Secret face stuffing at the Seattle Underground Market

Empty warehouse in Redmond
Photo by Lia

Seattle Underground Market… top secret location, not to be revealed until the night before… entrance only to members… sounds awesome, right? I was stoked and ready to go (don’t mock my being stoked), then when I found out it was on the Eastside, I was even more STOKED to go! The Eastside never gets anything cool. I don’t lie.

Michael Natkin of Herbivoracious!

Photo by Lia

Photo by Lia

Sabich: Traditional Iraqi-Jewish eggplant sandwich with hummus, tahina, hardboiled egg, Israeli salad, dill pickle, onion, and house-pickled mango

We got there early for VIP access (DUH!) and I immediately had to refrain myself from acting like an idiot in front of Michael Natkin of Herbivoracious. I have his cookbook, he’s a local Seattle guy, and his article on “Why I’m a Vegetarian, Dammit!” changed the way Bryan thought of vegetarianism. Chefs get me more starstruck than anything, probably because I look up to them. And of course, now I regret NOT acting like a starstruck fan and getting a picture with him.

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ACK!!! Adorable attack!!!

Daniel from Shipwreck honey, drizzlin’ it real good

Honey peppered pork belly griddle bread featuring Shipwreck honey
Photo by Lia

Photo by Lia

And speaking of acting like a crazy person, I did go a tad crazy when I saw the mini honeybears that Shipwreck Honey was giving away with purchase of a plate of food. I love bears. I love honey. I love mini bears filled with local honey.

Important noodle dude from Noodle Street Seattle

Best noodles from Noodle Street Seattle

He’s so happy!

Coffee-crusted pork sliders… in case you couldn’t read
Photo by Lia

Dumpling lady with no tofu dumplings…

Seriously tasty sauce for dumpling dipping

Pork Dumplings with bean sprouts and pickled Japanese cucumber
Photo by Lia

Great eyelashes on a hungry face

I can say this since I am Asian, but holy-Asian-food-fest! There were a ton of Asian peeps there eating and a pretty heavy handful of Asian chefs. There were even dumplings, which are obviously Asian food! I guess it’s true that Asians love to eat and cook!

Squeezing orange juice on demand

Sour apple orange juice and mango orange juice

Orange you glad to see me?! HAHAHA

Dinglehopper accessory… you best know what that is!
Photo by Lia

This event was different than any food event I had ever been to. No booze for one. And since it was ‘private’ there were home cooks and small startups mixed in with professionals or established local places. So, as I waited for my fresh orange juice that required a million oranges, I discovered the juice guy was a construction worker who just wanted out of his biz. Gotta love the stories that everyone has.

LEFT: Mushy quinoa cakes w/ tomato apricot chutney and garlic prawns
RIGHT: Bruleed pear crisp w/ blue cheese, arugula, and not reduced red wine sauce
Photo by Lia

Vegan sloppy joes with fried onions and sage aioli
Photo by Lia

The only sad face in the warehouse

Butternut squash and grilled corn rice pudding

Green papaya salad doused in mayo
Photo by Lia

Unfortunately, not all food is created equal… We did try some plates that failed to impress us. And they were all from the same two places, so that doesn’t speak well for them. Maybe that is why one of them had a sad/angry looking guy playing the guitar to draw people in?

Bumble bee chara bento
Photo by Lia

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Dango: mochi rice balls covered in a sweet and salty sauce

The point of this underground market was that you would go on a food adventure. You know, let your senses lead you to whatever smelled good, looked good, or sounded good.  Because of this there were no maps provided and no vendors were grouped together. They did however, provide a menu of what the vendors would be offering and I had to hunt down the dango that I saw was going to be featured.  Sadly after eating it, it also fell onto my not impressed list.

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I am not a fan of baklava

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You’re jealous of my iPhone fisheye lens

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Latte ice pop from Six Strawberries

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Immaculately decorated cakepops

Obviously the night could only be completed with wine a dessert round! I got to try baklava for the first time from Bikelava… not a fan of baklava.  Not at all.  But I will take more ice pops from Six Strawberries!  Lia got a latte ice pop and once we picked the paper off it was super tasty, so I’ll take more of those please.  And while I am not a fan of any cakepops, the display here was possibly the widest variety of well decorated pops I have ever seen. If only cakepops tasted as good as they look!

Makeshift table on industrial shelving

Fellow face stuffers finding eating space on the floor

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Getting crowded at the end of the night

The Seattle Underground Marketing was truly a collection of professional face stuffers. It was such a relief to not be the only obnoxious person who needed to take a picture of their food! And although the lines were long by the end of the night, no grumbling was to be heard when forced to MacGyver [urbandictionary verb: To use ingenuity to fix or remedy a problem using only the tools available at hand] a place to eat your food.  I anxiously await the next members-only email announcing the next location!

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