Le Boucherie on Vashon Island, WA

by foodhoe on October 15, 2012

While we were visiting Mr. K’s niece up in Washington state, we decided to take a day trip out to nearby Vashon Island, a picturesque island nestled in the blue water of Puget Sound that can only be reached by ferry.  The ferry terminal is located in Point Defiance Park which has a zoo and aquarium, a pagoda, marina and beautiful rose gardens with a lush section full of brilliantly colored  dahlias.

We weren’t the only ones enamored with the marvelous blooms…

Once we pulled ourselves away from the lovely flower gardens, we waited in line for the next ferry.  You drive onto the ferry, which is a short 15 minute ride over shimmering blue water.

The views were lovely, we could see Mt. Ranier in the distance.

We landed at the Tahlequah ferry terminal and drove out to a scenic lighthouse were we walked along the pebbly shore.  The Island is approximately 13 miles long and 8 miles at the widest point with a year-round population of about 11,000.  It’s home to over a dozen small family farms that sell their produce and free-range eggs at unmanned farm stands that work on the honor system. I did a little online research and came across an article in the Seattle Weekly about Le Boucherie restaurant which is the front end of Sea Breeze Farm which is known locally for its meat, milk, and cheese which it sells at the U District and Ballard farmers markets.

Seabreeze is a small scale farm known for raw milk, the superb quality of their grass-fed meats, fine charcuterie and I must include a link to their blog post about people’s reaction to the lamb’s head in the meat counter (which I of course had to take a picture of).

For me, the head of the butchered animal is a symbol of authenticity.  One, it demonstrates our commitment to the freshness of the meat.  It also signifies our commitment to whole animal butchery.  And frankly it is a reminder for all of us that have also purchased meat wrapped in plastic on Styrofoam trays that indeed this flesh did come from an animal with a head.  Let’s have our own eyes open about that fact.

Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods series, visited the farm, enjoyed eating Cow Placenta and drinking protein-rich milk called colostrum, only available during the first 24 hours after the calf is born.

The dining room is bright and cheery with cloth covered tables and shiny black and white linoleum floors, but since it was a nice sunny day we opted to dine alfresco.

We shared the Charcuterie Plate ($13) which was a delectable assortment that we greatly enjoyed.  Beginning at the front center and counter-clockwise: Smoked bratwurst, Chicken liver pâté, Terrine of pork jowl with green onion,  Pâté di compagna,  Spicy Coppa, Rillette, served with a big blob of pungent dijon mustard, slices of toasted crusty bread cut into triangles and a variety of gherkins and pickled green beans.  Every bite was full of rich lip smacking flavor that commanded our rapt attention.

A Lytro photo to click around in…

Mr. K and I split the One Third Pound Lamb Burger ($16), served with goat cheese, housemade pickles, local tomatoes on a toasty brioche roll with harissa aioli and a small salad.

We also shared the Grilled Sausage with Panzanella, a delightful assortment of housemade grilled croutons and sausage with mixed greens, summer vegetables, chèvre, tossed in a lively red wine vinaigrette.

Mr. K’s sister Casey enjoyed the Pork Bolognese ($15) made from a rich stew of ground pork, pear tomatoes, wine and milk served with housemade spaghetti.  She loved the fresh springy texture of the noodles.

I was pretty full but had to try the Strawberry Sorbet, which was fresh and sweet, it filled my mouth with the brilliance of the summer sun.

Afterwards, we stopped off at the Vashon Island Coffee Roastery, which has an old fashioned small town appeal.  The historic Roastery is where coffee started in Puget Sound.  It is the former home of Stewart Bros. Coffee which later changed its name to Seattle’s Best Coffee. It is now a coffee museum/cafe where we bought steaming cups of coffee and treats for the road.

All too soon we drove back onto the ferry for the ride back to the mainland and I played around with the new panoramic feature on my camera phone.  We enjoyed our indulgent day on the island with an unexpectedly well-crafted lunch and endless supply of jaw dropping views.

La Boucherie | Sea Breeze Farm on Urbanspoon

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

gastronomer October 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm

So lovely, Sandy!

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Ben @Focus:Snap:Eat October 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Your words of your nature adventures always sound so romantic. I would probably be writing “then we walked along the coast and kept stepping on stupid jagged pebbles.” LOL I love how the butcher put the lamb’s head on display. So true, we always need to remember where we’re getting our food from. Everything looked delicious, especially the bolognese!

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Rowena October 17, 2012 at 5:14 am

You should know that it is difficult to get past the lamb’s head but not because it’s gross or anything (supermarkets here sell 3-pack skinned bunny rabbit heads in a styrofoam tray) but because all of a sudden I thought of the movie Silence of the Lambs! Now THAT movie will always creep me out!

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foodhoe October 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm

yes, that is a totally disturbing film… the lamb’s head made me think of Eraserhead!

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grace October 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm

look at all that meat. yum. the color on that sorbet is outstanding!

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