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Seattle: Curtain down!!!

11 Oct

I lunched at Homegrown over a handful of times. When it came to dinner, I stopped at PURPLE almost every single night— even if it was just for a glass off their exquisite wine list or to enjoy the beautiful ambiance.

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From the appetizers to the entrees to the desserts to the cheese to the reds, whites and rosés I swirled and swooned…this was my favorite nighttime-dine on tour. Seattle was turning into my favorite foodie city with only 2 (yet stellar!) experiences!

Here are my recommendations for the gluten and dairy-free (GF/DF) heart and the queso, wheaty glutton:

WINE:
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I ordered their Northwest flight of Washington whites (the flights change seasonally and currently they don’t offer the same set I ordered). With trios from Spain, Italy, France, and varietals marked heavy, corked, uncorked, new world, and “Not Pinot Noir,” these flights make a great night out with fellow, friendly winos that stimulate your palate…and the food hasn’t even arrived…

My FAVORITE white was the Pandora Cellars Marsanne from Yakima Valley, Washington 2011–currently available by the bottle for $40. I felt as if I was cheating myself to order any other flight when this wine blew my mind with its crisp nose, hint of fruit, and semi-dry nature. It was a standout.

APPETIZERS:
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Cheesy App: They offer a chefs cheese flight of 3 or individual stunning cheese selections and wine pairings, located on the first page of the dinner menu.
The appetizer that melted the hearts of the cast was this Baked Brie Pastry. I did have a bite of it and was transported to a magical place. The phlegm that followed was well worth it.

GF/DF App: The tomato soup, made without dairy or croutons, is to die for. It was my go-to starter. Always perfectly hot, seasoned and spiced. Quite lovely on those chilly Seattle nights.

ENTREES:

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Meaty, Wheaty, Cheesy: People went crazy for the Lobster Mac and Cheese, Lamb Burger, SPECTACULAR French Fries (my weakness), several specialty pizzas, and the Gorgonzola and Pancetta Pasta. The aromas from each dish at our last cast-night-out in the city was intoxicating.

GF/DF: I feel in love with the Purple Chopped, NO cheese ADD chicken. The dressing was light enough, with just a touch of lemon and red wine vinegar, that the freshness and quality of each component stood and shined in their individual flavors—filling the salad with texture and delight.

DESSERT:

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Bread Pudding! Not gluten-free, but looked and smelled just as dangerous as it was. I believe there was a peanut butter cookie, ice cream sandwich special that the cast died over, as well. I tried to block it out. Peanut butter anything is my favorite anything.

GF/DF- The menu, again, changes and now it looks like they offer more GF options like a flour-less chocolate cake and chocolate covered bons bons made with rice crispies (there’s gotta be milk in the chocolate) OR a dairy free spiced sorbet with the optional wheaty ginger snap cookie.

I had the dessert special which was a blackberry, raspberry sorbet. It was rich and creamy and completely safe for me to eat. It was a nice small scoop, so I felt much better getting up from the table without the sad unbuttoning of my jeans (hey…sometimes it happens).

As you can see I had so much to say about all the things I could and couldn’t eat or drink here. It just is so versatile and delicious. It’s a short walk from the 5th Avenue Theatre and makes a great pre or post-show dinner.
Any wine bar that specializes in pairing breads and cheeses that OFFERS gluten-free DELECTABLE options, is number one in my book! They achieved so much and continue to exceed my expectations with their careful, allergy-thoughtful wine and food menus.

I can’t wait to return to Seattle to revisit and experience a new dish from my two favorites: Homegrown and Purple.

CHECK BACK FOR MY MASSIVE POST ON GLUTEN-FREE SAN FRANCISCO EATS THAT TOOK 7 WEEKS OF TASTING AND DEVOURING!!!!

Purple Café and Wine Bar Seattle
1225 4th Ave (Downtown)
Seattle, WA 98101
206.829.2280
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Seattle: Curtain Up!!!

10 Oct

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Wow. It’s official! I’m in a National Touring Company of a Broadway Musical, in a city I’ve never been, and sleeping in a hotel I don't have to pay for. The challenges and luxuries are just perfectly delightful. I was a bit worried about sticking to my gluten-free, dairy-free, non-red-meat-eating diet in a city I didn't know, unable to cook or refrigerate, with Subway looking like my only option from the hotel window. Man, was I wrong.

Seattle thus far has been my favorite city. Not only did we hit perfect, breezy, cozy weather, but the food here is as amazing as its picturesque mountains that peep up over the high-rises.

Now, I’m a big "yelper." I enjoy barking in the streets. No, really, I am attached to my Yelp app and credit it as being the #1 site to satiate my traveling, allergic belly. I preface with this because I didn't use it at all in Seattle– truly a shocker! We were close to the hip Capitol Hill and Melrose Ave, so I decided to meander on foot over the highway in search of food.

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I walked past the Melrose Market a few times after seeing a sandwich shop and meat deli in the window. I had no intention to even explore this large unique "market" until I was famished from walking for an hour, hours after I should have already stuffed my face before our ritualistic 530pm-in-a-new-theatre/city-meeting. So, I headed in to drool over the sandwiches I could NOT eat and the leafy salads covered in cheese I could butcher to be bland and nutritious. *Sigh*

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“Hmmm…Beet Salad with the delicious goat cheese with turkey? No…lentil soup? No…can’t have a gassy barricade. Look at those delicious sandwiches. Sage aioli? Come on. Can I dunk my beets in that? Not a bad idea….hmmm what are the sides? Pickle, yes. Salt and pepper chips, that soup, and gluten free bread $8.

WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
So there it was. A gluten free sandwich with sustainable, locally grown ingredients. AND when I am done devouring it all, I have the option of recycling, composting, or trashing my remaining crumbs and crinkled crinolines. Ok napkins…I had to embrace the alliteration.

I ate here many many times. My three favorites (with my substitutes and additions):

Breakfast: BEST BREAKFAST SANDWICH I’VE EVER HAD: Avocado, Egg + NO cheese, ADD sage aioli, on toasted GF bread. Make sure to get their hot sauce on the side for this one– delicious! Of course, paired with a coffee and a side of soy or almond milk 😉

Lunch: 1. PERFECT LUNCH SANDWICH TO HOLD YOU OVER: Turkey, Bacon + Avocado, NO gouda, with mixed greens, and ADD their unbeatable sage aioli on toasted gluten-free bread– with one vegan, gluten free cookie by Skydottir (local bakery) for my sweet side.

2. DELICIOUS GF VEGAN OPTION: Hummus + Roasted Red Peppers, avocado, cucumber, arugula, ADD sage aioli on toasted GF bread (of course)

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Aside from this sandwich shop being my dream cafe, the market place is stunning. Here is a list of their amazing standouts:

Marigold and Mint: This is an incredible flower shop in the back where I purchased great locally made cards to send to my love back home and an old pewter vase to hold my makeup brushes.

Sitka & Spruce: A beautiful restaurant I did not get to try that evokes the feeling of being in a friends gourmet, french kitchen. It’s enveloped by the vibrant greens, ivories, and purples from the flower shop across the way, where they actually buy the herbs that garnish and compliment their dishes.
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The Calf & Kid: Tastings of various cheeses from local farms. There just so happens to be a wine bar right next to this booth that looked mighty tasty and careful selected. Maybe on a future cheat day I will give in….

Butter Home: This is still one of my favorite stores I have visited on tour. Sitting upstairs, above Homegrown, it is decorated with great locally made gifts, trinkets, coasters, cards, jewelry, Edison bulbs, and more. I was aching to buy everything and nest in the home I left to be on tour. Not the smartest thing to do without a first paycheck, so I admired, got more cards, and left with a wonderful memory.

Check back in for my last blog about Seattle and my favorite wine bar/dinner spot!

Homegrown
1531 Melrose Ave (Capitol Hill) in Melrose Market
Seattle, WA 98122
202.682.0935

Melrose Market
1501-1535 Melrose Ave (Capitol Hill)
Seattle, WA 98122

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