Talk to Me

Janis2021
For some reason, random people talk to me every time I wear my puffy gold metallic coat. It is a bit of a talking piece itself but I like to believe it has superpowers that repel the infamous 'Seattle Freeze.' I love it because its magic reminds me of normal days, pre-2020, when interacting with friendly Kirklanders was easy and every day.    Before we all fell mysteriously silenced and anonymous behind our masks.  I chatted with someone at the avocados at Costco (which are perfect right now btw) and then a lady even asked me where I thought she could find the dish soap.  Some small talk with the person behind me at the register topped off a stellar trip.  Eye contact.  Laughter. You have to take the wins and relative normalcy where you can.

In other puffy coat news, you should know that there is a "Puffy Jacket Pop-Up Dining Series" across the PNW (clearly I'm ready!). Columbia Hospitality announced the Feb 19th kickoff of six weeks of rustic food and drinks in a welcoming outdoor ambiance at 14 different hotels, resorts, and restaurants. Our very own Heathman Hotel is participating along with this list of great places to try around our region.

I also have some updates from Kirkland Urban and Totem Village to share.  So go put on your symbolic gold coat (and mask) and talk to some distanced strangers at some of these places.  They need your business. And know that you're making people smile. :-)

Kirkland Urban-

Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and Kirkland Downtown Association: moved in Jan 4th

Levue
Levue Nails & Spa
- just opened!

Coming Soon: Plantiful Superfoods plant-based restaurant, Vinason Pho & Grill, Dough Zone

Power Hour 360: one free month w/membership purchase + 2 free workout classes

Shake Shack: 3 new Korean-style items on the menu now thru 4/5 and a new Sugar Vanilla Shake.

Tutta Bella: unveiling their new Take n' Bake pizza (10-12 mins) and available anytime in the deli grab/go section.

Chainline Brewing: Happy Hour! Mon-Fri 12-5pm includes $1 off tap beers, pizza and pretzels. Tented outdoor seating welcomes kids and dogs.

 

Village at Totem Lake-

NEW stuff:

Don't Yell at Me (Q1 2021) - Boba Tea

Mayweather <--sadly that's not me in the ring
Mayweather Boxing + Fitness
(Q1 2021)- Become a champion for 45 mins a day learning from Floyd's techniques

Bok a Bok Fried Chicken (Q2 2021)- air-dried, hand-dipped, double-fried chicken (Lord help us!)

Sleep Number (Q2 2021)- Beds, pillow-top, and memory foam mattresses

Madison Reed (Q2 2021)- Luxurious hair color (yes, you hear all of their commercials on your podcasts). Their first "color bar" in WA State- services and product.

Things we knew about w/updated timelines:

  • Cinemark                                                   Q1 2021 (opening at limited capacity)
  • Silverlake Ramen                                            Q1 2021
  • Stack 571 Burger and Whiskey Bar™         Q2 2021
  • ShabuGen                                                  Q2 2021
  • Yuan Spa                                                     Q3 2021

Places you can currently wear your puffy coat and talk to strangers at The Village:

  • 203°F Coffee Co.
  • Chipotle
  • Dué Cucina
  • Joe’s Burgers
  • MOD Pizza
  • Panda Express
  • Salt & Straw
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Whole Foods Market
  • All The Best Pet Care  
  • Anthony Vince’ Nail Spa
  • Athleta
  • AutoZone
  • Evereve
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • lululemon
  • Ross Dress For Less
  • Sephora
  • Sweet Serenity
  • ULTA Beauty
  • Urban Tread
  • Zumiez
  • AT&T
  • HSBC Bank 
  • KeyBank
  • T-Mobile
  • Verizon
  • Vida Integrated Health
  • Wells Fargo
  • Xfinity

 

 

 

 

  


Kirkland Pho House Moving Downtown

DeliPhoHouse

The Kirkland Pho House, on 85th near Petco, is a reliable go-to on a chilly day to grab a big bowl of brothy deliciousness that can warm you from the inside out.  I always start with a fresh spring roll and then work my way to the chicken pho, delighting in the ritual of throwing in my own squirt of lime, bean sprouts, and sprigs of basil.  New store signs that go up in these times can create a panic, but never fear.  The Pho House is just gearing up to move to downtown Kirkland (110 Central Way) since their current shopping center is slated to be torn down.  They are currently still open in their location on 85th, but looking forward to continuing to see our (covered) faces downtown in their new spot in March or April. 


How Does Cupid Work During Covid?

Ladyyumvalentine
Don't let a pandemic drag down your Valentine's Day! Shop Local for your sweetie and remember that a fabulous meal can be the gateway to winning over a heart.  Looking for a Valentine's Meal in Kirkland? Check these options out, whether you prefer indoor, outdoor or take-out, don't procrastinate.

Hearth- Valentine's Dinner at Hearth ($75/pp) short rib/scallops/oysters 5-9pm 2/13 and 14. Or Pie on the Fly Valentine special ($65 for two) takeout available with salad side and chocolate strawberry truffle. Submit by 2/11 for 13 or 14 pickup.

Le Grand Bistro @Carillon Point-another great outdoor patio! And of course, a special Valentine's take-out menu that is a 4-course meal for 2 ($150) on 2/12, 13, 14. Get your order in by 2/9 @ 8pm unless it sells out before then.

Cafe Juanita- Well some of you were clearly thinking ahead because they are already booked for 2/12-13 with a rest for their team afterward and a continuation of amazing pickup options moving forward.

DeRU- Order by 2/8, pickup 2/13 after 12 pm.  A la carte menu and, of course, don't forget their AMAZING slices of cake.

Lynn's- Order 24 hrs in advance, pick up on Sunday 12-5, 3 courses $45 or a $35 prix fixe menu (a fantastic value!)

Volterra- $60 per person limited indoor seating on 2/14 with a very temptingly delicious looking menu.

Lizzy Kate Teas- Valentine's Tea & Truffle Pairing Set- 4 favorite teas to pair with four different flavored chocolate truffles. Pickup, drop on a doorstep or chip locally or nationally. 

Lady Yum- Valentine's Day Gift Packs. These will bring a smile to any human's face. 

Feast and Bottle & Bull are still working on their Valentine's Menu, so check back on their website in the next few days! 

Sweet Cloud Gifts- special chocolates for your special person starting at $8. Hello heart-shaped truffles!

The BeachHouse Bar & Grill- planning to offer some Valentine dinner special that wkend along with their regular menu.

Ristorante Paradiso- regular menu with some extra Valentine's specials that are still in the works.


Darn It, Momoya

Momoyasushi
Our family is mourning the loss of our go-to sushi pickup spot that was hidden in a strip mall in Rose Hill. Where else can you get a 'sushi plate' for $20 and it's delightfully all of the items you like to order anyway? Momoya Sushi & Sake House will be greatly missed, pre-COVID it always had a steady flow of loyalists that flocked to their fresh rolls and chilled sake which paired perfectly with the casual atmosphere and friendly familiar service.  Even in the past year there always seemed to be an hour wait for pickup orders if you didn't call before 5pm. This closure has been coming for a few months now, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. RIP Mo.


Heart of Kirkland Scavenger Hunt

Heart of Kirkland Final Flyer_ (002)

Want to bring a little action and solve a mystery instead of the usual monotony of your days? Nothing like a good old scavenger hunt to mix things up.  Get yourself ready for this month-long citywide contest where you collect a weekly clue to help solve a final riddle and be entered to win a prize drawing. Why not??!! This is for the 18+ crowd because you could be winning an overnight for two at the Heathman with dinner at Hearth.  Woot! There are lots of other fun sponsors/gift cards. Sign up on www.kirklandparks.net. It's FREE, but your voluntary donation will go towards the Kirkland Parks & Community Service Scholarship Fund that helps enable families to participate in programs. 


The "Plug" Every Parent Needs to Know About

This is truly frightening.

With this last year behind us, it seems not much surprises me anymore, but we need to sound the alarm on this one. This is happening in our schools here and now.  A friend from Redmond messaged me in a panic that she recently learned about “Plugs” on Snapchat and Instagram.  I had never heard of this. Her daughter’s 12-year-old friend used a 'plug' to buy weed in Kirkland.  TWELVE.  Buying drugs quickly and easily online using social media platforms that don’t have a paper trail.  These dealers/fellow students/adults that are selling these products apparently will come to your house or a nearby meeting spot so you don’t have to know how to drive, or even leave the comfort of your pandemic pajamas.  Nobody knows what they are REALLY buying and putting in their bodies, not to mention the buyers are often minors  10-15 years old.  When I asked my 15yo son if he knew what a ‘plug’ was, he said he did.  And so do my friends’ children when they asked.  This trend is alive here in Kirkland/Seattle at this very moment.

This video in this UK article is worth watching. https://www.vice.com/en/article/n7j75k/buying-pills-coke-mdma-instagram-snapchat?fbclid=IwAR1-K4L6FNWUT7Sm_nPeCe28TK5NoxVcT2lrHyL7t4xePj77tz4NwvthDkY

How do we as a community help prevent this troublesome trend from escalating?  Education, prevention, regulations, let's get this on the radar of every leader and influencer.  Many have not even heard of it yet. So pick your jaw up off the floor and let's go.

 


BobaLust Opens in Bridle Trails

Bobalustexterior        Bobalustdrink          BobalustInterior   

It sounds kind of naughty, but it's actually sweet. This new boba tea shop, called BobaLust,  opened a few weeks ago next to Ace Hardware. The lobby is the size of a large dancefloor, which may come in handy later, but for now, is plenty of room for your socially-distanced pickup.  I got my kids a strawberry smoothie, a mango slushie, and myself a Thai tea (all +boba). Their boba is fresh and sweet, and I was intent on not losing any in the crushed ice.  Another alluring fact would be their pricing, which is $4.50 -5.50 per drink including tax, which definitely beats other places. 

I didn't really discover the joy of boba tea until my trip to Asia (remember when we used to travel?) where these shops are commonplace and there is usually a long line.  At first, those funny little gelatinous balls made me squeamish, but now I treasure poking my wide straw through the taught plastic and enjoying the delightful drink (always ask for 50% sweetness, it's still sweet) with chewy boba surprises along the way. What is Boba you ask? It is tapioca starch from the cassava root. You're thinking about trying it, aren't' you? It's only weird the first few times and then it's strangely addicting. 

Bobalust has four other Seattle-area locations. Their current hours at the Kirkland shop are Saturday-Thurs 1-9 pm and Fri/Sat 1-10 pm. Follow them on FB and Insta. Comment back here with your favorite drink discovery!

 Bobalustmenu



You Can Do It, 2021!

 Rainbow2021

I feel sort of bad for 2021 and the weight she must carry on her shoulders.   I do not envy her. We are all cautiously optimistic knowing 2021 has to pick up the pieces of that fresh hell that was 2020 and try to get us moving forward again.   I figured it's a good sign that she's making her best effort when I opened my blinds to see THIS, a rainbow so close I could almost touch it (no pot of gold at the end, we checked).  I was, however, getting a little uneasy when I read about the series of minor quakes and tremors that have been rumbling nearby lately.  Not now 2021, not now, we need you to hold tight sister.  I decided it was wise to double-check the status of my emergency-prep supplies and wanted to give you this reminder too. What a great stay-at-home project-right?! Here's a link to our city's advice on building a kit/making a plan.  And you can also buy kits from a local company in Redmond that I've used called Prepare Smart, where I'm sure they would do a touch-free pick up and appreciate the support. 

Speaking of supporting small businesses- have you heard the news? Kirkland is hosting free parking spots in the Marina Park lot for in-car dining.  A handful of the restaurants downtown will deliver right to your car! That's pretty exciting around this house, because if our family can all pile in the car and place a few food orders to arrive curbside while we stare at the lake, pounding rain,  and lingering holiday lights from our cars then THAT would be a big night out circa 2021. Baby steps- first a rainbow, then a meal in public inside my car? Things are looking up my friends.  Participating restaurants and their online menus can be found here.  See you in the park (..ing lot?) ? Yessssss. C'mon 2021. We can do THIS.

PS- are you following the Kirkland Weblog on social media? New Year's reminder: Facebook, Insta, Twitter. Sometimes secrets and little tidbits hit there first. ;-) Besides, we're already friends what are you waiting for?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cleansing Ourselves of 2020

COVIDornament <-Best homemade ornament of the season

To plunge or not to plunge?  Normally in this last week of December,  I'd have a jovial post about our invigorating Kirkland Polar Plunge tradition that would take place on January 1st in Marina Park.  But this year has been NO FRIGGIN' JOKE.  And clearly, sadly, we still can't gather.  So, it's up to you Kirkland, the way you start 2021 is in your hands. Water temp in Lake Washington looks like it's about 47 degrees, plenty cold enough to pair with a good scouring brush to cleanse our souls of the heart wrench that the last 12 months delivered for so many.  If you and your family are holding true to a plunge, please be wise and go during daytime hours and with supervision in case of any shock, hypothermia, heart attacks, or tsunamis that may still be remnants of 2020.  Let's stay Kirkland Strong together and look forward with high hopes for our new year.  Best wishes to all of you for a joyful holiday. ~j


Hearth's Christmas-To-Go

HearthHoliday4      HearthHoliday1  

Are you tired of cooking? Do you wish a holiday meal would just magically appear this year? No kidding. I've got your back! Hearth at The Heathman Hotel is on-the-ready to help you make this year's Christmas delicious and festive at your home with their four-course feast that is packaged and ready for you to simply heat and eat. Stress-free sounds pretty perfect. But don't procrastinate, because your pre-order needs to be called into 425-284-5900 by this Fri 12/18. You'll start with wild mushroom bisque, then onto gem lettuce and roasted beet salad, followed by an entree choice of honey glazed natural ham OR braised beef short trib medallions, and finish it all off with an apple crisp.  This delicious spread is $55/per person, and there are also some festive fave kids' meals, extra sides, charcuterie, and wine pairings available to elevate your experience.  Supporting local business and not cooking for the holiday never sounded so good.  Pickup is available on December 23rd, 24th, or 25th. Even if you are cooking, what a thoughtful gift for Grandma, Uncle Fred, or other family members you may not be able to share your meal with in-person this year.

HearthHolidayDavidMitchell  HearthHoliday3 <--Yummy brunch shot: croissant bfast sandwich and the farm egg soft scramble
It's worth noting that Hearth also has the perfect pandemic-ready patio with plentiful heaters, widely spread tables, and gloved/masked staff.  I feel safe there. The building's architect must be patting him or herself on the back about now because nobody saw Coronavirus coming, but their design is keenly equipped for our current restrictions.  Steve and I were in for brunch and nestled ourselves in the outside corner fireside table humming along to the blissfully upbeat holiday music while wishing we could get waited on every day.  Check out our delish food photo from brunch (above, Sun 9-2). We also had a chance to chat with Executive Chef David Mitchell about the Christmas pick-up menu and he shared, "I want to make sure it's a good amount of food.  I really want people to be WOW-ed."  So if you're ready to be wowed with a stress-free holiday dinner,  call 425-284-5900 with your questions and pre-order by Friday 12/18.  Of course, Hearth To-Go and their Pie on the Fly program are also still available Weds-Sat 3-8pm.   And there's no shame in ordering a Hearth pizza for the holidays too, it is 2020 after all.  Note days of operation are Weds-Sat, reservations are recommended (and are required for the Christmas meal). Enjoy!