Sunday morning at Sitka & Spruce for the Meat & Noodle Soup Club pop-up in Seattle. The first on the mainland.
On the menu from Vashon Island, WA: Smoked Squash and wild mushroom salad with cured Tammworth leg and volunteer chive. A side of fermented mustard greens and spicy pickled chilies. Pork noodle soup with fresh egg noodles, ground pork, parsnip, brussels sprouts, and soft boiled marinated egg finished with stinging nettles, pickled shallots, leeks, and cilantro. Butter mochi with plum jam and caramel topped with fromage blanc.
The motto is simple: "Raise Meat. Roll Noodles. Make Soup. Eat."
There's a lot to love about the concept. First, look at the egg. Total sensory overload.
Which leads us to the undeniable quality. Simply put, that yolk is the sign of a happy chicken. Owner, chef, farmer, and butcher Lauren Garaventa sources all of her ingredients for Meat & Noodle from friends and farmers on the island. She's able to fill a noodle niche for her community by going micro-regional with the Global Locality trend. Keeping the operation small, agile, and virtuous benefits the town, businesses, and patrons.
For many chefs, the pop-up experience is the means to an end – a tactic to employ until the concept is scalable as a brick-and-mortar. With high food costs, this isn't your standard pop-up. Meat & Noodle is navigating new territory by making one item rather luxurious without multi-courses, gastriques, or hype.
It's an island-to-table soup club without a secret handshake.