Stuff Yer Face: Bellingham Public Market

by Aaron Apple and Aaron Kayser

 

The Bellingham Public Market at 1530 Cornwall Ave., operating since 2005, houses a variety of local businesses including a few eateries that drew our attention. Beside the market’s primary tenant, the organic grocery, Terra Organica, businesses like Mount Baker Books, Trapeze Café, Juice-It, Living Earth Herbs, Seven Loaves Pizzeria and Makizushi also call this building home.

The two of us hadn’t visited the market in quite some time, so we were delighted to find an assortment of options to please our palettes. Of the four food options available, Juice-It was the only one we weren’t able to try because they close at 3 p.m. They offer an assortment of fresh juice, smoothies, and sandwiches, and their Big Salad is reportedly one of the best salads in all of Bellingham. We both had slices at Seven Loaves followed by Kayser trying out the food at Makizushi, and Apple ordering at Trapeze.

Before getting to the food, we need to talk about the eating environment. Terra Organica takes up half of the space, with the restaurants and shared seating on the other half, along with the book and herb stores.  After placing orders at the different vendors, we sat at a table in the center of the seating area.

We both stopped at Seven Loaves first, because let’s face it, pizza rules. Kayser had the “Chef’s Choice for the Omnivore,” which consisted of organic toppings including buffalo salami, roasted garlic and roasted red peppers. Apple had the “Chef’s Choice, Vegetarian,” which included organic ingredients like sweet garlic sauce, spinach, onion and artichoke.  These large and flavorful slices, baked on a thin, crisp crust, were fairly priced at just under $4 each. Both slices were bursting with flavor and if it weren’t for the other vendors, we would have enjoyed one or two more. It is worth noting that Seven Loaves uses mostly organic ingredients that are local, whenever possible. They also have gluten-free crust available.

Kayser stopped by Makizushi for the chicken teriyaki daily special ($6.99), but after being told it would be 15 minutes, he decided on the salmon maki sushi roll ($6.69) and a bowl of miso soup ($1.25). After proclaiming the miso one of the best miso soups he’d ever tasted, the roll arrived. Consisting of fresh raw salmon, avocado and crunchy cucumber, the quality easily stood up to, and in some cases surpassed, other sushi joints in Bellingham.

The Trapeze Café and Deli offers a variety of hot sandwiches, deli salads, soup and espresso. Apple ordered the Turkey & Bacon panini on homemade sourdough with a side of curried lentil quinoa salad ($10.33). The thick sandwich included a generous serving of smoked turkey, Olli Guanciale (jowl bacon), avocado aioli, raw milk cheddar, tomato, red onion and spinach (those last four ingredients are organic, if anyone’s counting). Though normally more of a cold sandwich fan, this won Apple over to the hot side. The bacon wasn’t as crisp as he’d hoped for, but the turkey, veggie and aioli combo made up for it. The sandwich was about the size of a slice of pizza, stacked higher than the average panini. Other options included ham & swiss, prosiutto, roasted red pepper and the caprese.

The Bellingham Public Market has a lot to offer people who care about what they are eating. It also makes for a great place for groups to visit—everyone should be able to find something they like from one of the vendors, and if not, there’s an entire grocery store. Everything we ate came to our table really quick, within 5–10 minutes, so this is a great place to grab a quick lunch downtown.

The Bellingham Public Market is located at 1530 Cornwall Ave. and open daily. For more details, visit terra-organica.com.