The 20,000 Foot View

Ready?  Here we go, rapid-fire bullet points, my fave:

  • Arleana's at 312 Central Way is open! I haven't been to experience this Carribean-style cuisine yet, so please share your experience if you've been. Only a few Yelp reviews so far.
  • L and L Animal Urgent Care opened in Houghton across from Met Market, and Veterinarian/Owner Stephanie Stoegbauer is focused on helping pets and supporting vets by bridging the gap between general practice and emergency rooms. More on her story here.
  • EarthDayKU2023
    Earth Day at Kirkland Urban i
    s 4/19 from 4-6 pm (free) where you can recycle your electronics and styrofoam and also learn about ForestNation and enjoy a free tree planting kit. #PlantwithKU. 
  • IMG_4738(1)
    See's Candies
    is open at the Village at Totem Lake. Their grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting starts Sat 4/22 at 10:30am.  Expect FREE SAMPLES, raffles and special gifts with purchases.  Sweet!
  • After 40 amazing years, Penny Sweet and Larry Springer have transitioned ownership of The Grape Choice to longtime manager Desirae Ballard.  A sendoff and celebration will be at The Grape on 4/29.  Follow here for updates and congrats to Des, Penny, and Larry're always a fave place for a glass of wine on the patio!
  • A "Pedestrian Scramble" will transform our main intersection at Lake St and Kirkland Ave with a required 8-week closure expected in late July (yes you read that correctly). Questions? There's a meeting on 4/24 at 9am in City Hall's Council Chambers to chime in and learn more.

Is this Farewell to the Kirkland Blog?

IMG_3931(1) <--mushroom burger on The Slip's new patio

I hope not! But maybe?  ARGH!  I'm having some technical issues with the blog and contact mgmt platform which is super frustrating. I've also been traveling a bit lately and maybe I'm old and tired too?  You guys are so sweet, though, I really appreciate the notes I've received asking what's happened or where I went and encouraging me to keep blogging.  I haven't forgotten you, I promise.  

I do have bunches of things to the fact that Forge Pizza delivery/takeout just launched inside Coastline Burgers on Central (and hello handcrafted canned cocktails too!).  And Arleana's on Central is working hard to open soon and there's a menu posted already.  After being closed for 3 months,  The Slip has re-opened with its new patio offering 50% more seating.   Sparrow just announced their full menu will be available for lunch too, starting at 11am,, and happy hour is 3-5.  And yes, our beloved Stavros sold Santorini Greek Grill ( we all miss that big smile!), but you shouldn't notice much change in the restaurant.  He left it in the capable hands of his good friend that owns other Greek eateries in Seattle, and of course, Hector and the guys making those amazing gyro salads I crave will keep the food experience consistent.

On the events side of things, there's a Kirkland Job Fair coming up on April 1st that will help get our teens out of our hair this summer. Hooray! The (free!) Kirkland  Easter Egg hunt is April 9th. And we can almost start thinking about Wednesday Market and what's new there this year.  Spring/summer programs through the City of Kirkland open on 3/22 at 7am and Aquatics reg opens 3/29 at 7am on (this is when 4082 Kirkland moms all try to sign their kids up for swim lessons at the very same time). Better be logging in at 6:59!

Lucky me, I just had a treatment at Butter Massage Spa and an upcoming post will tell you all about it and share a special offer for readers.  And there's also a new animal urgent care in Houghton I have some scoop on.  It looks like the sales office for the new Continental Property apartments called Vela  (old Hector's spot) is open.  I'm so curious, anyone been in? 

Sorry, that's a lot of info.  That's what happens when I don't share for a month or two, I'm all pent up with Kirkland gossip.  Be sure you are following KirklandWeblog's Facebook and Insta, it's way easier for me to post quick updates there as they're happening.  

PS- what is with all of the new pay parking signs at Juanita Village? #superannoying


Sparrow's Patio a New Fave for Locals

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See you later J-Bay Bar & Grill!  After much anticipation, Sparrow  (like the bird- Be free!) opened in their old spot about a month ago at 9736 NE 120th Pl. They have spent some time re-branding and remodeling to elevate your dining experience.  Gem, one of the owner/managers, is truly his namesake as he greets customers with a giant eye-connected smile at the front door and then continually whizzes around to each table soliciting feedback and making sure everyone is happy.  Sparrow is a great addition to Kirkland's Juanita neighborhood, and the dog-friendly patio is a bonus on these great summertime nights.  Gem was reminiscing of his younger days when he used to live up the street and was a regular with his two brothers at JBay ( he kept the riding bull for posterity) and they would joke about how they 'owned the place.'  And now they really do!  

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The interior now shows off a dark more intimate hipster feel, with lots of wood and tall private cozy booths in the dining area.  When you wisely make your reservation on OpenTable, I'd recommend getting a summer-day spot on the patio, which was lovely paired with a fresh house-made sangria (photo below).    The menu is striving to please every diner, offering a section of shareables, soups/salads, sandwiches, pastas, and entrees  (desserts too).  The food was pretty good. My friend and I shared the burrata avocado which came with 4 small crostinis ($16) that was lovely,  and the birria lamb tacos (3 for $19,) which everyone online is raving about but I found to be a bit bland and greasy.  I really want to go back and try some other menu items so I can find my go-to's.  Online reviews keep mentioning the sausage rigatoni as a fave.  

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Definitely go experience this new find, however, also be prepared that Sparrow is high-end Kirkland style pricing ...a burger is $23.   But it is a tough time to be opening a restaurant with rising food prices and a tight labor market.  I like that they are invested in this space and our community, and as my friend said when we were leaving, "They really are trying!" Sparrow has really cleaned this location up (yes, even the bathrooms are lovely now), and  I'm super excited to welcome this new concept to Kirkland.  Also notable, the drink menu is reasonable with some creative summery cocktails being offered in the $11-12 range.  They are open every day for dinner at 5pm. And you can be an 'angel' when you're here too- find the photo op on the wall out back.   Go check it out and add your comments here too! I'm looking forward to going back. 

The Guilt Trip You Can Look Forward to

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I know it sounds like I'm getting ready to tell you a deep dark secret, but The Guilt Trip is actually an Indian fusion restaurant that opened a few months ago in Kirkland Square (right near Nothing Bundt Cakes!).  I dropped in for dinner with a few friends and was delighted to see many of you have already discovered their tasty food.   The tables were filling up and smiling faces were gobbling up the unique flavors that are created in this family-owned business.  They started in 2013 in Redmond and are committed to fresh food, natural ingredients, no artificial coloring or preservatives, and they grind their own spices!  You will also find gluten-free and vegan options. 

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The space is larger than I expected with dark decor and white tablecloths in the open-style dining room with selfie-ring style lights around its perimeter.  The menu presents lots of tempting options, shareables/entrees/burgers/bowls/salad/soups,  that make it difficult to choose just one. The food was excellent. We tried a few different things to get a sampling of the menu. The Rangoli salad (I loved this, great crunch, and the dressing was soo good!), the vindaloo lamb sliders, the bacon butter chicken, and the chicken masala Tikki.  Each was different and delicious in its own way. I love the sauces and spices that really make the flavors compliment each other. Check out the photos. The waitstaff was plentiful, perhaps working through small newbie obstacles, but definitely helpful, pleasant, and eager to please.  The Guilt Trip also has some interesting signature cocktails that I'd like to try next time- hello tamarind date margarita!  Pricing ranges from $12-16ish for shareable plates, burgers around $20, and entrees around $24.  Definitely worth the visit at 238 Central Way.  You can call or email with questions: 425-608-8788 or [email protected] .  Reservations aren't required but still a pretty good idea in my opinion. 

Cloud Food Court for Fresh To-Go

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I've been meaning to try Cloud Food Court for a while now, and I'm not sure what took me so long.  Perhaps I had to mentally work past the phrase 'food court' which, traditionally in my mind, is associated with a mall where a circle of fast-food restaurants competes for your attention and then you hurriedly eat your food in the middle of said corral and swarms of hangry people. Release this thought from your brain

Cloud Food Court resides in Marina Park (52 Lakeshore Plaza, where Wow Wow Lemonade was previously), and offers three different cuisines (hence the food court concept, all in one place).  There is no indoor dining, you just walk in and chat with the super friendly down-to-Earth owners (say hi to Ali)  while you order your food to-go or sit in one of their three cute little tables nestled on their patio overlooking Lake Wa and Marina Park.  The menu is short and sweet and everything we had was tasty and fresh.   There are a few Greek options (salad, shawarma, falafel), Italian (pizza), and American (chicken sandwiches).  I struggled to figure out what I wanted to order and decided to go for the shawarma plate (last photo, $15) since I didn't really know what that was and felt adventurous that day.  I'm so glad I did!  It was a lot of food and the tasty chicken was really fresh atop a bed of basmati rice, with a crisp side salad, and homemade hummus and pita too.  My friend was super happy with her Greek Salad ($12), although I'd probably want to throw some protein on there.  Drinks are all bottled or canned for easy to-go's.  And sometimes they slip you a dessert to try from Dolce Vita Desserts.  I've had their giant cookie fresh out of the oven which was Ahh-mazing, and some excellent baklava that is cylinder-shaped so I can eat it more efficiently without dropping little pieces on the ground.  Always a plus! They also have tiramisu, konafa, and panna cotta if you have a sweet tooth. 

At first glance, I was skeptical about such a short menu, but I like that Cloud Food Court focuses on doing fewer menu items to focus on high quality and pride in sharing their food with Kirklanders.  I'm definitely coming back for the shawarma.  I also heard the folks next to us raving about their chicken sandwich.  I'm excited about this option as we roll into summer (it's still coming, right? right?!) for a pickup after a stroll, eating outside, on a Duffy boat, or at the summer concerts in the park.  They are open 11 am- 8 pm every day but closed on Mondays.  425-242-1129.  Easy ordering online happens here, complete with photos of each menu item.

You could always drop by when you visit the Kirkland Weds Market opening day on Weds June 1st???? Check out this year's vendors.  All we need is a little SUNSHINE. ~j

I'm at Hearth in my Solid Gold Puffer

I threw on my biggest puffy coat for the "Puffy Jacket" Pop-Up Dining Series at Hearth in the Heathman Hotel on Wednesday night. Bonus! This is also one of their 1/2 price bottle of wine nights, so I was feeling like things were really going our way when a bottle of Abeja Cab was only $45.  Little did I know things were about to get even better.  For the record, you can 'puffy coat' anywhere you'd like, it doesn't have to be out on their patio, because this special limited-time menu is also offered indoors and is available through April 2nd.   

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The menu is small but mighty.  It was clear from the start that I would be ordering the Dungeness Crab & Grapefruit salad ($20) because it includes many of my favorite things (beets- mmmm!) and since we aren't really oyster people, Steve wanted to try the cauliflower soup. My salad was fabulous, but let me tell you....DO NOT underestimate the cauliflower soup.  It was rich, flavorful, and hearty enough to warm your soul on a rainy evening. I kept stealing more spoonfuls under the guise of sampling the menu.  We could have easily been satisfied with these starters alone, but couldn't resist the temptation of the entrees. Upon their arrival, my short rib ($39, photo above) was meaty and bold and falling apart with just my fork saying hello. Despite gobbling up most of it, I was delighted to have enough to save for lunch the next day.  Steve's Pacific Northwest Seafood Stew ($36) was also very memorable.  Often stews are comprised of a few pieces of seafood and a thin broth, but this one was chunky and intentional with large pieces of fish and shrimp filling the personalized hot cast-iron bowl.  The harissa tomato broth had a uniquely addictive flavor that, again, made my husband keep wondering why I was still eating off of his plate.  No wonder we didn't have room for dessert, but if you pace yourself, there is a chocolate tort you can finish with!

Hearth Puffy Coat Outside
Definitely go catch this great menu of special treats at Hearth before it's too late.  Wear your puffy jacket or just let the food warm you from within. Weds- Saturdays 5-9 pm through April 2nd. Reservations recommended.  My vote is for a Weds or Thurs to snag the wine deals too ;-). Enjoy!

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Winners! Congrats to Monique K and Joyce W for commenting on recent social media posts and being selected as the winners of a 2022 'Kirkland Sunsets' desktop calendar created  I know, dreams do come true.  And...Chicken!  Yeon's Chicken is now OPEN at 214 Central Way where Lynn's Bistro former (next door) location used to be.  I was on a walk, so didn't have a chance to eat there yet, but when I popped my head in they were anxiously awaiting some hungry customers.  It looks super casual/simple/clean and their menu has photos that I find super helpful in my decision-making.  There are a variety of dumplings, rice cakes, noodle dishes, sides, and of course chicken (always wings and drumettes w/different preparations except for the boneless chicken dish) $10-20. Lunch boxes are $16-18 and you can even grab a beer ($6) or glass of wine ($5). I've seen a few Yeon's Chicken fans on social media already so go check them out. Also on Door Dash. Report back here! 425-242-0333, 11am-9pm each day, closed on Sunday.


Everybody Fan Tang Tonight

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Have you been to Fan Tang Asian Café in Houghton next to Met Market yet? The Northwest-inspired Hunan style food is really fresh and delicious. You can chat and ask questions of a friendly helper at the counter, or there are also digital kiosks where you can self-order (similar to Shake Shack).   Photos on the electronic menu really help a girl out.  I went with the ginger chicken noodle bowl ($13.25) and it made me super happy on a cold rainy day (photo below)


There's plenty of seating in their modern dining room, and I was glad to see a good handful of other locals had already discovered this little hotspot of generational family recipes.  And friends have been raving to me about the food they tried, the depth of flavors in the soup, and also the customer service when the owner goes out of his way to make sure you are happy with your selection.  Add this to your list!

Tues-Sunday 11 am-8:30 pm. 10615 NE 68th St, 425-298-4597, [email protected] 

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Too Many Fun Things

There are so many new places and events swirling in my head that I can no longer remember which ones I've told you about.  But I'm not complaining. This is a way better problem to have than this time last year when we were all locked down in our houses and I was scouring this city for any uplifting content at all.  This week someone flipped the switch on summer it seems- pumpkins everywhere, chilly mornings, colorful leaves, bring it we go..

Kirkland Harvest Festival
- Oct 16th 10 am-4 pm at Juanita Beach Park. This FREE event features food trucks, live music (music vendors still needed!), artisan food, crafts, apple cider pressing, tractor-pulled wagons, photo booths, outdoor games, contests (pie eating and corn shucking, sign me up!).  There is a Kid's Korral with faux cow milking and bull roping, ring toss, horseshoes, pumpkin bowling, cookie walk, crafts, and 4-H.   Don't forget your mask! Everyone is required to wear one regardless of vaccination status.  Parking is across the street.


Zombie Wine Crawl- Oct 22nd @6pm Heathman Hotel- Ahhh, Kirklanders...we love our wine and local businesses and friends, so what better way to stumble around than to hit the beloved local Zombie Wine Crawl?  You need to think ahead for this one though, tickets typically sell out.  They are on sale now for guests 21+ years plus for $25-35, depending on your VIP preference.

Kirkland Fall Market- Oct 9, Nov 13, Dec 11 10am-2pm. Shop local goodies and gifts this fall at the monthly market at Park Lane East.

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Still Spa
October Specials- I attended the Woodmark's Still Spa Passport Event last week (their first in-person event they've had since  COVID) and it was PURE loveliness.  The Express treatments were a 30-minute teaser to let you know what a full treatment might be like.  It was like if someone pours you a 2oz taste of wine that is delicious and you're grateful but, man, you really just want the full pour. I may have fallen in love with Yasuko that did my facial. Their product lines include Eminence, Circadian, and also custom blends from The Bubblery in Leavenworth. Go check out their October Spa Specials where there are great deals on full treatments such as  Apple & Spice 2 hr package and a 60-minute Spiced Pumpkin Mocha Facial. 

And not necessarily fall-related but things you may want to know...

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I ate at Soi and it's a really cool space in there on the second floor of Kirkland Urban.  I was pleasantly surprised.  And I think they have some cool small event spaces. Good food too, check it out!

Totem Village just made another restaurant announcement that they are super excited about.  hanoon is part of the mama restaurant group (anar, mamnoon, mamnoon street and mbar). Construction begins soon with an opening set for late 2021/early 2022.  


Buzz on Over to Queen Bee

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I know you've seen those signature yellow and black awnings with the Queen Bee sign at the new Aegis Living on Lake WA Blvd and maybe wondered what it all means.  My friend told me she thought it was a hair salon where the elder residents got their beehives done.  Ha! Let me fill you in.

Queen Bee is a not-for-profit café that donates 100% of profits to a selected charity each year, and our Kirkland location's selection is the Boys & Girls Club of King County right now.   You can go enjoy food and drinks from local vendors such as Macrina or Schwartz Brothers for baked goods and Middle Fork Roasters for coffee.  They have friendly and helpful staff and the coffee smells great when you walk in the door.  My friends and I enjoyed selections such as the Lavender Vanilla latte and a Queen Bee latte (16oz $4.79).  Above you can see the photo of my simple but tasty avocado/egg toast($10.99) and the bagel/lox.  Queen Bee also has other breakfast/toast options along with crumpets, flatbreads, sandwiches, and salads.  I love their honeycomb tile backsplash and plenty of other fun bee-themed references throughout their shop.  Full menu is here.

There are 4 tables out on the patio and plenty of seating in the new and bright indoor setting. There's even an area for little kids to play! This would make a lovely quick little coffee/snack stop for all of those walkers on Lake WA Blvd.  I'm adding this to my 'come back list' because I love their sense of community and ability to give back in a unique way (and I want to try more of those coffees). Open every day from 7 am- 3 pm.