Seattle Asian Market Tour
I was one of a lucky quartet to spend four hours with Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen an inspirational Thai cooking expert and instructor.
Laura, Claudia, Judy and I met at the Martin Way Park and Ride to catch the 7:55 am Intercity Transit bus 605. The bus was almost full, but we all found seats. We exited at the Highway 512 Park and Ride, waiting about 10 minutes for the Sound Transit Bus 594. The ride was uneventful, and we got off at the 4th and Jackson stop (at the edge of Seattle’s International District) about 9:45. Stopping at the beautifully restored Union Station to use the restroom, we were in awe of the soaring ceiling, tile floor, and other treasures of a gone-by era.
The Union Station was built in 1910-1, and served as the Seattle train station (prior to the current King Street Station) until 1971. This lovely building was empty for many years until the 1990’s, when it was renovated.
We headed east on Jackson Street, going under the freeway guarded by the yellow and red fish painted on the freeway support pillars. Our destination was Viet-Wah Supermarket, location at 1031 South Jackson Street.
Pranee greeted us warmly, and we immediately started a tour of the market. She first showed us the many varieties of rice, informing us of the different characteristics and uses. We looked at the selection of kitchen ware, followed by a stroll through the produce section. The variety of FRESH unfamiliar produce was amazing. By that time we were getting hungry, so Pranee led us across the street to her favorite noodle restaurant: Hue Ky Mi Gia, located at 1207 S. Jackson Street, suite 101. The restaurant was featured in a recent Seattle Magazine, and we soon could see why! As soon as we walked into the restaurant, the aromas were heavenly. We ordered noodle soup, as well as calamari and tofu appetizers. We all enjoyed the extraordinarily flavorful broth and fresh ingredients.
Leaving the restaurant we peeked into a couple of local businesses, and returned to the Viet-Wah Supermarket. Pranee took us up and down Cialis the dry goods section of the market, including sweets, spices, sauces, noodles… enough information and choices to make our heads swim. Pranee left us with a warm hug as we found shopping baskets and went throughout the store to retrieve the foods we just HAD to have today!
I must sing the praises of Pranee for a moment. She is a gracious, enthusiastic expert of Thai cuisine. She teaches throughout the Puget Sound area, including Olympia’s Bayview School of Cooking. Pranee’s website is inspirational and has hundreds of recipes and stories. (www.llovethaicooking.com) I can hardly wait to take her November 15thclass on “Thai One Dish Deal” at Bayview.
Pleased with our purchases, we headed back downJackson, stopping at a wonderful boutique/art gallery: Kobo, at 604 S. Jackson Street. www.koboseattle.com All members of the quartet were enthralled by the lovely items, from tobi socks to unique home accents, children’s clothing and toys to inspirational books and personal accessories. Half of the storefront space is dedicated to an art gallery. The current exhibit displayed local jewelry and functional ceramics. We all bought something(s) for gifts and/or “that something special” home accent.
We were ready to head home…completing our Seattle adventure by getting on the 3:50 southbound Sounder train. What a relief to avoid that awful Friday late afternoon I-5 traffic. We got off the Sounder at the last stop, the Tacoma Dome, walked through the Freighthouse building (stopping for a cup of coffee), and waited about 10 minutes for the (free) Tacoma Link streetcar which took us to Pacific Avenue next to the University of Washington Tacoma campus. From there we caught the next Intercity Transit 605 bus, which took us back to our originating Martin Way Park and Ride. Again, we were thankful that we weren’t the drivers in this dark and drizzly evening.
Another full day adventure. We were tired, yet very satisified with our purchases and company… and committed to meeting in the next week or so to plan a Thai dinner which we will prepare together and invite friends to join us.