July 8, 2020

Where Ya At? Seattle Square, of course!

It was one of those beautiful summer mornings in Seattle… Bright and sunny, and warm on its way to being just the right amount of hot. The perfect day to be in Pioneer Square’s Occidental Square for the weekly Seattle Square, a new addition to the neighborhood this summer. It’s a small assemblage of local vendors – among them Tweet Toffee and Ilee Papergoods – with a DJ spinning tunes at the edge of the square. We were fascinated by the sort of oversized doily that you see in the photo above, but in the end left without asking if it was cloth or some other sort of material, an art installation or something with utilitarian purpose. Mysterious…

This isn’t a huge shocker or anything, but for me the most interesting part of the whole Seattle Square experience was the food. Although we weren’t able to fit in a sandwich from Here & There BBQ, or ice cream from Parfait, we did manage to sample some of what Ram & Rooster Dumplings had to offer. The pork dumplings with pork, napa cabbage, ginger, and green onions were fantastic, if a little more chewy than others I’ve had. Tasty but not quite as stellar, the vegan dumplings with green cabbage, ginger, green onions, carrots, water chestnuts, bamboo, and 5-spice tofu reaffirmed my carnivorous leanings. The green onion pancakes were good but not particularly flavorful, according to the discerning pancake palates among my crowd.

For me the main food event was Where Ya At, the New Orleans-themed mobile food vendor just launched by local Chef Matthew Lewis. In addition to hailing from New Orleans, Matthew recently came from a stint at Queen Anne’s Toulouse Petit and is clearly steeped in the cuisine of that great food city. The options for po boy sandwiches included roast beef, the Peacemaker (oyster, bacon, and cheddar), fried green tomato and Dungeness crab, as well as the oyster and shrimp versions that we sampled. Buttery French bread, lightly breaded shrimp, and a hint of spice. Fabulously tasty! I didn’t try the gumbo or the red beans and rice on this particular visit, but I’ll track down the truck again so that I can round out my experience. And I’m sure that my plans for a return to Where Ya At (named for the typical NOLA greeting, BTW) have absolutely nothing to do with the bags of powered sugar laden beignets and cups of special-blend Herkimer coffee that made their way to our table. Right?