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Sam Choy's Poke to the Max

IMG_5865 (1) <--patio chillin' at Sam Choy

About a month ago, Sam Choy's Poke to the Max (adjacent to WowWow Lemonade) opened at Marina Plaza.  I finally had the chance to stroll in with my teenage girls on a warm sunny evening.  It has a totally casual Hawaiian vibe- doors flung open to an outdoor patio area and a comfortable minimalist set-up inside.  Locals with flip flops and tee shirts abound. For me, something was intuitively strange about walking into a poke restaurant that was about 80 degrees inside.  But I'm sure their refrigerators work great!

IMG_5865 (1) <-pretty!    IMG_5865 (1)<--getting saucy

The format is completely different from the build-your- own process you may be accustomed to at Just Poke up the street.  Step 1 at Sam Choy's is choosing your dish: rice plate, salad, wrap or tacos. Then you select your poke from their list of 6 or so options.  I went for the customer favorite of  'Mo'Betta Shoyu' (photo, on a salad) which is ahi tuna or salmon, shoyu, sesame oil, unago sauce and wasabi aioli.  I don't know what shoyu or unago sauce are,  so I was rolling the dice and trusting the public's fave.  My daughter also selected a salmon dish w/rice. Both of us with the salmon felt like the fresh light nature of the poke got smothered in sauce, turning a summer meal into a gooey rich encounter.  We couldn't come near finishing our plates we were so full.  But it didn't matter because sitting on the patio there was a great perch for Kirkland prime-time people watching and summer rays.  

IMG_5865 (1)    IMG_5865 (1)<-this kid needs veggies

Sam Choy also has handcrafted sandwiches and some island favorite plates such as garlic fried chicken  that was pretty darn yummy (photo, $11.99), firecracker shrimp, short ribs or a beef patty. My 16 year old daughter that still eats like a 4 year old went for the least risky beige foods- garlic fried chicken with rice and macaroni salad. She was happy with that.  Friends that went recently said they LOVED the fried chicken sandwich which came with light slaw and cilantro and a side of hand-cut fries (but had the same poke feedback w/the tuna)

The service was great. Helpful local teens can talk you through the menu and the food comes out pretty quickly and all on compostable materials which makes me happy.  Bonus- the Kirkland location serves to Halal standards too.  And there's a food truck and catering available.  

Hours are Monday 11-3, Tues- Sat 11-9 and Sun 11-7.

Summerfest is July 26-28: Volunteers Needed


Volunteering for Kirkland Summerfest feels good and gives back to the community, too!  This event is just around the corner so start clicking to sign up to help.

KEXP presents Kirkland Summerfest 2019, the city's premier music and arts festival — returning for its 8th year, this three-day tour de force boasts dozens of live performances, outdoor entertainment venues, an 11 acre KidZone, purveyors of fine foods, local beers and wines and interactive activities. This festival returns to the picturesque shores of Lake Washington July 26, 27, 28, 2019. With over 35,000 attendees, Summerfest is Kirkland’s signature event of the year.

How it works:

What do you get? More shifts = more benefits

1 volunteer shift: Receive a Kirkland Summerfest sweet tee, entry to the beer garden (no cover charge for you all weekend long with your wristband) and 6 drink tokens (equal to 2 drinks, depending on your drink of choice.)

2 volunteer shifts: You get all of the 1 volunteer shift stuff PLUS additional drink tokens (15 tokens total)!

Must be over 21 with valid ID to enter beer garden.

Groups volunteering together- Please call or email so we can find a role that best fits your group needs and positions.

Volunteering with kids, or as a teen- please be aware that there are minimum age requirements from the City or State for many positions. Please pay attention to these requirements when registering. 

The beneficiary of Summerfest is Chump Change Foundation, promoting volunteerism and raising money for nonprofits. We thank you for your support in our efforts to give back to our community through our local nonprofits.

How to sign up:

www.kirklandsummerfest.com > Get Involved > Volunteer > Get Tickets

*There are also some paid positions for 21+ year old men/women that can help with set up and clean up ($16/hr)

Questions? Kate@chumpchangeproductions.com or call Kate at 425-736-6515

Summertime Sunnytime, please!

It feels like the awesome weather is a little slow to start this summer.  The sun took a little vacation.  Those of us with school-aged kids start pulling our hair out.  When it's nice out the list of  fun opportunities are endless. But this gray stuff has got to stop.  I just made up some new rules for the mopey 'bored' teenagers at our house to prevent a Snapchat  Zombie Apocalypse. And yes, I make this stuff up as I go along (Parenting 101)

I'd love to know what you all are doing to help keep your kids motivated during these days.

Here's our latest:

  • If you wake up before 9:30 am- congrats 'early bird'! You can read a book for 30 mins before having access to your phone.
  • If you wake up after 9:30 am, no problem! You can read a book for 60 mins before having access to your phone.

I know, I know..sleeping is important for their developing brains, so I felt like 9:30 was pretty generous because I also still need their brains to WORK when they are awake, hence the reading.  Somehow in the last few years reading books for pleasure seems to have turned into something my kids equate to being tortured.   This new rule has been in effect for a few days and I've noticed they set their alarms for 9:25, baby steps, but at least they are vertical by 9:30.  They also get to work on their negotiation skills- can I bank time? What if I read the night before instead? Does reading the news count? Do you have to do this too? 

Teach me your tricks.

Oh, and if you have teens with phones always in their hands, here's a great resource- I love her Tech Talk Tuesday subscription.


Kirkland's 20th Annual 4th of July Celebration

4th of July 2006 002 <-----Kirkland 4th circa 2006

As we are all anxiously waiting for these clouds to burn off, I thought I'd share 4th of July schedule with you! Official info is here.

  • Early hour of your choosing- send the early riser in your house to put your chairs/blankets in a prime spectating location along the parade route
  • 10am- Kids start decorating their bikes and selves in Marina Pavilion. Say hello to my girls, this is their favorite volunteering gig all year.
  • 11:30- Kids parade starts.  Pets welcome.  Prepare yourself for the cuteness.
  • 12pm- Community parade starts at the corner of Central and Market St.  Sit back/relax and watch, catch some candy.
  • (move your chairs over to Marina or Heritage Park, hang out, go home/take a nap, eat a hot dog/drink a beer and then...)
  • 10:15 Fireworks show starts off the water by Marina Park.  Love the big BOOM.

You can also donate to help bridge the gap in expenses for putting on this great event.

Oh, and try to walk or bike, parking will be terrible.  More than usual, haha.  Be safe and Happy 4th!

PS- I've been busy trying to update the look of the blog (a work in progress)and move all of you awesome subscribers over to another contact mgmt tool. So hopefully you get this email just once and it looks normal. I'm sure you'll let me know if it's not :-)