Tag Archives: restaurants

“Center of the Universe”: 50+ ways to spend a weekend in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle


Fremont Troll under the bridge – Photo Credit: Sue via Flickr, Used unmodified under CC BY 2.0 license

The self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe,” the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle is a great place to spend some time, whether you’re just visiting or exploring the city you live in. There’s enough going on that you could even make a weekend trip for this neighborhood alone.

Fremont is known for its eclectic, artsy feel and its many festivals and events. It’s located north of downtown, and is easily accessible by public transportation, car, or walking, so there’s no excuse not to stop by.

There’s a ton of interesting things to see and places to visit in this neighborhood, so I’m sure I overlooked something. Several people helped me with this list, and you can be one of them: if you think of something that I’ve left off and should include in the next round, leave a note in the comments!

Who and what’s included:
I came up with a list of places I recommend checking out (indicated by an asterisk). Then I contacted several of those places and asked anyone working there if they had additional recommendations (you’ll see their ideas in each category below). These are the businesses I talked with:

  • Jill at Ophelia’s Books
  • Danielle at Fainting Goat Gelato
  • Lauren at Portage Bay Goods
  • Nancy who owns Hotel Hotel Hostel
  • Hal who owns the Teeny Tiny Guesthouse
  • Josh at Uneeda Burger

Our recommendations include food and drink, services and shopping, activities and sightseeing, and accommodations. (Click to jump to your favorite section or read them all!)

Note: If I didn’t put an asterisk next to the recommendation, it doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s probably just that I haven’t been there yet to personally recommend it. There’s so much to see and do that I haven’t been to all of these!

See the list!


Slurp an Oyster (July 2009)

Photo Credit: Tina Phillips via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo Credit: Tina Phillips
via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This goal was added in 2008 after I heard my Food Preparation teacher at Washington State University say that everyone should slurp an oyster at least once in their life, for the experience. I figured, why not? At the time, I didn’t know I dislike the taste of almost all shellfish.

Eleven months later, I am at a Chinese buffet with my parents and grandma (not sure where my brother was), and I see that they have raw oysters (on ice) in black bean sauce. Since I LOVE black bean sauce (and almost anything with black beans) I thought this would be the best chance because it is better than eating it plain, in case I don’t like the flavor.

I picked the smallest one I could find and brought it back to the table. With my family watching, I pushed the oyster into my mouth.

I’ve eaten raw seafood before and generally have no problem. However, with this oyster, the texture was gross because it had grit inside that I could taste when I chewed a few times. Then I realized I didn’t like the taste, but I couldn’t stop there. I had to swallow it to make it count for my List!

Even though I had chosen the smallest oyster available in the buffet, it was too big to swallow whole. I had to bite it into two pieces, swallowing each separately, which only made it worse because I am not used to swallowing raw seafood (or anything, really) without chewing. Everything in my brain was focused on getting it down my throat instead of trying to cough to get it out. It felt like I had swallowed too early and was going to choke.

As I was trying to swallow the second half of this poor oyster, the waiter came by and asked if everything was okay, and if the food tasted good. He glanced at me making strange faces as I struggled to swallow and I am sure he was concerned because he hesitated after we all nodded and smiled that the food was good. (Well, the rest of my family nodded and smiled. I can’t remember what I did.)

Overall, it was really a miserable experience, but it was something on my List and that made me happy. (Later, I tried grilled oysters and the texture was much better but the taste was still pretty gross, so there’s really little chance that I’ll attempt this goal again.)

My teacher was right. I am glad I tried it. It gives me something to write about.

Is slurping an oyster on your list? Here’s something to get you started: How to Eat (and Taste) an Oyster