I mentioned previously that two of my friends moved to Seattle, prompting a Gal Pal reunion between Edlira (@thecravingscurator), Gloria (@princessgloriafeasts), and Alexa (@foodbiddies). Alexa recently moved in with her boyfriend, and her sublet in Fremont was completely free for us to stay in fortunately! Two days prior to my arrival, Gloria arrived in Seattle (as did my cousin, but separately), and the morning after I arrived, Edlira arrived in Seattle.
Alexa was working on that Friday Edlira and I had arrived, so we didn't see her until the evening. While Gloria and I were waiting for Edlira's arrival, I took the car and ran some errands, then treating myself to breakfast. I headed over to Vif Wine & Coffee, getting myself an avocado tartine with a 12 oz americano. Once I got the text that Edlira had landed, I headed back to the sublet, met up with Edlira and Gloria, got in the scariest Uber ride of our lives (there were all kinds of issues with the driver, including how she was not who was in the picture, took her hands off the wheel several times, missed several exits, took illegal turns, was driving between lanes, and so much more).
We headed over to Pike Place Market, because of course - this is a highly touristy area. We walked around the food hall, saw the accordion cat play (have you seen my Instagram story highlights?), and generally wandered through the market where I went to Piroshky Piroshky, eventually making our way to the gum wall. There was some graffiti and flyers strung along the staircase heading down from the market to the gum wall, and it was more like a gum alley - mind you. I can't imagine the person who has the job scraping off the gum on the wall, because these all looked relatively fresh, seeing the way people would write messages or their names with several packs of gum. It is a large social experiment, and so fascinating to me, but also really disgusting to think about all of the germs and disease festering in one location. I am grossing myself out thinking about it
Gloria, Edlira, and I headed over to the Chihuly Glass and Garden Home, next to the Space Needle. We decided not to go to the Space Needle, but there are ticket bundles for admission to both the Space Needle and Chihuly. We walked through the glass structures and the garden, and it was so fascinating and beautiful to see in person. I would definitely recommend that if you are in Seattle to stop by to see Chihuly, I was mesmerized.
After Chihuly, we walked over to the Amazon Go Store, which is fascinating because no lines, no checkout. You scan your Amazon account query code upon entering, and you pick up belongings and as you leave, you get a notification on your phone of the items you walked out with and get charged for them? I am still unsure how this works, honestly. Gloria went off to meet up with one of her friends, so Edlira and I went to the Starbucks Reserve - which is huge! There, I enjoyed a matcha gin cocktail at the bar with a flatbread, and Edlira enjoyed some espresso with a flatbread snack.
Then it was the great reunion! Alexa was out of work and I made reservations for us all at Needle & Thread - inside of Tavern Law. My cousin (who was also in Seattle because her friend was interning at Amazon for the summer) and her friend met with the four of us as well. To enter Needle & Thread, you walk into Tavern Law and head to the bank vault door, picking up the phone next to it. It will ring to the bar and you confirm your reservation, at which point the door will unlock and you can head on up. Similar to Drink in Boston, this speakeasy has no set menu, and you let the bartenders know what types of drinks and spirits you enjoy. They give you a list of key words to help facilitate your description.
To end off our evening, we ate at Junkichi, which was just exiting its soft opening phase. This was a fantastic and delicious meal (I particularly enjoyed the Lamb Rock, where we seared the lamb ourselves), where we had a chance to catch up on the happenings of our six months before we last saw each other. That robot thing pictured is the token spokes-robot of Junkichi. There's an app and everything to control Junkichi, where he will take photos of you, help you with your menu, talk to you about what the specials are, applaud what you are saying randomly - it is next level, and kind of scary! You never know who is watching.
Saturday was my last full day in Seattle, and our only day of all of us being able to spend a full-day together! We were fortunate to have such beautiful weather because the day started in the high 60’s and peaked to high 80’s by mid-day.
My friend Rachel, who also moved to Seattle in January, met up with Edlira, Gloria, Alexa, Alexa’s boyfriend, and me. We started the day off at brunch at Joule — this restaurant with its confident blends of Korean flavors has been on my radar for a while, and I sure was glad we were able to go! We got there right when they opened, and fortunately they could fit all of us.
After brunch, Alexa mentioned that it was the Fremont Solstice Festival - and we sure were going to be in for a treat. Before we participated in festival activities, we browsed through a dispensary, found a spot on the sidewalk, and watched as hoards and hoards of people rode on Limebikes (the bikes that can be rented anywhere in the city, locking and unlocking via the app) naked, but body painted in elaborate costumes. Talk about freedom!
We walked through the festival, ate some street food (I had corn on the cob and added extra parmesan cheese on my corn), before we decided to bike through the city on one of the Limebikes to head to The Nest for a rooftop bar. We started with some frozen rosé only available at the downstairs bar, and then we headed on up to the roof where we sweltered in the sunshine. It was a blessing and a curse, really. Suddenly, my choice of wearing a long sleeve dress, which seemed like a good idea in the morning, was no longer a good idea, and I had no layers to strip (unless I wanted to be like the folks at the Solstice Festival on the bikes).
The evening was creeping up on us ,but fortunately it was the longest day of the year so we had plenty of sunshine to go around. We went to Frankie & Jo’s for delicious plant-based ice cream, then stopped over to the infamous Rachel’s Ginger Beer for a cool-down drink before walking over to an, unfortunately, catastrophic dinner at Ba Bar.
I really hate to be that person when it comes to poor service, and I am all about taking as many steps as possible to ensure that poor service is addressed appropriately. Unfortunately, our server was rude, spilled fish sauce on the table (and us), was constantly trying to force us to order alcoholic beverages (even though we continuously declined), did not correctly bring out our order (because he never wrote anything down or repeated back to us), and was near flabbergasted when we got an order of banh cuon which is typically made to order (it was delicious).
I was so disappointed that the service was so terrible because the food was actually quite delicious. We tried to speak to a manager, but was sent another server. When we went to the bar requesting the manager again, a third server came to speak to us. We then learned that there was no manager on site, and asked for the contact information for the manager directly. I wrote an email, but alas, I did not receive a response. Alexa wrote a Yelp review, and almost instantly, received a response from the manager to discuss further.
Again, I think it is best to go through the many steps of discussing to the management team privately before taking to public a poor experience as the establishments should always be given a chance to redeem themselves real-time, not after you got home and paid for the bill.
With this, our day in Seattle together ended, and we said our goodbyes, parted ways, and I was packing up to get ready to leave to my first road trip destination the next morning. Honestly, not bad for two full days in Seattle - we certainly did a lot!
West Coast Road Trip Series
Seattle: A Gal Pal Reunion
San Francisco & San Jose
Highway 1 & Nacimiento Road