My Edmonds Restaurant News: And the Taste Off winners are…

Kathy Passage hard at work.
Kathy Passage hard at work.

“Come hungry.”

Great advice from A Taste of Edmonds folks: A Taste is all about food, and there’s plenty of it. ! Festival runs from Aug. 12-14 in Edmonds, at the Civic Playfield 310 6th Ave. N., Edmonds. Hours: Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. See the website for additional information on entertainment, parking and shuttle service to the venue.

Confession time: A Taste of Edmonds is one of my favorite events of the summer. To be asked to judge the Taste-Off is the icing on a food-writer’s slice of cake. The inevitable food coma is the downside, but a small sacrifice, IMHO.

Entrees, desserts and side dishes, offered up by the Taste vendor community are amazing and the task, to help select the best in each category, is one I relish each year. And the winners are…

Chaat n' Roll's Marinated Chicken was voted best main dish.
Chaat n’ Roll’s Marinated Chicken was voted best main dish.

Main Dish- Chaat ’n’ Roll’s Marinated Chicken, an Indian-style butter chicken, perfectly balanced seasoning, served on fluffy basmati rice.

Other Main Dishes:
Kaleenka Piroshki: Piroshki- Beef and cheese well balanced and seasoned, roll crispy outside, soft inside.

Crepealicious: Seafood crepe with shrimp and scallops
Truly Med: Perfectly-cooked halibut in soft taco with awesome sauce.

Pat’s Philly Steak Sandwiches: Philly Steak sandwich with peppercorn sauce

Afghan Delicious:Lamb kabob with fresh naan nread

Scott's Rigatoni Bolognese is always a favorite -- and a past winner.
Scott’s Rigatoni Bolognese is always a favorite — and a past winner.

Scott’s: Rigatoni Bolognese – the reason they’ve won this category in past, still a winner too.

Hawaii’s BBQ: Ahi poke tender tuna and fluffy rice.

Kafe Neo Edmonds: Beef/Lamb Gyro- great combo of meat, veggies and sauce, wrapped I tender pita.

Samples of seafood chowder await the judges.
Samples of seafood chowder await the judges.

Side Dish winner: Pat’s Philly Steak Sandwiches: Seafood Chowder, creamy and delicious with corn, potatoes and tomatoes.

Other sides:
Potato with a Twist: Spiral potato on a stick cut, fried, then seasoned

Scott’s Bar and Grill: Pea Salad- this is how you get kids to eat their peas. My favorite in the category.

Chicken Empanadas from Demetri's Woodstone Taverna.
Chicken Empanadas from Demetri’s Woodstone Taverna.

Demetris Woodstone Taverna: Chicken Empanadas deep fried twist on crust distracted from the delicious filling.

The Corn Roasters: Roasted Corn on the Cob- always tender and fresh, seasoned well.

Best Dessert: Smoosh ice cream sandwiches. A newcomer this year and their innovative desserts won the day. Incredible creamy vanilla ice cream between crisp cookies, and rolled in toppings to coat the edges. I ate every bit of my snickerdoodle. I’ll be back to do further research this weekend on the other varieties.

Other desserts
MiniDonuts: Mini Donuts- love these tender little orbs of fried dough, but donuts are just not my choice for dessert.

DSC_6378 (1)
Cheesecake on a stick

Biringer’s: Strawberry Shortcake served by the growers today too- Strawberries were spot on with flavor, not too sweet graham crust and light whipped cream topped a wonderful dessert.

Ice Cream Lady: Cheesecake, mounted like Popsicles, dipped into assortment of yummy toppings and presto — it’s a portable dessert. With warm temperatures, I’d advise enjoying this dessert in a shady spot.

Scott's Key Lime Pie
Scott’s Key Lime pie

Scott’s Key Lime Pie: every judge’s plate was wiped clean, what does that tell you? Only lost by one vote.

Here is a list of all food booths this year. Pace yourselves, you have three days.

Afghan Delicious-Fresh Naan (bread), lamb and chicken kabobs may be familiar to most, but this vendor also offers one of Afghan’s national dishes, Kabuli Polaw – a delicious combination of pilaf, with raisins, carrots and lambs. Vegetarians, try the Boolani, a veggie stuffed flatbread.

Biringer’s Farm-No food fair offering is complete without a Biringer’s fruit items. Try a warm scone and raspberry jam. Or skip the scone and indulge in strawberry shortcake!

Chaat n Roll- Street food popular in India. Try the Chicken Kathi Roll. Cool your tastebuds with a Mango Lassi, a traditional yogurt based drink. This is a great spot for vegetarian choices.

Corn Roasters- great seasonings add to flavor to sweet ears of fresh corn.

Crepealicious- sweet or savory ala French cuisine style walk about food.. Try a chicken artichoke or shrimp and scallop crepe. Or the sweet mixed berry or chocolate turtle

Curry House- a delectable chicken with rice is nice, but life is short. Dessert first is my motto. Elephant ears fill the bill.

Delicious Asia Grill A skewer or a comb? The food is traditional and sizzling hot. Save room for an eggroll.

Demetri’s Woodstone Taverna- Edmonds waterfront location and Mediterranean fare. Small plates, flatbreads, and delicious dishes.

Hapa Food Company- Hawaiian donut, deep fried on the spot and served in a little paper bag. Don’t skimp on the cream filling, you’ll work it off on the dance floor tonight.

Ice Cream Lady- Ingredients for the best sundaes, brownie hot fudge sundae and more.
Island Creamery-Waffle cones, kid’s cones and even floats, using the best hand crafted ice creams.

Jeremy Westmoreland Concessions-Guilty pleasures. . . corn dogs, nachos, ice cold lemonade. Relive your childhood taste memories.

Kaleenka Piroshky- Pastries filled with beef and cheese, smoked salmon or vegetable fillings. Cossack is a combination of potatoes and sausage with a dill sauce.

Kona Ice- shaved ice. What’s your favorite flavor?

Lemongrass Restaurant- Seasoned and grilled chicken or pork Satay (meat on skewers), as well as piping hot noodles.

Melody Meats-fried frog legs gotta try ‘em.

Memphis pit barbeque-(Formerly Loudens-favorite for 10 years) Meats are prepared using the best Memphis-style dry rub.

Moe’s Falafel- Lebanese style gyro and feta or garlic fries or try a Falafel bowl,

Moonshine BBQ- the full meal deal. Beef brisket with corn bread, baked beans and coleslaw or try the St. Louis style ribs, brisket chili and potato salad.

Old Fashion Kettle Corn Co- Can you resist salty and sweet? The aroma gets your attention and I bet you wind up with a bag. “for home, of course,” wink, wink.

Pat’s Philly Steak Sandwiches- grab a cup of crab-and-shrimp chowder to go with a chicken or steak Philly.

Peaks Frozen Custard- Try salted caramel and cashew sundae. Apple pie, chocolate or berry sundae -you’ll never order vanilla again!

Peanut Butter Goodness- I’ll bet Elvis would envy these deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Scotsman Bistro-Espresso drinks, Latte’s, Americano, Mochas, Frappes, Italian Sodas, Chai Latte- they’ve got your need for caffeine covered.

Scott’s Bar & Grill
In their first year as a vendor at the Taste, Scott’s won the Taste Off in two categories, best main dish and best dessert. Stop by and taste why.

Scotty’s NW- One taste will tell you why their blackened salmon Caesar has been a tradition at A Taste of Edmonds for many years.

Scout’s Mini Donuts-A bite size delight, bet you can’t eat just one!

Smoosh- Exquisite, custom ice cream sandwiches.

Tornedo Potato – Spiral-cut potatoes selected for freshness and perfect size…washed, hand-crafted, and fried to a golden perfect crisp!

Truly Med- A treat for halibut fish taco or fried oysters fans. Chipotle cabbage salad completes either dish.

Yin Zi’s Kitchen- Yi Bin Noodles, Braised Tofu, Spicy & Sour Potato Noodle Soup and Green Onion pancakes. For dessert try the fried lotus root cake.

Zieglers Bratwurst/Bumpus-A Taste of Edmonds tradition, authentic German sausage and a variety of gourmet burgers and fresh cut curly fries.

Authentic Mexican fare in nearby Lynnwood

La Raza fajitas
La Raza fajitas

La Raza Restaurante Mexicano is the real deal. Don’t come to ogle the décor, you might find the atmosphere a bit lacking and the restaurant is easy to miss altogether with the location in a strip mall at 6815 196th St. S.W., Lynnwood. But, don’t miss it.

I’d heard from friends that La Raza is THE PLACE, when they need their authentic Mexican food fix. As a native of Arizona, I have to agree.

Entrees are fresh and cooked to order, everything on the menu, even the tortillas, are handmade. Most of the items on menu could be a meal for two. La Raza’s burritos, made with 10 inch tortillas, are legend, and have names like “The Diablo”, and the “Mr. Washington” which has no beans or rice, but made with potatoes.

Our small bowl of chips and fresh Pico de Gallo disappeared so fast I considered a refill, but then the entrees arrived. Oh my — visions of to-go containers filled my head.

Fajitas- Colorful grilled vegetables filled the large platter which also contained grilled chicken, fluffy rice, refried beans and the best guacamole. The guac had apple in it — awesome. We took turns and filled the fresh tortillas, perfect to scoop up ingredients. A dish generous enough to be shared by two hungry people and we still had some rice left.

Chile verde
Chile verde

Our server came back to our table to report that today, “No Chiles Rellenos.” I ordered my second favorite dish — Chile Verde. Homemade tomatillo green sauce covered the tender pork and crisp green peppers, celery and onions that shared space on my plate with beans and of course, more rice.

The best part about that rice: it was a perfect pallet to try all the La Raza’s homemade sauces. Plastic bottles, labeled with blue tape that depicted the contents arrived at the table. Do not be fooled by the humble presentations.

House-made sauces
House-made sauces

Mango habanero: a sweet combo of heat and sweet that was perfect on the chicken and the pork. Jalapeno: golden, pale and smooth, I’d swear it had cream in the recipe, but the waiter shook his head, “Not Crema.”

Strawberry: a red sauce just sweet enough from berries to accent the dish and delight the eyes, in the bargain.

Vinegar: red chili sauce was equal parts of spicy and fresh.

I could not pick a favorite, they all tasted amazing. House-made sauce; this is why one goes to La Raza.

Traditional beverages, too: Jarritos, the Mexican soda is served, in addition to Horchata and several brands of Mexican beer. Jarritos varieties are naturally flavored and are fizzier than soft drinks made in the United States. The word jarrito means “little jug” in Spanish and refers to the Mexican tradition of drinking water and other drinks in clay pottery jugs.

Enjoy the weather, enjoy the Taste…enjoy life in our lovely community. It’s an Edmonds kind of weekend.

Kathy Passage Hi Res— 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.

  1. Thank you for the review but why do we call it the Taste of Edmonds” when only a hand full of your listings have restaurants in Edmonds let alone a restaurant where we can go get the food we taste. it seems the taste has become more of a money grab for the city – we charge to get in and then don’t get to eat at an Edmonds establishments with the exception of a few! i remember when there were more Edmonds restaurants than others and there was no costs to get in!

    Thanks again for your reviews of the local places as i do enjoy your insight and recommendations.

  2. Tom,
    The original event, founded in 1984 by Mayor Dave Earling and others, has changed over the years. The event generates funds that sponsor events like the 4th of July in our community. I do see that our local restaurants are willing to participate in raising funds for our community. Did you attend the Chowder Cook-off last March? All of the contestants were Edmonds based establishment and the event sold out quickly. I do hope the Chamber holds the event again and maybe this will begin a new era of food focused events in our community.

  3. These events are often helping to pay for city events. Or they support different causes such as scholarships. I know without an admission charge the Waterfront Festival would fall short of money to help places like Trinity Place, clothing for kids etc. Outdoor events always are weather dependent. Remember last year’s Taste of Edmonds had a storm which shut things down. All the volunteer effort would be for naught without charging for admission.

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