Matt’s in the Market

I knew that I wanted to try Matt’s in the Market prior to arriving in Seattle.  While researching places to eat in the market this one came up time and time again.  For most of our trip I thought I’d miss out on trying Matt’s, but the opportunity finally presented itself for lunch before we drove to Spokane for a friend’s wedding.

Our breakfast had been nice and light and we’d spent most of the morning walking around the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum.  For anyone who loves music or SciFi, this is a seriously impressive museum.  We didn’t give ourselves half the time we needed to really experience this fantastic collection and it’s now on my list of things to do when we go back (this will take a full day, methinks).

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After exploring the museum we were hungry and needed to fill our bellies with some food before driving for hours.  Finally!  Matt’s in the Market!

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We hurried down the road from our hotel to the market and began trying to locate the restaurant.  It’s a little bit hidden and we had to ask a fishmonger for help.  After a few more wrong turns we finally found our way up a set of stairs and through the door.

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There was a short wait at the restaurant (these pictures were taken as they were closing) so we didn’t get to sit next to a window overlooking the market, but the overall feel of the place was so comfortable that it didn’t matter.  Our waiter was a terrific guy who was truly passionate about the food and enjoyed asking us questions about Texas wines.

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I ordered the Seared Rare “Honkin’ Hot” Albacore Tuna Sandwich.  A piece of tuna, wasabi crusted and seared, was served on fresh-baked potato bread from the Macrina Bakery and topped with mustard pickle relish and pickled red onions.  This was some very fresh tuna and I was almost sad that it was seared or even served on bread.  However, the tuna was perfectly pink (except on the edges) and the potato bread was considerably moist.  I loved every bite, including the side salad that was lightly coated in a simple balsamic vinaigrette (this seemed to be the norm for most of the salads that I ate in Seattle and I quite enjoyed tasting my lettuce).

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I traded half of my sandwich for some of Lucas’ lunch.  He ordered the Braised Beef Brisket Sandwich at the recommendation of the waiter.  Now … there is good and then there is the kind of good that makes you realize you’ve hit the gastronomic jackpot.  This was the second kind of good.

His sandwich was also on bread from Macrina Bakery, but it was a brioche bun that was sumptuous.  The brisket was especially tender and seasoned so well that I wanted to slit my wrists and get it over with.  Life would not get better than this, would it?  The sandwich was topped with buttery onions and horseradish and served with a side of rich au jus that had me dipping over and over again.

Our friend ordered the Stumptown BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich and offered a taste.  It was impressive, which I didn’t expect since BBQ is a Texas institution and I’ve eaten my fair share of pulled pork.  The Stumptown BBQ Sauce undoubtedly made this sandwich.  Slightly sweet with just a hint of coffee flavor to it … a very respectable sauce, indeed.

Stumptown Coffee was one of the first coffee shops we went to on our Seattle vacation and we got to watch them roast some beans while we drank a perfect Latte and Americano.  We particularly liked the “DRUGS” sign on the back wall.

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Trying a BBQ Sauce made with Stumptown’s coffee at a restaurant in the middle of the Pike Place Market was a quintessential Seattle moment.  As we left the peace and quiet of the restaurant and wandered back into the boisterous market I felt carefree and appreciative to the many people who had recommended the place instead of keeping it to themselves.  So this is me sharing the love.

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