Edy Kizaki

Green Market in Sunset Hill is a Community Favorite

April 9, 2012 in Ballard, Shopping

GreenMkt1Life is good in Sunset Hill.  This premium Ballard neighborhood manages to have a distinct personality even within the larger area of Ballard.  Because it is out near the bluff overlooking Shilshole Bay and the marina and yacht harbor? Because it is so close to Golden Gardens Beach Park? Because it has a handful of wonderful little neighborhood stores and restaurants? Because of the great schools and community center? The Tudor and craftsman lined streets? The bright open skies that often occur near the water GreenMkt3(seen often in such magazines as Coastal Living but they do really exist)?  It’s hard to pin the reason down to one factor, but the truth is that Green Market is a good example of what makes the neighborhood attractive and intimately livable and walkable.

For a tiny space there is so much here, and it is so fresh.  Refrigerator cases offer staples and goodies, and new and intriguing “green” gourmet foods.  There are crackers, for example, but then there are also GreenMkt4multi-seed organic crackers.  And there are very nice fruits, apples, bananas, melon, but then there is fresh and tempting spring Asparagus, and it’s local and it’s on sale.  They are particularly proud of a large and sophisticated selection of wine and cheeses, including hand picked organic wine and local Northwest beers.

There are tons of local choices on the shelves here.  Honey I’m Home Catering stocks them with fresh soups and salads.  In addition they have their dressings, wraps, spreads, and special deserts!  There is fresh milk delivered several times a week from the local Smith Brothers Dairy.  Columbia Gorge juices and local fresh ice cream from Lopez Island Creamery.  Then there are the breads, among other local bakeries Macrina and Columbia City Bakery deliver their popular breads here.  Come taste for yourself!

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Edy Kizaki

Mr. Gyros in Ballard is Cheap Good Eats

May 15, 2011 in Ballard, Restaurants

Without a doubt, one of the best places to get a gyro in Seattle is Mr. Gyros.  We are definitely a city that loves a good gyro and  whether it’s beef, lamb, or chicken, there is always a heated discussion about which place is best.  If you are in the north part of Seattle, you can’t go wrong with Mr. Gyros. And it’s worth the drive no matter which part of town you are in.

The Gyros Plate comes with your warm sandwich as well as a “Greek salad,” hummus, delicious rice, and a pepper on the side.  At first glance the salad may seem like a lot of lettuce, but do not despair. The salad is incredible, and I don’t know what the dressing is but it’s really good!  The hummus is creamier and tastier (ah ha, this must be what the real thing tastes like).  I didn’t expect the rice to have a sort of creamy taste, it was unusually delicious. A nice little surprise.  Perhaps they put something in the water when they steam it.  The shaved meat is layered up in stacks behind the counter and it looks wonderful, and tastes even better.  I tried the Gyro plate the first time I ate here, and had to bring my family back to show them my new favorite gyro place.  There are many other really yummy looking selections including fattoush and falafal, baba ganoush and mint tea.

Yelp reviews call this food”wonderful” “awesome” and “ridiculously good” and some people claim to eat there as much as three times a week.  I believe it because I took my family back the very next night!  It’s so fast for the order, if you walk in you’ll have your food in 3 minutes, or take out to get home and feed the crew.  The prices are really great and the portions are so big you’ll have leftovers for another full meal or can split an order!

In addition to the food, I won’t forget the super friendly service.  The store is owned and operated by two brothers (it’s their second one, the first was in Greenwood, have not been there yet) and at least one of them is a musician with music playing in the restaurant at times!  The guys gave us great advice on what to try and were more than hospitable. They truly care to take care of you.

Another little special feature is the take-out window open till 2:30 a.m. on Fridays.  And they were voted Best Gyros in Seattle!  The tables are high up with high stools and the room is pretty basic, a neighborhood joint kind of feeling. Bright colors and cool posters make it upbeat.  Better try Mr. Gyros in Greenwood or Ballard, you will be pleasantly satisfied.

 

Edy Kizaki

The Scoop – Dreamy Ice Cream in Sunset Hill

May 11, 2011 in Ballard, Restaurants

TheScoop1People keep saying this has been the rainy-est spring they can remember.  I know our Ballard Little League has been having a hard time since the games got rained out more than once!  The city closes the ball field if it is too wet since the turf will get damaged.  Anyway, this day was really the first when I saw people wearing TheScoop2shorts!  And here a Sunset Hill family is sitting outside a great neighborhood institution, The Scoop, enjoying what you might think of as The First Taste of Summer.

The Scoop is at Walt’s Cafe, and is a super-cute ice cream shop.  But the ice cream itself is the main attraction, smooth, creamy, delicious!  Many flavors, some very unusual, and it is always fresh.  There is a picture of this ice cream in the dictionary next to “yummy.”  They serve Tillamook Ice Cream, which is located on the Oregon Coast (you can tour their cheese factory there) and has 38 flavors!  You can also get the great local Top Pot donuts here and good espresso (thereby making it a favorite stop for the whole family!).  This great traditional style ice cream shop with a counter is located right across the street from Sunset Hill’s Green Market and will fit right into your day.