Noon. Pike Place Market. Daystalls in the North Arcade. Our displays are set up. The first sales of the day have hopefully been made. Turning to one another as if on cue we ask “So – What are you having for lunch?” I meant to make my lunch today. Did you see what soups are at Pear? Michou? Anyone want to go in on a pizza? I’m going to the Pasta Bar. Japanese Gourmet Agedashi Tofu. Turkish Delite Lentil Soup. Saffron Spice Chicken Masala. Grilled Beef Salad at Mr. D’s. Sabra, Pike Place Chowder. Mexican Grocery. Mee Sum Pork Skewer with Pineapple….
Yes. That’s it. That’s the pose you take when you walk into Michou . Bend at the waist and gaze up and down the glass case at imaginative and colorful salads and sandwiches. They’ll grill the sandwiches for you, Preferred. Three soup choices. I’m fond of the shrimp bisque. A fellow artist walks in. “What are you having?” hmmm. “Roasted Brussels Sprouts and the Roasted Winter Vegetables”. Don’t let the plain names fool you. Feta Cheese, nuts, berries, fresh herbs and produce from the market make them sing.
Jasmine Thai-Moroccan Restaurant in Post Alley is my go-to for a big lunch and sometimes an easy take home for dinner. I walk up and they now tell me what I want – “Basil Chicken, No Rice, Spicy” They can go a little crazy on the spice once they find out you’re game so – be honest. I have spent many a lunch with beads of sweat on my forehead. But loving every bite. They’re generous with extra veggies if you don’t do carbs. I especially enjoy watching them as they work in tandem behind the counter. Pans and ladles fly. Flames flare. Busy chattering. And always a smile. Oohh. Try the Jasmine Salad. Oh. Yes.
Oprah blessed Beecher’s with the “Best Mac and Cheese” title. I love Beecher’s for its Tomato Bisque. “Yes, I would like that generous scoop of Beecher’s Flagship Cheese on top”. “No. Please hold the croutons for me”. And yes. The cheese goes all melty in the soup.
Local Color is truly a local coffee shop owned by Frank and Sydne who treat you like family. That attitude trickles down to their staff and spreads out to the regulars who perch on chairs around the cafe tables on a cold day or relax in the back on soft couches. My favorite lunch here is their Curry Chicken Wrap. The Veggie Wrap is also a nice choice with the lovely sweetness of yam balancing the slightly bitter kale. Ask them to grill it for you. Easy to grab and go.
Endless choices. We even have a microwave tucked away just for use by the DayStall Community so that we can warm the lunches that we bring from home. Many of them prepared with produce and meats that we purchase from the Pike Place Market stalls.
We, the artists and craftspeople of Pike Place Market like our food tasty, fast and affordable. A cloth is thrown over our table to cover our display while we scurry away to find lunch. Then back we come to sit behind our table, many of us continuing to work our business while we eat. Not the most polite perhaps. But certainly the most practical for us. Kat Allen – Symbols in Art
Thank you to Kristeena Sabando, Keri DeAguero and Ann Dunlap-Brown for their photo contributions to this blog post.