Have you ever wanted to explore the brain, or at least the pantry, of your favorite chef? If so, you’re in luck: The chef-driven mercantiles popping up around town provide something akin to that inside perspective, plus treats you can take home with you. We go to Home Remedy in Belltown’s Assembly Hall to pluck a favorite Tom Douglas sauce and bratwurst and Pioneer Square’s The London Plane to score Matt Dillon’s country-style sourdough baguettes. And, now, at Ericka Burke’s 2,000-square-foot Canal Market in Portage Bay we can discover the Volunteer Park Cafe owner’s cuisine, sip on a pressed-to-order juice and shop for Burke-approved items.
The chef is no stranger to the takeaway trend. Burke offers grab-and-go goodies at her North Capitol Hill restaurant and, beginning in 2013, curated pop-up gift shops around the winter holidays. With Canal Market, she’s adding a lifestyle touch to the mercantile movement. Handmade soaps, bath salts and lotions sit next to the stocked deli case (take home the garlicky meatballs, $10 per pound, for dinner) and local produce.
It’s certainly a thorough and thoroughly crafted shopping experience. But, it’s a pricey one, too. As yummy as they are, $9 juices and $12 salads add up fast, so keep that in mind as you find yourself plucking artisanal candies and nut butters off the vintage dark wood shelves.
On a morning visit, don’t leave without one of Burke’s signature scones, croissants or muffins (we highly recommend the gooey apricot and almond muffin, $3). For lunch, offerings shift to freshly baked quiches, savory galettes (the buttery leek and chèvre, served warm with a green salad for $7, is a must), plus soups, salads and sandwiches. Try a cup of the sweet potato curry soup ($5) if you like silky purées with a kick. And to go: Burke’s addictive house-made granola. At only $10 a bag, it’s a heck of a tasty trinket. Portage Bay, 2919 Fuhrman Ave. E; 206.588.2893; canalmarketseattle.com.