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Haunted Happenings

I'm a sucker for save-the-Earth tips that can apply to our everyday lives. Waste Management  was nice enough to send me some just in time for Halloween.

The recycling company released a video and instruction packet to make a truck costume and a safety pledge with fun activities. As the days get shorter, it’s important that kids stay visible and keep a safe distance when trucks are in motion.

Trickortreat  Be Green this 'Ween:

  • Give eco-friendly treats. Local organic groceries and health food stores offer a wide range of candy from organic chocolates to organic lollipops. These tasty treats are produced using methods that are not damaging to the environment.
  • Use recyclable bags for your trick-or-treaters. A fun family activity is to create a unique trick-or-treat basket, or simply put a reusable bag to good use. If you use a traditional plastic jack-o-lantern container, be sure to store and save it for future years. 
  • Walk instead of drive. Rather than drive to other neighborhoods, stay close to home and trick-or-treat in your neighborhood. By walking from house to house you are reducing fuel consumption and air pollution.
  • Throw a green Halloween party. Purchase organic pumpkins for carving and apples for bobbing. Consider using leftover apples and pumpkins for pies, soups and other tasty dishes. Use regular plates, cups and silverware versus disposable materials that end up in the trash.
  • Reuse and recycle: Now is a great time to start composting. Halloween jack-o-lanterns, food scraps, and other organic, biodegradable yard and household waste are perfect items to get your compost bin started.
  • Help keep neighborhoods clean while trick-or-treating. Carry an extra reusable bag and pick up litter along the way. Candy wrappers can be a big source of litter on local streets during Halloween.

Crookedparking  <-----This is the scariest place in Kirkland.  Where am I?

Halloween Poster 2016
Halloween in Kirkland is always fun for the little ones! Sunday Oct 30th 2-4pm and Mon Oct 31st 3-6pm participating merchants in downtown Kirkland will be welcoming trick-or-treaters.  Those under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Thanks to the KDA for organizing.

Anyone else get spooked when they see a big dollar store gobble up a little dollar store?


Sampan Noodle Wants to Keep Kirkland Healthy

Sampan (8)   Sampan (7) custom paintings! There's Yu Kuan, the Chinese God of War on the right

Sampan Noodle at 110 Central Way had their soft opening last week on a day that I just happened to be walking by.  I didn't have enough time to eat, but said a quick hello to the manager, David Wong (photo) and so I still have plenty of news to share.  David worked in a restaurant in Lake City for 8 years where he learned the business.  Then he spent the last 16 years in IT, but decided he wanted to make a change and feed people healthy food.  He and his Chinese business partner wanted to have a place with a meaningful mission, and so he started spending lots of time researching the best ingredients with which to craft his recipes: organic, no food coloring, no msg, no GMO, and locally sourced when possible.  David's hope is to take out all of the bad stuff while keeping his food flavorful and all natural.  He's super passionate about his business and excited to be here so make sure to introduce yourself.

Sampan (6)
The layout is the same as Wyraqocha with a fresh coat of paint and happy new faces on the ready.  Sampan is  still working on launching all of the items on their photo-filled menu which is short and sweet, but quality-focused.  It consists of 3 appetizers, 5 soups and 3 desserts.   David says this is the only place you can find Asian organic handmade noodles! And ramen should be coming soon. Organic coffees and teas and smoothies (but no booze).  I'm looking forward to trying a bowl of pure soupy goodness soon.  I think with just Steve though, because as with all organic/whole foods, they cost more. Expect $15-17 a bowl, which is a little much for feeding my three children.  Not that they aren't worth it, of course. But perhaps I can point them to the $7 pan seared organic chicken wings. :-)

A Kirkland Blog reader passed along her review of Sampan Noodle to share with you. Thank you Carolyn!

Everyone else, feel free to post a comment about your experience.  Also looks like lots of Yelpers have been by. 425-602-7397, Hours are Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm.......

It was lunchtime on a rainy, blustery day last week.  Down the street from Ladro coffee, we spotted a small sign reading “soft opening” at Sampan Noodles, 110 Central Way. It was just their second day. They offered only two soup dishes that day: “The Organic Chillin Chicken” and “Chow Chou Style Noodle Soup.”  They were delicious and they really did hit the spot. 

The Chicken soup was enlivened by a ginger, green and olive oil sauce.  Chou chow soup is with pork and fish. One can choose from 2 types of egg noodles for the soups.

A lovely fragrant and tasty lychee chrysanthemum tea allowed the view of a dried flower blooming in the glass teapot.

The host and affable co-owner, David, told us he vows to serve organic, freshly prepared foods, no MSG. Additional dishes will be “rolled out” shortly.  The staff is friendly and efficient and the atmosphere sophisticated.  Surely a welcome addition to downtown Kirkland.

Birdcage Finds its Nest on Central Way

Hey Kirkland.  How about that storm?!  After gas stations were running out of gas and the flashlight and battery aisles at Fred Meyer were mayhem in anticipation of Seattle's Armageddon Storm of 2016, it's good to know we all made it through.  Homecomings canceled, stores closed early....and then finally, at about 7pm last night the wind picked up and rain started slamming into our windows like a fire-hose.  Five minutes later it was calm, and my husband was yelling at the window at nobody in particular, as if to provoke Mother Nature herself, "Is THAT all you've GOT???!!  That's it?!" I prefer to look at it as a great practice exercise in our family's emergency preparedness. And bonus: I was in sweatpants by 5pm that day.

Birdcage (5)     Birdcage (4)  Birdcage (1)  Birdcage (2)

Prior to the perfect storm, I had a chance to meander into a new shop called The Birdcage, at 132 Central Way (previously Chalet Cadeau) and meet its lovely owner, Terry Millson.  Terry had a furniture store in the middle east for 32 years and has decided to bring her interior design expertise here to Kirkland.  She is partnering with her daughter, Nadia, who is at NYU's art school studying design.  The large open space holds treasures both old and new from around the world.  This is unlike going to a Pottery Barn or West Elm (opening 10/20 in Bvue btw) where there's a good chance your friends might select the same items for their living rooms. AWKWARD.

Terry places emphasis on being unique and offering high quality items that she knows she can stand behind.  "An interior should be as interesting as the person who lives/works there," she touts, and says that her one of a kind things express personality and bring character to a space.  There are giant Moroccan doors, rare tapestry pillows and, yes, there are plenty of birdcages which almost feel like an architectural sculpture themselves.  Of course she does interior design consulting and they also offer custom upholstery.  A wide variety of furnishings and accessories can accommodate anyone's individualized style. Go check it out for yourself.  

The Birdcage is open Mon-Thurs 10-6, Sat 10-7 and Sun 11-5. 425-803-6854.

Lilac Cafe is OPEN (and freshly painted)

Lilacext2016   LilacIntNewPaint2016 <---some new white paint! 

So here's a good lesson in why you should be careful when making an assumption.  I posted the other day that Lilac Cafe at 212 Central Way  appeared closed, mainly because I saw that it was dark inside with furniture stacked in the center of the room.  However, this is also what a place looks like when it is getting a FRESH COAT OF PAINT. Argh! Way to go Janis.  So this is my apology and correction post.  Lilac Cafe, which is owned by well renowned chef Lynn Tran of Lynn's Bistro, is OPEN for lunch (Tues-Fri 11-2:30) and dinner (Tues-Sat 4-10) and has a great happy hour Tues-Sat 4-7pm.  Please go show them the love.

And it happens that just by chance I was mentioning Lynn's Bistro to my friend and fellow Kirklander, Elysia Heller, the other day.  She told me this amazing story about Lynn and I got her permission to share it with you.  Lynn's magical powers apparently extend outside of the kitchen as well.....

From Elysia:

In the spring of 2008 I was pregnant with my second son.  It was a week before Peter was due and my husband took me to a wonderful french restaurant in downtown Kirkland to celebrate my birthday, Lynn’s Bistro.  We were greeted by the owner herself and she inquired if I knew what we were having.  I told her it was a boy and she smiled, yet she also looked a bit surprised.  We had a deliciously long meal and when we finished Lynn returned to our table.  She leaned down and handed me a beautiful rose heart quartz crystal, and said as sure as the sun shines every day “you will have your girl”.  It was as if she knew how strongly my desire for a girl lived in my heart.  My husband says if Peter had been a girl we would have stopped at two, and it’s kind of funny imagining Peter as a girl because it does not make any sense.  He is as boy as boys come, and I would not have it any other way!  But sure enough, as Peter celebrated his first birthday, that deep desire began to surface again.  Creating our children has not been an easy road for us…miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies have rocked our world and so off to the IVF specialist we went.  This journey for our girl was met with more heartaches, but in December of 2012, after our very last embryo was used and at the ripe old age of 42 we found out that we were pregnant with a girl!  Lauryn Rose was a week late, and born on a day in July that would have been her great grandmother’s 99th birthday.  

Lynn, if you are out there…We got our girl and I absolutely TREASURE my rose heart quartz crystal ,and the memory of you gifting it to me.


Little Brother and other Yummy Updates

Let me just say that it is not always easy trying to eat in all of the new places that keep popping up.  Sometimes I am not hungry (albeit rarely).  Or carpooling conflicts with dinnertime.  Or I just want to stay home in my sweats (hello fall!).  Or my credit card is on fire.  But I do it for you, Kirkland diners, as I consume everything in sight and let you decide if it's someplace you are interested in partaking in also. Sometimes I need your help along the way-- I know these potentially delicious eateries are here, but I just haven't gotten to them yet.  Chime in as you see fit while I loosen my belt buckle.

LilBrointerior    LilBroinside  LilBropie  LilBrooutside  LilBroJamieCasady

Little Brother- The much anticipated follow-up concept from DeRu Market, owners Jamie Casady and Jordan Cooper quietly opened for breakfast and lunch in the Arete Building (456 Central Way) across from Kirkland Urban about a month ago.  You've driven by it 25 times and haven't even realized that you are looking right at it nestled in the front corner of the building. It's a big and open space with outdoor seating and has the same classic white and gray modern farmhouse feel that you can't help but be drawn to.  The staff (many of the familiar faces from DeRu) are all so friendly and down-to-earth helpful with the menu and going the extra mile to explain everything about Little Brother.  There are beautifully handmade desserts strategically placed on counters as sinfully tempting decorations.  The process is the same as DeRu, where you order at the counter (but why just one point of sale? ) and then you get a number to sit down with so can anxiously await your food's arrival.  

LilBromenu (click to enlarge menu)     LilBrobeeftartar   LilBroloaf

You can't help but be happy in your surroundings there, however, the menu is one of mystery to me.  It's the kind where I read it, and the ingredients are listed and they sound fabulous and local/organic, but I still have absolutely no idea what the item I order is going to look like when it shows up.  Which is kind of fun if you're feeling adventurous.  Definitely a bit fancier food than DeRu. Let me do a little de-coding for you.  Tartines are open-faced sandwiches. I saw some nearby patrons order these and they appeared piled high, so it's not actually something you would pick up and eat like a sandwich, it's more of a cool presentation that you should get a knife and fork for.   My friend and I split the grass fed beef tartar which was deliciously tasty/salty and the seeded loaf with kale and spinach spread which was..just ok.   Our 'chocolate chubby' cookie for dessert was perfectly melt-in-your-mouth fantastic (I had to try the dessert for you, I would never normally order dessert ;-).  I'm looking forward to going back and trying more of Jamie and Jordan's creations as they fine tune their offerings. I also really want to sit at the big family-sized table with strangers next time because it just seems like something I'm supposed to do at some point.  Can't help but be drawn back to this new and carefully crafted eatery. 

They are planning to start serving dinners 'very soon,' but for now you can enjoy breakfast and lunch at Little Brother Tues-Sat 7am-4pm.  There's some street parking but don't forget there is also a parking garage for their building. 

In other local eating news....

Eureka! - bumped their opening date AGAIN.  Don't they know we're impatient?  Shooting for March now.  This will be in the old Mi Mexico spot on Park Lane.

Lilac Cafe- appears to be closed now?  The purple awning always threw me off. UPDATE- They are just getting painted.  Open for Biz!!

Cactus- can you believe I STILL haven't been in since the remodel. MUST get there. Need my Citrus martini and Sonoran Spa Chicken.  Have you been? Fill us in!

Reunion-Bake Brew Bite- Now open where Zaw Pizza was on Kirkland Ave. Lots of pics on Yelp.  It's on my list, stay tuned or share your experience please! 





Clowns and Kangs and Rebels, oh my!

Clown  Yikes! Gotcha! 

The City of Kirkland is going to do its first Halloween Costume Swap this year.  Bring your gently used baby/youth/adult costumes to the bin in the lobby of Kirkland City Hall October 3-7th between 8am-5pm.   Then on Saturday Oct 8th from 10am-12pm you can shop for a donated costume at Heritage Hall. What a great way to up-cycle!  You don't have to donate to shop, it's just a fun community sharing event.  All leftover costumes on Sat will be donated to a local non-profit.  Don't worry, that creepy clown won't be there.

Also dressing up this weekend (in sports gear) will be the Lake Washington HS Kangs (2-3) football team as they visit their cross-town rivals, the Juanita HS Rebels (1-3).  Both are 0-1 in King County Conference Play. This is an event not to be missed at Juanita High on Fri 10/7 at 7pm. Tickets are $7/adult, $5/middle and elem students and senior citizens are free.

Kirkland Urban Ground Breaking Celebration

There were lots of crisp suits and big smiles at the Kirkland Urban ground-breaking ceremony. With the grumble of bulldozers working in the backdrop, Bill Pollard (photo), Managing Partner at Talon Private Capital, kicked off the announcements and thank you's by acknowledging how unique Kirkland is and how important it was to develop something authentic and true to Kirkland's heart and soul.   He mentioned they had 42 meetings with our neighborhoods, and each had something to contribute that will be part of this project's finished product. Mayor Amy Walen emphasized how this is a live-work-play project that will create housing, jobs and entertainment. Then Kirkland City officials and council members had an opportunity to toss some dirt around with the Talon, Prudential and Ryan Company executives and anyone else that wanted to grab the big shovels.  

So who will we see coming to K-Town?  Large/Early adopters are: QFC (one like we've never seen), Wave, Tableau and iPic Entertainment. We should expect about 12-16 restaurants/bars/coffee/food and bev places.  Here's who is committed: Tutta Bella, Purple/New Heavy Group Concept, Evergreen's Salads, Duke's Chowder House, Caffe Ladro.  Community providers for Kirkland Urban so far are: Homestreet Bank, Bright Horizons and All the Best  Petcare.