I'm Drinking at "the Q"

QFCHappyHour
Wasn't this the best sunny summer we've had in a long time? Despite a few 115 degree days and an ongoing pandemic (booo), I was loving it.  My golf handicap even dropped 5 strokes.  But now reality is punching me in the face as we launch two freshmen off to college within weeks of each other.  I'm currently an advanced college shopping/packing/decorating pro and will be adding that to my resume while promptly heading to "the Q" for Happy Hour to celebrate my almost adult children and the idea of having way fewer dirty dishes and clothes around my house.  I wasn't comfortable telling you this secret earlier in the season, because honestly, I was worried you would head over there and take all the seats, and then there would be none for me.  But now I'm ready to tell you about Happy Hour at QFC in Kirkland Urban.  Technically it is the "Q20 Public House"  but it sounds way hipper if we call it "the Q".    When a friend asked if I ever do HH at "the Q", I laughed out loud thinking they were kidding.  But this is no joke, my friends.    

QFChappyhourmenu   QFChappyhourmenu
This unassuming, tiny but mighty, open-air bar allows for amazing everyday burger eating/grocery shopping people-watching, coupled with a 3-6 pm daily happy hour that gets you $1 off their already very reasonably priced wine and beer.  They have lots of beers on tap starting at $5 (depending on size).  Wines are $5-8/glass before it's even happy hour and they're not slackers either. You'll find PNW faves such as Mark Ryan 'The Vincent' Blend for $8 or an Erath Pinot Gris for $6.  You can even order a Tutta Bella Pizza at their window.  This is a great little casual inexpensive option with underground parking. The only challenge is finding a seat at the bar! There are also indoor tables for thirsty folks in the winter. 

Other quick things I think you should know:

  • Tom Douglas is not kidding around. He's opening his first Eastside location with a Serious Pie in the Village at Totem Lake.  Construction is underway (right near Cinemark) their much-anticipated opening will be early next year. 
  • See Spot Splash is a City of Kirkland event at the Peter Kirk Pool and Park where your pooch can celebrate the end of the season with some extra fun and new fluffy friends. It is Saturday 9/11 10 am-3 pm, and there are 5 sessions to choose from for different sized dogs.  You'll find food, rescue groups, vendors, a cakewalk, and even best-trick contests. Proof of rabies vaccination req'd and pre-registration is highly recommended.  Register at kirklandparks.net or 425-587-3330.
  • Only a few days left for early bird pricing on tickets to Still Spa at The Woodmark's Pumpkin Spice & Pampering is Nice event 9/28.
  • Amazon 4 Star opened at The Village at Totem Lake just across from Athleta.  Instead of simply the impulse of clicking purchases, you can now be tempted by the universe's favorite 4 star + rated products right in front of your nose.  It's a great place to pick up a gift or even just a chuckle, as we did at the book "100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings." Ok, I also succumbed to the temptation of a dryer/styler hair tool I've been curious to try. 

Enough for now. This should keep you busy for a while. 

 

 

 

 

 


Pamper Yourself

The Still Spa at The Woodmark Hotel in Carillon Point has a passport event coming up on 9/28  that you won't want to miss.   Early bird tickets are selling out fast for the "Pumpkin Spice & Pampering is Nice" event, because for $109 (if you buy prior to 9/7) you will get two express treatments, complimentary wine, skincare/beauty advice, and exclusive discounts. There's even a drawing for a special prize.  And let's face it, with the year we've all had this is well-deserved.  Grab a friend and go! The good times are filling up.

Other Still Spa specials can be found here.

Stillspaevent<--photo cred: The Woodmark

Another hot ticket right now....the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce is hosting its Sustainable Fashion Show on Thursday Sept 9th at 11:30 am-1:15 pm for the 5th year running.  Hello plated lunch, swag bags, prizes, and a great lineup of sponsors for this always FUN event.  Tickets are $55 and you can buy them here.

 Fashion show


The Blend by Chateau Ste. Michelle

TheBlendtable        TheBlendCheesePlate

This cool little patio wine bar set-up at 15 Lake St that used to be Delille is now "The Blend" by Chateau Ste. Michelle.  Delille shifted focus to their new wine lounge in the old Red Hook Space in Woodinville post-pandemic and Chateau Ste. Michelle saw this as a ripe opportunity to showcase their Washington wines to the heart of downtown Kirkland (and arguably the best people-watching seats in town).  They have been open since the end of June. At first sight, you may not realize it's changed hands until you try to order a glass of D2 and get corrected.  That's ok, this is how we learn, Kirkland.

The Blend by Chateau Ste. Michelle has three highlighted flights for $20 each or you can enjoy a glass of white for $14 or $20 for a glass of red.  The staff was lovely and helpful and the relaxed view seats were unbeatable.  My friend and I had a welcome taste of rosé that has a citrusy pop to it.  After a few white tastes, we decided to have a glass of the 2018 Eroica Riesling which we really enjoyed.  We said hello to passing friends and a few strangers too (how can you not?). When you sit in the 'front' seats, you are supposed to order a snack (ranging $9-14). We had the cheese plate which was alright,  and I will look forward to trying the lox spread, sundried tomato pesto, or panna cotta next time.  The inside tables look great, with a slightly different layout than before.  The Blend flights change monthly to keep you on your toes.  I love Northstar out of Walla Walla so will be sure to taste that one soon.  You can book yourself a tasting online here or just meander in when the mood strikes you.  Or you can join their wine club and drink from home!

Hours are Weds-Thurs 11-7, Fri-Sat 12-8, and Sunday 12-7. 425-588-3830, info@theblendwa.com


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.