One of the perks of living in a big city is that you get a chance to do a lot of cool new things. The other week I read an article about the Seattle Underground Market in the Seattle Times and immediately signed up to participate in the second one (sadly I was reading about the first one as it was going on). The concept it simple: food vendors who are trying to break into the market with their own restaurant or catering business set up a few dishes that you can try for $1-5 and in return get great feedback about their creations. It’s a little sketchy in that they only email out the location the night before (first one was in a warehouse, this one was in a building next to a bus station).
Each vendor has a table or two set up and you just go around and try food to your heart’s content. We got early admission tickets which allowed us to be there right at 5pm, which while a little early for dinner definitely saved us time from standing in lines.
Where to begin? We had garlic and cheese sautéed mashed potatoes, deconstructed BLTs using heirloom tomato jam, dork (duck + pork) balls with smoked paprika tomato sauce, black fig custard ice cream with balsamic reduction swirl, Guajillo chile-infused enchiladas potosinas, French macaroons (Captain Crunch, Apple Cider with Butterfinger, Gingerbread), Tandoori shrimp salad and a fall salad with butternut squash, arugala, truffles, bacon and brie. And these are only the things I wrote down or took pictures of.
I used a low aperture setting on my camera to get some better candid shot of place, but ended up disliking a lot of my photos. Next time will have to step it up a bit.
You need some strategery in this place if you’re going to get the full amount of deliciousness onto your palate.
- First, bring at least one friend you don’t mind sharing food with. The more the better. Portions are small, but you’re going to want to divide and conquer to get a good taste of everything
- Bring plenty of cash – you don’t want to make your rounds to realize you’re $2 short of a chance to try a pumpkin cheesecake empanda
- Bring a bottle of water (if you can) – drinks were few and far between and you’ll want something to quench your thirst. If the soda jerk people are back though just go ahead and buy some of their lemon lavender or elderberry black peppercorn soda, but then again you might just want to save that for dessert.
- We began by tasting all the savory food and then the sweet, but mix it up as you see fit.
- Don’t eat for at least 6 hours beforehand. Don’t spoil your appetite with mediocre food – wait out the afternoon to get here.
- If you “small portion” is too big don’t be afraid to not finish it. You don’t want to fill up on extras like black beans when you could be saving room for the Bibb lettuce wraps.
However you decide to conquer the room you won’t be disappointed!
Can’t wait to see what comes out next month!