Winthrop 2011

This is the second entry for this kind of trip….check out my June 2010 post, you won’t want to skip it!  As there are tips for the trip!  www.winthropwashington.com/ 

StayHotel Rio Vista –  accommodating staff, convenient location, outstanding housekeeping , on the river (room with a view).  The deluxe king rooms are open and relaxing.  Ladies take note…the sink and vanity are in the main room as part of the kitchenette.  http://hotelriovista.com/

EatRocking Horse Bakery serves freshly baked artisan breads and bagels, pastries, scones, muffins, and specialty cakes, pies and cookies. For lunch, try a “made-from-scratch” soup, sandwich, salad or pizza.  Many are made daily and feature local ingredients. And if you are a lover of coffee, they serve 100% organic, fair trade coffee and espresso roasted locally in Winthrop by Backcountry Coffee Roasters.  Try the tasty croissant filled with asagio cheese and bacon.  http://www.rockinghorsebakery.com/

Carlos 1800 – Here’s to the Globo!  The chips (warm and salty) are a favorite and the fish and carne asada tacos won’t disappoint.  Not a big fan of the rice and beans though.  The manager is upbeat and friendly.  With all the margaritas they serve, an additional bartender may be needed on weekends.  I found that others may have had slow service.  http://carlos1800.com/

Sheri’s Sweet Shop – my annual scoop of  Moose Tracks in a cup – yum!  The raspberry truffle and homemade blackberry were good as well.

Shop –  Winthrop Mountain Sports carries a wide variety (and high quality) recreational goods and apparel.  This time, I purchased a pair of fuzzy slippers and flip-flops (the high-end kind).  I always want to try on clothes here, but normally do not have the time or am not in the mood…one of these days.  Other shops I have taken a liking to: the Winthrop information/visitor center (stop by, say Hi!, sign their guest book, and offer a donation), chat with the gentleman at Glassworks,  and stop in at Aspen Grove, Habitat, and Inside Out Home & Garden.

AttractionWinthrop Wine Festival – a nice selection of wineries with live music in an open park setting; this makes for an enjoyable and relaxing Saturday afternoon.  Beebe Springs Natural Area – this 180-acre area just opened last month and is a planned stream restoration project for increased spawning and rearing of endangered steelhead.  I noticed the birds really enjoy it!  It includes wildlife-viewing facilities, park benches, interpretive signs, walking trails, and fabulous American Indian sculptures that welcome you.  Beebe Springs lies along Highway 97 south of Chelan on the Lake Entiat reservoir of the Columbia River, adjacent to the Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)’s Chelan Fish Hatchery north of Chelan.  Parts of the path and viewing area is currently covered with part of the Columbia River (see pic below)…but sure to recede soon as summer is upon us, hopefully.  A parking permit is suggested (actually required, but I must say, as this is right along the main highway, it is a nice place for travelers to visit, and it is unlikely that many of them may have this permit), as we did not.  Stop and take a walk!

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Jumpin’ June

Munchbar – located at the Bellevue Collection (Bellevue Square) in Bellevue, WA, this chain is lively and rockin’. Love the music heard above! Don’t come looking to be too healthy as there are some pretty good-looking comfort foods here, like crispy mac ‘n cheese bites and sloppy jack sliders. As this was my first time here, I tried the Burger in a Bowl – YUM! A really nice mix of crisp iceberg lettuce, beef, shredded cheddar cheese, crispy onions, chopped tomatoes and smoked bacon. It comes with a “fancy sauce” but I asked for blue cheese instead. They do a really nice job of not adding too much dressing, it was just enough. This is a really tasty dish. My friend and I thought the beef was a bit too charbroiled, regardless of how it is cooked. Overall, I would definitely have this dish again. Check out their menu at http://www.munchgroup.com/bellevue/

Re:public – located at 429 Westlake Avenue N.  in the vibrant South Lake Union area of Seattle, this is a hot spot for happy hour!  I had not been to this area in awhile (although, I didn’t realize it when I stopped in at Serious Pie in early March) and was surprised to see the new growth – Amazon’s new headquarters, Tommy Bahama headquarters, Microsoft, PATH, others…  While at re:public, I must have seen 5 different people run by, as it seems that people tend to seek recreation in this area as well. 

Now on to re:public.  Really like the decor…the ability to open the windowed “garage” door to the street outside is always a draw, especially during the summer months.  There is a nice variety of seating options – booths in the dining area, tables and high tables/stools.  I am glad I was able to try this newbie…happy hour consisted of good mix of professionals, although I must say, it is one of the noisiest places I’ve been to.  We pretty much had to yell to have a conversation.  But, as the evening went on, the clientele diversified and the atmosphere was more dining casual with flair.  I was surprised to see that they had one server taking care of the dining area of the bar.  Best happy hour in the area a friendly gent sitting next to us noted.  If ordering wine by the glass…it was nice that the server would bring over the bottle to taste.  A variety was had this night.  Appetizers…Pomme Frites, Artisanal cheeses served with bread.  Dinner….Baby Lettuces, Pan-Roasted Alaskan Halibut, Pork Angoloti.  Dessert….Ricotta Fritti (really good carmelized bosc pear with cinnamon cream),  Chocolate Budino (toasted marshmallow gelato, graham cracker crumbs).  I think the consensus was that is was good but lacking a distinct flavor.  Sandwiches at lunch are recommended.  http://www.republicseattle.com/

Olive You!  Olive You, located on Kirkland Ave. in Kirkland, WA.  A lovely sunny Friday in June for outdoor dining, with a view of Lake Washington and the hustle and bustle of downtown Kirkland.  Kirkland has to be one of the most inviting areas of Puget Sound.  It is near the water, has good quality restaurants and boutique shopping. There is the gallery walk on the second Thursday of every month.   http://www.explorekirkland.com/   At Olive You!.. have you tried their Spanikopita yet?  This is not your ordinary spanikopita – baby spinach, sheep milk feta, and carmelized onion wrapped in a delicious phyllo dough pastry.  The devilish Prawns (ok) and Dips Love (hummus and the like) – pretty good .  The spanikopita was my favorite.  Olive You!  has a really nice sangria – not like any other I have had…would love the recipe.  The service is so-so, reviews are so-so.  They serve breakfast too!   http://olive-you.com/

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) – I am adding this group outing as it is one of my oldies but goodies.  I first went to CPK in Atlanta at Lenox Square in the mid-1980’s.  The BBQ Chicken Pizza was the hit at the time.  It is still good…but now, although I don’t get to CPK but once a year or so, my real fave is Pear Gorgonzola pizza!  This can’t be beat in my opinion!  It is made up of caramelized pears, gorgonzola, fontina and mozzarella cheeses, caramelized sweet onions and chopped hazelnuts. Topped with field greens tossed in a gorgonzola ranch dressing.  As our server, Tong was excellent – very observant and timely.  Our entire group enjoyed their selections.   http://cpk.com/

Boom Noodle is located in both Bellevue Square (Bellevue), University Village and Capitol Hill (Seattle) and brings you great flavors from all over Asia.  Boom Noodle is airy with a modern and “green” decor.  Items tried were Yaki Udon, a decent selection if you like the Udon noodle, which is thicker and not so much round yet might have a flat edge to it.  The dish was especially interesting as they top it with the “dancing” bonito flake which looks like “something” is moving on it.  A bit weird, but it calms down after a bit.  The second dish ordered was the Beef Yakisoba.  I will say that I would probably order different dishes if I go again.  Check out the nice variety or items at http://www.boomnoodle.com/v2/food.html

On a brilliant night of June…

“Roses are red,
Violets are blue;
But they don’t get around
Like the dandelions do.”
Slim Acres

 “Tell you what I like the best —
‘Long about knee-deep in June,
‘Bout the time strawberries melts
On the vine, — some afternoon
Like to jes’ git out and rest,
And not work at nothin’ else!”
James Witcomb Riley, Knee Deep in June

 “There are moments, above all on June evenings, when the lakes that hold our moons are sucked into the earth, and nothing is left but wine and the touch of a hand.”
Charles Morgan

 “In a bowl to sea went wise men three,
On a brilliant night of June:
They carried a net, and their hearts were set
On fishing up the moon.”
Thomas Love Peacock

 “A summer’s sun is worth the having.”
French Proverb