Walk it Out: Golden Gardens

Part of our summer series on urban picnicking.

A weekly food-blog feature celebrating impromptu picnicking around Seattle. Read more at www.seattleweekly.com/voracious.Picnic spot: The beach at Golden Gardens (or just one of the benches along the Shilshole marina, if you're too lazy to walk that far).Picnic supplies: Sunset Hill Green Market, 6405 32nd Ave. N.W., 784-7594. BALLARDPicnic for two: My brother once said of my cousin Kari and I, after we demanded he join us for a performance of Into the Woods, "You're like Frasier and Niles." Not wanting to disappoint my brother's high assessment of us, Kari and I decided to create the snootiest picnic we could from the limited deli selection at this tiny Ballard market. It also couldn't require utensils or a bottle opener, which I had forgotten. We settled on Ryvita dark rye crackers, Honey I'm Home's roasted garlic chèvre spread, grapes, a corked bottle of La Fin du Monde beer, and a bar of 3400 Phinney Hazelnut Crunch Chocolate for dessert. Our little feast cost $24.40 after tax.Walking it out: Around the corner from the Sunset Hill Green Market on Northwest 64th Street, you can almost see the tops of the yachts moored at Shilshole. But a row of houses stands between you and the water. Though I used to live around the corner from the market, I'd never really wandered west past it. Kari and I were determined to find a way through to the beach, but even the prospect of dodging through someone's yard was prevented by tall fences and hedges.A helpful neighbor directed us down what appeared to be a private drive where 64th Street dead-ends. To the left, shrouded by greenery, was a staircase straight out of The Secret Garden—if you blurred your vision and pretended the graffiti was flowers. The path dumped us out on the Burke-Gilman trail, and we wandered through the Shilshole parking lot to Golden Gardens, where there was a light mist, almost like rain, but nothing too severe to hamper our enjoyment of the day. We parked on one of the logs for some people-watching and dug in.It turns out that, our penchant for Sondheim and fancy-schmancy booze aside, Kari and I are nothing like the stuffy snobs of the sitcom. No knives for spreading meant we broke off bits of the deliciously seasoned crackers and used the spread like a dip—and we're shameless double-dippers. This was followed by popping the cork off the floral, yeasty brew and consuming it straight from the bottle, which we hid from the park patrollers driving along the beach. As the weather cleared up a little, Kari saw an enormous sea lion swimming toward us. He (she?) barked, we clapped, and then a group of kids playing nearby went running for the water, shouting, "Orh! Orh! Orh!"We polished off the beer, which at 9 percent ABV packed a punch, making it perfect for sharing. Then we packed up the leftovers and enjoyed a leisurely stroll to the car parked back up at the market.

 
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