6 May 2010

Seattle Bite Food Tours Takes a "Bite" Out of Seattle

Last Spring I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Jan Marie Johnson of Seattle Bites Food Tours on one of her informative and innovative foodie tours as we flitted through Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle sampling Nutella and banana crepes, authentic New York pastrami and award-winning clam chowder (just a few "bites" on this culinary adventure). When Jan Marie asked me to gather some Seattle area bloggers for a tour on my recent trip to Seattle I knew we were in for an illuminating as well as fulfilling experience.... in more ways than one. I couldn't think of a better way to spend an afternoon than with fellow foodies discussing food, wine and history with a behind the scenes tour of this historical landmark. You will walk away from your experience with Seattle Bites Food Tours feeling a personal connection with Pike Place Market while delving into delectable food selections from merchants of all kinds.  “There’s more to the market than just food, fish and flowers,” Jan Marie says. “It’s not only the culinary heartbeat, but it’s really the soul of what makes Seattle a great city.”

Even after taking her tour a year ago I still came away with new taste sensations and knowledge in an everchanging and evolving experience. I couldn't recommend her tour enough and wanted other bloggers to have the same award-winning experience. Joining us on our journey were three intrepid Vancouverites, Jan Marie's loveable husband Mark, plus long time friends Lynn of Cookie Baker Lynn and Sandy of Eat, Love Travel and other Seattle area food bloggers Don of Sortachef, Sarah of OC2 Seattle, and Sara of The Lonely Radish. It was a pleasure to meet you all and I look forward to my next trip to Seattle!!!!!

Seattle Bites Food Tours is a guided walking tour focused exclusively on the heart of Seattle’s culinary scene while exploring historic 100 plus year old Pike Place Market It is internationally recognized as the State’s best farmers’ market and the epicenter of Seattle’s lively food culture. Disney and Universal don't know what they lost when Jan Marie moved to Seattle. Jan Marie is a Seattle treasure and greets you as if you were old friends. Her warmth, historical and food knowledge, and great sense of humor make this an unforgettable experience.You get a chance to meet the merchants and vendors and see them in action, hearing the stories of how they made their dreams and passions come to fruition. Jan Marie's passion for the market and those who work there shines through at every turn.

Jan Marie took us on a 3+ hour tour of "discovery" of the market that gives out-of-towners and as well as locals a taste of market cuisine and a glimpse into Seattle’s storied past. It is interesting to hear snippets of history about the market and the buildings you are surrounded by as well as about the vendors and mom-and-pop operations contained within this diverse area. We learned the history of the market, including its populist founding, the internment of Japanese vendors following Pearl Harbor, and its hard-won achievement as a historical landmark in the 1970s after some city officials proposed its demolition. We walked away with not only enhanced knowledge, but also full tummies. The tour makes about about 10 tasting stops, where merchants share their own stories, as well as generous samples of their menus.

The "Bites" We Experienced

Smoked Salmon Flatbread with Crème Fraîche at TASTE at Seattle Art Museum
Paris inspired Nutella and Banana Crepes at family-owned Crepe de France
Award winning clam chowder at Pike Place Chowder
Authentic pastrami on rye and potato knishes at I Love New York Deli
Vegetarian Samosas at a new vendor Saffron Spice Taste of India
Decadent Alderwood Smoked Salmon from Pure Food Fish Market
Gourmet Sausages and Sauces at Uli’s Famous Sausage
Grapples, Moskatel Grapes juicy pears and smiles at Corner Produce
Family-owned, hand roasted artisan coffee tastings from the "bong" at Seattle Coffee Works
Truffle Butter Adorned Fresh Popcorn and Proscecco at La Buona Tavola

 Thanks Jan Marie for taking us on this memorable tour and thank you to all the bloggers, merchants and new found friends who have a place in my heart along with my adopted city of Seattle.  Don, a native of Seattle, of Sortachef says, "Jan Marie Johnson opened my eyes Saturday by taking us along on one of her market tours, designed with foodies in mind, available through www.seattlebitesfoodtours.com. It’s a four-hour moveable feast that takes on a hundred years of market history while at the same time illuminating more current food trends and producers."

It was fun to see the market through new eyes, tastes and sensations. The next time you are in Seattle join Jan Marie for her Seattle Bites Food Tours. It is easy to see why she has just been voted the #1 Food Tour in the Northwest!!!!! Congratulations Jan Marie!!!!! For some more in depth insights into the market take a look at past posts here and here as I continue on my foodie journey.

Here's what, people have to say:
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  1. Fabulous!! I am so envious!! I'm going back to re-read
    xoxo Pattie

  2. Now this is a tour I am dying to take. After I retire - next year - when I have time to get there at the end of the summer when the market will be thriving with garden abundance and ocean goodies. What a wonderful opporunity you have had. I have heard so much about this market. Keep me informed of any future foodie or blogger tours. I am always interested, and occasionally available. Loved this post!

  3. How fabulous to be able to walk the market in the company of fellow bloggers. I know you had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing the sites and sounds and smells of this great market with us. Have a fabulous day. Blessings...Mary

  4. It was such fun! Thanks for inviting me to come along, Val. I loved the food, the history, and meeting fellow food bloggers.

  5. AnonymousMay 06, 2010

    Such a great tour! Jan Marie is truly a gem. This tour is a must for anyone who loves food and/or history. Thanks Val for inviting me along :)

  6. It was a pleasure to meet you all. I now have two adopted towns Seattle and San Francisco.

  7. I am in great need of a beer now ... I'm crying so hard that I couldn't go with you on this. What a fabulous tour.

  8. I hope you will come to Portland one of these days to see all that this city has to offer. I volunteer to be your guide if you ever do.

    Seattle is a great place if one is a foodie, especially Pike Place Market. How wonderful to meet other bloggers.

  9. AnonymousMay 06, 2010

    Wow, what a terrific tour! I'll need to look into it if I'm ever in Seattle!

  10. What a trip and what a crowd. Glad I got to at least go on the no fat virtual tour!

  11. I've never been to Seattle, but it's on my bucket list. Can you imagine bringing home a bouquet of those lovely flowers? Wow.

  12. what lovely sights - markets are a great place to see real life in another place

  13. Val,
    Thanks so much for bringing us all together for this tour. I saw my hometown and the market in a whole new light !

  14. Pike Place ChowderMay 25, 2010

    Thanks for checking out Pike Place Chowder! keep us in mind next time your hungry.

  15. Great day! Thanks for getting us all together :) Great picture of Don in the boa.


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