Hidden away in a secluded corner of Pike Place Market is a Filipino counter whose main feature is a pile of handwritten signs held together by clothespins. They’re intimidating at first, but get more and more hilarious the longer you watch:
“YOU HAVE NO RIGHT!!! THEN DON’T ACT AS YOU ARE!!!”
“TO: ALL KNUCKLEHEADS, DON’T TALK TO ME WHILE I COOK!!
“IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO EAT OUR SINIGANG SALMON, DON’T ORDER IT”
“IF YOU’RE IN A HURRY…I’M NOT, DON’T RUSH ME!” »
“WE DO NOT ACCEPT DIFFICULT CLIENTS… SO KNOW YOUR ROLE! »
It’s Oriental Mart, and it’s a stand that serves the best lunch in Pike Place, not to mention some of the best Filipino food in Seattle.
Everything here, from the pancit to the perpetually full salmon sinigang, is prepared by a rather nice woman despite the brash signage. And the food is so good, we’d love to brave the yogurt-soaked Ellenos fanatics at the detour. Oriental Mart serves up an excellent tangy pork adobo over braising liquid-soaked rice, lumpia chopsticks whose crunch reminds us of a Butterfinger bar, and a shiny red longanisa sausage that deserves its own long-running documentary — so we can find out exactly why eat his brine, caramelized glory makes us feel like Michael Bolton is serenading us in a sun-stained mossy forest. This is a very powerful meat bond.
It’s up there for the best meal you can get in Seattle for around $15, not to mention the secluded location makes for a particularly low-stress Pike Place lunch, ideal for locals or tourists who want to feel like Locals. But keep in mind that “YOUR PORTION DEPENDS ON YOUR ATTITUDE”. So be nice and you won’t leave hungry.
Fried to order, these long pork sticks are lean, crunchy and piping hot. Dipped in sweet chili sauce, they’re a real slam dunk. If you’re browsing the market looking for something to snack on, skip Pike Place Nuts and grab a two-pack of lumpia instead.
The phenomenal longanisa sausage is like biting into a banana, if said banana was caramelized on the outside and gave way to a rich, crumbly jerky. Several handwritten signs behind the counter allude to the fact that you can leave your partner for that round oval of sweet, melty red pork. We don’t blame those people, because it is indeed the best sausage in Seattle.
Oriental Mart’s pork adobo over rice is fantastic in its simplicity. We can’t decide which is better – tangy stewed meat or hot rice soaked in braising liquid. Luckily you get both.
Pancit is a tasty addition to everything else, and while a little forgettable, these cabbage and carrot stir-fried noodles are free with any main dish.