Pike Place Market in Seattle is as much a feast for the eyes as for the tummy. Here’s what caught my eye on my recent visit there.
The most unusual feature of the market, I found, is represented by the last photo in this series, which is a portion of the bubble gum wall in Post Alley. Chewed up bubble gum turned into rubber street art. It even smells like gum down there.
Eating while watching your wallet isn’t the easiest thing to do on vacation. (A stranger I ran into today warned me I’d best brace myself for Paris, lest I think Amsterdam was actually bad.)
So imagine how happy I was to have eaten a three-course meal of sorts on the fly and spending only €8.20.
Amsterdam’s version of street meat
Albert Cuypstraat in the De Pijp district is home to “Amsterdam’s famous street market.” At least that’s how it’s cheerfully announced inside the tram as you pull up to the neighbourhood.
What you find is three long blocks of stalls selling all sorts of stuff — including food. (Check out parallel and cross streets for even more shops, restaurants, bars and cafés.)
I was hungry for a light meal so I headed right to a chip stand selling Flemish fries topped with mayonnaise.
Perfect, thick cuts of potato, deep fried and lightly seasoned. A small portion is €1.65, plus 35 cents for mayo.
Next, the main course: Chicken balls.
The meatballs are seasoned with salt, rosemary and thyme, from what I could taste.
These are richer than they look. They’re not very dense but from the taste (and the drippings oozing through the paper container) there is chicken skin mixed in.
I was full after five of them. The sixth one was just greed.
They’re sold in portions of eight chicken balls for £2.50.
How do you top off a meal like that? With little pancakes, of course!
They’re called poffertjes. And that dollop of stuff at the bottom? That’s butter. Use as little or as much as you like.
A small portion consists of 10 pancakes about 3 to 5 cm across. It’ll cost you £2. Toppings (including honey, syrup and Nutella) are extra.
After that delicious meal, I felt guilty about not having eaten any fruits or veggies. Not to worry; there are fruit stands here, everywhere.
I bought a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice (£1) and an apple (70 cents) to try and ease my conscience.
I’m not sure it worked, though. What did I have for dinner that day? A gigantic salad from the café at the Concertgebouw.
Marché Bonsecours in Old Montreal, this past fall.
It was very pleasant weather for mid-November. The leaves were still turning (as you can see) and there hadn’t been too much snow, if any, by the time I went on this pre-Christmas visit to my birth-city.
The stately marché is currently home to merchants who sell such things as high-end souvenirs, artisanal goods, designer clothes and jewelry. There are also a public spaces for exhibits and concerts, plus a medieval-themed restaurant on the ground floor.