recent finds

A couple of new places found, and a good reminder of a yummy spot this past week:

Noble Fir – a new tavern on Old Ballard, is very serious about its craft beers.  I myself am not that much of a beer fan, but I heard a rumor that they took ciders just as serious.  Indeed it is true – 3 on tap alone is a major feat in this town, but an additional 6-8 in bottles too.  Given the option of several obscure less-sweet cider options made for a very lovely pit-stop during the Ballard Art Walk one evening.

Fresh Flours – I’ve stopped in for coffee a few times at the Phinney Ridge location of this Japanese-infused bakery, and can never walk out without a Lemon Ginger or a Green Tea muffin. Subtle flavors, moist,  and not-too-sweet make for a great morning treat.  Nice spot to run in to old buddies too who apparently read this blog (hey Christina!).  They also have a great new space on Old Ballard too.

Samurai Noodles – My friend Joy introduced me to this straightforward, but incredibly good ramen house in the ID.  Many broths to choose from, and several styles of noodles – nourishing, complex flavors coming from seemingly simple bowls.  It is definitely worth cramming in to this popular hole in the wall.

I will be out of town for 3 weeks, and most likely won’t be posting while I am gone.  But, as I will be wandering around the south, I envision that I will come back with a plethora of regional spots to recommend.  Stay tuned y’all… / / Samurai Noodle – 606 5th Ave S (no website)

queen anne

I find myself in the Queen Anne (QA) neighborhood a lot these days, partly because that is where the closest public pool is (triathlon training), but also where our buddies Lori and Brian live that have recently returned from an extended trip to India, and somehow our catching up with them seems to have revolved around baked goods near their house.  So, I thought I would post a few recent QA findings, or reintroductions:

Queen Anne has their neighborhood farmer’s market on Thursday’s from 3-7p on Crockett at QA Avenue (essentially the pool parking lot, and then some).  It is a smaller one, as Seattle markets go, but with some of the very best vendors coming every week.  Favorites including Full Circle Farms, Jello Mold Farm’s organic flowers (pictured, top center – the owners are such great folks), and several high-caliber food trucks.  New on the food cart scene is Parfait Ice Cream, organic artisan ice cream.  I did try a taste of the fleur de caramel, which was so lovely, and definitely rivals local ice cream front-runner, Molly Moon’s salted caramel.  And then what I thought was a great coup – the Maximus Minimus Pig truck (top left) parks here every week too!  Fairly simple menu of incredible ingredients – and everything can be order on the savory side, or the sweet side – switching up sauces and sides to suit your tastes.

On the baked good side of things – Lori reminded me of the great old-school Danish bakery, Neilson’s Pastry in Lower QA.  Straightforward atmosphere, but some very yummy treats come home in those pink boxes, such as the snitter (pictured lower left) – a wonderful combination of pastry, cinnamon, and custard, without anything overpowering the others.   Lori and Brian also let us know that Friday was National Doughnut Day, which in Seattle means Top Pot Donuts – their new location on QA a quiet tucked-away place to savor coffee and a free doughnut (that day), without the hordes.

Market’s website: / great article about Jello Mold Farm: / / Neilson’s Pastry, 520 2nd Ave W (no website)/