Is it weird to have wanderlust for a place I’ve recently been? Edison is just that kind of town. Well, not really a town so much as a blink and you’ll miss it strip of civilization between Mount Vernon and Bellingham in Washington’s Skagit Valley. A quick detour from Chuckanut Drive, Edison attracts throngs of cyclists and city slicker day-trippers on sunny summer days, ourselves recently included. (It should be a given that we weren’t amongst those on bikes.)
I usually work on weekends, which rarely leaves RF and me a full day off together. So, every so often, I take a day and we adventure off somewhere (or, hole up for a tv/movie binge-fest!) A couple of weeks ago, when the forecast was looking particularly inviting, we decided to take off…and headed straight to Edison.
Local bloggers cover the town fairly regularly, posting filtered pics of quaint cafes and quirky shops. As we meandered through the surrounding farmland, I imagined that we would dine at Tweets, an artisan cafe that shares a white clapboard building with an art gallery and a space that I could only gather hosts Zumba classes. Edison, however, is for early birds, especially on short-sleeve days. By the time we passed under Tweets’ raised industrial garage door, swipes across the chalkboard sign well outnumbered the remaining menu items. Though tempted by the pastry case, we were in need of greater sustenance, so we agreed to return later for what looked like chocolate ganache sandwiched between two enormous rice krispy treats. (!)
We slipped into Mariposa, next door, just in time for a couple of their gourmet tacos. A line trailed away from the counter behind which three women worked furiously to take and fill orders. Mexican tchotchkes covered the walls and windowsills of this small room, with a few for sale in a gorgeous antique cabinet bordering the line. A larger adjoining room offered communal seating, but on this day almost everyone chose one of the many picnic tables on the grassy lawn outside.
Under the same owners as Tweets, I later learned, Mariposa Taqueria makes their oversized tortillas by hand and stuffs them with unique combinations of meats and veggies. There was a miscommunication with our order, but we still ended up with one asada and one mashed potato taco – plenty to share between the two of us. Though, I could have had one of everything…if only they’d had anything left! The pork was tender and flavorful, with just a hint of sweetness accented by thin slices of nectarine. The potatoes were mashed with cheese and paired with blistered peppers and fresh pico de gallo. By the time we contemplated ordering a third, their menu had also been wiped clean.
With a little more energy between us, we headed back down “main street” (aka Cains Ct.) to browse in the shops. First stop, Hedgerow, home to a well-curated mix of new and vintage goods – everything from local pottery to antique corkscrews. In the next block, The Lucky Dumpster, which specializes in an unusual assortment of locally made furniture and crafts, including a healthy selection of repurposed goods mosaics. Across the street and down a smidge further, we stepped into a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, now the Smith & Vallee Gallery. I found the current exhibit of Lindsay Kohles work featuring “carefully rendered, subtly absurd creatures” most curious. Think intricately detailed drawings of frogs bodies with heron heads, or moth wings with hawk tails. Fantastical, for lack of a better word.
We wandered another half-block down towards Smith & Vallee Woodworks, where we stopped to admire an old red Dodge truck. My dream farm truck…for my dream farm…that will stay a dream due to severe allergies. Such a city mouse!
Only three blocks and we were already at the edge of town! So, we circled back past a collection of shiny Harleys lined up in front of the Longhorn Saloon & Grill, itself a flashback to gold rush days. A few feet further and we were facing the real reason I had sought out this town – Breadfarm.
I’m sure you’ve gathered that this is a bakery, but it’s not just any bakery. Breadfarm sources grains from local organic farms that plant heritage varieties. Now, as you might recall, I didn’t have any problems eating wheaty foods in Spain. I have heard that folks with similar symptoms to mine when consuming traditional U.S. grains have far greater success when partaking of organic and/or heritage grains. So, I was eager to give Breadfarm a try.
I paused, my nose now pressed up against the screen door, to inhale the warm yeast from breads rising and crisping in large ovens at the back of the shop. Wary of going hog wild, and getting sick, I insisted that RF limit us to one loaf of bread and one treat. I chose a sourdough baguette, their last, and was introduced to the koign amann. Oh. My. Goodness. As the very sweet woman behind the counter explained it to us – you take leftover croissant dough, add sugar and extra butter, form it into a smaller pastry, et voilà! Let’s just say that it’s a VERY good thing that Edison is over an hour north of Seattle.
We devoured this scrumptious tiny treat – again, the last in the glass case – in the car on the way home…so quickly I didn’t stop to take a picture! I immediately missed Edison. In researching this post, I learned that I’m not alone. Molly Wizenberg of Orangette fame has also been known to make the trip for a single item of Breadfarm goodness. In her case, graham crackers. I guess I’ll have to try those next time.
So yes, you can wanderlust for a place you’ve just been. In this case, there will most definitely be a next time. And, I feel fairly confident it will be very soon.