December 2, 2022

Find the best bakery in the North West – plus 5 other great restaurants – on a super fun day trip to Bremerton

BREMERTON – The fast ferry gets you from Seattle to Bremerton in just 30 minutes, but you want the slow boat. There’s so much to love about this navy town that time forgot until recently – as evidenced by the many new residents occupying many new builds – and traveling around an hour each way on a green ferry and Washington State’s classic white is a must part of the itinerary. No need for a car, or long lines in the summer: walk (or bike!) aboard, then head aft to watch Seattle’s skyline recede scenically across shimmering Puget Sound. Then, to the kitchen – reopened, thankfully, after many pandemic dark moons – decide whether to save the fine beer and wine selection for the trip home (drinks are a maritime bargain at $6.50-$9, with a recommended pairing of a can of Frico sparkling and popcorn) .

From the bow, the Olympic Mountains – perhaps still snow-capped – grow beautifully, suddenly much closer. The captain will make an announcement if orcas are seen (it happens!). Then the boat gently hits the dock.

On the port side: the shipyard, with the majestic Puget Sound Navy Museum (built in 1896). Straight ahead: the adorable old-school area of ​​the city centre, with the Bremerton Office Machine Company typewriters to marvel at (seriously, check it out), the historic Admiral Theater from 1942 to admire and a vintage pinball machine for the whole family at Quarters Arcade or for adults only at Another Castle (with adult drinks too).

But you have important meals to make, and from Friday to Sunday between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., your first destination — it’s not optional — is on the starboard side. A nice 20-minute walk over the Manette bridge takes you to Saboteur Bakerya place with pastries so tasty that you can’t find enough superlatives.

A former pastry chef at Michelin-starred restaurants in the Bay Area, owner Matt Tinder has brought his genius to his little boutique in Bremerton, where you should buy whatever takes your fancy, or just grab what’s left. Its plain croissant, made with the best possible French butter, has a lacquered and burst golden brown exterior, with inside a whorl of celestial light like the fingerprint of a small deity. For anything savory, any bread, anything with fruit or nuts or custard, pause for a moment while you bite, then chew, and discover a glow of enlightenment gluten-based. I know I look unhinged – trust me. (Also: Saboteur is popping up this summer in Seattle at Magnolia Farmers Market starting Saturday, June 6. Arrive early!)

Another 15 minute walk over the bridge, then north through a few blocks of cute little houses perched on a cliff, brings you to Evergreen Rotary Park. taste the flavors Baby leaf gelato to maximize the excellence of your day trip.

Around the corner you can look upstairs for a dinner option, Evergreen Pizza Co. with Sapling, new to Seattle’s Manu Alfau, the great Manu’s Bodega. Chef Adam Paulin, formerly of Seattle’s excellent The Masonry, is in charge of the wood-fired pies, which have a proper thin, soft crust with charred edges that stay moist, while a lightly applied tomato sauce gives a nice flavor. . The tiled pizza oven anchors the sleek main room, with an airy atrium and outdoor seating that also awaits – add the full bar, and this park-side nook could very well serve most of the day’s needs.

But important choices must be made, and another forerunner is wonderful La Poblanita Tienda y Taqueria, a fast and extremely helpful Lyft or Uber. Open for lunch and dinner daily, this family-friendly spot magically feels old-fashioned in an increasingly rare way, with counter-order service, diamond-patterned booths, and a shiny light green linoleum floor. Take a Mexican beer or a Mexican coke, accompanied by a menudo that will cure you of your ailments (the small one is more than enough); quesabirria tacos that may be the best you’ve ever had; or a velvety mole that is smoky, rich, slightly spicy, and dark and deep cocoa rather than chocolate sweet. Be sure to browse the adjoining market. And you might have better luck, because the occasional Mexican wrestling set up in the parking lot may resume soon.

Back through the Manette Bridge – where you’ll also find antique stores and cute stuff shops, for more browsing – is a favorite in Bremerton and beyond Dog + Bottle. Everything is outfitted for evening dining with beautifully stocked craft cocktails, a beautiful ceiling with exposed wood joists, and patio seating for those warm evenings, if you can score a spot. Right now, the Northwest’s seasonal menu celebrates spring, like in asparagus tonnato with pickled cherries and poached lemon; with summer comes the tastes of grilled peach caprese, slow-smoked baby back ribs andpress watermelon martinis. Yes please!

But wait: another summer beauty is just down the street in the form of Khao Soi, serving Thai cuisine as good as some of the best in Seattle. There’s only room for a few tables inside – the building is cozy, an old laundromat – but the shaded garden seating is where you want to be for a sunny lunch or at the end of a day. a hot day. Beat the heat by meeting it with the multiple spices of curry – massaman is a great choice, though panang is even spicier. Or make a meal of appetizers and salads: think chicken or pork laab that is bright and refreshing in lime with lots of purple shallot, sweet onion and peppery scallions. And/or a crying tiger, with eight ounces of marinated steak seared to your order (medium rare is perfectly cooked), served with fresh cucumber slices and a tangy, tangy tamarind sauce. And/or (you’ll probably want to use ‘and’ throughout) half a dozen large prawns simply rolled into wrappers then browned fried exactly right, delivered in a silver basket with orange-red sweet and sour. Beer and wine are available, and everything gets a particularly pretty presentation to feel special on a day trip.

It’s too good for one day, I know. Plan ahead and be sure to check the ferry times – you don’t want to miss the last boat to Seattle. Or would you?