Seattle Foodie Pop-Ups on the Rise

Seattle is undoubtedly a foodie city. We boast the talent of household-name chefs such as Tom Douglas, Ethan Stowell, and Renee Erickson. We have magazines, newspaper sections, and blogs focused on dining around the city. With so many established food options however, competition for up-and-coming restaurateurs is high.

 " Chef Rucker " by  stu_spivak  is licensed under  CC BY-SA 2.0

"Chef Rucker" by stu_spivak is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

 " seafood pasta " by  Cooking Etc.  is licensed under  CC BY 2.0

"seafood pasta" by Cooking Etc. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

And then there’s the location issue.  Not everyone with a creative food vision can necessarily afford a storefront establishment or have the resources to operate a full restaurant. These culinary masterminds must get creative in finding ways to present their food to the public. The solution? Pop ups.

Pop ups are temporary shops or restaurants designed to create intrigue, demand, and limited-time public exposure for a product, brand, or food. They are often launched inside other businesses in collaboration with that business owner. On the food front, chefs will often cook in the kitchens of established restaurants and add their food to a designated pop up menu offered at limited times.

 " KCI_2590 " by  Kurman Communications  is licensed under  CC BY 2.0

Many previous restaurant pop ups in Seattle generated enough demand as temporary businesses to expand into permanent establishments. The brand new Gnocchi Bar in Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square’s Kraken Congee, opening Spring 2015, are among new restaurants that started as pop ups. Mmmhmm Coffee operated as a pop up for most of 2014 before forming a permanent partnership with Ballard’s Hilliard’s Brewery. Rachel Coyle of Coyle’s Bakeshop sold handmade pastries and treats from a pop up at Fremont’s cookbook shop Book Larder until settling into her brick-and-mortar location in Greenwood in March 2015.

Exploring these pop ups can be a great way to support exotic and creative foods from up-and-coming chefs in the city. Here’s a roundup of current and upcoming local pop ups. Act fast!

Rodeo Donuts at Cupcake Royale in Ballard: Cupcake Royale’s pastry chef Nicki Kerbs is experimenting with a new pastry medium, selling brioche donuts at the Ballard location starting at 7am daily.

Twitter: @RodeoDonut

Facebook: facebook.com/RodeoDonut

Instagram: instagram.com/rodeodonut/

Rind House at Bellini Italian Bistro downtown: Sheri LeVigne of Melrose Market’s Calf and Kid cheese shop will be previewing her new restaurant at a one-night dinner on April 13, 2015.

Tumble Swede Nordic dinner at Bloom: A collaborative prix-fix dinner from Bloom’s chef Jason Harris and Old Ballard Liquor Co from April 17-19.

Twitter: @TumbleSwede

Facebook: facebook.com/tumbleswede

Café Juanita at Lark in Capitol Hill: James Beard Award-winning chef Holly Smith of Kirkland’s revered Café Juanita was hesitant to halt business during the Kirkland location’s renovation, so she moved her restaurant to Capitol Hill and serves a modified menu four nights a week. Smith recently announced the pop up will be open on this side of the city through June, so make your reservations!

Twitter: @CafeJuanitaWA

Facebook: facebook.com/CafeJuanitaWa

Instagram: @cafejuanitaw

Label My Food But Not My Eating Habits

10561050_791848284179682_1045842075_n In the last couple years, food labeling has been prominent in my work with Whole Foods Market. Last year, we launched Will Vote for Food in support of the GMO-labeling bill in Washington state, and again this year we continue the fight in Oregon for the customer’s right to know. Working with Whole Foods Market has elevated how I look and choose the foods I consume. When you look at products on the shelves today, beyond knowing if your food is organic or fat-free, you’re bombarded with diet labels such as gluten-free, vegan, paleo or dairy-free. These labels on food raise the question: what do my eating habits say I am?

26 days ago I embarked on a challenge based on the paleo diet named Whole30. Whole30 stresses the importance of eating whole foods with no grains, no alcohol, no added sugar, etc. After I started focusing on what I could eat (steak, salmon, avocado, watermelon!) over what I could not, the challenge was really no challenge at all. But after 16 days in, I found myself needing variety in my breakfast over the daily scrambled eggs with sautéed vegetables. So, I dished up clean pancakes with egg, banana and cinnamon. All ingredients were compliant within Whole30, but a fellow ‘paleo dieter' showed they did not agree by leaving one small comment "#Swypo :)." Swypo is a term used during Whole30 when you’re enjoying junk food in a healthy form, which by their own theory, doesn’t change eating habits. My past eating habits admittedly were to turn to a gluten free bagel (that's healthier, right?) or go all out with a croissant. I was frustrated by the comment as it led to discouragement over encouragement.

Back in July, Jordan Younger, a popular vegan food blogger of The Blonde Vegan, announced she was moving away from the vegan lifestyle. "Food was not enjoyable anymore,” said Jordan. "I was spending the entire day obsessing about eating only vegetables, green juices, fruits and occasionally nuts and grains.” With the announcement of her decision to transition came anger from the community that once rallied behind her. Her recent blog post, a month after the announcement addressed the question “You were vegan, now you’re not, so… What do you eat now?” Jordan addressed many of the exact same thoughts I had when I was put down for enjoying a healthy meal that felt right for my own body.

In doing this Whole30 challenge, I have learned that my dinner is fuel and keeps me satisfied until bedtime. I’ve learned that the sugar craving I once felt necessary to satisfy can be diminished with a few cubes of watermelon. As The Blonde Vegan shared, "If you let yourself live your life, eat the foods you crave and the foods that you know make you feel good, you are doing something very, veryyyy special that I wasn’t allowing myself to do for a long time. You know what that is? TRUSTING YOURSELF. " So please, keep labeling my food and giving me the option to decide what I'll consume but don't ask me to label my eating habits because I'm busy listening to my own body.

Any questions on my Whole30 journey or have an amazing recipe to share? Tweet me @brookeandersen.

Start Your Day Right, Don’t Skip Breakfast

photo We all know the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, if you’re like me, this can be the first thing to go when you’re in a rush or simply just don’t have anything convenient to eat in the morning. It’s easy to think, "Oh, I’ll just eat when I get to work.” But the truth is, you probably get to the office, your choices become slimmer, and the crunch for time means you might just settle with coffee and opt to wait for lunch.

Don't do that anymore! Here are some healthy and easy options to help ensure that you start your day right:

Juice. While I do have a juicer at home, unless I’m really on top of it the night before, I typically don’t use it in the morning. It’s the mornings where there isn’t much time to figure out what to have before the day takes off, so I find myself in Starbucks or a nearby convenient store. The struggle against the tempting bagels is very real. My go-to Starbucks order is the Orange Mango Smoothie and I add green tea matcha powder for a little kick of energy. Or, I try to find a green juice. I love the evolution fresh juices Sbux carries, but if I’m at a store with more options I also really like Suja Juice, who is coincidently having an awesome mid-summer sale!

Breakfast Trail Mix. Hit up your local grocery store bulk section, or buy ingredients to make your own trail mix (I hear Whole Foods has a great bulk section :)). Customize it however you please using things like granola, cereal, dried fruits and nuts. Making it ahead of time and portioning it out makes it easy to grab-and-go when you’re in a rush.

Smoothies. This might take a little more prep, but if you plan for your ingredients ahead of time, it can be a breeze. Throw in your favorite fruits and yogurt, or go the green route and get a head start on your daily intake of veggies. One of my favorite recipes is a berries, spinach and banana smoothie via Damn Delicious.

Eggs. Hard boil eggs on Sunday night to have them ready to grab all week. Or, if you’re feeling Pinteresty you can mix eggs, peppers, sausage or bacon, and any other vegetables your heart desires and ration into a cupcake tin to bake mini egg muffins that are awesome to grab and reheat throughout the week.  This paleo omelet muffin recipe on Allrecipes is delish!

Protein Balls. It’s been a while since I made these, but I love them and highly recommend! There are lots of recipes online, but I really like this no-bake recipe consisting of peanut butter, protein powder, chia seeds, oats and flax via Shockingly Delicious.

Yogurt. This one might be obvious, but next time you’re at the store, grab some yogurt to keep either at home or your office fridge for an easy snack. Add chia seeds or granola for extra crunch and energy!

Fruit. When all else fails, it’s good to have a little something, so try to keep bananas or apples in your kitchen to grab-and-go when you really don’t have time to make anything. This will at least have something in your system!

What are your go-to breakfast hacks? Tweet us @CuratorPR

Tastes of PSQ

When I started at Curator and would tell people I worked in Pioneer Square I'd seem to always get a puzzled look in return. When people think of Pioneer Square, they think stadiums and about all the shady business that goes on when the sun goes down. Fast forward two years and I tell people I work down here and get, "Ooh do you ever go to London Plane!?"

It's been exciting to say the least to watch all of the new businesses, and especially the food and bar scene emerge in this neck of the woods. As an agency, we seem to always be keeping each other in the loop about where we've dined and what's coming next. Here's a list of some of my favorites that I've already been enjoying, plus some that I can't wait to try:

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The London Plane. What started as a wine bar on the corner of Jackson and Occidental turned into the always-packed breakfast and lunch hub of Pioneer Square. Go here for your morning Instagram or soak up this wonderful summer weather with an afternoon glass of rose out front. This is truly a beautiful space!

Altstadt. Another great happy hour spot on 1st Ave. Altstadt is the perfect place for a cold German beer, and of course, brats!

E. Smith Mercantile. I feel like I've talked about this place before in a past post, but I don't care because it's worth mentioning again! I'll admit I've taken a detour at lunch to browse the store and keep meaning to check out their killer happy hours, hosted in the back bar. I love the vibe here!

Girin. This may be a reason I want 2015 to get here already. Steven Han and Co., the group behind Momiji, Kushibar, and Umi Sake House (YUM),  are bringing Korean cuisine to PSQ! The steak house is rumored to open mid-2015 and I cannot wait.

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Damn The Weather. A new go-to for after work drinks, this bar has awesome cocktails, a fun atmosphere and fries that I can never not order!

Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar. As an oyster addict I can't say enough how excited I am for this oyster bar to open later this summer. Coming in hot right across the street, it will be way too tempting to stop by everyday after work.

Got a favorite spot in the area? I'd love to swap recommendations! Tweet me @C_Allodi and I'll see you around the neighborhood!

Seattle Does the World Cup

Having never played soccer I don’t think I even knew what the World Cup was until college, when it gave everyone an excuse to continuously go out to watch the matches. I only caught some of the last World Cup, mainly because the games would show on TV in the middle of the night thanks to the time difference between here and South Africa. But this time around it’s been a lot of fun to keep up with and feels like more and more people are talking about it (or maybe that’s because social media has grown exponentially since 2010). Either way, I love any excuse to check out a new bar or get together at the same old watering holes with friends to watch. Here’s a roundup of some of Seattle’s best bars to catch a game (or five):

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Fremont Dock. A new favorite of mine, The Dock has loads of TVs inside, but the best is the huge screen in the outdoor seating area. Did I mention their festive pitchers?

Atlantic CrossingA pub onRoosevelt Way, this place has TVs outside and inside and the bar opens at 8am, so you can even enjoy those 9am matches with a drink in hand!

Paddy Coyne'sA South Lake Union Irish pub known for being home to lots of Sounders FC fans, will be open for every game on the World Cup schedule.

Kangaroo and KiwiBallard’s Australian-flared bar also opens at 8am, and will be offering beer towers and breakfast sandwich specials to the menu. This is another great spot if you want to watch the games in an outdoor beer garden!

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Von TrappsA Capitol Hill hotspot, this German beer hall has recently opened an outdoor Biergarten, complete with 4 TVs and a bocce lane. Get there early as seating is first come, first serve.

Buckley’s. Located in Belltown and Queen Anne, these sports bars are opening early to show all the World Cup games. The Belltown location will be showing the matches on 24 TVs and might add additional screens outside weather permitting.

F.X. McRory’sOur downstairs neighbors here in Pioneer Square, F.X. has been going all out for the World Cup – opening early and offering special breakfast sandwiches for those diehard fans.

Kells Irish Restaurant & PubLocated near Pike Place Market in Post Alley, this Irish pub is a great place to watch soccer. They’ll also be opening early for the matches and adding breakfast menu items.

Beveridge Place PubFor our West Seattleites, don’t worry, there’s a great spot out there to catch the games, too! Beveridge will be opening at noon during the group stages of the World Cup and early for Thursday’s USA match against Germany (9am). They’ll also be bringing out a big projector to screen the championship game!

For those live tweeting during the matches, remember that Twitter rolled out a fun feature called hashflags, -- when you hashtag the county code, it will automatically turn into an emoticon of the country flag!

If you have other suggestions for local World Cup viewings, holler at me @c_allodi

5 Foodie Lunches You Can Take to Work

We count food as part of our culture--who doesn't love gathering over yogurt parfaits and mimosas for a co-workers' birthday? Plus, our office seems to be right in the middle of Seattle's best grub 'hood of all. However, what's a foodie to do on those days when you just don't have time to head over to Il Corvo or Salumi? We've put together some fresh ideas that make bringing your lunch to work cool again! Cauliflower "Rice" Stir-Fry: I love stir fry but the traditional method doesn't offer a whole lot of nutritional value. Plus, I love a recipe that takes 15 minutes or less!

Credit: Fit Sugar

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DIY Burrito Bowl: So, this probably won't be as delicious as Chipotle, but will likely save you money! Bonus points if you can whip up guac that's on Chipotle's level.

Credit: Fannetastic Food

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Pesto Chicken Roll: Avoid soggy bread (ew) and simply pack your mini baguette separately. Done and done.

Credit: Bon Appetit

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Chopped Kale Salad Carrot with Edamame, Carrot and Avocado: A salad so healthy, pretty sure you can take on the world after having this for lunch.

Credit: Beyond the Plate

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BBQ Chicken Apple, Bacon and Cheddar Quesadillas: Because sometimes you need to treat yourself with a quesadilla that has chicken AND bacon. Quesadillas are a fun lunch that's easy to pack, too!

Credit: Iowa Girl Eats

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Planning the Best Seattle Summer Yet

It’s gloomy and overcast in Seattle today but according to my weather app, Summer is around the corner! I can be somewhat of a homebody, but this summer I’m giving myself a bucket list. There will be no wasting good weather in this beautiful city and planning my Seattle summer starts now. Raspberry-Prosecco-Popsicles-3

Paddle boarding I work out and I like to be pretty confident when it comes to balance. Paddle boarding was on my list last Summer but never found the time or buddy to try it with me. Will it happen this year? I already purchased a Groupon so I don’t see how it won’t.

Outdoor Concerts/Outdoor Everything I have a few concert tickets booked for Chateau St. Michelle's concert series. You don't have to twist my arm for a concert on the lawn with a bottle of wine. The more I thought about it, I don't want to spend any time I don't have to indoors this Summer. Thankfully, Seattle has an expansive list of outdoor movie venues! What else can I do outside that's normally indoors?

Peach cobbler Don’t freak out but I don’t eat fruit. In case you’re wondering, I love vegetables and don’t hate all fruit but until this last year I never bit into a whole strawberry or mango (you can thank my wonderful client for forcing those on me). Growing up, my mom would make a peach cobbler at the peak of the every season that my family cooed over. I always avoided it and opted for ice cream only but I think this is the Summer I’ll dive into my first bite!

Prosecco Popsicles You can blame Pinterest for this one. I would love to make my own popsicles this summer and adding prosecco sounds like the right way to do it!

What do you have planned for your Seattle Summer? Tweet at me @brookeandersen.

Whole Foods Market Comes to Tigard – And, It’s Unlike Any Store You’ve Seen

WFMWACountyLocal (Photo Credit: @UrbanBlissLife)

One of the things I love about my job is working with clients to see a project from early inception to full execution. This Wednesday, May 21, will be one of those times as Whole Foods Market opens its doors to its newest store in the Portland, Oregon market.

Whole Foods Market’s Pacific Northwest Regional President, Joe Rogoff, once described Whole Foods Market’s stores as “snowflakes”, because they are all beautifully unique. I feel this so accurately describes the stores as each location truly caters to their own neighborhood. The new Portland-area store (Tigard, Oregon to be exact) is no exception.

Here are some of the unique features I’m especially excited to check out at the opening next Wednesday:

- Did you know that there are over 500 local vendors included in the new store alone? Talk about a serious commitment to local. Some great ones to check out are Olympic Provisions, Unbound Pickling, Red Ridge Farms and Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels.

- We’re seeing a commitment to environmentally friendly construction more and more. This is definitely true in the new store. LED lights highlight locally sourced, reclaimed wood throughout the space. And, the tables in the store’s café are made from building materials recycled from the original site.

- While living in Portland I saw first-hand how different each community was within the greater area. So, I love how the new store in Tigard incorporated a piece of their own community right into the store – Whole Foods Market partnered with local school, Mary Woodward Elementary, to create an art installation made by second-grade students that is a focal point for shoppers.

For a sneak peek look inside the store, check out the latest piece in The Oregonian. You can also follow along on Facebook at Whole Foods Market Washington County or on Twitter @WFMwacounty for updates.

Even better, see it for yourself when the store opens on Wednesday. I know I’ll be there!

Tips for Healthy Travel

So far 2014 has been a year of creating healthy habits for myself. On most days you'll find me at a barre class and sipping on some sort of kale-juice cocktail. When you travel, some healthy habits can be thrown out the window, but I’ve learned a few tricks to keep them up while I’m on the road. 8b58cfd4e4d111e2a16822000a9e076a_7

Tip 1: Sweat once a day

It’s hard to find time in your travel to work out, but as the overused saying goes, “you never regret a workout”. When you first check in, take a walk to scope out the hotel gym. It’s helpful to mentally prepare for your workout when you know what equipment you have to work with. If your hotel doesn’t have a gym and you’re willing to try a new form of exercise, Google local fitness studios. Most fitness studios offer free classes for first-time attendees, so it won’t take any extra money away from your travel budget!

Seattle tips: I can’t go long without a good sweat at Flybarre or Flywheel in South Lake Union, and your first class is free!

Tip 2: Know your surroundings

With an upcoming trip planned to Tigard, Oregon, for Whole Foods Market’s newest store opening, I contemplated the possibility of packing my Breville juicer. Every morning, I start the day with a green juice and it’s a healthy habit I don’t want to lose! Seeing that I’m traveling with Whole Foods Market, getting my green juice intake won’t be impossible, but for other trips I suggest researching local juice bars near your hotel. When you do research prior, you can make it part of your trip plan and keep your healthy habits intact.

Seattle tips: If you’re visiting Seattle here are some of my favorite juices to try! Juicebox in Capitol Hill, Jujubeet in Bellevue and Vital Juice (available in all Seattle Whole Foods Markets). Here's also For The Glow guide to Seattle smoothies. Happy sipping!

Tip 3: Enjoy a healthy balance

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see quite a bit of green juice photos accompanied by wine, fries and pizza. I’m a big fan of a no-diet and just living with a healthy balance mentality. Choose what works for you, but I say your vacation should also reflect this! If possible, go light on breakfast if you know there’s a big dinner planned or hey, go all out and don’t beat yourself up for it!

Seattle tips: After you enjoy the juices listed above try visiting Le Zinc in Capitol Hill for moules frites or Serious Pie in South Lake Union for pizza; plus, their kale salad is amazing. How’s that for balance?

Have your own traveling tips or green juice recipe? Tweet me maybe @brookeandersen.

Dog Days of Spring

Maybe it’s the tease of summer weather, but when spring rolls around it finally seems like the people of Seattle come out of hibernation and the social calendar starts filling up. I love it. However, as a pet owner, the one drawback is that I feel guilty leaving my dog at home more than usual. Sure, Seattle offers a lot of dog-friendly activities – hiking, walking trails, dog parks, but the catch is those are all outdoor activities. Between my family and friends, there's a lot of dogs, so we’re always trying to find places to go with our furry friends that aren’t weather dependent. We've come up with a pretty good list of spots that welcome canine patrons, and below you'll find some of my faves! photo 3[1]

JM Cellars, Woodinville

A family favorite, JM Cellars always welcomes four-legged guests and they even have a nice little walking trail you can check out (with your wine tasting of course!).

Shelter Lounge, Ballard

I love the indoor fire-pits and big garage doors here -- makes you feel outside when you can't be. They also have a fab patio for those days the sun decides to stick around!

9 Million in Unmarked Bills, Fremont

All you need to know is truffle fries and killer bloody Mary's. I'm hungry just thinking about it.

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Belltown Pub, Seattle

Shuffleboard, great drinks and the occasional ‘Yappy Hour’ – this is a one of mine (and Tux’s) favorite brunch spots!

Duchess Tavern, Ravenna

Bar games and classic pub fare. You can thank me later.

Fremont Dock Sports Bar, Fremont

One of the best places for game day shenanigans. Who doesn't like football and omelets!?

Norm's Eatery & Alehouse, Fremont

One of the first dog friendly places I learned about, Norm's has a great happy hour and a fun place to check out when they have trivia night!

If you know of any others, holler at me @c_allodi!