Where to eat Geoduck in Seattle

Things have been a bit quiet on the Provence Calling site, the reason being that I have been working on a film in Seattle and have had little time to do anything besides.

Seattle is surrounded by water, the Puget Sound to the West and Lake Washington to the east and there is a lot of excellent fish and seafood to be had, much of which is on display at the famous Pike Place Market.

Pike Street Market

Pike street market overlooking the bay

This is the famous market near the waters edge overlooking the Elliot Bay where local farmers and fishermen have been selling their wares since 1907.  It is also home to the first ever Starbucks.

Flower Stands

Flower stands

There are around 500 stalls selling all types of local produce, vegetables, fruit, flowers, spices, teas and crafts, but it’s the stalls selling fish and shellfish that are the main attraction,

Fish stall

Fish and shellfish

especially the stall where the fish mongers throw the fish to each other to the delight of every photo snapping tourist.

However as I was staying in an hotel, I wasn’t able to cook anything and had to rely on restaurants to prepare my food and my favourite place to eat seafood soon became Taylors Shellfish Farm at Melrose Market, 1521 Melrose Ave (cross road Pike), Seattle, WA 98122.  Taylors farm all the seafood themselves and supply most of the restaurants in the area as well as exporting beyond.   They used to only be a wholesale supplier but you can now buy their seafood to take home or eat in at their store which is within the foodie mecca that is Melrose Market.  The live seafood is kept in tanks and there is plenty to choose from:



There are mussels


Manila Clams

and Manila clams, of which Taylors are the biggest producers on the West Coast.






And crabs.  Who knew that crabs like to cuddle…..


There is a large selection of oysters including Olympia, Kumamoto, Shigoku, Fanny Bay Small and Kusshi and you can order a mixed plate; I had two of each.


Geoduck pronouced gooey duck

And the pièce de résistence the geoduck, pronounced gooey duck.  These are clams that live in the depths of the ocean off the Washington coast.  They have long necks, or siphons which can grow up to a metre in length.  They are popular in Asian countries where they command a high price.  Whilst I was there I was given a demonstration of how to prepare one.



It is first dropped into boiling water and left for a minute or two and then plunged into ice water.


Plunged into ice-water

Then its outer skin, or siphon has to be removed.

Outer skin removed

its outer skin is removed

Then it is cut into various sections, some of which gets discarded.

Cut up

Cut into sections

And then expertly sliced



To create this beautiful and tasty dish of Geoduck sashimi

Geoduck Sashimi

Geoduck Sashimi

Who would have known that something so un-appetising could end up so delicious.  If you are in Seattle I urge you to go and try some for yourself, just don’t be tempted to take one home and prepare it yourself, it needs expert handling.

And from the city known for its coffee, this is where I bought mine in the mornings on my way to work, Tully’s the ‘other’ coffee chain from Seattle.


Tully’s, Seattle’s other coffee brand






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Comments To This Entry
  1. Great snapshot of Seattle! I will definitely check out Taylors Shellfish Market. Wish you didn’t have to leave so soon!

    Susan @ SwoonMySpoon on June 8, 2012 Reply
  2. I’m not sure about the Geoduck, but the rest of Seattle looks quite appetizing. I’d love to visit. Enjoy!

    Noelle on June 8, 2012 Reply
  3. Brings back memories of a road trip from Seattle to LA many years ago hitchhiking down the coast! Hope you were working on a fun film. Love the new site design!

    Wylie Goodman on June 12, 2012 Reply
  4. Hello there. Just left another comment on your Camargue post. This is a great post, and had I known about it, this would have been the perfect match for my story about Pike Place Market this week! :-) I will check out that restaurant you mentioned, as I love seafood. I smiled when I saw you sampled Tully’s coffee on your way to work. Tully’s is my favorite around here, and I often meet my French students at their local coffee shops… Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

    French Girl in Seattle on August 19, 2012 Reply

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