Monday, December 8, 2014

Final Bites for My Seattle Trip: Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar, The Calf and Kid Artisan Cheese Shop and Ivar's Fish Bar

During my final day in Seattle, it snowed which was quite exhilarating for me as I'm a native Californian. Although it wasn't snowing at the moment, it was just exciting to see it laying on the ground. With that being said, wanting to eat Oysters in Seattle seemed more appropriate than ever!

I walked up to Capitol Hill from my hotel in Downtown and had breakfast at Taylor Shellfish Farms Oyster Bar at the Melrose Market. I went in with the excitement of finally eating some of the Pacific NW's finest as TSF is the purveyor of Oysters for most of Seattle's restaurants. With that being said, it makes sense to eat here without paying the premium of dining at another restaurant if I'm getting the same thing. I ordered one of each of the oysters that were available:

The first drink I started out as I was desperate for a beer being in Seattle and also wanting to be refreshing while going great with oysters, I went with the Stiegl Radler Grapefruit Beer. Not only with the flavor being quite rejuvenating, it did not taste artificial at all like with some of the other fruit beers. With the natural grapefruit flavors present, it too tasted like an actual beer which was quite surprising.

Although I couldn't remember which exact oyster was what for some of them, I remember the Olympias being the smallest as they were packed with flavor and didn't require any mignonette or lemon juice. The larger ones were the Toten Inlet and Fanny Bay oysters. About the Toten Virginica, I can imagine that was one of the larger oysters. The Shigoku was certainly the oyster that was overall great with great flavors and size. My favorites were the Kumamotos and Kusshis in terms of flavor. What was interesting about the both of them that unlike some of the oysters I've had, they actually had deep shells albeit the oysters themselves looking deceptively small on the outside. Afterwards, I ordered another two more of the each of the following: Totten Inlet, Shigoku and Kumamoto. All of the oysters tasted extremely fresh and clean which is how some people are able to eat them without any sort of condiment. I find that more doubtful if I were to order them from a restaurant where I'm from since I'm not near the source.

I actually had wanted to go to Elliot's Oyster House on the waterfront. However, they were closed until summer of next year for seawall reconstruction. With that being said, I was glad to end up here instead as it was the best oysters I've had at only the fraction of the price with them being directly from the purveyor. I would highly recommend people to just go directly to Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bars if you just want a straightforward, no frills place that just serves some damn good oysters. To wash all of those oysters down, I had a Pike's Place IPA which was quite refreshing and bold.

Afterwards, I went next door to The Calf and Kid Artisan Cheese Shop. Since I watched the Seattle episode of Anthony Bourdain's The Layover many, many times; I definitely had this place on my itinerary. With that being said, you can probably imagine what I bought during my visit: a bunch of Briar Rose Creamery Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles! When I brought them with me from my plane ride back from Seattle to SoCal, I immediately popped one in my mouth. They were just like how Anthony Bourdain described of it when he was eating them: something one would greatly enjoy if they weren't dessert people. Both of the Chocolate and Goat Cheese flavors were well balanced without one or the other being overwhelming. This is definitely something one should buy if they're wanting a delicious souvenir to bring back from Seattle. It certainly impressed the people down where I'm from :)

Before hopping on my plane, I couldn't leave at the time without ordering food from one of uniquely Seattle's fast food place, Ivar's Fish Bar. With four pieces of Cod and Chips (Fries) and their seasonal Salmon Chowder which was quite delicious and unfortunately wasn't able to take a pic of it, the fish and chips were certainly quite satisfying along with having some Scotch and Ginger Ale on the Alaska Airlines flight. Although I too forgot to take a photo, some of Alaska Airlines' flights offered free, complementary beer and wine for those 21 and older. The porter I had on the flight from one of the Pacific NW's breweries was certainly delicious. This is what separates Alaska Airlines from most of the other domestic airlines along with their wonderful service (*cough* *cough* Southwest *cough* *cough* United *cough* *cough*).

When I got back home, I immediately picked up an authentic Al Pastor burrito from Taco Del Rio in La Puente which was quite needed as I was back in SoCal.

It was certainly great to be back in Seattle, even though it was nine years since along with it only being two days. Although places like Las Vegas are certainly great for a short getaway, I would highly recommend not only to my friends in Southern California but to many others of visiting Seattle with its lush nature of being surrounded by trees, water and, of course, fresh air; but also with its warm and friendly citizens that contradicts their cold climate that I wished more people down here would become, especially as I thought that its never ending sunny weather would make people more outgoing.

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