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Posts from the ‘Washington’ Category

Oyster Rama ~ Hama Hama Oysters

After an amazing stay in Portland we headed to Liliwaup, WA on the Washington Peninsula for the 2nd Annual OYSTER RAMA! Festivities started at 11 AM at their company store and the party went into the early evening.  The event not only has the delicious Hama Hama Oysters, beer, Whidbey Island Winery, and fun, but lots of great information about the tidelands!

If you didn’t already know, Puget Sound is one of the last great oyster producing regions in the world.  Ocean acidification, toxic storm water runoff, accumulation of heavy metals (PCB’s and PAH’s, by-products of burning fossil fuels) are a few of the many threats facing shellfish and the shellfish industry, and it requires a significant amount of social awareness to address.  The tideflats that the oysters are produced from are an economic, cultural, and ecologic resource that need to be protected.

 Hama Hama Oysters, used the Oyster Rama Event to educate and engage people with shellfish in a really fun, dynamic way to generate support to keep the Puget Sound healthy.  The fabulous event also taught participants how to harvest their own oysters and clams, skills they’ll be able to use on many public beaches throughout the State.   Ecologists from Washington Sea Grant were on hand on the flats to interpret the sea life, a sea-creature “I-Spy” competition to get people to investigate the flats, and oyster farmers who will talk about how we use the flats to produce food and livelihoods. Upstream, there were environmental groups (everybody from salmon restoration members to Shellfish Ecologists to the Surfrider Foundation) setting up booths and talking with event attendees, putting on dynamic seminars on how we farm oysters, and of course oyster tastings.

The tideflat celebration had tons of delicious shellfish to eat, as well as an oyster sports competition that highlights the work that happens on an oyster farm (single picking, shucking, clam digging, etc).  Hama Hama Oysters hosted some great live music in front of a mountain of oyster shells, art vendors, and other delicious treats like crab cakes that and oyster ice cream.

 Beyond the enlightening environmental aspect of this amazing event also encompassed significant social responsibility to fund arts and cultural programs at the local school (where approximately 80% of the kids are on free or reduced lunch).  If you didn’t make it this year, I highly recommend you join us and celebrate local, Olympic Peninsula food and wine and the local artists and artisans displaying their wares at the 3rd Annual Oyster Rama in 2013!

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Ba Bar ~ Seattle, WA

Ba Bar, is a fabulous restaurant serving up flavors of southeast Asia’s street food.  Ba Bar believes, and we have to agree, the best food is simple and made fresh daily.  Chefs Eric Banh and Dung Doan bring big flavors  from the sidewalks of Siagon to Seattle with fresh, local ingredients from the Pacific Northwest.

We arrived at the restaurant around 8 PM on a Saturday night and had a short wait for a party of six.  We hung out in their bar area that overlooks the restaurant and sipped on a pleasant, dry, and reasonably priced white wine from the local O’Shea Scarbourgh winery called, Rebel.   It wasn’t long before we were kindly escorted to our table by the window and our meal was underway.

Our large party dined on two of the specials they had that evening, the Banh Cuon and the Halibut Collar and both exceptional.  The unbelievably delicate and delicious paper-thin noodles of the Banh Cohn  filled with ground Carlton Farms pork, wood ear mushrooms, minced shallots and fresh herbs with a side of  a fresh noodle and bean sprout salad.   The Halibut Collar was perfectly light, flaky and flavorful.  Also on our table were their crispy frog legs that were delicious and didn’t taste like chicken, they tasted better than chicken.  The Combo Vermicelli is overflowing with local, sustainable ingredients like grilled Draper Valley chicken, white prawn, grass-fed beef, crispy imperial roll, cucumber, rau thom (Vietnamese herbs).  The food and every encounter with the knowledgable and attentive staff was exceptional.

The restaurant itself is on the south end of 12th Ave in Seattle.  The building is well done with big windows letting in great natural light to highlight the industrial, but cozy interior.   No one can figure out when these guys sleep either, the restaurant is open from 7 AM to 2 AM Sunday-Thursday and then 7 AM to 4 AM on Friday and Saturday nights.  We have yet to try their morning coffee and pastry bar, but it is on our immediate list of things to do as well as their Kung Fu Karaoke nights and Friday night movies.  Go, support this fabulous restaurant, their friendly staff and the purveyors of Ba Bar’s local ingredients.

Morning Treat ~ Mighty-O Donuts

I picked up these amazing locally made donuts from Mighty-O for a morning meeting at our office.  I tend to avoid donuts for the often negative stereotype, the lbs. it can add to my body, and just because I just don’t have much of a sweet tooth.  Oh my, how I have been wrong.  Might-O’s, delicious “O”s are not only made with organic ingredients, but they contain no chemical preservatives, no hydrogenated oils ( trans fat), no coloring or artificial flavors, and no animal derived ingredients, which make them cholesterol free.  Their donuts are not greasy or too overly sweet  and go perfect with a hot cup of organic coffee.  I am not saying these are “healthy,” but if you are craving a donut you must have a Mighty-O.  Make it easy on yourself and order ahead of time for your next breakfast meeting.

 Price is $16 for a dozen.

 

Irwin’s Bakery ~ Seattle, WA

Irwin’s Neighborhood Bakery & Cafe is a fabulous spot with a big commitment to the environment, community, and the food they serve.  The bakery uses free range eggs, locally sourced ingredients, RBST free dairy for their scrumptious pies, muffins, scones, and cookies.  I always choose Irwin’s for preservative free baked goods for my morning business meetings or a lazy weekend morning.   They partner with local vendors in the City that share their same ideals for the goods they don’t make themselves.   One of them, that happens to be my favorite coffee roaster, Stumptown Coffee, is served in a mug if we want to hang out by the fire or compostable container if I am on-the-go.

All 3 locations collect donations for local food banks, as well as supporting local charities and auctions.  If that isn’t enough, each cozy Irwin’s is decorated in art from local artists that need a home to display their pieces.

Homegrown ~ Seattle

Seattle has this fabulous small chain of sandwich shops called Homegrown.  I am always ordering a quick and healthy lunch from their menu that sources a mixture of seasonal, local, and organic ingredients.   My favorite sandwich to grab is the vegan Hummus & Roasted Red Peppers on wholegrain, it’s to die for.  The tasty thing is filled with hummus, roasted red peppers, avocado, cucumber, arugula.

Beyond their delicious sandwiches their sustainable philosophy behind sourcing all of organic, local, compostable materials to make sandwiches and conduct business is very impressive.  I wish every sandwich shop practiced the same “sandwich environmentalism” that they do.