Coffee Fest Seattle Wrap Up: Part 1

Tuesday October 11, 2011 // By Kari Guddeck


Yet another Coffee Fest Seattle has come and gone.  Seattle’s infamous fall weather kept us under umbrellas and fighting frizzy hair last year, but sunny skies and 80+ degree weather greeted attendees this year.  It was great weather to bum around the city, but maybe not so great for attendance numbers.  The show floor seemed less crowded this year, and the word around the booths confirmed our suspicions.  That being said, we BPS peeps had a jam-packed weekend!  Here are some of the highlights:

Thursday – I arrived a day early so I could hang out in one of my favorite cities/old stomping grounds.

* We had a great lunch at The Collin’s Pub.  They had a unique beer list and high quality pub food at decent prices.  Try the reuben, bricked chicken sandwich, or calamari (tossed with greens and pickled red peppers).

* Next stop Salumi.  Armandino Batali has been called the ‘prince of pork’, and I might just agree.  If his last name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s father to star Chef Mario Batali.  Though Armandino has since retired his shop to his daughter and son-in-law, this cured meats/sandwich shop is a must if you’re a fan of salami and the like.  The tiny shop is only open a few hours a day at lunch time, and they ALWAYS run out of items before they close for the day.  We bought salami as gifts for a couple of our foodie friends.  Tasty!

* Magic Mouse Toy Store - It’s huge!!!  I have a 3 year old.  Enough said.

In Pikes Place Market

* On to Pikes Place Market.  If you haven’t visited the market (and by the talks we had with many out-of-towners, there are a lot of people who haven’t), you need to go at least once!  Even when I was a local we made almost weekly trips to the market for specialty cheeses, seafood, spices, and flowers.  My goal for this trip was restocking my Dad’s supply of black pepper, smoked paprika, hot paprika, etc from Market Spice.  He swears by the stuff for his top secret BBQ ribs recipe.

* And, for dinner….Lecosho.  What a treat!  I highly recommend the grilled octopus appetizer (served with chickpeas and salsa brava).  The whole broiled trout was spectacular (crisp flavorful skin, moist and flaky inside). 

* Oh, wait…and after dinner cocktails at Zig Zag.  A not so hipster cocktail bar that is often mentioned in Imbibe Magazine and other such publications The Manhattan was good, but I don’t recommend the bacon baklava. 




* Breakfast meetings at Lowell’s in Pikes Place Market.  I had the crab eggs benedict.  The food was ok, but you eat here for the view looking over Puget Sound.

* On to the convention center!  I decided to sit in on David Schomer’s (of Vivace café fame) presentation Caffe Espresso: The State of the Art.  Let’s just say he’s quite the eccentric who doesn’t believe that ‘gourmet espresso’ is possible above an altitude of 1650 ft.  Schomer pulled shots of his self-proclaimed opus espresso (the best espresso he’s ever made) in the Synesso booth after his presentation.  It was ok (figgy and chocolatey with a syrupy body…too bad I couldn’t get over the ashy finish).

Chris Deferio's 5 point rosetta

* Latté Art Class taught by latté art master Chris Deferio.  This class was a great way to spend two hours.  It was small (5 people), hands on focused, and heavy in technical why’s and how’s.  I learned a lot!  Thanks, Chris.

* I win $250 at the Ghirardelli party!  One of the highlights of the trip was winning the Ghirardelli Drink Throwdown (alcoholic category).  My cocktail was the Autumn Apple Warmer:  2 oz Bourbon, 2 oz Apple Juice, 1ish oz Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce, Orange Peel, pinch of Allspice, and 2 dashes Angostura bitters.  In a shaker, muddle orange peel with bourbon.  Then add other ingredients and shake with ice.  Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of apple.  Woo hoo!

Stay tuned for Part 2.


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