In the kitchen of Fainting Goat Gelato, batches of dense, velvety goodness are churning slowly. Organic milk from Fresh Breeze Farms absorbs organic sugar, thickening as it gets colder, before Yalcin folds in the flavor. He infuses one vat of his low-fat treat with local berries and another vat with Turkish hazelnuts. Maybe later he'll make use of some pistachios from Sicily. He uses local ingredients whenever he can but recognizes that sometimes nuts grow better across the Atlantic, and more than anything he wants to make his gelato sing with rich, full, true flavors.
By using such prime ingredients, the gelato that Yalcin and his wife make in Fainting Goat Gelato takes guests on a journey as expansive as their own. The husband and wife moved to Seattle from Turkey in 1997 and subsequently focused on raising their daughters, but after their youngest started applying to college, they wanted to begin a new adventure. Today they keep their shop stocked with 18 flavors at all times, creating an ever-rotating menu that at any time might include fig-vanilla, honey-lavender, or Nutella gelato. Cups of Turkish coffee, espresso, and tea help round out the experience and thaw tongues chilled from licking a scoop of strawberry or lips frozen from kissing a snowman.
"Hip" and "kid-friendly" aren't often adjectives that go together, but Rebecca Pelletier changed all that when she founded Twirl Café. A mother herself, Rebecca envisioned Twirl as a place where kids and adults could come to have fun in their own ways. For children, there’s a custom-built jungle tree house, which oversees a play area replete with a train table, a reading area, and a play kitchen. For adults, the café stocks coffee, espresso, and craft beers, and provides access to free Wi-Fi so guests can catch up on the news or send out urgent chain emails. Another all-aged pleaser is the café’s menu, which includes items made with locally sourced ingredients. Dishes include breakfast sandwiches on Macrina Country biscuits with nitrate-free bacon, eggs, and Tillamook cheddar or sweet grilled melts with cinnamon, raisins, and cream cheese. And, each week the café also serves a rotating menu of dinner specials, which can include anything from barbecue chicken sliders to butternut squash lasagna. Friday nights are the real draw though, when Twirl Café invites kids to don their PJs and adults to wear their comfiest usher costume for the weekly "pizza and a movie" night.