Growth and progress in our local establishments is awesome. I feel privileged as the Edmonds Restaurant News writer to witness, first hand, endeavors in Edmonds. Our city is a destination for great food and drink.
Salish Sea Brewing Co. has expanded into the entire space at 518 Dayton St. The local Edmonds brewing business that opened in November of 2013 took over neighbor Canarino Gelato’s space in 2015 and completed its expansion in April.
The third installment — a full restaurant kitchen fills the former Segway of Edmonds space with aromas of sizzling burgers, baked goods and more. Owner Jeff Barnett says the City of Edmonds has been a pleasure work with, every step of the way. “They have embraced the growth of Salish Sea Brewing Co.,” he adds.
“I’ve been so busy getting the new restaurant at the brewery started that I’ve hardly had time to spend with my family,” the industrious dad and husband says. “I spend regular evenings covering shifts for all aspects of the business: front and back of the house… …I am arms deep washing dishes, preparing meals, serving guests, up at 4 a.m. to make the beer, there well after closing to clean up, putting out fires.”
At a recent visit, Barnett introduced me to Chef Mark Amsberry. Born and raised in Edmonds, Amsberry graduated from the culinary program at Seattle Central College and has traveled to and cooked at diverse destinations. “I’ve served groups of two to three thousand,” Mark says his most unusual “chef gig” was at a Dude ranch.
Barnett says “local staff” is a big part of his success and shares staff with a few other local establishments like Cheesemonger’s Table and Epulo. This ensures workers have enough hours to earn a living. “We have great staff and they work hard to make this a success as well. I am proud of our crew, and fortunate to have their support.”
The menu’s focus on Salish Sea-sourced items means diners can enjoy made-from-scratch entrees like steamed mussels. Our dish arrived filled with tender mussels in a Thai-inspired spicy red curry coconut broth. Ample bread accompanied the dish to sop up every last bit of that liquor too.
A new twist on the pretzels meant I abandoned my low-carb diet for the night. Deep-fried twists of dough with two delicious dips to choose from, and both disappeared with the last bite of the crispy carbs.
More new spots
Arashi Ramen. Front and center at the Ranch Market complex 22511 Highway 99 #105, in Edmonds, the newest addition to our Asian food scene had escaped my notice.
My erstwhile dining partner and spouse needed fresh sprouts for a dish at home. He spotted the “Now Open” sign as he shopped for produce. “Let’s go,” I said.
Arashi Ramen has a sign on the wall: “The essence of ramen is in the soup our signature soup. Tonkotsu is handcrafted by Master Chef Daisuke Ueda, with premium ingredients and simmered over sixteen hours.”
Their extensive ramen menu features items for every taste and diet discipline. Their signature Tonkotsu comes with seasoned eggs, bean sprouts, black garlic, and other exotic-sounding ingredients like chopped chashu — made with pork flank, which is also called pork belly or side pork.
There is even a creamy veggie ramen for those who do not eat meat. The vegetarian broth flavor complemented the dish and my spouse declared it “every bit as flavorful” as the Tonkotsu.
A whole separate menu lists toppings. Want to punch up the flavor? Choose from seasoned ground pork, seasoned eggs, green onions, bamboo sprouts, black garlic oil, fried onions or a homemade spicy paste.
Appetizers include Japanese fried chicken with various sauces; pan-fried pork and chicken pot stickers. Always on the lookout for the unusual, I spotted item A-4, Takoyaki, an appetizer made from octopus. Tender orbs adorned with a thinly sliced Bonito flake garnish, tendrils waved in the air as the server brought our dish to the table. The flavorful gossamer strands added a subtle flavor to the dish. The decorations of a Japanese-style mayo, drizzled about the dish make it a delight for the eyes as well as for the palate.
Ramen noodle: who knew they could be so perfectly cooked? Al dente noodles contrasted with succulent pork, which fell apart in my mouth. Super lean too, considering that it is pork belly. The ginger, green onion and other vegetable and herbal ingredients were so fresh tasting they must have been added seconds before the dish was presented at our table. The broth has a rich, creamy consistency, due to that 16-hour cooking cycle, I’m sure.
Hot tea: Steaming mugs filled with silken bags full of with toasted rice and green tea, Genmaicha is the proper name. The sacks allowed plenty of room for proper brewing. Prompt attention to a request for a refill of hot water was appreciated.
Cheerful greetings are standard practice as each and every customer enters the front door. My spouse mentioned this is a fun place, and he was right.
More next door! I stepped back to snap an exterior shot at Arashi Ramen and noticed yet another new spot. Bambu Desserts and Drinks will open a location in Edmonds very soon. This spot will specialize in Vietnamese-inspired Chè, coffees, teas and fresh fruit smoothies.
Ok, Coffee, tea and smoothies, but what is Chè? The website www.drinkbambu.com has detailed information on ingredients. Here is the short answer. Chè is a Vietnamese word for home-made beverages, dessert drinks and puddings. Our Chè is made to order using freshly-cut coconut, water or daily prepared coconut milk combined with select exotic, healthy and delicious ingredients.
Gift suggestions for Dad
A gift certificate is always a hit, always the correct size and fit. Local area restaurants offer gift cards with dinner for Dad, but if father loves to cook, consider the gift of a culinary class.
Just in time for summer, father of two daughters and three successful business ventures in Edmonds, owner Chef Shubert Ho launches a series of cooking classes in the Salt & Iron private event space. The series launches Tuesday, June 13 with a “Summer Dinner with Friends” theme, and it’s a great opportunity to enjoy a fun and festive and educational, evening with a group of friends.
The class is mostly demonstration, with Chef Shubert showing attendees tips and techniques, but there will be some hands-on activities as well. Class cost is $125 per guest (credit card deposit required) and class is limited to 25 guests.
The menu includes:
Welcome Beverage: Passion Fruit Cooler
Chef Shubert will help you welcome your guests with a delicious and refreshing cocktail.
Course 1: Fresh Oysters on the Half- three ways
Chef Shubert will show you how to shuck oysters as well as prepare them three different ways, sure to impress your incoming hungry guests.
Course 2: Grilled Vegetable Citrus Salad
Chef Shubert will prepare a wonderful summer salad to complement the family-style meal to come over the next course.
Course 3: Play on Paella
Inspired by the luxurious seafood and rice dish Paella, Chef Shubert will show his altered version that consists of a creamy risotto filled with a bounty of fresh seafood!
Course 4: Mason jar Trifle
A simply sweet way to conclude your meal with a no-bake dessert that is easy to make yet delicious enough for even the fullest guest.
Each course will be paired with a glass of wine, cocktail or specific non-alcoholic beverage. To register, call Salt & Iron at 425-361-1112 (credit card deposit required)
Graduations on schedule, as usual
While the rest of the student body has class until the end of June, the senior class will graduate on schedule. Coming up: Scriber Lake High School will graduate on Thursday, June 15 at 5 p.m., Edmonds-Woodway holds commencement on Saturday, June 17 at 7 p.m., Lynnwood on June 19 at 6:30 p.m., Meadowdale on Friday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m., and Mountlake Terrace also on Saturday, June 17 at 1 p.m.
Edmonds-area restaurants encourage families to plan ahead since the celebrations for Father’s Day and gatherings for graduations will overlap next weekend.
Whatever your reason to celebrate this month, options abound for every occasion.
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.