Do Not Miss the 'New' Beach Café


  BeachCafeoutside  BeachCafeoutside  BeachCafeoutside

You need to hop on Open Table and make a reservation at The Beach Café PRONTO.  Their lakefront setting at Carillon Point has always been lovely, but now there is a new Chef, Brian Doherty (photo), who has elevated the dining experience.  I have not been shy in the past about sharing my disappointment in the mediocre food and service at this restaurant, which is why I'm elated to share this delicious NEW experience with you now.  It's a true turn-around, so I want you to enjoy this spot with a fresh set of eyes.  This is no longer an overcooked burger/fries or cobb salad-type experience.

BeachCafeoutside  BeachCafeChefBrianDoherty (Chef Brian Doherty, photo cred: Woodmark Hotel)

Since the Beach Café remained closed during most of the pandemic, Chef Brian had plenty of time to carefully plan their re-launch. Seafood abounds with a daily fresh sheet which currently includes items such as salmon, ahi tuna, halibut, and trout.  But fear not carnivores, you can also find steak, chicken, and lamb.  Steve and I sat under an umbrella on the patio with sweeping views. We started with the calamari ($15) which was perfectly crispy lightly fried and paired with lemon aioli (photo).  My very favorite taste of the evening was probably the jumbo prawn watermelon salad.  Not only was it beautifully presented with a skewer-sized shrimp, the lettuce, crisp watermelon, and feta all complimented each other for a showcase summer delight. Paired with the Erath Pinot Gris ($11) and some sunshine I was definitely in my happy place. 

My entree was the Woodmark Seafood Cioppino ($40) which was an explosion of fresh crab, prawns, scallops, salmon, clams, and mussels in a rich tomato broth with some fabulous bread so you don't leave any juice behind.  Steve had the salmon ($48) and selected asparagus and some ridiculously indulgent mashed potatoes as his sides. And then just when we thought we didn't have any room left for dessert, we decided to 'taste' the creme brulee.  As you can see from the photos, this is a generous portion and we somehow managed to still lick the bowl clean. Our waitress, Cornelia, was on-point every step of the way.

BeachCafeoutside  BeachCafeoutside      BeachCafeoutside

The format of the inside of the restaurant is basically the same with some fresh paint and upholstery.  Take note that this new and improved Beach Café is currently open Weds thru Sat 5-9 pm for dinner and Sunday 10-2 for brunch (closed Mon/Tues). Be sure to make reservations on Open Table.  It was funny watching Steve's eyes light up with excitement as each course arrived and it was CLEARLY not the old Beach Café (perhaps they should have changed the name??).  It was making us reminisce about the Third Floor Fish Café a little bit. He even declared this was now one of his 'Top 5" in Kirkland. Kudos to the Woodmark and Chef Brian for elevating this dining experience.  And Open Table just gave them an award for making their "Best Overall Restaurant" list on the Eastside.  We are excited to have this Beach Café as a new addition to our lineup.   Dying to know what you all think! ~j

Woodmarkbikes <--Woodmark guests can check out these bikes for free to cruise Kirkland!

 


Don't Yell at Me and more

There's a name you won't forget!  Don't Yell at Me is a new boba tea shop that will be opening at The Village at Totem Lake on Sat 7/24 at noon.  This is their second shop and you'll find classic flavors like Taiwanese black tea as well as unexpected creations such as tiramisu milk tea topped with cheese foam.  This is on my weekend visit list because on Saturday and Sunday you can receive a free topping for visiting during their soft opening.

DontYellatMe2 (002) Photo cred: Don't Yell at Me

In other opening news, Aegis Living Kirkland Waterfront has some events to share for their new Italian Villa styled assisted living and memory care facility at 1002 Lake Street South.  Wellness Experience Tours are offered through 7/25. Three options and you can sign up here.  And then get ready to par-tay on Saturday 8/7 at their Italian Street Fair from 1-4pm.  Everyone is welcome to join in the games, food, entertainment, and to learn about their new facility.

Aegisfront

Next week I'll be visiting the recently re-opened Beach Cafe at the Woodmark Hotel in Carillon Point to see what Chef Brian Doherty has created for us. OMG, and The Blend by Ste. Michelle is open on Lake St. and I'm dying to go sip some wine there. And bubbles at Pop Culture Champagne Bar.   How do we fit it all in??!!  More deets soon...


Summer Fun for All

Apologies for the short post.  I'm very busy catching up on 18 months of outdoor fun!  August looks to be ramping up quite nicely as we have slowly peeled off our masks and fear of activities! There's a little something here for everyone.  Get out your calendars, these are in chronological order.

Summerfest2021
Summerfest
is up first on 7/30-8/1. Street market, arts/crafts,  wine and beer festival, food trucks, and live music with 35,000 of your closest friends at the Marina waterfront park. Buy tickets and find details here.  I'll be fulfilling my dream of being a bartender at this event on Friday 7/30 so come visit me! 

Concerts2
Concerts in the Park are happening in the month of August.  Enjoy a little live music outside!  Kids concerts are Tuesdays 10-11am at Juanita Beach Aug 3, 10, 17 and Evening concerts are Thursdays 7-8:30 at Marina Park on Aug 5, 12, 19. Details here.

Cornhole Classic 2021 - Made with PosterMyWall (2) (002)
Kirkland Cornhole Classic Tournament- Friday, Aug 6th under the lights at Lee Johnson Field at Peter Kirk Park. All ages, but limited space, so reserve your spot now. I did this last time and it was super fun.  A great way to meet new people and for me, also laugh at myself (should have practiced?). Bags start flyin' at 7:00pm. Check-in begins at 6:30 pm.

  • Round Robin Style Tournament
  • Championship shirts to the winners
  • We provide the cornhole bags
  • $20/Team for Residents
  • $24/Team for Non-Residents

Register today at https://bit.ly/3j7029x

Carshow2021
Kirkland Waterfront Carshow- Saturday August 7th 10-4. Register your car now to include in the show, or just go check out the antique, classic, muscle, and exotic cars and motorcycles.  Special guest Steve Saleen will be in attendance this year!

Volleyball2021flyer
Sun, Set, & Spike Grass Volleyball Tournament- Weds 8/25 and Fri 8/27 at Lee Johnson Field at Peter Kirk Park. There is a co-ed and Women's division. Co-ed teams must have 2 men and 2 women to participate. This is a 4 on 4 tournament and all levels are welcome! Team managers will register their team under the division of their choice. Game times will be sent out one week before the tournament starts. The winning team from each division will win a prize! Register your team today at https://bit.ly/35Mis7B For tournament rules visit: teamsideline.com/sites/kirklandwa/downloads

Kirklanduncorked2021
Kirkland Uncorked- Aug 27-29 is always a favorite Summer Wine Festival (75+ WA wines) at Marina Park.  Beer, wine, cocktails, food trucks, a grilling competition, and a burger brawl all nicely complement the local vendors that tempt us with their amazing art, jewelry, clothing, specialty food, home goods, and services.  One-day admission for the 21+ crowd is $30 and they are on sale now. OR- buy your ticket at a select Fred Meyer location and you will receive an additional 4 tasting tickets for the same $30 admit price. 


This 4th of July: Celebrate Your Own Way

4thofjuly
In the last year, I've become accustomed to keeping my expectations low and being resilient to whatever gets thrown my way.  Great life skills, right?  But I'm kind of getting sick of that plan.  In my vaccinated mind, this 4th of July was going to be a tear-jerker coming out party for every red/white/blue wearing citizen where our American pride would be bursting at the seams after a life-changing pandemic and unprecedented heatwave.  Extra big fireworks and anthems- we deserve them!  Especially after the governor's latest announcement.    

In 2021 you may have to make this 4th of July special in your own way.  I've organized many events and completely understand that early in the year when planning and fundraising typically begins, none of us knew what kind of havoc COVID-19 might still have in store for us.  Crystal balls don't work.  So here we are, with the holiday coming in hot, and it's now time for a virtual Celebrate Kirkland 4th of July video production.  The stare-at-another-screen celebration will be available for viewing on Sunday, July 4th starting at 8 am on the City Facebook page, the Kirkland Television YouTube Channel, the KGOV stream Comcast Cable Channel 21 and Ziply Cable Channel 31.  This video will feature highlights from the last several years of Celebrate Kirkland parades while honoring our veterans and shining a light on the many other organizations and people that make up our amazing and unstoppable Kirkland community.  

Here's a little summary of what is going on elsewhere in the Puget Sound.  Hello Bellevue

And whatever you do, please don't catch anything on fire.  Seriously.  A pandemic and an epic showing of global warming are about all this girl can take for right now.  Things are a bit crispy this season already.  I was secretly wishing that some magical Kirkland-loving donor would swoop in at the final hour and treat us all to a barged firework display on Lake WA  so I don't have to worry about whose going to torch the block or lose a few fingers this year.  But, again, I'm resilient as ever, so I'm just going to be thankful, blast some patriotic tunes, toss some burgers on the grill, pop open my new favorite 805 beer (after spending 49 yrs not liking beer?), and laugh loudly with friends and family.  There might be a Kirkland parade video playing inside somewhere, but time is short and lessons have been learned.  I think on this fourth, 2021, we make it our own and take nothing for granted.  Still thinking of you all though, and can't wait to see those painted faces and colored explosions in the sky together next year.  Happy Birthday America. 


Heat Waves and Bundt Cakes

Bundtexterior

I'm sick of talking about the heat wave.  Would you like a chance to win "Free Bundlets for a Year?!"  Duhh...who doesn't? Especially after you taste these moist and delicious cakey treasures from Nothing Bundt Cakes that just opened Friday at 213 3rd Street (in the old Urban Float space @ Kirkland Square).  With 10 flavors and four sizes of bundt cakes, you can either drop-in, order ahead, online,  or opt for local delivery to your air-conditioned house that you may be hiding in right now.  Everything is baked on-site and the Kirkland location is the latest addition for the 400+ store franchise.  The Issaquah and Mill Creek locations have quite a following, so buzz started early when their sign went up in Kirkland (photo). 

BundtLeslieMcBride

Leslie McBride (photo) is an ex-Microsoft employee and Finn Hill resident that is excited to own her own business and meet all of youKirklanders.  When I asked how she chose Nothing Bundt Cakes she said, "I chose this franchise because I love the product, culture, owners, and emphasis on giving back to the community." Pro tip: vanilla is her favorite flavor (and she does not mind tasting them all).  The most popular flavor is chocolate-chocolate chip, which I had an opportunity to try.  It was super moist and chocolaty and since I indulged at 4pm, I wasn't hungry for dinner until 10! Not that I am recommending cake for dinner.  Or am I? Hmmmmm. Red velvet is next on my list to try.  And carrot cake is always a fave of mine too.  I will need to pace myself this bikini season. Bundtinis are the smallest bite-sized option prices at $24/dozen.  Bundlets are $5 and cakes start at $27 (which you can customize and yes...weddings too!)

Bundtotherstuff <--other fun party stuffBundtotherstuff

"Tell me about the free cake already!"  Is this what you're thinking? Got it.  One lucky Kirkland Weblog reader will win "Free Bundtlets for a Year" (one bundtlet per month for 12 months).  Here's what you do: follow  and like  @KirklandWeblog on social media: Insta and/or Facebook. By the way, if you aren't doing this already, you are missing gems of information. Find the recent post with a pic of the 4th of July Bundt cake and comment to let us know the flavor you are most excited to try.  A winner will be randomly selected from these comments on Monday July 5th. Good luck my little bundlets!

Nothing Bundt Cakes is open Mon-Sat 10-7 (closed Sunday). Sign up for their newsletter and get a free bundlet on your bday. Their Kirkland Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting is 7/8 at 5:30 pm and on 7/9 20% of all sales will go to Hopelink. And HEADS UP-- on 7/10 every customer gets a free 'confetti' bundlet while supplies last. Questions? Call 425-979-7600 or email kirkland-wa@nothingbundtcakes.com. 

 

 

 


Pop-Ups for Pups and Peeps

A Pop-Up dog park and sprinkler park program are coming to Kirkland! Aren't we fancy..

Pop-up Off-leash Dog Park Locations (fully fenced w/large and small play areas):

  • June - Juanita Beach Park (9703 NE Juanita Dr) located on the north side of the park, adjacent to the ballfields. Parking is available in the gravel lot nearby.
  • July - Heritage Park (111 Waverly Way) located on the north side of the park, near the tennis courts. Parking is available in the gravel lot nearby.
  • August- Snyder’s Corner Park (13267 Old Redmond Rd)·located at the corner of Old Redmond Rd and 132nd Ave NE near the Bridle Trails Shopping Center. Snyder’s Corner Park is undeveloped, and a temporary small parking area will be accessible off Old Redmond Rd.

For additional information please check out the website at Pop-up Off-leash Dog Parks.

Pop-up Sprinkler Park Locations and Details (staffed by lifeguards):

  • Thursdays, July 8 – August 12 at Lee Johnson Field (202 3rd St) 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturdays, July 10-31 at North Kirkland Community Center (12421 103 Ave NE) 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturdays, August 7-14 at Everest Park - Field 1 (500 8 St. S) 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

These temporary programs and are planned to run through August 2021. You can share your feedback at www.kirklandwa.gov/OurKirkland.

 


Vinason: You Need to Go Here

VinasonentranceVinasonentrance

Despite its unassuming exterior in Kirkland Urban (499 Urban Plaza), there are some magical and delicious things happening inside Vinason Pho & Grill. A few people told me it was really good so I'm not sure why I took my sweet time getting in, but luckily it is on my radar now.  Vinason has a nice new space and their Vietnamese fare is fresh and fast and 0h-so-good.  Super casual, you just order at the counter from their delightfully simple menu options of vermicelli, spring rolls, banh mi and pho.  Grab a seat and 5 minutes later your food awaits! Don't miss the self-serve beer wall that is also calling your name.  I don't really even like beer, but when I'm here I do! The fun of getting a key fob that activates the tap for whichever brews you'd like to taste is pretty enticing.  I really liked the 805 beer, but was comforted in knowing there are also hard cider and wine offerings on the 'wall.'  

The clincher for me with Vinason is that it's really reasonably priced too.  Vermicelli bowls are $10-12, spring rolls $6/ea (pork vermicelli and shrimp spring roll in photo).  You can also order online for pickup or delivery. Great new addition to Kirkland! For those of you that have been whining about the construction at Urban, I feel ya, but this is worth the dive into the parking garage. 

Phone is 425-896-8037 and hours are Mon-Sun 11am-9pm. 


VinasonentranceVinasonentrance


All Kirkland Class of 2021 Car Cruise: June 6th

Seniorcruiselogo

Lake Washington Blvd. from Kirkland to Renton was first paved in 1932. Little did city officials know that car cruising would become the pastime of many local teens for decades after the post-WWII boom. That is, of course, until the arrival of the internet and city ordinances banning slow-moving vehicles. 

Fast forward to June of 2020, with our city in full lock-down and group gatherings over five people prohibited, a handful of innovative Kirkland moms found a COVID-safe way to celebrate their graduating high school seniors. They organized a grassroots, old-fashioned car cruise of yesteryear. Seniors from our Kirkland high schools decorated their cars, grabbed a responsible adult to drive, and cruised up and down Kirkland’s Lake Washington Blvd. to the cheers of delighted walkers and residents peering out their windows to see what all the excitement was about.

CruisePhoto

Last year’s car cruise was such a success, that when it looked like this year’s Class of 2021 would also have their in-person graduations taken away (in addition to all the other lost highlights of senior year: homecoming, football games, prom, etc.)  the torch was passed to a new group of parents and The All Kirkland Class of 2021 Car Cruise was born. This year’s “cruise” again welcomes all Kirkland high schools such as Lake Washington, Juanita, Eastside Prep, ICHS, Leadership Prep, Emerson, and Futures High School, so we can celebrate ALL Kirkland graduating seniors.

With COVID restrictions easing up, we encourage you to come out on Sunday, June 6th (with masks and social distancing as needed depending on your vaccination status) to cheer on these remarkable young adults who have traversed their last year and a half of high school with grit, grace, and resilience that will serve them well in their futures ahead.

All Kirkland Class of 2021 Car Cruise

Sunday, June 6th, 3:15 pm

For staging info, route maps, and all other info, please visit: www.allkirklandclassof2021.com