Restaurants are open, and that is great news for those of us who miss indoor dining, who enjoy food attractively arranged on real plates and the company of our friends and families seated together as we commune over our cuisine.
On the other hand, restaurants are scrambling a bit to hire the staff needed to fill in the extra hours as demand increases for in-house dining reservations.
George Sharawy seeks staff looking for long-term relationships in the soon-to-open restaurant, Kahlo’s Cantina, located at 102 Main St. in Edmonds, right by the Washington State Ferries Edmonds-Kingston terminal.
I could hear the concern in Sharawy’s voice as we spoke. “I am super picky, I know, but I need to find people who want to join my team and are committed to the long term.” His desire is to have a “family–oriented team.”
Sharawy’s enthusiasm bounced back as he described to me his vision for operations at Kahlo’s. They plan to have intensive training sessions for all the people they hire. “Classes will be every week!” The uncertainty over adequate staff is a challenge to establishing a date for the business opening day.
Sharawy has weathered many challenges and delays as the job site progress stalled, and came to a halt on several occasions, due to COVID issues. Vandals even climbed the tall chainlink fencing that surrounded the site to rip off the plants put into place outside on the patio and grounds. That meant more time spent to replant and replace fixtures.
Ironically, as he sits on the lovely patio viewing the ferry boat traffic, loading and unloading, he’s a passenger on a vessel that’s metaphorically out to sea and can’t seem to reach port. Hard to believe that almost two years ago we ran the following article.
Many business owners I’ve interviewed express that this last 12 months seem to be stagnant, time standing still, no forward progress — or tiny steps maybe — on any projects in the works.
Progress is happening: Just look at the beautiful interior shots of Kahlo’s restaurant.
There is even a large portrait of the establishment’s name sake, artist Frida Kahlo. The space is gorgeous, and there is a private room which can be booked for special events and parties.
Restaurant News is excited to taste all the dishes that will be served up at Kahlo’s. Parrilladu Mixta? Pescado Serendeado Rellenos? Taste buds tingle and I anticipate a virtual vacation into the interior of Mexico, and memories of seafood cocktails on the beach of Mazatlan.
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Across the I-5, a new Thai restaurant has opened to rave reviews from the local community.
I love Thai cuisine, so naturally I had to investigate Thai Family Cuisine in Mountlake Terrace. The online ordering system had a few minor challenges, which are expected on opening week…the ability to put a time for pickup into the system daunted me, and a quick phone call ensued, resulting in better communication. The owner seemed to take note and promised to contact his website manager to correct this problem.
For the first-time customer, I will advise to get good directions via Google maps or whatever system you prefer. The address registers just fine, but when one pulls into the large parking area, the tiny shop is a bit difficult to locate. Due to delays in approval, their nice big sign is not yet on the front of their establishment.
Our order was waiting when I located the restaurant and pulled into the parking space. Food items traveled well. Hot and fresh, flavors still bright and tasty when I opened containers back in my own kitchen. Spoiler alert– most of the “pretty food shots” were supplied by the restaurant (Sticky Black Rice dessert and Tom Kha were the exceptions).
Tom Kha (noted as gluten-free): The soup has pleasant citrusy nose, the coconut soup is rich with mushrooms, red onion and tomatoes, the seasoning of lime leaf, lemongrass, galangal, lime juices is refreshing, and spoonfuls topped with cilantro pleased all of us.
Pad Kee Mao: I love wide rice noodles, and these met expectations. Stir-fried in a pungent chili sauce with egg, and topped with mushrooms, plus lots of color from Chinese broccoli, slices of carrot, onion, bell pepper and fresh basil, and a nice surprise — cherry tomatoes.
Pineapple Fried Rice: This is a staple of our family take-out meals, and we are picky about the quality. This dish passed with flying colors. The stir-fried jasmine rice was succulent, tender and colorful with yellow curry powder. Huge chunks of pineapple joined shredded carrot, onion, raisin and cashew nuts combined with moist and tender strips of egg. Our order contained pork, nice strips of tenderloin, and this dish shared by three people left everyone satisfied.
Curry (noted as gluten-free): So many choices and only so much room in the tummy, but we settled on green for our first order. Green curry sauce blended into coconut milk, held many treats in the bowl: Thai eggplant, green beans, bell pepper, and sweet Thai basil in perfect proportions, and a very generous portion of chicken breast made this dish plenty for two.
Readers, do note that if one desires rice with curry, it needs to be ordered separately.
Ah, dessert: I settled on Black Sticky Rice Pudding. I loved the texture of the short grain black rice, combined with toasted coconut and topped with coconut crème, and a few bites finished off the meal just perfectly.
Thai Family Restaurant
21005 44th Ave. W., Ste. 101
Call 425-582-7305 or order online here.
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In the works: construction updates
The Cottage: Work has begun on the retail and bakery space in Perrinville, on the Edmonds/Lynnwood border. The lack of a fixed retail location certainly doesn’t deter shoppers who queue up every Saturday morning in their popup location in Perrinville. Lots of special treats filled the tables.
Keep consumers engaged in your business is good strategy. Here’s a great example, as The Cottage invites social media followers to post a picture of how they transform their Cottage products into tasty treats using #CottageCommunityMakes on Facebook or Instagram to be entered and win a free loaf of breads. They choose a new winner each week.
Niles Peacock Kitchen and Bar: Niles Peacock keeps us highly entertained with shots of his progress on his establishment in Edmonds’ Salish Crossing complex. Not only is he shopping for plants, he is patronizing other local businesses to feed his work crew and applying his skills to fixtures within his establishment.
Happy spring — the sun is supposed to be out for most of the coming week. So opportunities to dine “al fresco” might beckon to those still not ready for the indoor experience just yet.
— 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.