Once a year, Pike Place Market holds their annual Sunset Supper fundraising event. All proceeds support the work of the Pike Market Medical Clinic, Senior Center, Child Care & Preschool and Food Bank – vital services utilized by thousands of Seattle’s low-income and elderly residents. The Pike Place Market zoning regulates that the vendors all have to sell a certain percentage of their items at very affordable rates to accomodate the local residents within the zone, so their prices are not all "incredibly overpriced" like one might think. The Pike Place Market is definitely one of Seattle's greatest treasures, and they absolutely deserve your support!
This year, the Sunset Supper falls on Friday, August 17th, 2012. It's usually held on a Friday. Trust me when I say this, folks: this is not an event to be missed! It is absolutely my favorite item on the Seattle Foodie 100 list!
At this event, they have about 60+ food/wine/beer vendors with samples galore.
If you leave this event feeling hungry: you didn't do it right.
If you leave this thing feeling sober: you didn't do it right, though that's probably okay...
If you leave this thing without a food baby in your stomach: you didn't do it right, though maybe that's a good thing too...
You really need to bring a designated driver and your fat pants to this event. I wore an a-line dress, and I left this event with a noticeable food baby! Even my dude said "Wow, I am not gonna lie, babe... it *is* noticeable." I wasn't even sorry! As one of my good friends from Texas would say: you will leave this place feeling as happy as a stuffed tick at a nudist camp!
Some of the best of the best restaurants in all of Seattle participate in this event. If you don't have the budget or time to get out and try all of these different places, this is your big opportunity to have little samples from everybody. This way you get to discover the establishments you want to visit again!
Be sure to bring about $10 cash in order to "upgrade" your plate to one of the plastic plates with a wine notch cut out in it. They didn't charge $10 last year, but it's always good to have a little bit of extra cash in case they have similar additional offerings . It will make your evening so much easier to avoid having your hands so full! Also, if you really like some of the wines, write them down. You won't remember them the next day ;) Though you don't want to completely blow away your palate by trying too many wines. Consuming that many tannins will work a number on your tastebuds.
Also, be sure to bring your CC to this event for 2 reasons:
1) They offer little spin the wheel raffles, and you are guaranteed to get at least your money back - usually doubled - in certificates and prizes. It goes to a good cause, so why not? If you get a certificate you don't want, ask someone in line behind you if they would like to trade.
2) Last year they also offered Seattle Celebrated Chefs cookbooks if you register one of your credit cards to the Dine Around Seattle program. The program is for participating restaurants to donate a small portion (somewhere between 1-2% if I recall correctly) of their proceeds to a great cause. They had some of the published chefs onsite to autograph the book. I'm not sure if they're going to do the same thing again this year, though I'd imagine they will.
For more information about this event and for ticketing information, check out the Pike Place Sunset Supper webpage here.
I do recommend going at the Patron level if you can. I heard a rumor that they were going to offer a gift bag of some sort, though I haven't been able to substantiate that rumor. If you ask me, it's worth the money for the extra 1 hour of non-cattle-call selecting of food items. It gets super crowded when they let everyone into the event. Sure, people might give you the "stank" eye for being there ahead of everybody, but you earned it with your financial support. Enjoy it! Personally, I wouldn't recommend going the "reserved" route over the "general admission" since you will be able to find a place to enjoy your food in solitude. Or really, you just might eat the sample as they are given to you.
Make sure you get your tickets before 7/16! The prices will go up significantly if you wait too long! Also, don't count on getting last minute tickets. This event usually sells out, so now you have two reasons to get tickets in advance.