Grocery Store Saturation

Our ol’ neighborhood of West Seattle has had plenty of excitement in the grocery store department lately. This month we had the re-opening of the newly completely remodeled PCC as well as the long awaited opening of Whole Foods. Not to be left in the dust, Metropolitan Market has been doing a major remodel to keep up with the new competition.

Yesterday, I visited PCC yesterday and today I checked out Whole Foods and it’s interesting what our grocery stores have and don’t have. I do plan on revisiting and writing a more in-depth post – however, I thought I’d share my first impressions on our current grocery stores in West Seattle. Before we proceed, please know I’m a total foodie, I love to cook and enjoy my wine…and sadly, I am a grocery store snob. I am a long time shopper at Met Market which started when we lived less than a block away from the store and I would just buy enough groceries for that day or what ever we could carry, and walk home. When writing these reviews, I’m probably comparing everything to my long time favorite store.

Let’s start with parking lots. When I went to PCC yesterday (before 5pm) I was surprised at how tight the parking lot is (I’m not a fan of Thriftway’s parking lot either). First impressions of the store – it’s beautiful. I suddenly understood why Metropolitan Market probably felt they had to remodel with this one-two punch coming to West Seattle. The produce is beautiful. Meat department looks great and the to go dishes look fantastic… I need to go back and check them out. I was happy to find Nancy’s non-fat Greek yogurt. The wine department is lacking a little and a bit unorganized. It has a somewhat limited selection of groceries. I probably need to learn how to shop at PCC.

Whole Foods has an underground parking lot that will be especially popular on rainy days. Like PCC, it’s a beautiful, open and airy store. I was surprised at how big the health care section was and that they actually had blankets/throws, slippers, tops, etc. for sale. This section (health/beauty/clothing) took up a significant part of the store. The produce was beautiful and Amazon Prime members receive additional incentives for shopping here. I was able to find Gochugaru for a spicy Korean dish I’m making tonight (which I could not find at PCC or Met Market). I needed some assistance finding horseradish – which I have to say, the customer service was excellent. I could not find maraschino cherries for an Old Fashioned…or any maraschino cherries. Whole Foods has a great looking meat/seafood department and so many “to go” dishes to check out on a future visit. On the elevator back to the covered parking lot, I complimented a woman on her glasses and she asked me what I thought of store and I told her I’m surprised what it had and what it didn’t. She agreed and said other Whole Foods stores have a much larger grocery department than this store which surprised her because of how larger this store is.

From Whole Foods, today I went to Thriftway because I was in search of maraschino cherries – which they had a great selection of. Thriftway is great. I know this probably sounds weird – but I don’t like the parking lot. It’s a bit cramped with the design. Thriftway overall is a solid grocery store. It may not have the new flash that the other three stores have, but overall, it has a wide selection of groceries (probably better than Whole Foods or PCC) and they tend to have better prices. There have been a few items that I’ve been surprised to find priced better at Met Market than Thriftway. Thriftway also has a nice kitchen shop, like Met Market. I don’t think PCC or Whole Foods have kitchen supply departments that compare. Thriftway also has a better liquor and wine department than PCC or Whole Foods.

Metropolitan Market…boy you’ve been putting your long time, loyal clients through some hoops with the remodel…but after visiting Whole Foods and PCC, I understand this move. During the remodel I was kind of put back by how much it seemed MM was trying to be PCC and WH with adding the bulk food bins and bringing back (with an oomph) cosmetics. It’s been hard for a lot of regulars going through the transition and having things move or no longer be available but it all makes sense to me now. Met Market has a great produce and meat department. Hubby has always loved the Cubano and the Rueben is really good too! They have been branching out into so many various “to go” foods that I have not had a chance to try them all out. The kitchen shop is a local resource – especially since J.F. Henry has closed.

I recently started checking out Trader Joes… pretty much because friends of ours buy addictive chocolate covered raisins from there. Since going to TJ’s I’ve started checking out a few other items and I have a new found appreciation for this store too…but I prefer the other stores for produce and meats.

QFC and Safeway… I just don’t find myself shopping there often. The Safeway on Admiral is nicer and you can find some great deals there. Hubby says the liquor guy at Safeway on Admiral is very knowledgeable, funny and very customer service oriented.

Of course I love the West Seattle Farmers Market… just the whole neighborhood experience is worth walking through it on Sundays. I have a hard time buying store bought salad and I’m a little bummed when it’s out of season.

I do plan to write an updated post after I check out the new stores again… I’ll try to include some pics too!

Bottom line, the addition of the new grocery stores means that they are competing for our business. I’m noticing some lower prices at the high priced stores and coupons being sent in the mail… a win for consumers, at least for now.

What are your favorite West Seattle Grocery Stores?

Darby Winery popping cork on new WS tasting room

Long time West Seattle resident Darby English is in the process of remodeling a small space just around the corner of Easy Street Records for showcasing his wines. The target date to be pouring was to coincide with the Christmas holidays but construction times may delay it a bit.

Darby is excited to open a tasting room just about 3 blocks from where he first started making wine in his garage back in early 2000’s. Since those early days, Darby’s wine will routinely score 90 plus points by Wine Spectator and others.

As he made the last tennis ball throw for his silver lab puppy, I put Darby on the spot with one of my signature hard hitting questions… “can we bring our dogs into the new tasting room?” “Heck ya, we don’t serve food!”

Cheers, see you there.


Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog




There’s black gold in them thar hills!

A local neighbor proudly shows off what his truffle snoot’n dog dug up in one of Beach Drive’s parks.

As I was on my routine dog walk (on leash w/ doo bags), a long time resident and park steward stopped me to show the latest treasure unearthed by his Golden Retriever. Apparently this isn’t the first truffle sniffed out of the woods. Rescued at 2 years old, the golden was rumored to have had truffle training before his previous owners had to give him up. Before writing this post, I was sworn to secrecy as to the exact location of the digs but guarantee to have MY dog in truffle school immediately!

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Bon Appetite,

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Talk’n Lings and Shrimp’n in the hood this week!

 Have I mentioned lately just how great this time of year is around here??? Ling cod season opened this glorious morning with boats swarming the south Alki Rock Pile or what we call “Mediation Reef” from an earlier post.

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Popular Ling Cod fishery located just off the 4800 block of Beach Drive

… and if that wasn’t enough excitement to float your boat, the short Spotted Shrimp season starts this Saturday morning! A good local shrimp hole is along the NE side of Vashon Island. Get you telescope out and check out the hundred or so boats pulling up the scrumptious booty from 250 feet below the surface. These fine crustaceans are considered some of the finest shrimp in the entire world!!

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Cleetus, an old shrimp’n Beach Drive neighbor displays his catch from 2012

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

Hammerheads, Humbolt Squid and now this… Opah!

A very unusual fish was recently caught of the coast of Washington – Hawaiian Opah!

Opah is normally caught in warm Pacific Ocean waters near Hawaii.
But, this one was caught by Lou Javet while line fishing on his 42' Troller 32 miles off the Washington coast when he hooked into a sight that he had never seen before fishing here in the Pacific Northwest.  

Lou, a professional fisherman, works with Jon Daniels, owner of West Seattle's own Seattle Fish Company.   Lou is known for bringing in high quality Salmon and other local fish that Jon is interested in selling in his Fish Market, but as Jon says "After 20 years in this business, this one takes the cake!".




The Hawaiian Opah Lou caught is pictured with Darren Wilkerson, a long time West Seattle resident who works at Seattle Fish Company, located at 4435 California Ave S.W.



Seattle Fish Company has recently opened a grill for dining, but "locally caught" Hawaiian Opah has never been on the menu before – at least not until today.


But, if you want to try it – you'd better hurry !!!
Photos and article courtesy of one of our esteemed Beach Drive Blog Correspondents, Friend of Scupper


Ama Ama’s Amazing Brunch

I'm sorry it's taken us this long to visit Ama Ama Oyster Bar and Grill.  What a terrific restaurant.  We went with our three teens for brunch today.  I like the atmosphere and the food is even better.  

My husband and I began our brunch with a Smokin' Mary.   She's one hot mama–maybe a little too hot for me, even though I enjoy chipolte.   We requested some fresh  Amacajuneggsbenedict raw oysters on the side–it's a terrific pairing with the Bloody Marys.

I had the Creole Eggs Benedict which was delish!  Poached eggs rest on top of smoked seafood cakes and are topped with a spicy hollandaise sauce.

My hubby enjoyed the Huevos Rancheos with scrambled eggs and chorizo piled into a bowl.

Two teens had ham and cheese omletes…no complaints were heard.  One teen had to French Toast that was heavenly.  The thick slabs of bread were fluffy and light.Amahuevos

I can't wait to go back and try dinner!  Our photos do NOT do the food justice-they're via my cell phone. 

 Ama Ama Oyster Bar and Grill is located at 4752 California Avenue SW, Seattle.   They open daily at 4:30 pm with a Saturday and Sunday Brunch from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Southwest Precinct Police Appreciation Day is TODAY

Today, from 10 am – 8 pm by the Delridge Home Depot, is your opportunity to let our local Seattle Police Officers that we appreciate their work in protecting our neighborhoods and families.    This is a wonderful opportunity to give back to our community for those who dedicate so much for us.   West Seattle Blog has more information here.

Don’t forget, 2008 Seattle Night Out is Tuesday, August 5.  We just a couple weeks to plan for this fun event with neighbors–who’s in?  This year, the SPD is participating with  Office of Emergency Management’s SNAP (Seattle Neighborhood Actively Prepare) to help inform us on emergency preparedness for our neighborhoods.   Watch for an email soon regarding this event.

Something Fun on the Fourth–Picnic at the Log House Museum

This message is from Marcy Johnsen, Trustee of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

SWSHS Members Annual Picnic and Fourth of July Celebration

The annual member’s picnic on the 4th of July well, that just seems to be the right way to reconnect and revitalize ourselves.

Not a member yet?  Come on over-join the Historical Society and support the Log House Museum!   Hamburgers (beef and veggie), hot dogs, and all the fixings will be provided by the SWSHS.  You bring a favorite side dish, the people, and stories you’d like to share about your life experiences.   Music, door prizes, and a raffle will round out the day’s fun.

This event is always a success because YOU make sure it does!

When:  Friday, July 4th from 12:00 noon – 3pm

Where:  Log House Museum Courtyard, Rain or Shine!

*If you’d like to volunteer to help with the picnic, please call the Log House Museum at 206-938-5293 and leave a message for Marcy.

Seattle Metropolitan’s Best New Restaurants in West Seattle

We have so many excellent dining choices in our small neck of the woods…actually we’re sort of like an island.

The November issue of Seattle Metropolitan Magazine features a couple of well known local favorites as some of the best in Seattle:

Bakery Nouveau


Pagalicci Pizza, specifically for their Agog Primo…"a legend in the making".

What are your favorite Seattle restaurants?

Sunday brunch at Blackbird Bistro

Update September 2008:  Blackbird Bistro is closed for business. 

Img_5908 Once again, we found ourselves drawn to Blackbird Bistro for a weekend brunch.   My husband stuck with his favorite Huevos Rancheros and I decided to try their breakfast burrito.   It was really tasty!  I especially liked the mole sauce and the chicken sausage.   

My husbands kids ordered the yogurt parfait and the french toast (the plain type, not the banana bread one).   I did hear some grumblings across the table that the french toast was too "soggy".    I didn’t have a bite so I can’t confirm or deny!

The service at Blackbird has been top notch.   Your coffee cup and water glass are always full.   We don’t go out all the time for brunch…Blackbird will definitely stay on our lists for good eats in West Seattle.