Working for peanuts

freelance writer

Picture giant sacks of peanuts stacked to the ceiling, each one fatter than an overstuffed bean bag chair. This is the scene inside the CB’s Nuts warehouse in Kingston, where delicious peanuts, pistachios, and pumpkin seeds are slow-roasted on antique equipment. Oh, and it smells pretty great, too.

Clark and Tami Bowen showed me around on Friday for an upcoming article in Edible Seattle.  One of the best parts of my job is meeting people with very different jobs than mine. Often, they choose unique career paths that involve significant risk. In this case, the payoff is quite tasty. The Bowens have built an impressive business and…well, you’ll just have to read Edible Seattle’s March/April issue to find out the rest.

Friday also turned out to be a sunny day, so at the Bowen’s suggestion I headed up to Port Gamble to eat lunch. I’ve driven often through the tiny, almost-too-cute town, flanking a bend in Highway 104, with its New England-style houses, but never thought to stop. It’s always eerily quiet there, except for an occasional car stopped at the espresso hut and the other traffic on the road. The houses seem almost museum-like, replicas from another era that are just there for show. Turns out, if you head down towards the big green water towers, there are a handful of antique shops and a fantastic restaurant inside the General Store. The locally-focused menu is also very vegetarian-friendly and is kind on the budget, too. I had a grilled cheese sandwich with a cup of clam chowder, flecked with smoked salmon flakes.

The sun came out, a bald eagle landed outside the cafe window, and I changed my mind. I will definitely stop in Port Gamble next time I’m in the area. I’ve got my eye on the breakfast menu: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Smoked Salmon Benedict! Northwest-themed omelets!! Yep, I’ll be back.

If you drive to the northern reaches of Olympic National Park from Seattle, you must stop by CB’s Nuts–it’s on your way, and they’ll soon serve beer, sandwiches, and, of course, nuts. Look for the sign where Highway 104 and 307 meet, just past Kingston.