Not so long ago I read about the emergence of a monthly Seattle Underground Food Market, and wanted to get a look before a couple possible scenarios:
a) The Washington Department of Health attempting to shut it down, or
b) The event being overrun by families (a risk in Seattle)
By the time I arrived at 1 o’clock this afternoon, the club was in full swing. “Full swing” at an underground food market looks like: a bake sale, but with more glamorous food and clientele.
Where do I sign up? It’s actually really simple! I became an official “member” of the market a few weeks ago by signing up for its notifications online. Yesterday afternoon, an email landed detailing this month’s venue info, menu items, and the password needed for entry (“Tinkerbell”).
Like anything hip, the market had its moments of charm and puzzlement. After a $10 entry fee, the dishes consisted largely of $1-$5 hors d’oeuvres that could be eaten in one or two mouthfuls.
(This is part of the reason I didn’t end up photographing any of it–the dishes seemed too small and fleeting to take out and adjust my camera. Documentarian gods, forgive me! Also, you needed both hands to eat because there weren’t any surfaces to rest your plates on.)
Then again, there’s a certain excitement in the air at anything underground, let alone a food market. Here are some of the delicacies I tasted:
- Avocado mousse in a filo cup
- Pickled deviled egg
- Duck confit tamale with Cabrales cream sauce (delectable)
- Mini chocolate cherry cupcake
- Lobster Cake with poached quail egg (this one took the prize)
The food was pretty good, and I well believe some of these cooks are extremely talented. With micro-dishes, though, it’s hard to make a big impression.
Conclusion: Worth visiting at least once, but think of it more as a tasting than a feast. Also, bring mad cash and a water bottle. And take a look at this “food rave” article.