Edy Kizaki

Try Duke’s in Green Lake

April 4, 2012 in Green Lake, Restaurants

Dukes1Everyone knows and loves Duke’s Chowder House in Green Lake.  It IS famous award winning chowder, and it IS addictive.  It’s even hard to choose which of the five distinctive chowders you want at any given visit (which is probably why they have the chowder sampler with 2, 3, 4, or even 5 choices in little “boat” bowls).  You have to decide, the clam chowder (the real thing, I think my favorite clam chowder I’ve ever had, seriously), the Northwest seafood chowder, the NW Coast Dungeness Crab and Bourbon Chowder, or perhaps you’d prefer a non-seafood choice?  The Cajun Chicken corn chowder?  Last but not least is a very rich and savory Lobster Pernod chowder.

Something to know about this local favorite with six locations is that they use fresh and natural ingredients.  How often have you wondered what kind of water or beef they used to make your soup or sandwich?  With Duke’s, wonder no more.  The website and the menus explain pretty clearly that all their ingredients are fresh, and 100% natural.  In fact, it explains that this clam chowder is the only 100% natural in the world, with no flavor enhancers, no color

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enhancers, chemicals or preservatives.  They don’t have Atlantic or farmed salmon.  They cook with oil that has no trans fat.  They use wild Alaskan seafood.  They use beef  and chicken that is free of hormones, drugs, and antibiotics.  The list goes on!  For me, it is just the best tasting clam chowder ever… so much for flavor “enhancers”.

Or perhaps you are going out for drinks with your friends or your sweetheart?  Then if I were you I would try hard to make it to Happy Hour, which is 3-6 and 9-close (they close at 12 Friday and Saturday and 11 the other nights, dinner ends an hour before closing).  They have great cocktails including a famous “bloody bloody Mary”, a Blueberry Lemon Drop, some great Mojitos including Cucumber (woa?!) and their Grapefruit Nirvanna was voted “most refreshing Dukes3cocktail in Seattle” in 2011.

Last year Dave and I were sitting with Maura and Keith on the deck of the West Seattle Duke’s (on Alki overlooking the beach) and had what I am pretty sure was the best happy hour in history, pretty much reminding me most of those late Sunday mornings in SF for brunch at Mission Bay Cafe, watching the little boats pull up to the pier and people climb up for breakfast on the deck over the auto body shop.  Thanks, Dukes.  Don’t ever stop doing what you do!

Edy Kizaki

Irwin’s Neighborhood Bakery and Cafe in Tangletown

June 4, 2011 in Coffeehouses, Green Lake

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Driving through Green Lake’s Tangletown neighborhood, I spotted a new Irwin’s Neighborhood Bakery and Cafe.  Wow!  I had to stop and check it out, learning that it had just opened May 14.  There are two established locations already in Seattle, in Wallingford and Eastlake, and the scones are legendary.  At the Wallingford bakery they have artist exhibits changing monthly, and hopefully that will emerge here too, as time goes on.

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I just have to mention that they use Cafe Vita coffee, which is my new Seattle roasted favorite (see Cafe Vita Phinney Ridge blog).  Other wildly good goodies available depending when you visit are the blueberry muffins, ginger molasses cookies, mini chocolate chip cupcakes, and breakfast and lunch choices abound, for example the “eggle” a bagle with egg, or spicy chicken chilli or quiche.

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It’s quiet, warm, welcoming, friendly, all in all, highly recommended!  Check out the Menu.

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Edy Kizaki

Best Bike Shop in Seattle

May 31, 2011 in Green Lake, Shopping

wowsyGregg’s Cycle Shop is deservedly famous in Seattle.  Voted Best Bike Shop in Western Washington in 2009, this large and super stocked bicycle trove has been here in Green Lake since it first opened it’s doors in 1937.

Now owned and operated by the third generation of Greggs, the cycle shop has expanded from it’s first incarnation at Green Lake to include a location in Bellevue and one at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood.  Stan Gregg, a lifelong Seattle resident, has been competing in the cycling pro world since 1986.  He has won many medals including, according to the hisotry, 15 national and 9 international medals!  Wow.

When you enter the store (“shop” makes it sound a lot smaller than it is) you will probably appreciate that it’s divided up into five or six distinct spaces.  There is an accessories wing, a small showroom with attentive clerks, a pro shop (for bikes over about $3000), a huge barn-like showroom with bikes lined up on floors walls, and ceiling, and then some other sections like for shoes and helmets.best

While I was there I saw numerous cyclists with their bikes in tow come in the doors for help on an adjustment or to get some necessity.  Green Lake is a center for all kinds of sports and fitness activity, as well as the enjoyment of the fresh air in just walking the lake and taking in the sun, so it’s kind of a no brainer that a cycle shop would make it’s home here.  What makes Gregg’s special is the long and devoted history to cycling and to the community too.

Here is a Yelp review by Nick F. which will give you a little bit of a taste of what Gregg’s is all about:

“I’ve bought bikes from different stores over the years around in the Seattle area.  I was always impressed with Gregg’s.  The other day me and girlfriend decided to go shopping for a bike.  I recommended Gregg’s based on my past experiences at three other shops in the area.  We showed up in the bike section of the store and were immediately asked if we needed help by Curtis.

UpsideDownCurtis was awesome to work with. He was very patient with us and our crazy request for something sort of cruiser like and sort of hybrid like.  He spent several hours with us (basically up to nearly closing time), putting up with our wishy-washiness of hemming and hawing over a few bikes.  He walked us through the bike selection process very effectively (we’re totally not regular bikers).

My girlfriend test drive a few bikes and he even gave me a bike to ride with her as she tried them out.  Then Curtis helped us install some of the items on the bike and even helped us with items we wanted but he didn’t have on-hand that could be ordered online (special seats, specific handle bars, etc).  He didn’t try to sell us the more expensive bikes, he helped her find the _right_ bike for her needs.  Best of all the brands they carry are very well designed and solid.

While we waited for them to add a few things to the bike he helped us with helmets and made sure she had it properly adjusted.  He really went the extra mile and was hilarious to boot.  We walked away with a beautiful new bike excitement to get riding again.  While we spend a slightly more than my girlfriend expected going in (she was a first time buyer and had some notion that it would be a bit cheeper), I felt it was about right given the type of bike and all the accessories she wanted. Comparatively Greggs is pretty damn competitive on price to most other bike shops and doesn’t push the high-end or spendy equipment.”

thanks

Accessories