Out & About: Eating My Way Through Bellingham, Part One

by Merle Exit

Most people head for Seattle, while missing out on the suburbs such as the city of Bellingham, taking in the foods of the land.  I start in the historic town of Fairhaven where I view the Farmer’s Market directly across the street from the Fairhaven Village Inn.  Twenty two quaint rooms that overlook the surrounding Boulevard Park and boardwalk, owned by Connie and Gene Shannon: www.fairhavenvillageinn.com

Onto Chrysalis Inn and Spa, on Tenth Street, which overlooks the waterfront. It is not only a great place to stay but dine. Great to notice that the wedding page shows two men:  www.thechrysalisinn.com

Dirty Dan Harris and his sidekick tells us all about the history of his discovery, then it’s on to a Dessert Crawl of five restaurants. We walked off about a calorie or two as Dirty shares some great stories of Fairhaven’s port and who he is. He continues to accompany us as we continue at the Farmer’s Market area and meet Dirty’s bronze replica.

Next morning, we sailed to the most northeastern of the San Juan Islands. Food became an adventure for me boarding the 50-foot Happy Talk yacht destined for Lummi Island with its population of about 800. Captain Charlie DeWeese, of Sail Away Charters, informed us that his crab pots had captured our lunch.

Another boat trip was Bellair Charters where Shonie Schlotzhauer shared information about a 48-page brochure that she had written: Sustainable Connections Whatcom Food & Farm Finder, which allows consumers to easily find 132 farms, markets, restaurants, and caterers that are dedicated to food locally produced in Whatcom County. The adventurous itinerary that followed certainly allowed for experiencing this phenomenon.

Our next stop was to Everybody’s Store (www.everybodys.com)in the town of Van Zandt, located in the foothills of Mt. Baker. Jeff Margolis, who originated from Brooklyn, gave us a tour of this exotic grocery, noted for its specialty cheeses, custom made sausages and selections of international ingredients. The surprise was finding true bia?ys, something that tend to be a New York find. After some cheese tasting we were taken to the back for a tour of the garden of fruits, vegetables and herbs. This was followed by further noshes of the garden’s berries and a few other tidbits to sustain us until our next venue.

Cloud Mountain Farm Center (www.cloudmountainfarmcenter.org ) is in the town of Everson. What began as an apple orchard has turned into a 20-acre farm with a multitude of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. I slowly hiked up the mountain to check out the hothouses of tomatoes and peppers. Most of the tomatoes are heirloom with a variety of sizes and colors, all of which sported a different flavor. More of a sampling would be done during dinner as Josh, the Executive Chef of Nimbus, laced his bill of fare around this and a few other local farms. The wine grape vines were for show at this point as the growth had not blossomed yet. However, our next stop was to the Samson Estate Winery.  To be continued…

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