About Braiden
Braiden Rex-Johnson is a best-selling cookbook author; a regular contributor to Pacific Northwest, The Seattle Times Sunday magazine; and a columnist for Wine Press Northwest and Amazon.com’s Al Dente blog.
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Puget Sound Cam
The Puget Sound Cam documents the activity in Seattle’s Elliott Bay, which is part of Puget Sound.
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Braiden's Books
Find Braiden's books including the upcoming release, Pacific Northwest Wining and Dining: The People, Places, Food, and Drink of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia.
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Pacific Northwest Wining and Dining Presentation 
Enjoy photos from Braiden's upcoming book along with lively commentary on the Pacific Northwest food and wine scene.
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Pike Place Market Insider's Tour and Slide Show

An Insider's Tour of the Pike Place Market

Join me on my famous (some might say infamous!) Insider's Tour of the Pike Place Market as I lead your group merrily through the Market guided by a  plush toy carrot. (Market vendors call me the “Carrot Lady!”)

Meet the farmers who participate in Organic Farmers Days (if the tour is given on Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday, June through October), meet a fishmonger, shop specialty food stores that span the globe, and enjoy a Market-inspired lunch at the restaurant of your choice. There’s ample time after lunch and the tour for shopping on your own. I’ll also sign copies of my books, if so desired. 

 Pike Place Market "Insider's Tour" Highlights

1. We begin our tour at the Rachel the Pig statue, a giant bronze piggy bank that raises funds for the four social-service agencies in the Market. Rachel is located just under the famous Market Clock/Public Market sign, one of the first pieces of outdoor neon on the West Coast, circa 1927.

2. We proceed along Flower Row, where the flower farmers sold their blossoms in the Market's early days, to the Sound View Café Public Seating Area, a quiet space with a panoramic view of Elliott Bay. Here I spend about 10 minutes describing the Market's inception and history to present day. Tour members are seated during this time.

3. We move North in the Market's Main Arcade to Pure Food Fish, where tour members learn about our local seafood bounty straight from the fishmongers. Pure Food Fish also gives out samples of their outstanding smoked salmon.

4. Next door I point out the historic Athenian Inn, circa 1908. It's where one of the pivotal scenes from the movie "Sleepless in Seattle" was filmed.

 5. I stop at Sosio's highstall and point out the difference between a highstall (similar to a greengrocer with produce from around the world) and a farmer's table (which is rented on a daily basis and sells only local fruits and vegetables). The employees at Sosio's are generous with samples of peaches, tomatoes, or whatever is in season.

6. Next I point out Chukar Cherries (dried cherry products), Woodring Orchards (apple products), and Micks Peppouri (pepper jellies and jams) and suggest that attendees come back to sample the products there. We step out on the skyway for a panoramic outdoor view of the Market, Elliott Bay, and the Olympic Mountains.

7. We continue on to City Fish, which was established in 1917 by the city of Seattle when the price of salmon reached a whopping 25 cents a pound! Moving into the North Arcade, we sample hazelnuts at the farm stand of Holmquiet Hazelnut Orchards, blueberry products at Canter-Berry Farms, and almonds at Stackhouse Orchards. We step outside to explore the organic farmers' tables in depth. On any given Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday during the growing season, there might be as many as 17 different farmers in this area. We'll talk to a few and sample their products.

8. Next I point out the original Starbucks coffee store (circa 1971), then we go to the Market's haunted plum tree, where I discuss the Market's ghostly legends. From there we walk the Market from north to south until we reach the Pike Place Market Creamery, where owner and "head milkmaid" Nancy Nipples (or one of her knowledgeable employees) gives a brief tour of her shop with its milk in glass bottles, free-range eggs of all types, and European butters.

9. Now it's time for lunch! There are many choices within the Market, from super-casual to more formal. You will need to make these arrangements yourself, although my preferred venues are:

Etta’s Seafood
Sarah Schaaff
(206) 443-6000
sarah@tomdouglas.com

Steelhead Diner
Terresa Davis
(206) 625-0129
terresa@steelheaddiner.com

Café Campagne
Radiance Bellavita
(206) 448-7740
rbellavita@campagnerestaurant.com

10. A comparative wine tasting of Washington state's best boutique wines is another fun way to end a Market tour.

The Tasting Room: Wines of Washington
Jen Doak
(206) 770-WINE
jen@winesofwashington.com.

Thanks for coming INSIDE the Pike Place Market with me!

 

 

 

Pike Place Market Insider's Slide Show

My “Insider’s Slide Show” features 60 slides that are displayed while I share my “insider’s” commentary on each image.

The show ranges from historical slides, which depict the Market’s beginnings in 1907 and run through the renovation in the early 1970s, through modern-day, with the Market’s long-running businesses and vendors represented along with the newest faces along Pike Place.

The show is loosely based on my real-life “Insider’s Tour of the Pike Place Market,” which I give to groups of 15 or fewer, due to the limitations of moving through the crowded marketplace.

My “Insider’s Slide Show” is designed for larger groups, or those with limited mobility. The show takes approximately 45 minutes, with 15 minutes for questions, for a total running time of 1 hour.

Those requesting the “Insider’s Slide Show” are responsible for securing a room and renting a slide projector, podium, and microphone for my use.

Sample Images and Commentary Included:

1. The famous Market Clock/Public Market sign, one of the first pieces of outdoor neon on the West Coast, circa 1927.

2. Rachel the Pig, another Market icon. This giant bronze piggy bank—a porker with a purpose--raises funds for the four social-service agencies in the Market. These include the Senior Center, Downtown Food Bank, Medical Clinic, and Child Care and Preschool.

3. Pure Food Fish, one of the first fish stores in the Market, circa 1911.

4. The Athenian Inn, circa 1908. It's where one of the pivotal scenes from the movie "Sleepless in Seattle" was filmed.

5. Sosio's highstall, one of the Market’s nine highstalls. These permanent fruit and vegetable stands are similar to greengrocers, and feature local produce and produce from around the world.

6. A farmer's table or day table, which is rented on a daily basis and sells only local fruits and vegetables.

7. The organic farmers' tables. On any given Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday during the growing season, there might be as many as 17 different farmers in this area.

8. The original Starbucks coffee store, circa 1971.

9. Market musicians, who must carry a permit, but not necessarily a tune!

10. The Market tiles, which number 46,500, and are imprinted with personal messages.

11. The Pike Place Market Creamery, located in the Sanitary Market Building, with a wide array of dairy products, including milk in glass bottles, free-range eggs of all sorts, and European butters.

12. Sur La Table, 84 Pine Street, the original location in this (now) nationwide kitchen-store chain.

13. DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine, with its amazing selection of Italian specialty products, cheese, and wine.

14. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, where you can watch artisan cheese made fresh daily.

15. Rose’s Chocolate Treasures, which offers not only fresh chocolate truffles and confections, but hot chocolate drinks, chocolate porcelain sets, and books on chocolate.

16. The Tasting Room: Wines of Washington, which offers samples from Washington state’s best boutique wineries.

17. Don and Joe’s Meats, a family-owned meat business that specializes in specialty cuts such as Rocky Mountain oysters, lamb tongues, and sweetbreads.

18. MarketSpice, under the Market clock and in business in the Market since 1911, for bulk spices, teas, teapots, and an incredible selection of hot sauce.

19. The Spanish Table, with its wide range of Iberian specialty foods, cookware, take-away foods, ceramics, and Sherry and Port.

20. World Merchants, Spice, Herb and Teahouse, for its amazing diversity of the freshest spices, spice blends, and herbs from around the world. This is also a good place for a relaxing cuppa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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