Friday: Sunset Supper at the Market
What if the all-you-can-eat buffet your parents used to take you to as a kid was suddenly being staffed by the city's best chefs, took place in one of its most beautiful and iconic settings, and instead of your money going to some guy with a bad comb-over who also owns a used car lot down the street, it was donated to a foundation for the low-income and elderly? That's kind of like what Pike Place's Sunset Suppers at the Market are like. “Basically, you get a plate and wander from booth to booth, where each restaurant, winery or brewery is set up serving something of their choosing,” says Market Foundation event coordinator Erika Sweet. “ You load up your plate, find a place to sit or stand, then go back around and load up again.”
No, you can't mix all your favorite sodas together in one gigantic cup—instead you'll have to settle for 30 boutique wineries. But nor will you go home with a bruise on your forehead from hitting it on the sneeze guard you didn't notice. New this year among the 36 participating restaurants are Toulouse Petit, Madison Park Conservatory, Ravish, Cantinetta and The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co. When I asked Sweet where she would be bee-lining it to first, she said “The Virginia Inn. They're not new, but they're doing grilled oysters.” The pre-sale tickets that guarantee you a chair have sold out (all 1,100 of them), but general admission tickets ($95) will still be available at the entrance. Sweet recommends showing up at least half an hour early; doors open at 7:30pm. pikeplacemarketfoundation.org
Saturday: Taste of Main
Eastsiders rejoice! If you can't make it across the lake to chow down on dishes from the city's best restaurants, that's ok—you can do it in your own backyard. In addition to Old Bellevue's best nosh spots (Belle Pastry, Bis on Main, Gilbert's, La Cocina del Puerco), my favorite Seattle-turned-Bellevue eateries will be represented as well: Monsoon, Cantinetta and Cupcake Royale. And in a little switcharoo that gives Bellevue its own bragging rights, Eastside original Tuscan Stone Pizza Company, which opened its second location in downtown Seattle in early August, will have its wood-fired mobile pizza truck there as well. Passports to this little smorgasbord cost only $40 and proceeds benefit the Children's Response Center. Plus, in addition to all the grub, there will be massages, pedicures and makeovers. Score one for the 425. tasteofmainbellevue.com
Saturday: Seattle's Largest Canned Food Pyramid
What this event lacks in, uh, culinary caché, it makes up for in pure awesomeness. In what appears to be Seattle's first hood-to-hood canned food structure competition, the Rainier Valley community will be attempting to build the city's largest pyramid made from food bank donations outside the Columbia City Full Tilt Ice Cream. Last week Greenwood claimed the record (which isn't hard when you're the first to do it); on Saturday, the Rainier Valley Food Bank hopes to beat theirs with more than 3,000 cans. “We've collected enough for about half of it,” RVFB exective director Sam Osborne says. “We're hoping people will bring the rest.” (The largest canned food structure in the world, in case you're wondering, was erected last year at Disney World with 115,527 cans and was built Mount Rushmore-style in the likenesses of Mickey, Donald and friends. It's pretty dang impressive.)
The good folks at Full Tilt will also be giving out free scoops to kids 12 and under, with $2 scoops for everyone else (see, I wasn't going to leave you hungry), and will be donating all the scoop money to the food bank. And did I mention that this is all part of the Rainier Valley Heritage Parade and SDOT's Summer Streets Festival? That means the streets will be closed off to traffic from 1-4 p.m., to be filled with craft and food booths, jugglers, acrobats, dancers, music, DJs, bands and a dunk tank. It's all free, and you can get more info here.