Walk it Out

Our pre-summer series about picnicking around town.

In the hopes that the weather will be good this summer, we've launched a weekly food-blog feature on impromptu picnicking around Seattle. Read more at www.seattleweekly.com/voracious.Picnic spot: Victor Steinbrueck Park, northern end of Pike Place Market. Who goes to Victor Steinbrueck Park for the view? OK, sometimes I do at lunch time. Given the grottiness of the facilities, I mostly go for the voyeurism: the senior class trip mugging for group photos, the homeless guy meditating on pages of his Bible, office workers peering over the Sound to counteract the effects of staring into a lighted box all morning.Picnic supplies: Market Grill, 1509 Pike Place # 3, 682-2654.Picnic for two: Two sandwiches and a Coke, plus tip, cost me $26. Napkins, forks, and straws included.This market stand basically sells fish sandwiches and chowder, which means it has one cook doing nothing but grilling fish and buns all day, which means he knows how to cook fish and grill buns, which means that when he makes you a sandwich of blackened wild Coho salmon smothered in rosemary aioli, you will take one bite and think about all the other grilled-salmon sandwiches you will eat for the rest of salmon season and you will get depressed because you will realize: It's all downhill from here. Unless you return. Which you promise yourself you will, even though the sandwich costs $11 and in another week or two it will take you 20 minutes to wade the 100 feet from the pig to the Market Grill.Logistical issue #1: The grill is good at spill-proofing its sandwiches in shiny wrap and packing up its tangy coleslaw in lidded paper tubs. But there's really nothing they can do to make their cod sandwich more picnic-appropriate. The cod keeps breaking away in fat, tender slabs, which, along with slippery grilled onions, keep cascading out of the sandwich on waves of tartar sauce, covering fingers, pants, and benches (I'm all about giving back to the environment, anyway). Well worth ordering, but not when you're eating over your lap.Logistical issue #2: Always bring a practical person along with you to a picnic. My PP thought to order a glass of water so we could rinse off the remains of the fish and aioli.Walk it off by . . . um, walking back to work. I like to return to the Weekly offices (at Western and Madison) via Western, behind the market, because one hour is all the people-watching I can stand and because the walk takes me past the open door of World Spice Merchants, Seattle's best perfume shop. JONATHAN KAUFFMAN

 
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