The first place we hit up was right after we had gotten off our six hour flight from New York so we were all very tired. The place was called Dong Thap Noodles and was in the International District of Seattle. They were famous for having the world’s biggest bowl of pho. Now, as you probably know from one of my earlier posts we visited Vietnam a few years ago and had pho all of the time, but since then I have only had one or two bowls of it in the States. So, I was excited! We started off by getting spring rolls and egg rolls and obviously we ordered the pho. The spring roll was my favorite out of the two rolls it was so fresh and light and it really tasted like I was back in Vietnam. Next was the pho. It was huge! As soon as we got it we dug in, of course, after my dad took pictures. In my family, we put sriracha, hoisin sauce, jalepeños, and bean sprouts which gives it a lot of bold flavors. It was the best pho we had eaten since Vietnam and it reminded me a lot of Vietnam. We actually tried a few new things that were in the soup which were tendon, and tripe. I thought that the all of the different meats were cooked very well and that all of the flavors really went well together. The owners of Dong Thap were so nice and were so involved with the customers which I usually don’t see a lot of and is something I really appreciated. Overall, I think it should be a place you try to go to if you go to Seattle.
The next place I want to talk about is a very famous sandwich place that is owned by Mario Batali's parents and it is called Salumi. It was opened after his dad retired and he decided to learn a lot about curing meats, which eventually led him to open his store. His store is only open four days a week from 11am to 3pm so this was our only chance to go. We got there as the store opened and it isn’t really a sit down place. You get your order to go. My dad and I agreed on getting the porchetta sandwich (one of the most popular sandwiches there), chicharones, meatballs, and the cured meats platter. We took it on a mini ferry trip, we were taking around Seattle. We started with the porchetta sandwich which had pork, peppers, and onions. I must say it was a very good bite. The pork was tender and the peppers were soft and so were the onions. The only thing I would say was that the bun fell apart when we ate it. The next thing we had which I could not stop eating was the meat platter. It had all of these different types of salami that made my mouth water. There were six different types of salami: finocchiona, hot sopressata, salumi, mole, mustard, and agrumi salami. My favorite salami that kept reeling me back was the mole salami, it had a lot of different flavors and it was a hard salami which I love. They had put nutmeg in the salami which was interesting because I would expect it in a mole, but I wouldn’t think it would be good in a salami, but it was. It had made the salami pop and stand out from the others. We had gotten two orders of the meatballs which is the next thing we are going to talk about. I am really glad we got two orders because if we didn’t there wouldn’t be enough to go around!! To me the meatball itself is only 75% of what makes a meatball really good and the other 25% is the sauce. Meatballs need to be moist and I like my meatballs soft and the sauce really helps to kind of of trap the moisture in the meatball and make it dense. If the sauce that is helping to keep the meatball stay moist isn’t good then there is that 25% of the meatball gone. I don’t care if it is the best meatball in the world. If that sauce isn’t good then it is over. I thought that they nailed the sauce and that the meatball was nice and moist and the sauce really helped bring the meatball to the next level. Lastly, I thought the chicharones were very good, but it was a little hard and that might just be me because of my braces. Although because it was a little hard it really brought out rich flavors in the chicharones. I also thought it was very nicely seasoned. I would definitely go back to Porchetta and so far I am in love with Seattle. Then we were off to Alaska!!!
We did a lot of excursions in Alaska so we didn’t have a lot of time to eat. The only place that we ate was in a little town called Skagway. One of our excursions there was a salmon bake and then we ate in the town. Skagway was a short walk from the docks of the cruise ship and I wish we got to do more exploring there. We ate this dessert that was a fried bread coated in sugar and tasted like fried dough which it was just not over the top sweet, but more subtle. The salmon bake was not what I was expecting. We took a little bus there from the docks and it wasn't even in Skagway, it was a bit little outside town. We showed up in a little school bus and there was a little buffet set up with salad, pasta and next to it was a large grill with salmon and a pineapple glaze. It was nice, but it wasn’t what I expected.
In Alaska we also got to go on a crab boat and see how they caught crabs. We also learned the difference between female and male crabs and I got to hold a crab. It was fun, but my favorite part was going back to land to eat as many crabs as we wanted. When we got there they told us that there was a competition to see who can stack the highest crab shell pile and the winner would get a prize. If you know me then you know I am super competitive so I was all in. Compared to other groups though we didn't have a lot of people since my siblings don't eat crab and we only had four people actually eating crab. So we were the most creative when it came time for them to measure our stack of shells. We put the plate on top of a glass and so even though we didn't have a lot of shells on the plate it still put a lot of height on it because they measure it from the ground. We actually won!! Do you want to know what are prize was? We got to learn a dance. I know, not much right? It still felt good to win. That was our last day in Alaska. Then it was back to Seattle!
We didn’t go straight home after the cruise, we decided to stay and explore Seattle a bit more. As soon as we got off the ship we went to a Mariners game because my Dad has always wanted to go to that stadium and the food there was supposedly amazing. There were a few major things on our list to eat there, one of them was to eat these fried grasshoppers that came in a little container. I was really nervous to eat it because, like to anyone, it sounded disgusting. We went on the line as quickly as possible because they only sell a certain amount of containers per day. There was plenty left when we got there and my Dad and I asked what the grasshoppers tasted like and the guy working there said they tasted like hearts of palm. Now, hearts of palm aren’t my favorite food and I don’t love them so I was very hesitant to try it. I did end up eating it and it tasted disgusting, but I made it down. I am glad that I ate it because now I can say that I ate a grasshopper.
The last place we went before going back to New York was the Pike Place Market. We got a lot of food there, but there are a few that really stood out to me personally. One of them which I still can’t get over which was this stand called Chukar Cherries. They are different types of cherries that are dipped in different types of chocolate. They were so good that we brought two bags home and one of the bags I ate by myself. The next thing we had were different types of clam chowder. One was original and the other was mixed seafood and salmon. They were amazing they were so creamy, and full of rich flavor from the seafood. It was really hot that day and a really long line, but totally worth it. To cool ourselves down after the hot soup we got ginger beer. They are really good for you and you can get them in different flavors. We got peach, mango, and guava. My favorite was the guava. It was absolutely bursting in flavor and had a little bit of a kick from the ginger. The Pike Place Market was definitely one of my favorite places and I am dying to go back.
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go to these places and all of the food was amazing.