Although my partner and I had three fairly full agendas on days one, two, and three of our vacation, day four of our Washington trip was the most jam packed of them all! The night before our first full day in Seattle, we made a list of what we wanted to do and where we’d go based on the place locations in relation to each other. I had no idea that Seattle is such a large city with some drives taking around 30 ish minutes from one location to another! Of course we had to base our agenda on where we’d eat lunch and how close everything was to our dinner reservations. We were set to celebrate my partner’s belated birthday and I made weeks-early reservations at a seafood restaurant so we could eat all of the most delicious fresh fish and shellfish! Thankfully, dinner on day four of our Washington vacation turned out to be the most tasty meal of all!
I crafted a list of vintage clothing stores I wanted to scour before we left for our trip, so this day’s objective was to visit at least a couple of them. But first, we had to fill our tummies with an early lunch so as not to suffer from fullness at dinner. My BFF Parker’s sister Amanda recommended we eat at Dough Zone Dumpling House, which seems to be a much more affordable alternative to the crowd-favorite Din Tai Fung. We ordered four dishes, which ended up being the perfect amount of food (almost a little too much) without any leftovers. We tested the beef pancake roll, zucchini shrimp steamed dumplings, pork with crab meat soup dumplings, and steamed pork buns. Every dish was juicy and delightful with my favorite being the zucchini shrimp steamed dumplings and my partner loving the xiao long bao! The beef pancake roll was a slightly breaded crispy pancake filled with thin beef strips and lettuce and the pork buns were different from our usual manapua. I loved the portions and prices at Dough Zone and I would definitely go back to try some new dishes!
After lunch on day four of our Washington trip, we drove to the two vintage stores I settled on—Red Light Vintage and Fremont Vintage Mall. Red Light had a large assortment of older clothes, but the racks weren’t organized by size and it was difficult for me to find pieces that would fit me. After trying on several dresses and tops, I picked a 70s style sparkly fair isle sweater and a small pearl beaded bag. Fremont was in a quaint little neighborhood that I loved, but the store itself was not what I expected. There wasn’t as vast a collection of clothing to choose from and it felt more like an organized garage sale than a vintage store. I didn’t find any pieces at all there and my partner and I instead chose to take pictures at the Rose Garden before a quick nap between shopping and dinner.
The star of the day was obviously Rockcreek Seafood and Spirits for my partner’s late birthday celebration. Of course I never used to eat seafood (aside from shrimp and crab) before 2020, but I truly haven’t had seafood on the level of what we ate at Rockcreek. My partner is an extraordinarily picky person, but we somehow compromised on two dishes to share with a starter and side. We picked the Seawolf sourdough with herb butter and maldon salt for a little appetizer and holy g*d was the butter delicious. The bread was light and crunchy—everything you’d want to dip in a giant steaming bowl of clam chowder—but the butter was a simple inspiration. I’m not sure what types of herbs they used, but they were fresh (perhaps some rosemary) and bright, so they obviously mixed in a tipple of citrus. I loved the flaky maldon salt on the butter to give the bread an extra bite of flavor. We split a side order of the brussels sprouts with shiitake mushrooms, lardon, ginger, and a shoyu glaze, which was bursting with salty goodness in every tiny cabbage. My partner chose the Icelandic Sole topped with a white wine sauce, crunchy breadcrumbs, and lime and the fish immediately melted in my mouth. The pieces were flaky and buttery with a crispy finish thanks to the pulverized bread. I would’ve eaten orders of the sole with brussels sprouts had we not also split the most incredible dish I’ve ever eaten in my life. The true highlight of day four of our Washington trip was the first featured Neah Bay rockfish and shell stew with clams, mussels, prawns, basil, roasted tomato broth, bruschetta, and olive aioli. If I had to choose one meal to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of my life, it would be this fisherman’s stew. I never tried mussels until that night and they slipped into my mouth and disintegrated immediately. The fish was flaky as well and the clams and prawns were tender and delicious. However, it was the chunky tomato base full of garlic and olive oil that sent me soaring. I dipped large chunks of my sourdough into the stew and topped it off with some garlic slices and trimmed prawns for the bites that nearly brought me to tears. I wish I could forever swim and sleep and bathe in the rich tomato sauce and mop it all up with crusty bread while pouring small clams and mussels into my face. Was that an NSFW way to describe this dish? My apologies. And for only $115 after tip? Have you ever heard of such a food miracle?
After a dinner like the one we had on day four of our Washington trip, all that was left to do was grab giant scoops of homemade ice cream from Molly Moon’s with the sun yet to set. I had a scoop of fudgy melted chocolate with fresh whipped cream and my partner combined strawberry and sweet cream. The ice cream was sweet, dense, and full of cream—exactly how I like it. And who cares if it was 40 degrees outside when ice cream is on the menu? We had an absolutely perfect day four of our Washington trip in Seattle! Weeks later and I’m still dreaming about the shellfish stew…