Jump to content


Photo

Vashon Island


  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,443 posts

Posted 01 April 2012 - 06:00 PM

The NY Times has a travel section article today about Vashon Island. The writer is enthralled with the "Mayberry meets Burning Man" ethos he discovers. The absence of cars on the island means that feet, bicycles, and kayaks are the main modes of travel. I'd suspect it also improves the fitness of the residents, although he doesn't mention that.


Vashon doesn’t have the culinary offerings of the mainland, but neither is it your typical small-town restaurant scene. There is a legit sushi joint (Red Bicycle Bistro, natch), a Chinese restaurant, two Mexican restaurants, a new Indian place, a farm-to-table establishment and the island’s most popular spot, the Hardware Store Restaurant, built in the 121-year-old building of Vashon’s former hardware store. Out front hangs a sign that reads, “Today’s special ... so is tomorrow.”

Inside, the northern walls are adorned with stained-glass transoms from the original building advertising, among other things, “Aladdin Lamps and Accessories” and “Guns and Ammo.” The cuisine is essentially upmarket comfort food, with signature dishes like buttermilk fried chicken and Dungeness crab cakes with roasted red pepper aioli.

So next time you’re in the Seattle area, take a day or so and get lost on Vashon’s backcountry roads. Have lunch Uptown and then get lost on the backcountry roads, stopping off to sample a tomato at one of the farm stands you’ll inevitably encounter before you rediscover the highway. Pull on a pair of rubber boots and go clamming in Tramp Harbor at low tide, then, still dressed like a longshoreman, stop in at the Blue Heron Art Center to see its latest exhibition. You’ll fit right in. Finally, get down to the Burton Coffee Stand before it closes at 3 and say hi to Kathy and all those island eccentrics who will treat you like their long-lost neighbor. And who knows? One of them could be me.

IF YOU GO

Vashon is accessible from the Kitsap Peninsula in the west and also Tacoma in the south, but most people will arrive from the east, via West Seattle. Ferries from West Seattle run every 20 to 60 minutes, depending on the time of day.

For lodging, think about what you’re seeking. Visitors looking to connect with Vashon’s arts scene will want to consider the Artist’s Studio Loft northeast of town (206-463-2583; vashonbedandbreakfast.com; $119 to $215 a night). Those most interested in Vashon’s small-town feel will do well staying in Burton, where the Quartermaster Inn is shutting down, but a new tenant should be opening doors to guests soon. (Call Vashon Chamber of Commerce, 206-463-6217, for details.) And people just looking for an escape to rural beauty should try the Swallow’s Nest Guest Cottages (206-463-2646; vashonislandcottages.com; $105 to $230) on Maury, where two of the cottages have great views of the Puget Sound and Mount Rainier.

The Hardware Store Restaurant (17601 Vashon Highway SW; 206-463-1800; thsrestaurant.com) is Vashon’s central hub, and for that reason it’s good to make reservations for a Friday or Saturday. Down the street, the Red Bicycle Bistro (17618 Vashon Highway SW; 206-463-1800; redbicyclebistro.com) has live music on Fridays and great sushi, but the chef gets overloaded fairly often, so you might think about going early or late.


Vashon Island

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#2 tighe

tighe

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,665 posts

Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:31 PM

Surprised there's no mention of SeaBreeze Farm and their restaurant La Boucherie.
It may have been Camelot for Jack and Jacqueline
But on the Che Guevara highway filling up with gasoline
Fidel Castro's brother spies a rich lady who's crying
Over luxury's dissapointment
So he walks over and he's trying
To sympathize with her, but thinks that he should warn her
That the Thirld World is just around the corner

#3 tighe

tighe

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,665 posts

Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:17 PM

Had lunch at La Boucherie this past Saturday. In a word, excellent. Started with the charcuterie plate, all made in-house from animals raised at SeaBreeze. Among the best pork rillettes I've had, accompanied by very good to excellent head cheese, pork shoulder coppa, chicken liver mousse and pate de compagne. Unfortunately my children decided they liked it all too!

Main course was caldo gallego, braised pork shoulder, kale, controne beans and new potatoes in a spectacular broth, which just hinted at spiciness. Great ingredients, cooked flawlessly and combined skillfully.

For dessert we shared an all-too small (for 5 people) chocolate pot-de-creme. Pure, unadulturated chocolatiness.

Only complaint was some pretty pedestrian coffee.

If this place was in Seattle, people would be tripping over all manner of appendages talking about how good it is.
It may have been Camelot for Jack and Jacqueline
But on the Che Guevara highway filling up with gasoline
Fidel Castro's brother spies a rich lady who's crying
Over luxury's dissapointment
So he walks over and he's trying
To sympathize with her, but thinks that he should warn her
That the Thirld World is just around the corner

#4 ghostrider

ghostrider

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,543 posts

Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:45 PM

One of S's far-flung cousins lives on Vashon Island. The couple of times I've met him, I was struck by his mellow, laid-back approach to everything. Made me think that living on Vashon transforms you somehow. Still, I think I'd rather be in Maine.
It was hard to avoid the feeling that somebody, somewhere, was missing the point. I couldn't even be sure that it wasn't me. - Douglas Adams

Please come visit my rock concert blog: Tantalized.