Show of hands, readers: How many of you have been to a “Honey Tasting”? I’m sure many have attended a fair share of wine tastings, and with the recent addition of Scratch, our awesome local distillery, we can add gin, vodka and whiskey tastings to our repertoire. But, honey tasting was offered at Hunni Co. and I was intrigued.
Hunni Co. had a soft opening, back in January. I stopped by to get a taste and learned about local honey, our bee community and how Karin Butler came to open her honey of a shop, at Salish Crossing.
Karin and Eric met in 2000 and became a creative couple. Eric hung up his UW Huskies helmet to stay at home with their children while Karin worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington. In addition to four boys, Eric has fathered several successful brands, including Eric’s Famous Energy Soda and other products see ericsfamous.com for more details.
Karin says “Eric is the creative idea guy.” She enthusiastically supports his concepts. “He comes up with an idea and I do my best to make it happen.”
Hunniwater products have penetrated the marketplace and can be purchased at PCC and in other regional chains, and nationally in Whole Foods and Safeway stores.
Hunniwater was the impetus for opening the Hunni Co shop in Edmonds. Karin’s goal: “I want to promote kindness, sweetness and goodness with our Hunni Co business.”
Karin provides education for the customer by offering tastes of the varieties, most from local beekeepers, including a delicious and rare maple honey. Created by bees that favor the pollen of local maple trees, this maple honey is only gathered every six years. One taste may inspire you to take home one of the lovely jars, complete with a wooden dipper.
A portion of Hunni Co. offers space for the community to gather and be educated. Karin envisions classes to teach attendees all about bees, their migration, how to manage a hive of your own, and kid-friendly activities. Karin shared a packet of Bee Feed Mix, created by Territorial Seed Company. She hopes this will encourage young home gardeners to plant the flowers that attract pollinators to their yards.
Hunni Co. partners include Seattle Tilth and Big Dipper Wax Works. The shop is filled with lovely items: candles crafted from bee’s wax, items of apparel that express support and love for bees, gift sets and, of course, the premier drink — Hunniwater.
Grand Opening is next Friday, Feb 26. Keep informed of event news via their Facebook page.
Food from road trips, memorable meals from places nearby…sort of!
Back from her recent adventures in Central and South America, Here and There Grill owner Julie Malcolm has created new menu items. Lomo Saltado, a Peruvian stir fry of sliced flank steak, red onion, tomatoes and French fries in soy/vinegar sauce, served over rice with cilantro. The fries, a street food twist, were a delicious addition to the dish. I’ll watch my inbox for next week’s menu. To be added to culinary communications, see www.hereandthere.com
Travel to Portland meant an opportunity to try out new restaurants. I’m never shy when I find delicious food and have to share. After all, it’s only a train ride away and the journey starts at Amtrak here in Edmonds.
Ever wonder about the word Yardarm? The Yard House, an eatery in Portland’s Pioneer Square, serves local crafted beer, by the Half-Yard, a very tall, skinny Pilsner glass that is a replica of a nautical yard arm.
I had to ask, and here is what I found out. The yardarms on a sailing ship are horizontal timbers or spars mounted on the masts, from which the square sails are hung. The word yard here is from an old Germanic word for a pointed stick, the source also of our unit of measurement for the glass serving vessel.
My hubby wisely chose smaller serving vessels and could sample several of the local quaffs. The menu lists over 100 taps too, so no easy task.
Now this place is a national chain, there is a location in Seattle too, but oh their food is NOT that of a chain sports bar! In Portland, even a loud rowdy restaurant’s fare is held to a certain culinary standard.
I had a sandwich that I’ll call “Sushi meets Grille,” but was listed on menu as a Seared Ahi Steak sandwich. Still pink, the tuna steak smothered in caramelized onions, melted Swiss and garnished with arugula and peppercorn aioli was almost too good to share. I did give away a few bites, mostly to garner a slice of my hubby’s Margherita Pizza. Not the traditional pie offered at most pizza joints, this thin crust supported a generous slabs of melted mozzarella, roasted Roma tomatoes, roasted garlic and ribbons of fresh basil. I blush to admit I had no need for a “to-go” box.
A cookbook by Adam and Jackie Sappington called “Heartlandia” led me to the Montavilla area, a Portland neighborhood reminiscent of Adam’s hometown in Missouri, and an unforgettable meal at The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar. Here is a quote that sums up the cuisine: “The heaven’s in the hog and the gospel’s in the grits.” Vegans, read no further: This restaurant is all about the meat. Even the Bloody Mary topping included a thin slab of jerky at the end of the pickle- and olive-laden skewer.
Crazy busy on a Monday, at 10:30 a.m., I was glad we’d made reservations and then disappointed to hear their supply of famous cinnamon rolls had already sold out. I had friends on board for this outing so was able to taste several dishes. Crazy, I know, but I had a burger for breakfast, although I swear it was to get at the thin and crispy strands of onion rings that dwarfed the modest- sized Heritage Burger, topped with gorgonzola, in a French bun. The generous portobello sandwich from my companion’s plate was delightful and he was happy to share a slice.
The special was chicken fried steak, and served up with skins on mashed potatoes and a side of still-crisp collard greens. The Denver omelet seemed tame in comparison to the other dishes, but baptized by a bottle of Tabasco, it went down too. Yes, I had to utilize the “to-go” containers for this visit.
A detour on our way back home led to the discovery of more food places on Pacific Avenue, right across from the Amtrak station. But those tasty eateries will be tales for another column.
Don’t forget the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Chowder Cook-Off next Saturday. I’ll report on the restaurant winners, just in case you miss out, so you will still be able to try them for yourselves.
— 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.