Restaurant News: ‘No Seats, Just Eats!’ Flyin’ Taco brings its truck to Edmonds, plus Gig Harbor food delights

 

Chef Kyle Marty

No Seats, Just Eats! That’s the motto of Flyin’ Taco, which has transitioned from a to-go startup to a fully fledged taco truck serving up amazing fare in Edmonds. This truck is operated by Chef Kyle Marty, and staffed by support of family members like his mom, Jean Marty.

Examples from his parents on how to be creative and independent have shaped his life.

“Mom was a seamstress back in early family years and sold her clothes at family garage sales,” he said, chuckling as he reminisced. “Her fitting room was in our garage too.”

His father, David Marty, a talented graphic artist, retired to paint full-time. His works are available locally and in other locations.

His mom’s example inspired Kyle to pursue his dreams, and last weekend he watched some of his nieces and nephews organize their own garage sale complete with a lemonade stand. He says the support of his entire family has been a gift in pursuing his dream business.

Kyle (back row, second from left) with members of his family.

A bit of history: Kyle and his brother were both adopted from Bulgaria. The family adopted Kyle’s brother first through an organization called All God’s Children, and when they learned that Kyle existed, they adopted him to reunite with his brother. As often happens in adoption situations, his parents were blessed with another child during this process, so his mom gave birth, and welcomed her adoptive sons, taking their family from three to five in the space of about a year.

Kyle Marty’s business trajectory is what I call the COVID Pivot.

A graduate of Northwest University, Kyle spent 10 years working as a minister, and says his contacts within youth ministry offer opportunities for teens to develop as workers for his Flyin’ Taco.

A career at Nordstrom, followed by an uninspired direct sales marketing job, made him realize he needed to shift again — he rekindled his love of food.

Bistro 76, the Perrinville neighborhood eatery and catering business, hired him as a catering manager, and he enjoyed working with the team, but COVID closed that opportunity.

Kyle decided to reinvent himself and began selling Street Taco Boxes.

12-count Street Taco Box

The boxes contained 12 tacos plus sides and condiments and were delivered straight to the customers’ doors.

Demand for taco boxes encouraged the next step, a taco truck. A successful fundraising campaign made this step a reality.

Kyle Marty with his Flyin’ Taco truck at the Edmonds Marina.

Flyin’ Taco is currently located, three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) in the parking lot at Grace Lutheran Church, 1212 9th Ave. N., Edmonds. The Flyin’Taco Facebook page is the most reliable spot to see times and updates on locations.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays he is busy smoking brisket, which is a 12-hour process. Time spent prepping other ingredients fill his hours when the truck is not open.

Hands-on work is the chef’s style — not just on the grilling and smoking of meat portions and vegetables but all the sauces and crema are handmade by Chef Kyle.

Kyle shared that he is in the process of obtaining a new smoker — one with three shelves and each will hold 12 briskets. That will help keep up with the demand for the brisket tacos.

Kyle is exploring other possibilities for truck locations; his desire is to stay in the Edmonds area. “I grew up in Edmonds” he said, so “our goal is for the truck to stay active in our community.”

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In Gig Harbor, our dog picked the restaurant!

A recent trip to a sister community, Gig Harbor, yielded some wonderful eateries, not just on the waterfront, but tucked into some surprising locations scattered about the area.

The best surprise of all was the sandwich bar at Harbor Greens, a small, family-owned grocery that reminded me of the flagship store of the Central Market group — the Town and Country Market on Bainbridge Island.

So… our elkhound Gordon actually led us to Harbor Greens. On a walk near the complex, he strained so hard at his leash, literally pulled my hubby up the steps and onto the plant-bedecked patio at the rear of the store. His efforts did not go unrewarded: Doggie treats are doled out to pets, as the grocery is dog-friendly.

Harbor Greens is part of a condominium complex on 56th Street, on the western side of Highway 16 that cuts through the community of Gig Harbor. Lucky are the residents of this complex: They have the best of everything delicious, and no need to even get into their cars to obtain the bounty of various eateries.

Entering the store, our noses were treated to sweet strawberries from local growers; apricots and other farm-fresh produce tempted as well. But we were on a mission: Hungry men needed to be fed.

The menu selections are sure to please everyone: Hot (panini grilled) and cold sandwiches are served using slices of bread and rolls freshly baked each day. Fillings of deli meats and cheese, tuna salad and vegetarian fare — sandwiches with names like the Green Monster and The Warrior — tempted. Priced right too: Generous-sized sandwiches all under $10.

Veggie Green Monster sandwich at Harbor Greens.

My veggie-lovin hubby tucked into a Green Monster and sighed: Onions, peppers, olives, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, Ppepperoncini, pickles, spring mix and sprouts were held in place by a smooth hummus spread on honey wheat bread.

Tuna sandwich

I love a good tuna sandwich, and “ecstasy” is the best descriptor for this offering. Creamy tuna salad, fresh greens and sprouts, plus pickles, tucked into marble rye.  I was glad to walk back to our hotel; I needed to burn off calories. And for once, I didn’t want any dessert!

Reuben sandwich

The Reuben delighted our son: a switch to provolone instead of the standard Swiss cheese, lean grilled meat and sauerkraut between two grilled crisp slices of that rye.

Housed in this same complex is Forza coffee shop and wine bar, which offers baked pastries and other items that pair well with both libations offered to customers. So many opportunities and only so much capacity in the tummy!

A drive across Highway 16 shows the “other part” of Gig Harbor and is full of wonderful places to eat right down on the waterfront.

We enjoyed sandwiches from a little bakery called Suzanne‘s. They do various kinds of Italian cold cuts, tuna, panini, quiche and salads. One can get a side salad of either fresh greens or pasta with basil pesto, which I highly recommend, having enjoyed on several occasions.

The writer’s son, Edmonds musician Nick Baker, sits outside Suzanne’s Bakery in Gig Harbor.

All bread is freshly baked one can choose half size or whole sandwiches assembled from focaccia, wheat, ciabatta or — on occasion — some specialty breads like rye. Also an excellent source for your sweet tooth, they almost always have amazing cinnamon rolls, reminiscent of the delicious pastries crafted by Jerilyn Brusseau in Edmonds for many years. Pies are offered by the slice or sometimes if you’re lucky you can score a whole pie to take home and share with the family.

Cookies, brownies, scones plus housemade granola and biscotti complete the list. There is outdoor dining on a deck overlooking a sweet fruit orchard. Shaded bistro tables are queued along the front sidewalk as well.

A word to the wise, unless you have a very relaxed schedule, plan to phone ahead to Suzanne’s for your order for takeout, especially on weekends. They are extremely popular.

Discovering other eateries is sort of like going on a treasure hunt. On both sides of Highway 16, little eateries offer much more to munch on, so don’t feel locked into any one location — just sayin’.

Among these are rstaurants tucked into unexpected places — like The Hub, located at the Tacoma Narrows airport. One of several Tacoma locations, this spot provides sustenance and locally produced sides.

Pizza at The Hub

Their specialty is pizza. A sign outside says “Pizza on the fly!” but I’m hooked on the great happy hour offerings. From street tacos to great sushi, their little kitchen cranks out fine fare, burgers and other sandwich options. Even some comfort food like mac and cheese.

The only caveat I’ll mention is dining out of doors while the planes are taking off and landing… well, just be warned.

The Hub is located at Tacoma Narrows Airport.

We’d spent our last afternoon in Gig Harbor listening to blues music as part of the Make Music Day celebration. The concert venue was spread out on the sidewalks and public areas of the Uptown Shopping center on Pointe Fosdick Drive.

Folks in Lynnwood know about Blazing Onion, and sure enough there’s a location at Uptown Shopping mall — right in the center of the music concert action. Thankful to spot this location, we ordered burgers.  We hit the road with a to-go order of good old cheeseburgers with a side of nice fat fries, my favorites as many know, and enjoyed dining at tables in the shade in front of the Inn at Gig Harbor.

Blazing Onion burger and fat fries

Our original intent was to try out more of the authentic Mexican fare at Blue Agave. However, its proximity to the main performance stage meant it was packed that afternoon. We’d dined there the day before, so here’s the skinny:

Blue Agave exterior

Chile relleno is offered in both rojo and verde… So yours truly had one of each. Both were sauced well, the finely breaded crisp coatings yielded to the fork, and cheese oozed out to greet the chips I had ready. I was pleased to have the option of a salad rather than the traditional rice and beans on my plate, which meant room for finishing off both — sharing a few bites with friends, of course.

Ceviche was served up with plenty of accompaniment in the form of crisp flat tortillas, plus several varieties of sauce. The salsa bar inside the restaurant further supplied us with all we needed to enjoy this fresh seafood dish.

A warning for those whose eyes can be bigger than their tummy: Plan to either share or take home a good size portion of any burritos on the menu.

Blue Agave burrito

My son ordered up the special Blue Agave burrito, which included four types of protein: shrimp, chicken, pulled pork and beef.  Along with rice and beans, this would be a meal you could share with a friend or two… Maybe three.

Gig Harbor feels a little like Edmonds, the waterfront especially. Boat owners might want to consider beating the I-5 southbound traffic, and avoiding the ferry’s long lines as they do offer dock space to visiting boaters.

Hope my descriptions entice you all to get out and travel, maybe a little day trip? So many great spots to choose from and yet, like most I am always happy to come back home to dine again at our great local restaurants.

Wishing everyone a cool, safe and happy 4th!

— By Kathy Passage

A specialty gourmet food broker for over 30 years, Kathy Passage has in-depth knowledge on food and the special qualities of ingredients used in the exquisite products she helped bring to market. Kathy brings this unique perspective from the “other side of the plate” to writing about the food and restaurant scene in Edmonds, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace.

 

 

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