Seattleites aren't afraid of a little idiosyncrasy, and now some local chefs are bottling that quirkiness, with unexpected and delightful condiments that will leave your boring old mayo feeling lonely in the refrigerator door.
At the airy Boat Street Café, Renee Erickson has long balanced rich charcuterie, roasted meats and cheeses with the lovely lift of pickled fruits and vegetables. With her new line, Boat Street Pickles ($8 to $10 for 9 ounces), everything is sour in its own intoxicating way: Prunes have a velvety succulence; magenta onions are clean and pert; wine-infused figs are sultry; and raisins are sunshine-y bright.
Meanwhile, from the cramped kitchen of Skillet Street Food, Joshua Henderson's shiny steel restaurant-in-an-Airstream trailer, the chef-owner has made roadside lunch glamorous, largely thanks to the magical appeal of his bacon jam ($14 for 8 ounces), which he smears on grass-fed beef burgers. The jam is the long-cooked union of Neuske's bacon, onions, balsamic vinegar and spices, and it's good on everything from grilled cheese to French toast. Or try it Elvis-style on peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches. Plus, it comes in a shiny stainless steel tin (just like the Airstream!).