Sunday, April 13, 2008

Three Girls Bakery

Three Girls Bakery
Lunch counter and bakery in Pike Place Market in Seattle

There are a hundred places to get food in Pike Place Market. At least, it seems that way to us, walking through it. On a random recommendation, we selected the Three Girls Bakery, a bakery and sandwich counter, to stop at for lunch.

If you like the idea of the old lunch counter, you'll love this place. A harried counter-culture staff of four sporting chains, tattoos, and piercings somehow dances through the narrow area behind the L-shaped counter, everyone keeping track of customers and calling to each other when someone needs service. The meats are in one area, the sandwich fixings at a large station behind the counter, and the breads opposite the fixings, in a large cabinet facing the customers. All around are old signs and a simple menu offering a choice of the aforementioned meat, bread, and fixings. You might wait five minutes or ten after sitting down for someone to take your order, but the staff are unfailingly polite and friendly, apologizing for any delays and willing to take the time to help you out if you ask what they recommend.

We ordered the clam chowder (on our waitress's recommendation--she "just went vegetarian again" that morning, but she said when she's not she eats bowls full of the chowder) and a simple turkey pastrami on caraway rye sandwich. When we told her we were sharing, she tossed an extra pickle on there rather than making us split one.

The chowder got top marks for the thick chunks of potato and the fresh clams (one would expect that at a fish market), as well as the broth, which was perfectly balanced between creamy and soupy. The turkey pastrami was delicious, the bread unimpressive but good. Overall it was a solid sandwich, and we quite enjoyed the lunch counter experience.

We'll have to go back to try some of the delicious-looking pastries or cookies. There were so many restaurants that we had to move on to sample another place. But Three Girls was definitely worth a stop in the crowded market, for good food and good atmosphere.

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