Not really French.
Another Northwest import, Sur La Table
is a "good alternative to Williams Sonoma" and the employees "are often knowledgeable about cooking." They stock a "good selection of serious cook's tools" and are "smaller" and "family owned," which gives you a "good feeling."
All true. Even though they have grown since being bought and run by the Behnke family in 1995, Sur La Table retains a small town feeling with quality and customer service kept at a high level. Even if you don't need anything, browsing a Sur La Table store will inspire you. They also have a registry (we registered but didn't get anything!). (Thanks to Joey for reminding us!) MGR
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