Older Entries

06/23/24 - Hama Hama Oyster Saloon

We celebrated a friend's birthday at the Hama Hama Oyster Saloon in, of all places, Hama Hama. It was a pleasant enough drive south on 101 past Quilcene and then along the coast. We didn't see a sign for the Saloon, so we zoomed past the restaurant on our first try, but we quickly realized that there is really only one Hama Hama oyster restaurant down by the flats. Before our friends arrived we walked a bit north along the flats where the oysters grow to the Hama Hama River.

The restaurant is an outdoors space. We placed our order at the kiosk and then settled in at our table. This was right by the Hood Canal and sheltered by two large wooden boards forming something of a pup tent. We drank our champagne - we brought our own and paid the corkage fee - and after a bit our oysters arrived, raw and shucked with a mignonette and roasted nicely. We also had some really good bread and butter. An eagle settled in to watch. It was great catching up with our friends, and everything was delicious as it often is when dining al fresco.

The oyster flats down by the Hood Canal

Seen around

The restaurant

The mountains just visible

Still snow on the peaks

Heading along the flats

The snow melts and feeds the river.

The Hama Hama River

A foreground tree

The river is bigger than it looks.

The restaurant

A visitor

An oyster gabion

Keywords: eagle, oysters

11/23/21 - Charleston to Savannah

We usually don't travel for Thanksgiving, but this year the friends we usually celebrate with were in Georgia. They even reassured us that the COVID prevalence was lower in Glynn County than back at home. We flew into Charleston and spent the night at Zero George which was both charming and convenient. The next day we picked up our rental car, a little Chevy. It was tiny and bit underpowered, but it was the Chevy that could.

We drove to Savannah and stayed at the Marriott down by the river. It was an old converted power plant, so it was huge and still had its smokestacks towering over it. It wasn't Thanksgiving yet, but the elves were hard at work setting up Christmas trees, draping everything with lights and building gingerbread houses. We were told that our hotel and its environs is usually full of drunken bridesmaids, but we didn't see any.

We met our friends for dinner at Husk and ate on the upstairs porch. Those old buildings were designed for the summer's heat, so they have a fair bit of protected outdoor space for dining. There's something to be said for vernacular architecture. It was a great meal. Naturally, we had some Carolina golden rice along with local oysters, peel-and-eat shrimp with peanuts, lily white biscuits, heritage pork with chestnuts and flank steak with a potato pancake.

The Zero George courtyard

The river in Savannah

A close up of the working port - According to Bloomberg, it's #1 for chicken foot exports to China.

Another view along the river

A gingerbread house under construction

Instead of alligators, they used to have these guys. That skeleton was too big for our lens.

Christmas and minerals


Husk outdoors

An evening urban walk

Urban lights - something we've been missing

More evening in Savannah

Christmas at the candy shop

The candy shop


The river boat

More evening lights with a touch of Christmas

More Christmas decorations as we neared our hotel

Evening lights in Savannah

Keywords: christmas, oysters, thanksgiving

Keywords: christmas, oysters, thanksgiving, georgia

05/09/21 - Yachats - Arrival

We made it down to Yachats and checked in to the wonderful Overleaf Lodge. We had a great room with a hot tub and a view of the ocean. We took a walk in town to stretch our legs and have dinner at the Luna Sea Fish House. We ate some of the best fried oysters we had ever had at a picnic The fries were good. The fried shrimp were good. The fish tacos were good. It was perfect weather for outdoor dining.

We took a walk along Ocean View Road which starts in town and runs for miles along the coast as the 804 trail. We didn't go very far, but we did enjoy the scenery.

The mouth of the Yachats River

One of the birds along the way

A better pose

Along the coast


A friendly reminder

One of many calla lilies

We stayed on the trail

Another view

Sunset from our hotel

Later that evening

Keywords: oregon, oysters, weather

05/07/21 - Astoria

We made it to Astoria, Oregon, the first stop on our road trip to California. For the first time in over a year, we'll be sleeping in strange beds and eating professionally cooked food, We have been to Astoria before, years ago, so it feels familiar. We're staying at at the Cannery Pier hotel near the great bridge over the Columbia River. We took a short walk along the waterfront trail, past the old pilings, beer warehouses and a patch of restaurants with outdoor seating.

We had an excellent dinner at the Bridgewater Bistro near our hotel. We ate out on the deck with a view of the river. We were impressed with the hearty and spicy Thai style brussels sprouts and the fried Willapa oysters. We also had the beef short ribs. That's one thing about restaurant meals. There's a lot more variety than when one cooks for oneself.

The Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River

Our hotel

Our dinner table

Along the river

Old pilings

The river trail

Farther up the river

Evening clouds

Evening bridge

Night falling (and reflection)

At night

Keywords: oregon, oysters, restaurants

01/09/15 - Short Trip to Seattle

We took yet another short trip into Seattle. The high point was our wonderful dinner at Sitka & Spruce.

To be honest, we started our meal around 4PM at Taylor Shellfish which is just down the block. We had dropped by before and checked out the oysters bubbling in their holding tanks. This time we tried some Olympias and Kumamotos, fresh and tasting of the sea. We also had some of the calamari salad with seaweed and mushrooms. It was quite good.

Then, we had dinner at Sitka & Spruce which was quite an experience. We knew we were in good hands when the sourdough bread arrived with the lightly whipped cultured butter. We were served each dish in turn, family style, and when the corned lamb with seared cabbage arrived, we knew we were in the hands of genius. The theme for the meal was crisp skin on the outside and tender meat inside. We had the pork belly with caraway seeds on toast, the porchetta with squash and rye crisps and the amazingly good rabbit. We were in heaven.

We finished off with a floating island with two types of meringue, one light and fluffy and one crisp like a cracker. It was an intense experience.

Wild water at the Ballard Locks

The winter garden at the Locks had its charms.


Downtown evening light

More light

The sunset in close up

Sitka and Spruce

More Sitka & Spruce

The ferris wheel down by the waterfront

Keywords: oysters, seattle, winter

09/27/12 - Seattle Update

On our latest lightning trip to Seattle we went to one of our favorite places in the city, the Ballard Locks. We just love the early 20th century Army Corps of Engineers style, the botanical garden and the amazing fish ladder viewing area. There were plenty of salmon, and though there weren't a lot of boats, we still got to see the locks cycle. We definitely got our civil engineering fix this trip.

We also tried out the cupcakes and ice cream at Cupcake Royale and were pretty impressed. We aren't big ice cream people, but we did enjoy the mix of caramel cupcake chunks with partially crystallized caramel smooshed into sea salt ice cream. The whiskey bacon crack ice cream was pretty impressive too with a good clean whiskey flavor and good use of the salty bacon. If ice cream is just too sweet for you, this might just be close enough to savory to please. The chocolate cream cheese cupcake we tried, however, was the real treat. They are serious about their cake and crumb, and their icing expertise is excellent.

Ballard seems to have a number of pretty good bakeries. The Great Harvest Bread Company down the street smelled pretty good, and they had seriously sticky looking cinnamon rolls, but we were also booked for dinner, so it will have to wait until next time.

In fact, we went to two restaurants for dinner. First, we went back to The Walrus and The Carpenter for some oysters. They only had four types, including some lovely little Olympias, but we still had a nice tasting. Then, we went down the hall of the bicycle shop and checked in to Staple and Fancy Mercantile where we had a great charcuterie plate with some of the best speck we've ever had with some coppa to match. (The octopus salad was good, but not great.) For our main courses we had their wonderfully tender pork shank with an eggplant puree, grilled padron peppers, and oil cured dried tomatoes. As usual, some of the padron peppers were mild, while others were quite spicy. We also had some wonderful penna full of rich melted cheese. Staple and Fancy is definitely a restaurant we have to get back to.

Cupcakes royale

Sprinkles at Cupcakes Royale

A ship coming through the Ballard Locks

Serious civil engineering style

Botanical garden

A fishy friend at the fish ladder

A passion flower

We'll check out the cinnamon rolls on our next trip, if we're feeling thin.

Staple and Fancy Mercantile

Keywords: oysters, restaurants, salmon, seattle

06/13/12 - Port Angeles Farmers Market

This has been a cold spring, so the Port Angeles Farmers' Market is still a bit lean, but there have been signs of spring, and, with the solstice coming soon, we are hoping for signs of summer. We've been buying eggs, spinach, arugula, chards of various colors, salmon, halibut, salad greens, potatoes, garlic and asparagus. Yes, Westwind Farm still has asparagus in June. According to the farmers, things are looking up, but already we are buying more and more of our groceries at the market, and we're looking forward to more.

Nash Huber

Westwind Farm

The Korean garlic lady, with greens

Johnston Farm

Kol Simcha with lamb - The Clark family was also there selling their beef and pork.

The Family Farm is back.

Mystery Bay has steamed clams and oysters.

Keywords: clark family, farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, oysters, port angeles, salmon, spring, summer, westwind farm, garlic lady

11/13/11 - Port Angeles Farmers Market Report

The autumn market is here. There are potatoes, in red, brown and blue, squashes, pumpkins, celery, lacinato kale, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, baby turnips, bok choy, savoy cabbage and all of our fall favorites. The four stalwarts, Nash Huber, Westwind Farm, Johnston Farm and the Korean garlic lady are all there along with a number of other sellers.

It isn't just vegetables either. You can also buy beef, pork, lamb, cheese, salmon, halibut, steelhead, oysters, bread, and an array of seasonal mushrooms. If you search a bit, you can find a last few tomatoes, arugula, coriander and a few other hold outs, but the cold weather is coming.

Don't miss out on the prime of the harvest. Drop by the Port Angeles Farmers' Market this coming Saturday.

Keywords: autumn, farmers' market, johnston farm, nash huber, oysters, port angeles, salmon, weather, westwind farm, garlic lady, kale

07/17/11 - Seattle Collage

We were in Seattle a while back and visited the Ballard Locks which are always wonderful. The channel was full of water, and the fish ladder was full of fish. We got to see the railroad truss bridge go up and down. The locks didn't cycle this time, but they're a wonderful working piece of architecture as well as a museum piece.

We also tried out a new Ballard restaurant, The Walrus and The Carpenter. We came early, at 4PM, and loaded up on oysters which were half price. We also had some wonderful grilled sardines with walnuts and coriander, fried oysters with coriander aioli and some wonderful bread pudding with caramel sauce.

Like the Ballard Locks and the fish ladder, The Walrus and The Carpenter was a very Seattle experience. One enters through a coffee shop which fronts a bike shop which leads to the restaurant. Sorry, but we couldn't get a really good photo of the place, but we'll try again when we get back.

The Ballard Locks

There's a lot of water,

some wonderful early 20th century civil engineering architecture,

railroad bridges,

and, of course, fish in the fish ladder.

This is not The Walrus and The Carpenter, but we passed it en route.

The entrance to The Walrus and The Carpenter, a coffee shop,

which leads to the bike shop,

and finally to the restaurant where they had these wonderful oysters.

Keywords: oysters, seattle

02/06/11 - Farmers' Market in February

This isn't prime farmers' market season. It's the middle of the winter, but our hardy local food providers have been putting on a good show, all things considered. Johnston and Lazy J Farms have been selling their braising greens. Apparently, all it takes is a bit of sun, and out of the ground come little mustard leaves and the like, all ready for the pan. We have a way to go before the spring crops appear, but it is worth checking out the market, even this time of year.

Korean food is great for warming up in the winter. It's cold in Korea this time of year.

We made a great Greek stew with our Clark Family pork chops. It's great pork.

Good To Go has their own pastries on sale. They are the only baker in Port Angeles these days.

Aside from their famous potatoes, Lazy J has brussels sprouts, leeks and their own braising mix.

Mystery Bay has lots of oysters, large and small.

Keywords: clark family, farmers' market, farms, good to go, oysters, port angeles, winter

12/15/10 - Buddha's Hand

Buddha's hand, that's what they call this peculiar looking citrus fruit. In the monkey folk novel of China, Buddha's hand, when he is subduing Monkey who has challenged heaven, stretches to the far horizon. Clearly that was not the reference in mind when this fruit was named. To be honest, we're not exactly sure what they were thinking when they came up with that name.

As for the fruit itself, it has a wonderful scent, part lemon, part orange, tangy and fresh. We tried it with seafood, grating a fair bit on some sauteed oysters with garlic, parsley and butter. We were quite impressed. We also used it in a braided hoska bread along with the almonds, raisins, candied lemon peel and orange peel. It smelled great and it brightened the flavor. The fruit is all rind, so we're hoping to try to find a few more uses for it.

Keywords: oysters, food

12/02/10 - The Winter Farmers' Market

It's the winter Farmers' Market, and we've gotten way behind with our photos and updates. Just about all of the summer vegetables are past, but this is our favorite season, so there are finally lots of lacinato kale, all the great local potatoes, carrots, cabbages, and brussels sprouts. Everything was a bit late this year, and it has been a cold autumn, so we have been making the most of what is available.

If you do go, remember that Preston and Tuna Dan have been selling salmon, steelhead and black cod, and Preston has been selling chanterelles and white truffles. It's a great place for food shopping. We get our eggs, Clark Family beef, Bell Street Bakery bread and most of our seafood there. The Mystery Bay folks have been at the market too, selling oysters and clams, in the shell or steamed with butter and garlic. We've been sore tempted on some of these cold days.

Lazy J Farm

Johnston Farm

Nash Huber's Produce

Westwind Farm, a carrot close up because we didn't take an even number of photos.

West Wind Farm

Keywords: autumn, farmers' market, oysters, shopping, winter, clark family, westwind farm, johnston farm, nash huber, salmon, kale

04/03/10 - The Farmers' Marking is Springing Back

The Port Angeles Farmers' Market is springing back. Red Dog Farm, The Family Farm and Johnston Farm are all back, a sure sign of spring. Wild West had some magnificent halibut and kushi oysters. We went for the oysters at Mystery Bay, because we were too lazy to shuck our own. We were quite loaded down with beef, eggs, fish, kale raab, garlic radish leaves, german butterball potatoes, and other goodies, so we didn't explore everything. We did notice the jam and preserves people had their stand up, and even more people were selling eggs. We will get around to everyone eventually. Word is that more farmers are harvesting, so we're looking forward to the season.

P. S. There is a real demand for local foods around here. The Clark Family Farm expected to sell two animals in their first month. They sold out in a week.

Johnston Farm is back

The Family Farm is back - It looks like spring!

Red Dog is back too!

Keywords: farmers' market, johnston farm, oysters, port angeles, spring, clark family, kale

   Older Entries