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

  ShakeShack2019 (3)   ShakeShack2019 (1)

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......

  ShakeShack2019 (11)       ShakeShack2019 (13)

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

Ivars (1)
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.

Ivars (6)Ivars (6)


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

Como (1)

Como (19)  Como (15)

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.

Como (5) Como (11)  Como (12) Como (9)

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) 
IMG_5110  IMG_5118 1  IMG_5106

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! 


Smoke & Shine Shines


The name just sounds kind of bad ass, right? Well it is, so let down your hair and unbutton your shirt and order up. The old Dub Pub is closed on 124th in Totem Lake and Smoke & Shine Barbecue and Whiskey has arrived. It's been open for about a month now, but everyone seems to have found it just fine. They had been remodeling since July 2018.  Brady and I strolled in after his baseball game on a Sat night to the buzz of people and TV's and live music getting ready to roll.  It's a large space and it's insanely LOUD, at least for my old ears, but it has a fun casual vibe that makes you want a cold beer and gaggle of friends around you.

IMG_4894 IMG_4892  IMG_4892  

The brisket that I ordered was FANTASTIC.  Super moist and tender-def worth going back for. I orderd it a la carte and had some garlicy carrots to go with it.  Oh, they have their own smoke so  don't delay because that brisket....when it's gone, it's gone.  Brady had the pulled pork sandwich which he inhaled after scraping off the cole slaw. Service was great, very prompt and helpful with navigating the new menu. Food came out crazy fast and was $12-14/plate. They have live music on Friday and Saturday nights and there's a big bar in the center of the space. My drink was $13 which was the same as my dinner, so our tab for 2 rang in at roughly $50. Parking is a little tricky because that little lot can fill up fast but plenty of people are constantly coming and going, but you all are used to such challenges.

Hours are Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm, Sat 11am-12am, Sun 11am-10pm. 

Scraps of Info

Have you ever noticed that when it's sunny you don't see many blog posts from me? hmmmm. Something to ponder.  Along with things like this..

Park Lane closing to cars this summer- May 26th thru Sept 22nd  on SUNDAYS Park Lane will be closing to vehicles so that downtown will be walkable from Lake Street through to Kirkland Urban. More sidewalk spaces for the business and al-fresco dining.  If this is successful they may do it all weekend next summer.woot!

COMO is opening at Carillon Point this June.  Slightly mysterious so far, but it sounds like they are a sister restaurant of Cantinetta in Bellevue (yum) and focusing on cuisine from the Lombardia area of Italy that is surrounding Lake Como.  Which I haven't been to yet, but George Clooney hangs out there so it must be awesome.       

Roo's World of Discovery on Central Ave- it's CLOSED. I never had the chance to discover them, but it looks like many parents of toddlers did and really liked it. 

Kirkland Weds Market opens 6/5.  Mark your calendar. You know what to do.

Smoke & Shine Opens in Totem Lake--- Amazing brisket. Super loud. Post coming soon but I'm heading back to the sunshine now.        

My New Family is at BiBi Catering

IMG_4867 <--love this lady

I had the pleasure of meeting Parvin Jahangiri of BiBi Catering this week and she left a lasting impression on me with her history, warmth, kindness and passion for creating high quality Persian food from family recipes .  She is located in Shamiana's old location in Houghton near PCC.  Of Iranian descent, her husband was killed in the revolution when her son was only 13.   They moved to Germany, and later to Dallas where her brother was located, and then to Bellevue. She had grown up with her father in Iran being in the food industry and says, "food is my passion. I do it with all of my heart," which you can see by looking at her hands, beautifully stained from spices and hard work.

Parvin has been catering out of the space behind DeRu for the past few years and yearned for the flexibility of her own cooking space.  She put together the most gorgeous spread of food for me- in both appearance and flavors.  She prides herself on the best and freshest ingredients that go into her authentic versions of Middle-Eastern food with a PNW flair.  Get ready for explosions of colors set in a creative presentations. I was lucky enough to try the salmon and shrimp seasoned with saffron, the savory beef tips brushed with lemon juice and olive oil, eggplant with fresh hummus, falafel (even my son ate these, a first for him!). All were delicious! The chutney(cilantro, walnut, chili pepper, vinegar) and dips were fabulous, each with its own unique flavor from the Middle East.  Nothing is fried and she uses small amounts of oil to create her high quality crafted dished made with an acute attention to detail. And don't worry, there will be beer and wine too!

IMG_4857 Maybe I should be a food photographer


IMG_4862  love these shrimp!                        IMG_4862 <--Fesenjoon (pomegranate/walnuts), unexpected flavor! so good.


BiBi's space is clean and airy with simple lines and a handful of tables and counter seating space, following their 5 month remodel.   Parvin caters for many local customers such as Microsoft, Google, and the Gates Foundation and has done weddings for up to 250 people, although her typical catering job is 35-50 ppl. In her new space, she is also able to share her craft with us at the restaurant seating.  They are open for lunch now on weekends 12-6 and weekdays 11-2:30.  It's a buffet style that is $10/lb or $15/plate.  In mid-May they plan to open for dinner with a limited menu. Parvin named her business after her mom, Bibi, which is also her granddaughter's middle name.   When I asked her what she'd like the people of Kirkland to know, she said, "I am so happy to serve them!" and then gushes about how grateful she was for our community and how encouraging and appreciative and supportive everyone has been.  She kinda loves us.  And you're going to love her.  She is warm and gracious and the lady can cook. I got a big hug on my way out.  I think you might too.

Bonus-Stop in and say hello to Parvin (she's there every day). When you eat at BiBi before June 15th and tell them you're a friend of mine/the Kirkland Blog you'll get 15% off.