Sunday, March 6, 2011

Travel Eats: Port Townsend, WA

A mid-week road trip getaway took the Sous-Chef and I to Port Townsend, Washington where we were to stay at a friend of his family's. After an approx 3 hour drive and a 1/2 ferry ride, we were in PT, Washington's Victorian Seaport on the Olympic Peninsula- it's an old town town with a lot of historical buildings, storefronts, charm and of course, opportunities for some good eats!

Fun fact: There aren't big on giant corporate chains in PT. There are limited chains, and the ones that are present aren't allowed big logos or signage. They have one McD's and there are no golden arches.
But they did have this sweet statue!!!

Another fun fact: PT is where they filmed the movie "Officer and a Gentlemen". Ironically, we tried to rent the movie and despite visiting the two movie stores, we were only able to find a VHS copy (our accomodations not surprising had a DVD player only)

Our first night, we picked up some salmon, vegetables, and a giant bottle of wine from the grocery store (yay for one stop shopping!)

We made a delicious thai curry, rice noodles, a tonne of cilantro and  BBQ the salmon with a ginger marinade.

The next day we went for a long walk along the beach, trails, and abandoned bunkers at Fort Warden State Park and worked up an appetite for lunch. The sous-chef's mom said I should make sure to try her favourite sandwich....and I was game. So we headed to Sweet Laurette's Cafe and Bistro, a patisserie/bistro serving French cuisine with a Northwest twist. This restaurant was cozy and comfortable, with easy listening french music playing softly in the background. There was literature on the tables to let diners know that the owner/operators were passionate about working with local products.

The sous chef ordered a House Salad for $7(vegan choises were few because all the vegetarian options had cheese) and got two baskets of complimentary bread. The salad was bibb and frisee lettuce tossed with roasted shallot vinagrette, garnished with cucumber, cherry tomato, and carrot and extremely pretty to look at. He thought it was extremely fresh and liked the dressing. He also loved the soft, chewy, baguette.

Despite all of the delicious sounding options, I kept a laser like focus and ordered the recommended sandwich...the Cape Cleare Pan-Seared Salmon BLT Sandwich ($15) with bacon, avocado, mayo, tomato, red onion and lettuce on griddled pain au levein.

I was a bit wary of the $15 price tag for a sandwich with no side- but this sandwich really brought it. I definitely had a food-gasm with this one. Every aspect of this sandwich was perfect- delicious buttery sourdough bread lightly toasted, amazing flavour and texture with the fresh pan-seared salmon and the fresh lettuce and tomato, perfectly crisp bacon, and rich, soft avocado made every bite a symphony of texture and flavour playing on the palate. Our server was awesome- quick, plenty of water re-fills, super friendly and gave us some great recommendations on the best place to buy seafood in town (in particular the Cape Cleare salmon).

Next up, we walked around the main Victorian seaport strip of town and checked out all of the pubs, coffee shops, cafes, novelty and antique shops before we headed to the large industrial shipyard area where we stopped at Port Townsend brewery for a beer tasting. We tried 4 beers ($1 per sample glass). Our favorites were the light Chet's Golden Ale and Brown Porter.

Then we strolled over to Key City Fish where they sold fish fresh off the boats, along with delicious smelling chowder and local smoked salmon/canned tuna. I picked up some mixed seafood(scallops, shrimp, tuna, cod) to fry up for dinner and throw on a salad.
The next day, we did another awesome hike and a bit more exploring before taking off. Before we left, I bought some delicious Cape Cleare smoked salmon for my lunch. The flavour was amazing and smoky and was soooo tasty in a pita with dill pickles and basil mustard based coleslaw for a ferry ride picnic on the way home.

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