Seattle Eats (III): Pike’s Place

Location: Pike’s Place, Seattle

For the third installation for Seattle Eats, I have chosen to write about the stretch of stalls just opposite Pike’s Place market (aka Val’s favouritest place in the world!)

ps. attempting to write this piece in an effort to get my mind of these flu symptoms I am suffering from. humour me by reading it.

Piroshky Piroshky
Add: 1908 Pike’s Place
Great for: Russian pastries (or buns to be exact), cheap breakfast food

This place never fails to reminds me of my house mate at Duke (waves hi to the other Lee) who is an epic fan of Piroshky’s buns. We discovered this little bakery while walking down Pike’s Place one spring day in March last year and L was immediately won over by the savory smells that drifted out of the shop. Also, with the display shelves packed full with freshly-baked pastries that looked simply irresistible, it was no wonder that we stopped by almost every day to get our Piroshky fix. I also remembered packing some on the plane ride home (Durham then)!

Shelves of baked goodness!

Piroshky originates from the Russian word “pir”, which is the equivalent to “Feast” in English. And with those countless varieties of sweet and savory pastries (alright, 30 to be exact), Piroshky Piroshky is totally befitting of its name. I remembered trying the Potato, Mushroom & Onion and packing the Whole Baked Apple on to the plane back to Duke. Both were awesome. Don’t think there was anything to nit-pick about. After some research online, I figured that the Beef & Onion (the traditional filling) and Apple Cinnamon Roll are considered favourites among the residents in Seattle.

My Mushroom Onion Piroshky. Huge.

The pastry had just the right texture and there was an abundance of filling (mushroom, potatoes, onions and what have you..). In fact, for a few dollars, one Piroshky pastry alone is enough to fill you up for a single meal at any time of the day. Pretty value for money!

L stares longingly through the shop window on our last evening in Seattle.

Be prepared to queue though. Each time I was back there ( 2 trips to Seattle x 3 days of wandering around Pike’s Place), the little store would be pack full of tourists and residents alike, waiting patiently in line to pick out their “stuffed pies” – what the creators of Piroshky call their baked products. Accurate description, but I would still stick to it being labelled as buns as it look pretty much the same as those we have here in our traditional neighbourhood bakeries. And if you just aren’t hungry or patient enough to queue up for it, keep yourself entertained by peering through the front shop window and witness some really skilled and artistic bakers rolling, moulding and shaping their dough into exquisite pieces of food art in a blink of an eye.

The cosy shop

Le Panier- Very French Bakery
Add: 1902 Pike’s Place
Great for: breakfast, pastries, people-watching

Just a few doors down from Piroshky Piroshky stands a fairly large bakery cafe called Le Panier – Very French Bakery (as though Le Panier is not too obviously French
Was introduced to this lovely place with L by JS (Singapore’s ambassador to haw haw) for our very first breakfast at Seattle. The cafe was crowded (like almost every other stores along this stretch) but we managed to grab a table after getting our chow and coffee. And again, we were spoilt for choices! Everything looked freshly baked and they were, for the lack of a better word, so so pretty.
JS + his breakfast + his google phone

During my visits there, I tried (and nibbled from my other breakfast mates) a variety of French tarts, pies and breads of which my favourites were : the pain au Chocolat (Chocolate Croissants), éclair au Chocolat (Chocolate Éclair), Quiche and Broccoli Feuilletes. The Macroons were a little too sweet for my liking but hey, i have never been a big fan of Macroons anyways – so don’t trust me on that one.
Think this was the almond croissant. Amazing stuff.

Le Panier (bread basket) was, according to its website, created by a Frenchman in U.S. who missed “the daily baguette and croissant”. Well, all I can say is thank God for this homesick dude that I (and all the lucky Seattle inhabitants) had the chance to experience Bon Appetit moments of the good ol’ pain au Chocolat & Latte a few thousand miles away from France.

The warm interior of the cafe. (Pls kindly ignore the monkey in the picture)

Add: 1912 Pike’s Place
Great for: coffee and erm, a piece of coffee+capitalism history?

And…you must be wondering – Starbucks? What’s so special about the @#(*@#* coffee joint at every street corner and shopping mall? Well, if you are a big Starbucks fan, you would have probably known this by now but the very first Starbucks store opened right here in 1971.

There have also been rumours that the brew here is much better than those normal ones you get at the other 16,635 outlets (quoting Wiki). But neh, I don’t buy that.

Just so you can tell your friends that you have visited the very first Starbucks in the world, it would be worth the while to pop by this place for a cuppa.

The original Starbucks logo

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