Evergreens Preps for Weds Open

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Evergreens at Kirkland Urban will be officially opening its doors this Weds at 11am. You'll find them right at the top of the stairs by the new QFC.  I went to their practice session today where lunch was free (rumor has it Tues is too. 12-3. #winningtips #yourewelcome) while the employees got to practice their craft of quickly creating crunchy, healthy and delicious salads, wraps and grain bowls.  Their other locations typically have a line wrapped out the door so they are preparing for Kirklanders to bombard them with our health-conscious hangry selves.  

I had "the Super Bowl," which seemed timely, and was oh-so pretty (photo).   "Don't You Forget About Me" was rocking on the speakers and taking me back to my youth while I ate my super fresh lunch in 10 minutes flat.  Great quick delish $10ish meals  and all of the trays, bowls, utensils and napkins are compostable. It's perfectly fine to grab your lunch on the go, there are only four tables in the space.    Menu is here, love the pics. Hours are 11-7 everyday and you can also order online and they cater. I asked an Evergreen staffer what they wanted you to know......"Eat healthy. Live healthy." That's their motto! enjoy. 

FEAST Your Eyes on This

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Chad and Jessi Waldher (photo), owners of Bottle & Bull on Lake St and Marcy's in Walla Walla, are getting very close to sharing their latest creation with you. Many of you were sending panicked emails when their Park Lane Public House closed its doors, but have no fear, a fabulous french brasserie named Feast will be emerging in mid-February at 115 Park Lane. This is a concept they have been talking about for a while, and all of the pieces and dream team just came together now to make it happen. 

Feast2020 (4) Simon, Rich, Jessi, Chad, Justin, Joe 

I had a chance to sit down with the new Feast crew (photo) and their excitement is palpable. "This new concept just didn't fit in our pub setting," says Jessi, who toured me around the freshly wallpapered walls and walked me through all of their new French-themed decor.  This will be a bit closer to fine dining but without the dress code or white linens. And still family friendly, of course.  "Casual refined," says Chad with a chuckle.  Chef Rich Jimenez, previously of Chateu Des Fleurs, can't stop smiling when he talks about his classic and modern dishes with a PNW flair that will be awaiting us.  I, of course, can't spell them! Nor did I know quite what this meant.  But then he jumped back into the kitchen and whipped me up a tasting platter and the world made sense again.  

Get ready to experience vanilla bean applesauce on top of foie gras torchon, a burger with short rib Beaujolais demi gloss and pork jelly smoked onion aioli, tuna with pickled plum aoli in sesame leaf, roasted carrot with burnt honey brown butter and petit coriander, and a lyonnaise salad. Pair your meal with one of their 30 carefully selected wines by the glass or perhaps an old world bottle of beer. You'll find many new world wines that are still French in style.  Expect price points to be $12-18 for the first and second course and $20-40 for mains. Here are some sexy food photos to get you in the mood..

FEASTFrench OnionFEASTFrench OnionFEASTFrench Onion


(french onion soup, cod w/polenta, lyonnaise salad, mussels, mushroom risotto, roasted carrots)

The team at Feast is excited to take you on this journey with them.  "Kirkland has always been good to us.  We want to thank everyone and let them know we are eager to serve them again!" says Jessi.  Opening is targeted for the second week in Feb.  This establishment will be dinner only from  4-10 pm and they will be closed on Monday. Happy Hour in the bar 4-6pm. 

Lollicup Fresh & Eat Local: Mixing Things Up on Park Lane

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Lollipcup Fresh
There are some exciting new reasons to stroll a little further east down Park Lane.  First, I should tell you that when I went to Asia earlier this year I developed a little bubble tea habit that I've been trying to keep under wraps.  So I definitely wasn't sad to hear that Lollicup Fresh was opening at 211 Park Lane. This is a franchise out of California and so far, Kirkland is their only location in WA.  Owners Helen and Tri (photo) have been locals for three years and are so friendly and gracious.  They offer bubble waffles ($8), ice cream, boba smoothies and fruit teas ($5-6).  Our family has tried a milk tea and a matcha tea with boba and also a Hawaiian Dance tea lemonade- all delish and I prefer that you please don't tell me how many calories might be in them.  You can customize your treats, of course, to have more or less ice or sugar or boba.  What is boba, you ask? It's those chewy black blobs at the bottom of the drink that are really spheres from partially cooked tapioca powder, which is the refined starch of the cassava plant, a starchy root like taro that is indigenous to Latin America but now grown worldwide.  The good news is that Lollicup Fresh also offers catering and fundraising help- just email them at lollicupfreshkirkland@gmail.com or call 425-307-1842. Hours are Sun-Thurs 11:30-8pm and Fri/Sat 11:30-10pm.

EatLocal (3)  EatLocal (3)   EatLocal (3)
Eat Local

A skip step from Lollicup Fresh at 205 Park Lane, you'll find Eat Local Remarkable Frozen Meals.  And they really are.   They opened on 11/8.  I wasn't expecting to walk in and feel like I was in a small grocery story with lines of coolers stocked with many many fantastically sorted thoughtfully prepared meals.  Kirkland is their 5th location, with others in Queene Anne, Capitol Hill, Burien and Mercer Island.  This company has been around for over ten years with the mission of serving convenient food with real ingredients and traditional cooking methods. Everything is created in their Burien kitchen and then blast chilled and  frozen to lock in flavor and nutrients until it gets warmed in your oven or microwave.  I was amazed at how everything is colored coded for easy selecting: Vegan, Keto, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Mediterranean, Whole 30, etc and best sellers and staff favorites are highlighted to help you narrow your choices.  Their nutrition guide explains a lot of the different popular 'diets' and what they mean, and they even offer a free nutrition consultation with one of their Registered Dietitians.  These are the same folks that carefully design the recipes to have intentional ingredients and high nutritional value.  Yes, they ARE sneaking veggies in there like your mom did. 

When we stopped by and chatted with the store manager, Lily (photo), she was warming up some samples of "Keto Creamy Chicken with Bacon & Chives" which my son decided we HAD to get for home.  He practically licked his container clean and is still talking about it.  I have to say it was pretty darn delicious, and Russell Wilson, their Brand Ambassador agrees with me.  We also bought  some chicken tikka-masala for my girls (who were impressed!) and a few others to stash in the freezer for another day.  Of course, the more we bought the more we saved.  Most items come in both a single or double-sized serving and range from  $8.99- 10.49 per serving, depending on ingredients.  For dessert they offer locally branded treats such as Acme Ice Cream, Pure Pies and Seattle Pops.  Hours are 9am-8pm daily.  They also have wine and you can dine in if you would like them to warm your food up for you.  I like that they are making us healthy fast and convenient food that we can peruse and talk about and then take home.  But if you prefer, you can also order online and they deliver (free on orders over $98 and also do Uber Eats and DoorDash.  Let me know your faves! We will definitely be back.


1 Year Coastline Anniversary= $1 Burgers for Us!

Locally owned Coastline Burgers is celebrating their first anniversary in Kirkland and is thanking the community by offering $1 single patty burgers all day on Thursday Nov 21st.  My son has put this in his calendar and has already snap-chatted all of his friends. I suggest you do the same. Don't worry, I'm sure there won't be a line??!  Kudos to you, Coastline, we are glad you are here! Congrats on your success that comes with accolades such as a 4.7 star average review on Google and Facebook.  Owner Aaron Shepherd said, "The warm reception of the Kirkland neighborhood has exceeded all expectations.  I am so glad we decided to make the Kirkland community home to our second store as we continue to grow into the future." 

My Son Ate Chicken Nuggets at Shake Shack

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I cannot understand it. My son has never walked away from an opportunity to down a burger in his life. I was running some errands and called him right after school let out to see if he wanted me to pick him up and go to Shake Shack together (300 Peter Kirk Lane).  He was excited, not to see me, but because I have money to buy food,  but I was still pretty proud of myself for scoring some cool mom points.

ShakeShack2019 (5)  <--self-ordering.....chicken......

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There were only one or two people in line ahead of us for the kiosks where you order for yourself.  We were relieved not to encounter a huge line. There are usually 5 kiosk stations but only 3 of them were functioning on that day.  Great simple screens and menu to order up and pay electronically.  I got a Shack Burger ($5.79) since that sounded like a classic that I was supposed to order having never been there before.  I ordered up a strawberry shake and B got a chocolate one ($5.29) and some crinkle fries to share.  Then he ordered Chick'n Bites-- What the what? I was so surprised I just said nothing to my usual burger monster and paid for our $26 lunch.  When you order, you enter your cell phone and they text you when it's ready. There were lots of employees behind the counter and our  food took less than 10 minutes to be ready to go.  I was surprised how much seating was inside that little free-standing building at Kirkland Urban, but even so we opted to take our food home. 

Logically, the crinkle fries were half gone by the time we got out of the parking garage. They were perfectly browned and had a nice little flavor to them. My strawberry shake was delish- tasted just like real strawberry ice cream and Brady's chocolate shake was just 'alright' he said.  But this is how teenagers answer every question.  B then opens his 6 pieces of chicken box and laughs out loud, "Mom! They're the size of my thumbnail!"  He was definitely second-guessing his decision, so I shared my burger which was good and fresh albeit a bit salty to me, but B was very pleased with.  A rule of thumb for going to a burger place is ordering a burger.  

Shake Shack is an east coast chain and Kirkland this is their second location in the Seattle area.  They are featuring some local exclusives such as "Pie oh My Concrete" vanilla custard with pieces of A la Mode Pie's seasonal pie.  5% of sales from this product go to YouthCare. Hours are 11am-10pm Sun-Thurs and 11am-11pm Fri- Sat.  Great new addition, especially with the park right next door and a cult following.  425-250-8318


Fast Fish and a Killer View at Ivar's

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at 5910 Lake Washington Blvd is open just in time to enjoy a casual bite on the patio while summer is still here.  Previously Kidd Valley (which is owned by Ivar's), the layout is reminiscent of its former self, with a clean new interior and extra outdoor seating.  I was pleasantly surprised, for a fast-food fish spot the kids working in there went out of their way to be helpful and accommodating and the food was all really good. I'm pretty sure nothing on the menu was over $12.   We all especially loved the salmon chowder and my kids were over-the-moon that the cornbread muffin that came with the salmon tasted just like a cupcake. Here are a few snapshots of our food:

Ivars (4)   Ivars (4)  Ivars (5)

I also love that Ivar's has their own parking because you know it's not always easy in Kirkland, especially when the weather is nice. There were plenty of spots when we rolled in at 8:45pm. Hours there are 10:30am to 10pm.  The views were amazing, and what a nice way to spend under $60 for our family's dinner that was delish ready in less than 10 minutes. I asked my new friend, Rachel, to write up her review for me, since she's already a regular at this new location. 

Here's her summary (thanks Rachel!):

My family has always been HUGE fans of Ivars restaurants.  So when we heard a new Ivars Seafood Bar was coming to Kirkland we couldn’t wait to check it out.  We all ordered something different including, Ivars famous fish ‘n chips and mouth-watering clam chowder, Caesar salad with a hefty serving of Dungeness crab, fish tacos and a side of corn bread! It was all very delicious.  The restaurant was packed with smiling faces – not to mention very clean, the staff was friendly and our food was brought out relatively quickly considering we were there opening weekend.  We opted to take our food to go and picnic across the street at the very convenient Houghton Beach Park.  However, they have plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and soon to come beer and wine.  We will definitely be return customers.

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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.

See and Be Seen at Como in Carillon Point

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Como arrived on the scene at Carillon Point just a few weeks ago in the location previously occupied by Bin on the Lake.  Our new local Italian gem boasts the same owners as Cantinetta and they have done quite the make-over on this space.  White contrasts woods and simple lines with arched passageways give it a Euro light airy feel that connects the inside to the patio and the lake just beyond it. 

This spot definitely has the lovely factor going on.  I'm going to call in Nautical Chic.  Don't go rolling in with your bathing suit/cover up/flip flops and cranky kids- this is not the place.  Ladies complimented the beautiful Como landscape on the white wicker patio chairs with their dresses/linen, espadrilles and over-sized shades.  The Euro vibe even struck the gents who all seemed to have on much nicer shoes than I see worn anywhere else in Kirkland.   George Clooney could come breezing through the door at any moment.   Perhaps he will arrive on the fabulous wood Como boat that shuttles between Seattle and Carillon to get your to your dinner reservation.

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Steve and I sat in the bar/lounge area next to the patio.  Perfect breeze and comfortable chairs- I could have sat there all night, especially with my crisp chilled bottle of Mark Ryan Viognier ($58). We split a few things to taste- the Bufala Mozzarella ($14, photo), which surprised me with diced instead of traditional sliced tomatoes,  the gem lettuce salad ($13, photo) was simple but delish with dates and pancetta mixed in which added a little something fun to the mix.  We split the salmon entree ($32) that was so good I forgot to take a photo before we devoured it. Prices are Kirkland upscale, and the menu itemizes out thoughtful offerings from Chef Gabriel Chavez in the typical Italian categories of antipasti, pizze, primi and secondi.  The service was great, it just felt relaxed and approachable and lovely, lovely, lovely.

You can make reservations or just drop in.  Parking is validated or there is valet available at Carillon. Hours are 4-close every day of the week and lunch is getting ready to start 6/28 Fri/Sat/Sun at 11am.  Call 425-484-0787 or email hello@comousa.com  w/questions.

UPDATE: Was just at Como again tonight for happy hour with a few girlfriends.  The people watching was fantastic. Our waiter, Tyler, was great. The inside bar area was super loud, but luckily my friends like to yell and laugh loudly anyway.  The focaccia de Como is ridiculously good-tastes like a delicious cake. And the burrata w/cantoloupe was a nice summery twist. Friends raved about the Tajarin pasta and Risotto (with the pickled blueberry) from their previous visits. That's all I've got. Over and out. Ciao!


The Market Street Prepares to Close

Marketstmegan <--we'll miss you Megan!

As The Market Street comes up on a 5 year anniversary, they are getting ready to shut their doors for good at the end of July, since the property has been purchased (more condos perhaps?).  This local comfort food/watering hole, formerly the Asian Wok(at 1720 Market St.) , is akin to "Cheers" for many surrounding Market Street neighbors.  I was telling owner Megan McBurney (photo), who was a bartender there for 7 years before purchasing the place, a story from this past winter when we were in the midst of Snowmageddon. I went out for a walk with a few neighbors since we all had cabin fever.  We picked up a few more friends along the way and ended up congregating back at The Market Street.  The snow was really coming down and some warmth, food and a drink sounded great.  A few texts later, and our crowd of nearby neighbor friends had grown to about 25 people, most wandering in on foot to join in the 'snow day' fun.  It was an awesomely fun impromptu evening and the waitstaff at The Market St just went with it as we all stood around and laughed and drank and marveled at the white stuff out the window.  We couldn't have planned that if we tried.

That's Megan's favorite thing about her job. "I love seeing people being neighborly," she says.  There are so many small world connections in the bar, where the usual 'Seattle Freeze' doesn't seem to apply and people actually talk to each other.   When she first opened she knew the neighborhood needed a casual place for families with an approachable menu.  Friends and family helped tile and put down the floor and make the infamous "Market" sign on the wall.  There's no marketing budget, everything has been word of mouth.   Megan loves to eat and loves to cook and explains, "cooking for someone is like giving them a hug."  But it's a tough business that has taken its toll, so first she will rest/relax a bit before hopping back into action at another local bar/restaurant.  

The last day for food and full menu will be Sunday June 30th. They are closed 7/1 and 7/4 but otherwise will be challenging us to a "Drink Me Dry July" through 7/22 when they will also offer a simple menu and of course the opportunity to buy anything and everything (lights, fridges, you name it- all must go!).  All of the employees are local Kirkland folks, so if you go and 'like' The Market St on Facebook , Megan will let you know where everyone ends up so you don't lose touch with some of your favorite local staffers. When I asked what she'd like to say to you all she said, "Thank them for making this such a great community restaurant.  Our regulars always kept us afloat.  Some were crying when we told them the news.  We have watched families grow and feel invested in this community." Thanks for the good years Megan + crew. xo

A Warm Welcome for Hearth

  IMG_5124 <--Sean Klos, GM of Heath, w/my friend Emily (an amazing waterskier) 
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You wanted some new places to eat in Kirkland and here they come. Lucky me! I attended the opening party for Hearth at The Heathman Hotel last week (the previous location of Trellis, 220 Kirkland Ave).  The place was thumping with music and a new look- see ya later hardwood floors and fancy pants- it's concrete and casual now with white walls and metal and wood accents for a hipper more approachable statement.  You'll find open fire cooking with locally sourced creations from Executive Chef Adam Johnson. When I asked Hearth's GM, Sean Klos (photo) about his intent for the changes his quick response was, "FUN!  Just fun!  We want everyone to feel like this is a spot they can come to and enjoy themselves."  Delicious bites of food were circulating and included everything from pork belly, sliders, flatbreads with arugula and cheese, salmon on homemade chips, oysters, salmon and an amazing spread of cheeses and jams. I loved the fresh hand-crafted Palomas Victor was mixing behind the bar.  The lounge area at the entry also feels more comfortable with open shelving and leather sectionals creating smaller niches for chats and drinks. Don't forget the super-sized Jenga outside on the patio either, that is always good for a few laughs (at my expense, this time). Check out the menu and stop in to explore the warmth of Hearth. Hours and reservations  for brunch, dinner, happy hour and bar can all be found here.  Also a cool place to have a private event!

IMG_1968 I lost.  There, I said it. 


In other hunger-breaker/thirst-quencher news:

If you've been wondering what all the construction is at Zeek's on Park Lane, they are adding on a bar area (parents of toddlers and little leaguers across Kirkland rejoice!).

Como is opening this weekend, and everyone is abuzz. I'll be sure to check it out when I'm back from Branson.  Yes, Missouri (for a gymnastics meet).  Somebody here just asked me where I'm from and when I said "Seattle" they looked at me like I was speaking another language.  Never heard of it!