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Take a Walk With Me...

...down Memory Lane.  While digging through one of my office cabinets, I recently found a little binder of business cards that says "Kirkland Blog" on the front.  Old school! At least it wasn't a rolodex.   There are some oldies/goodies in there from probably 8-10 years ago.  Don't worry, I've gone digital since. 

How many of these do YOU remember??  

Some of these businesses have moved/transformed/gone virtual. Tell me your faves.  I totally miss Manhattan Boutique and the grilled romaine salad at Third Floor Fish Cafe. enjoy--




Bella Balducci, a Hidden Gem

First I need to let you know that we have been to Bella Balducci's Mediterranean Cuisine, which is a hidden gem in a beat-up little strip mall in Juanita at 11834 98th Ave NE, three or four times now.  Steve liked it so much he volunteered to write this post! REJOICE! Every time we're there I ask, "do you need to take some photos?"  "Noooooo.  I've got them already.  I'll do my review soon," he says.  So here I am.  After much badgering and reminding, you are stuck with me again.  Snarrrrky.

Anyway (that felt good to air out).....I'm glad to write this post b/c it's a great little spot that I want you to visit!  Their first successful location is in Monroe, and you'll find Kevin, one of the owners, at the Kirkland Bella Balducci's frequently and he always makes a personal connection.  He will even remember you the next time you're in.  It's totally casual and right across from Brix/Juanita Village.  They have Greek and Italian food that is fresh and fast and really reasonably priced.  The most expensive thing on the menu is $12-13. It has been perfect for a starving family after sports games, because there's something for everyone, you can get all food groups represented, and it doesn't break the bank.  Here's their menu, which I noticed they also DELIVER within a 3 mile radius between 5-9pm. Score. 

BellaBalduccimeat   BellaBalduccifries
The interior of the space has definitely been updated since it was the little teriyaki place (which we also enjoyed).  I usually order the skewers and substitute vegetables for the rice (first photo) which is really good. Plenty of food.   As you can see, my kids ate their fries faster than I could take the photo so those must have passed their test. We have tried the gyros, paninis, salads and entrees and still haven't had a bad meal.  It appears Yelpers agree with us too. Bella Balducci's (425-242-0597) hours are 11am-9pm every day except Friday and Saturday they are open until 10pm. Go check them out and tell Kevin we said hello. Great little addition to Kirkland. 

Eat, Drink and Support a Cause

How many of you are heading to Kirkland Uncorked at Marina Park this weekend?  It's looking like good weather to pair with wine, cocktails, a burger brawl, food trucks, music on the main stage, a boat show and craft market. Uncorked 2017 is is a benefit for the Homeward Pet Adoption Center. TIckets are still $25 if you hurry- buying options are here and it the event is July 14-16 (timing details are here at the very bottom).

Kirklandfarmtotable2016 (photo credit: Stephanie Sharpe Photography, 2016)

Another one to get on your radar before it sells out is the "Kirkland Farm to Table Dinner" at Carillon Point Plaza on Saturday August 26th 6-10pm.  Foodies! Get your palates ready for this amazing five-course menu and locally sourced beverages created by an all-star line up of local chefs that are coming together with the ICON Foundation to benefit Food Lifeline. Food Lifeline believes "hunger doesn't have to happen" and every day they feed 90,000 hungry neighbors in Western Washington by rescuing millions of pounds of surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, grocery stores and restaurants and delivering it to food banks, shelters and meal programs.  

The Kirkland Farm to Table Dinner will have live music while you dine out on the Carillon pavilion on creations prepared by local superstar chefs such as James Beard Award-winner Jason Wilson (The Lakehouse, Civility & Unrest and Miller's Guild), Chris Weber (James Beard restaurant The Herbfarm), Roy Breiman (Culinary Director for Columbia Hospitality), Frank Rog (Woodmark Bin on the Lake and Beach Cafe), and Jamie Casady and Jordan Cooper (DERU and Little Brother). The menu is in development now and it makes me hungry just thinking about it.  TIckets are sold here, but even if you can't make it to the event and wanted to donate to Food Lifeline, here is the link. See you there.

Summer Sprinkles of Info

Why oh why are my kids all up in my face?  How long is it until school starts?  J/k, sort of, but it does make me crazy that they sometimes consume time doing absolutely nothing-sleeping in, then handstands, complaining that it's hot, checking out Snapchat that we FINALLY let them have (check this out!).  Just b/c they have summer goals written down doesn't mean they are making a go of it the first week in, that's for sure.  Stay tuned. Cause I'm about to light 'em up.

That's it for the venting portion of this post. On to the short but sweet summertime treats for you..

  Wowwowacaibowl  Wowwowinside

-Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade in Marina Park.  Yes, I finally made it in a few times. Fave lemonade so far is watermelon basil. Took some sips of friends drinks that were lava flow and mango pineapple which are up there too. On a different day I had a "Hawaiian Mayan" maca drink that seemed like it couldn't decide what it wanted to be when it grew up (creamy? then spicy? remotely coffee-like?).  Today I tried an Acai Bowl ("Da Kine") and it was pretty good w/fresh fruit and hemp, but it's no Healthy Bonez (their granola is magical).  Net of the story- WowWow is a super fun atmosphere, casual, the lemonades are definitely the crowd pleasers.  For an extra $5 you can get it in a nifty branded mason jar that earns you .50 off on refills. I saw many teenagers carrying them around. Lemonades start at $4 and large acai bowls go up to $12.

Susurolledicecreamcreation   Susurolledicecreamstrawberry

-SÜSU Rolled Ice Cream- Here's a unique treat to try at the Wednesday Market next time you are visit.  SÜSU's stand is right near the gazebo entrance and they carefully craft each treat atop a frozen drum.  They are literally making ice cream right in front of your eyes.  I loved the strawberry grape, and maybe it tasted even better after I saw how much time and work went into making it. $7/each.  Definitely shareable, at least for the kids. 

Other totally random sprinkles of info because I know you gobble this stuff up:

  • Kirkland Urban- Rumors of iPic bailing have been kabashed, thank goodness.  And...It's not Purple as we know it coming back, it will be a totally new concept from  Heavy Restaurant Group.
  • Trellis- new chef! More details and tastings soon.
  • Bella Balducci's- delicious new casual Mediterranean restaurant in Juanita. Steve promised he'd write a post but I wouldn't hold my breath for that one, I may have to step in.
  • People are worried with Amazon's takeover of the world Whole Foods that it may not come to fruition at Totem Lake. But a birdie told me that it's still on as of now.
  • And what ever happened to the proposed development between Hector's and Milagro?  "Perhaps construction will start next year," says the property owner.  In the meantime we still get to sit outside and people-watch while we drink cold beverages.