Gig Harbor Chowder Cook-Off

Our timing is mostly great for the Seattle area (Big Star Diner, not so much). We happened to be around for the last Kimball Drive Farmers’ Market of the season that included a Chowder Cook-off.

We arrived a little after 10 AM, with just enough time to visit all the vendors before the Chowder Cook-off began.

One vendor had these very interesting “flowers,” we have never seen this artwork before so we were very intrigued.

There was a vendor with blown glass, he saw my San Diego shirt and said he used to sell at the Seaside Flea Market in Encinitas – what a coincidence! Then there was Eau de Joe. Joe was sampling his lotion, and at first I thought he was just there to help his mom or something and she was temporarily away from the booth. No. The booth belonged to Joe! Visit eaudejoe.com for more details – I bought the Christmas trio of glycerin soap from him since they were on sale and I can’t resist supporting a kid.

The fruits and vegetables looked amazing, but there is not enough time left in Seattle to purchase anymore…but we have time for bread. We bought this asparagus, mozzarella, black olive bread. (So delicious with butter, although is certainly didn’t need any!)

Then just before 11 AM it was time for the Chowder Cook-off. Five restaurants participated with samples of their chowder; they were clearly competing for bragging rights. One was O’Callahan’s, one was Tides Tavern (where we ended up having lunch), one was Mallard’s Landing a retirement facility and the chef had competed against Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America in December 2009!

There was the Heritage at the Inn of Gig Harbor, and a last minute arrival; the guys had made a hand-written sign on a napkin – very roadhouse inn-ish! And one other that clearly did not make much of an impression.

Anyway, we tasted and retasted and tasted again. HH picked the Tides Tavern chowder; I picked Mallard’s Landing the retirement facility (no nasty comments about the direction my taste buds are going, it was good chowder made by an Iron Chef competitor!) And the winner….Mallard’s Landing for Peoples’ Choice and the official judged competition. Tides Tavern was second for Peoples’ Choice and third for the official judged competition. Delicious!


  1. I am certainly enjoying your vacations. The pictures you are posting are beautiful! Wish I were there. I do love eating my way through cities, states and countries!

  2. Ditto DiAnne! Oh, and don't forget eating your way through FAIRS!!

  3. That's you two, always happy to have company while eating!