Dear reader, as you may recall, we last left Ms. Proust dashing off to reclaim a loaf of bread (artfully wrapped) from Porcella Urban Market as a romantic memento of a splendid lunch at the newest gourmet bastion to steal her heart on historic Main Street in Bellevue. So fickle, so impulsive is our heroine, that a $2 souvenir is just the ticket to keep the flames of her affections alive.
But look, across that crosswalk is another world, a world of Parisian intrigue (Belle Pastry) where couples sip foamy macchiatos with abandon, the smell of butter hovers like a halo & you're all but lost in a sea of glassed-in gorgeous pastries ready to be tied up with a bow. Blogging builds up a future appetite & so each traveller selects a dessert to indulge in come sunset, a difficult task considering our full stomachs & the spendor of what lies before us...
But the perfect remedy for such sweet-entranced caravan is tahini, summac, foul mudammas at 60 cents a can! Zizo's Market is also in its two week infancy just like Porcella, but the two couldn't be further apart on the global & economical spectrum. Okay, so I broke my tone, but I loaded up on cans of beans, spices, & other exotic ingredients that have put us on the Silk Road when it comes to dining at home these days.
Behold green almonds, a fuzzy gourmand's prize according to Judy Rodgers of the Bay area Zuni Cafe, who extolls their delicate flavor. I tried to rewind all the Mid-East recipes I've read as I walked each inch of Zizo's Market hunting down ingredients I have never seen, let alone stocked in my pantry.
But before you know it, the owner was tasting us on spiralled butter cookies stuffed with Nutella & you know how expensive pinenuts are, so let's take a bag of those from the frozen section & wait there's yogurt sodas...!!! Keep your head screwed on tightly because there's too much to look at without a strong shot of Turkish coffee to keep you focused.
While I was clearly thinking of future exotic menus in our own kitchen, there's a line up of sandwiches from shawerma to mortadella (who knew?) with a felafel option that would be perfect for those who reside or work eastside. Their fresh bar is immaculate & appetite-inspiring even with a full stomach & brimming basket. This is exactly the kind of food I crave in warmer months, but the rainfall of late has had me craving tahini-doused greens, minted-lamb meatballs & Persian pilaf. I love having Mondays free where I can take my time & stomp off into the garden to pick herbs, peruse my new plantings of Savvoy cabbage & have a spot of Verdejo clouds or shine.
It took us no more than fifteen minutes to beat it on down the line to this happening little strip in Bellevue from our new home on the south end. I may have found a secret indulgence & affinity for what I never would have dreamed before... If you can find Tasmanian brie at Renton Thriftway, the times, they are a changin'. Happy Birthday Bob!
10246-A Main Street, Bellevue 425.289.0015
10204 Main Street, Bellevue 425.646.ZIZO