and locals alike.  You will be welcomed aboard an Argosy Cruises boat with a narrated look at Puget Sound area Native American history, with a focus on Alki Beach and the Blake Island area.  Did you know that Blake Island is only reachable by boat?  Argosy Cruises have two runs a day to Tillicum Village (with three on Saturdays during the height of summer).  Check out http://www.tillicumvillage.com/  for a schedule and more information.  The cruise is approx. 45 minutes and seating is available indoors and out with a bar for beverage service on each level.  Upon arriving at Tillicum Village, you are greeted by a gentleman in Native garb and offered steamed clams as an appetizer (in mugs).  They encourage the dropping of the shells on the already shell made pathway (stomp away!).  I love the smell of a campfire!  View a whole salmon being cooked on a cedar stake above an open fire.  Then it is off to enjoy a buffet dinner…with berry cobbler to finish the meal off (see link for menu specifics).  The dinner concludes with a show of storytelling and dance of Coast Salish tribes.  The storytelling itself is done by Roger Fernandes, also known by his native name Kawasa, a member of the Lower Elwha Band of the S’Klallam Indians from the Port Angeles, Washington area.  Note:  the storytelling is presented via video and the dance, by three live performers.  After the show, you are given 30+ minutes to tour the gift shop and to wander the grounds/beach of Blake Island.  A very nice trip overall!

Seattle Cheese Festival 2010

The 2010 Seattle Cheese Festival took place on May 15-16th.  Good weather and my love of cheese couldn’t keep me away this year (as I had not been previously).  http://www.seattlecheesefestival.com/   The festival takes place on the cobbled streets of the Pike Place Market – Seattle.

The event offers a sampling of dozens of artisinal cheeses from producers around the world.  There is a wine garden (mostly lower priced wines), educational seminars, and cooking demonstrations.  Also, there are over 35 Seattle area restaurants that offer a “Cheese Fest Best” dish during the week of the festival (the restaurants are not at the actual Festival).  My husband and I tasted some of the cheese offered and purchased a Roquefort (most cheese was available for purchase at a discount).  My favorite was a Gorgonzola from Italy.  Also, we liked that Mt. Townsend Creamery http://www.mttownsendcreamery.com/  brought some of their specialty cheeses as well.  The festival has a lively atmosphere but I probably wouldn’t go back anytime soon as the logistics are not well executed.  Many people stood in long lines while others would walk up to their destination and take their sample.   Frankly, if you stood in those long lines (as we did at the beginning), it would make for a very long day.  But cheese is always fun – isn’t it? Sample a variety of cheese at Whole Foods, take a class or try DeLaurenti’s Saturday wine tasting (which is paired with cheese).  DeLaurenti’s is a primary sponsor for the festival.

DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine is a must-see when visiting the Pike Place Market (or Seattle).  Whatever your culinary endeavors are, the deli offers the best specialty foods, cheese (hundreds offered) and deli meats around!  http://delaurenti.com/ 

Macrina Bakery & Cafe offered a number of different breads at the Festival.  Macrina offers bread, pasteries, cakes, catering, wedding cakes, and a number of delicious cafes serving brunch and lunch.   http://www.macrinabakery.com/  Oh Mamma Mia!

A number of notable mentions for take-out are Piroshky-Piroshky (did not try today) and Mee Sum Pastry.  A favorite at Mee Sum is the Pork Hom Bow.   On this day, we had the Pork Hom Bow and a Pork Stick.  http://www.piroshkybakery.com/  Of course there are numerous other notable options at and around Pike Place Market.  I will leave those for another outing on a different day.  Salud!   http://www.pikeplacemarket.com/