Category Archives: Restaurants & Shops

Family and Kid-Friendly Adventures in Queen Anne

by Kate Calamusa

STROLLER ALONG & SHOP HOP

The top of Queen Anne provides a walk-and-shop tour that’s short enough for little legs to keep up. Starting at the intersection of Queen Anne Avenue North and West Boston Street, head first into Blue Highway Games (see below). Filled with rare and unique games, the shop also offers snacks and playing tables, should you want to sit and play awhile. Take a quick detour across the street to Queen Anne Dispatch (2212 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206-286-1024) to check out its selection of shoes, accessories, and precious baby clothes.

From there head south, where the delights come one after the other. Queen Anne Book Company (1811 Queen Anne Ave. N.; 206-284-2427) is everything a neighborhood bookshop should be, staffed by friendly clerks and featuring the sweetest of children’s book sections. One more block brings you to Once Upon a Time (1622 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206-284-7260), a beloved children’s clothing and toy store that even offers classes like toddler yoga. And still one more block will bring you just rewards at the end of your exploration: the hearty, satisfying portions of all-American fare at the 5Spot.

SNACK BREAK

You can also satisfy the family sweet teeth on Queen Anne. Chocolopolis (1527 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206-282-0776) melts up one of the richest cups of hot cocoa around. (Choose any chocolate bar in the store to be made into your treat.) In a red house replete with a sweet garden patio, Le Rêve Bakery &Café (1805 Queen Anne Ave. N, Suite 100; 206-623-7383) offers amazing twice-baked chocolate croissants and fruit tarts to enjoy. Next door, El Diablo Coffee Co. (see below) serves Cuban coffee and food.

HIDDEN GEMS

Most likely you’ve seen a photo snapped at Kerry Park (211 W. Highland Dr.; 206-684-4075), which is tucked somewhat obscurely into a quiet QueenAnne neighborhood. Once you find it, you’ll be awestruck by the impressive view of the Space Needle, the downtown skyline, and Elliott Bay. Take a family photo, then head down the flight of stairs to Bayview-Kinnear Park (3rd Ave. W and W. Prospect St.; 206-684-4075), where the kids can run wild by making their way across the climbing wall or sliding down slides tucked into the hillside.

Blue Highway Games
2203 Queen Anne Ave.
206-282-0540
AGES 3–5 AGES 6–9 AGES 10–14

Tucked atop Queen Anne Hill, Blue Highway Games is devoted to board games and card games, with an extensive collection of both the rare and mainstream. With tables to try out new games, plus snacks and drinks for sale (and adults-only beer and-board game nights), this charming little shop encourages gamers to stay awhile.

El Diablo Coffee Co.
1811 Queen Anne Ave. N, Suite 101
206-285-0693

This charming coffeehouse, next door to the kid-friendly Queen Anne Book Company, specializes in Cuban coffee, offering up intense cubanos, cortaditos, and cafés con leche for the adults, plus several kinds of hot chocolate (the cinnamon-spiced Mexican variety is a favorite) and a sweet toy corner for the cuties.

*(c)2017 by Kate Calamusa. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Seattle Family Adventures by permission of Sasquatch Books.

Seattle Icon: Daniel’s Broiler And Its Deep Local Roots

Daniels Broiler, situated on the shores of Lake Union, has been a Seattle landmark of fine dining for what seems like forever. With its sweeping views of Lake Union, Queen Anne and Gasworks Park in addition to its incredible menu of USDA prime steaks and chops, all prepared impeccably, Daniel’s has always been the go-to venue for holiday and celebratory meals, fine craft cocktails and some of the best steaks you’ll ever enjoy.

Recently, people have been up in arms as rumors swirled regarding the possible closing of Daniel’s Lake Union location, due to Vulcan Real Estate’s plans to redevelop the pier on which it sits. Those fears were somewhat put to rest this week when the Seattle Times reported that Daniel’s on Lake Union will not close, but will merely move to a nearby location, still along the shores of South Lake Union. It seems fabulous steaks and sweeping Lake Union vistas will remain on Daniel’s menu for years to come, and we’ll drink to that!

Over the years, Daniel’s Broiler has become a local fine dining legend in the Seattle area, synonymous with delicious, high-end meals, superb craft cocktails, incredible views and live music, outstanding service and a seemingly never ending parade of Seattle’s most interesting and beautiful people to be found on any given night, enjoying a bite or a sip. However, many of us who have grown up in the Seattle area, (particularly those of us under a certain age) know very little of the famed steakhouse’s origins.

Daniel’s has been owned and operated by The Schwartz Brothers Restaurant group since 1981, and has changed very little since its beginnings at the Leschi Marina in 1980, but it’s true roots go much deeper than that. Daniel’s Broiler was started by a man named, well, Daniel, believe it or not. Daniel Jack Sandal, to be specific.

Daniel Sandal, a born and bred Seattleite, grew up in The Emerald City’s Wallingford neighborhood, graduated from the now closed Lincoln High School, and got his start in the food industry at the World-Famous Pike Place Market. Daniel’s Grandfather, Dan Zido, founded “Dan’s Better Meats” in Pike Place Market in 1910, and it was there, (in a space at the market that is now known as the home of Italian favorite, Il Bistro) that Daniel began his love affair with meat, as a third-generation butcher.

Eventually the butcher shop moved upstairs in the market, to where you will now find “Don and Joe’s Meats” (unsurprisingly, Don and Joe are related to Dan, and have kept the family tradition of quality cuts alive in Pike Place). Dan took over the family business when his father retired and decided to expand their wholesale business drastically, with their meats soon being featured at Seattle’s finest restaurant, including Canlis, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, The Space Needle and plenty more. He also started a daily-delivered, fresh-ground meat patty service for local favorite burger joint, Dick’s Drive-In, helping to make those burgers we all know and love so darn scrumptious.

In the Early 1970’s, Dan began his foray into the restaurant world as a restaurateur himself, co-founding Benjamin’s with partner Arnold Shain. The success of Benjamin’s fueled Dan and Arnold to continue on in the restaurant game, with the opening of The Gasworks Restaurant, but eventually, they parted ways as partners.

In 1980, at the ripe, young age of 40, Daniel decided it was time to start his own place, a place for steaks and chops so terrific, people would fall in love, and that they did. The vision for the original Daniels Broiler was to be Dan’s own take on the fine dining he had grown up with in Seattle, drawing heavy inspiration from places like Canlis, but staying true to the steakhouse theme with top quality steaks and chops consistently available and prepared perfectly.

Daniel’s was a sort of experiment for Dan, as he had only ever opened and operated restaurants with partners prior to Daniel’s Broiler. He was once quoted as saying “I wanted to see if I could do it, I did it on my own so I didn’t have to deal with other’s dreams and problems and wouldn’t be at anyone else’s mercy.” And do it, he did. Daniel’s Broiler became a success from the very beginning, in its original home, located on the glistening shores of Lake Washington in the Leschi Marina.  At the time, this was a convenient location for Mercer Island and Bellevue residents, until they closed the I-90 entrance and exit on the east side of the tunnels when the second bridge was built.  Today, the original Daniel’s location serves the Mount Baker, Leschi, Madrona, Washington Park, Madison Park and Denny Blaine neighborhoods and a slew of long-time customers. 

Since being purchased by the Schwartz Brothers in late 1981, they have made very few changes to Dan Sandal’s original concept for the restaurant. The Schwartz Brothers did expand the Daniel’s brand to include locations in Bellevue (opening in 1989) and the location we all know and love, on the shores of Lake Union (since 1999), where Dan and Arnold’s first venture, Benjamin’s, once lived.

Dan Sandal passed away in 2012, but left behind a much loved and delicious legacy in Daniel’s Broiler. While many people find success in the Seattle restaurant scene, few reach the iconic status of Daniel’s Broiler, nor do they stand the test of time, untarnished and as beloved as ever the way Daniel’s has.

Daniel’s Broiler has been a Seattle staple for over 35 years, in 3 different locations, and it doesn’t appear that that will be changing anytime soon. While the Lake Union location may be moved slightly to make way for the inevitable growth and changes of a bustling city, it’s good to know it won’t be going far.

Chocolate Happy Hour

Chocolopolis truffles in display case

For those of us who love chocolate, let’s face it, any time one is savoring chocolate is considered “happy hour”. But to have a formal chocolate tasting, one of our local, fine chocolate businesses, Chocolopolis, actually has a Happy Hour. Once a week on Thursday evenings at their store (1527 Queen Anne Ave. N.), they feature a certain theme: chocolate from a certain country, how chocolate flavors vary between different regions in the world, or tastings of different “inclusion” chocolate bars that have a surprise center, to name a few. Besides selling chocolate from around the world, their fine chocolatiers also make award-winning truffles under their own brand in their on-site kitchen.

The chocolate Happy Hour tasting table, Chocolopolis.  Photo: Alethea Myers

Washington State, not just Seattle, is home to quite a few artisan chocolatiers. This isn’t surprising in the Pacific Northwest, since other artisan foods such as single-origin coffee and microbrews are highly prized for their unique taste. Around Seattle, Fran Bigelow of Fran’s Chocolate’s experimented with sprinkling sea salt on her chocolate caramels years ago, which became extremely popular and may have started the sweet & salty combo movement we see now. Frango mint chocolates at Macy’s locations are produced locally and began back in 1927. Chocolat Vitale in northern Ballard serves their own rich, European hot chocolate made from real chocolate instead of powder (and sell other chocolates, too). Theo Chocolate, a relative newcomer, is housed in a former brewery in Fremont (a hops scent is still sometimes prevalent in the lobby air), and created the first U.S. certified-organic chocolate bar. And Dilettante Chocolates started on Capitol Hill over 40 years ago, and actually make cocktails featuring their confections (Mint Kiss Martini, anyone?).

Chocolate arranged by World Region

So back to Happy Hour at Chocolopolis: One can learn much from store owner Lauren’s mother, Marcie Adler, who has worked there for 8 years since the store opened. She was guiding the tasting theme this evening: Ecuadorian chocolate in different percentages (55%, 70%), under different brands. She explained that the key to tasting fine chocolate is to let it melt on your palate, no chewing allowed, and move it around in one’s mouth since taste buds vary.

Marcie also mentioned that cacao, which chocolate is made from, only grows 20 degrees north or south of the equator, so is a specialized crop. Hawaii is the only U.S. state that can grow it. At Chocolopolis, they divide their chocolate bars into world regions (such as Asia, South America, Madagascar, others), via a handy wall chart and labeling, which makes it easier to shop for small-batch, single-origin bars. And besides making their own, some of the other beautiful truffles they stock are from Orcas Island, Los Angeles, France, Kansas City, and San Francisco.

Chocolate labelled by region, Chocolopolis

If you really want to splurge on every artisan chocolate under the sun and even take educational classes, go to the Northwest Chocolate Festival each autumn to get your fix. Or occasionally stop by for happy hour on a Thursday night in Queen Anne.

Get Your Girl Power On At The 2017 Northwest Women’s Show!

Century Link Field is about to get a heavy dose of Girl Power on March 18th and 19th!

The Northwest Women’s Show is coming back and celebrating its 29th year of showcasing the latest and greatest in fashion, health, food and fun!  Enjoy seminars, entertainment, fashion shows, and hundreds of exhibits ranging from food to jewelry to healthcare and beyond.  And don’t forget to grab some tasty snacks and a sip from the Wine & Spirits Lounge, provided by Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

If that doesn’t sound like enough fun, they’ve lined up two full days of fabulous main stage entertainment, plus another stage just for what are sure to be fascinating seminars.

Enjoy live performances including fabulously fun celebrity impersonations from The Wild and Colorful Le Faux Troop, Sexy Northwest Firemen & The Boogie Boot Babes Onstage with KMPS, see what will be hot in 2017 with a Fashion Forecast from Macy’s and more.

The complete list of scheduled seminars is still being updated, so be sure to check the website for more info and to see who you want to hear speak.

Expo Floor Map. Please click here for more details

When you’re not enjoying a great show or seminar, stroll around the exhibition floor and explore booths from lovely companies such as Stella & Dot, Damsel In Defense, Jamberry Nails, LuLaRoe, The Healthy Bra Company, Younique Cosmetics, Pampered Chef, Pure Romance and many, many more.

Be sure to stop by “Celebration Central” for exhibitions from Urban Float, Ideal Image, SubZero Ice Cream, Choukette eclair’art, Mermaid Hair Extensions and more!

This year’s event will run on Saturday March 18th from 9 AM to 5 PM and on Sunday March 19th from 10 AM to 5 PM. Sponsors for this fun and fabulous event include Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Virginia Mason Medical, Western Washington Toyota Dealers and BECU Credit Union.

The Northwest Women’s Show is an annual tradition, bringing women from all walks of life together to celebrate the beauty of the feminine, to learn about what’s new and next in fashion, food and health and to just have a good time! With two stages of entertainment and seminars, too many amazing vendors in the exhibition hall to list here, fashion shows and yummy bites and sips abound, The 2017 Northwest Women’s Show is sure to be a splendid good time and a great excuse to celebrate sisterhood!

Tickets are only $17 and are available here.

Buy your tickets before February 28th and save $3!