Edmonds Restaurant News: Farm-to-table dining in Snohomish, Filipino/Asian vibe at Edmonds’ Barkada

Chef Cody at work in Hungry Pelican’s kitchen.

Cody Castiglia’s culinary creations now at Hungry Pelican in Snohomish.

Chef Cody’s hands are in constant motion. Della Terra, the name of Castiglia’s company, means of the Earth. His hands demonstrate culinary skills to students at 21 Acres; a growing, eating, living, farm market located in Woodinville. Chef Cody produces pop-up dinners. His latest endeavor, partnered with the Hungry Pelican, is to offer dinners at their establishment, Thursday through Sunday. (See website for menus.)

I enjoyed my meal and heard about the origins of everything on each plate delivered by the server. Chef Cody can speak to each type of cheese, which dairy produced the cheese and which are his favorites. He explains why there are three different kinds of beets in the roasted beet salad, and in most cases names the locale, the earth in which they were grown.

Education for the consumer, the history of food on the plates presented, is utmost in Chef Cody’s mind.

A recent resident in Washington, a long-distance romance moved him to relocate and marry.

Lucky us.

I asked about his various education and experiences: His education included Culinary Arts at Erie Community College in Niagara, and he studied Hotel/Restaurant Entrepreneurship at Niagara University, but what Chef said influenced him most was hands-on learning in kitchens. His experience in the kitchen started “way before it was legal” as both parents and grandparents had restaurants in upstate New York.

Chef Cody values all he learned from Stephan Pyles of Dallas’ Flora Street Café. He says Pyles taught him “so much about the concept of farm-to-table.”

His mentor chef taught him well. Plye’s “favorite ingredient” — and Cody smiles as he says this — was “restraint,” and that plays out in Cody’s menu choices. Too many ingredients spoil a dish. Following his mentor’s lead, Chef Cody limits, rather than over-embellishes, each plate with ingredients.

Chef smiles easily and frequently — he’s young; full of energy and passion for locally-sourced ingredients to serve in his dishes.

Della Terra’s Mushroom Toast.

The ambience created at Hungry Pelican is one of antique mall meets cozy tea room. Dishes arrive to the table on interesting pieces: plates that don’t match bowls, which don’t match anything else, and are quite endearing. What’s on the plate is the star of the meal and one is not distracted by the dinnerware.

My companion and I both agreed on our favorite item: the Mushroom Toast. Sourdough was piled high with fresh foraged mushrooms, topped with fromage blanc and garlic butter on the toast — oh joy.  We cleaned the plate, no concern about conserving space in our stomachs for food that would follow.

I’m a huge fan of beets, and the beet salad was a triple treat. Herb-roasted yellow beets, pickled red beets and beet agrodolce topped Cherry Valley Dairy’s fromage blanc, on a bed of greens and shaved hazelnuts, As Chef Cody says: You just can’t “beet” local and seasonal produce.

Soups offered that day were roasted cauliflower and a Tuscan sausage and white bean that featured local organic cannellini beans sourced by 21 Acres and some local greens; kale and chard added interest and flavor. I enjoyed the clear broth and the fact that no extra starch had been added to thicken the soup other than the ingredients.

Roasted cauliflower sported nice texture, not completely pureed and topped with Parmesan croutons, which made each spoonful tasty.

The main star of the meal was the pappardelle Bolognese. Creamy sauce topped the tender, freshly-cut, broad and flat pasta noodles. Savory smoked pork, beef and pancetta, completed the ragout, topped with a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano for good measure.

A roast chicken sandwich also caught our attention so we had a nibble or two of herb- roasted free-range chicken, with a roasted garlic aioli, (black garlic is used in the sauce), arugula and feta goat cheese tucked between slices of local bread. A side of cranberry fig jam completed that plate.

We saved the best for last — my favorite course of all dining experiences, dessert. We were presented with a gluten-free pecan bar with the coffee service, and our choice of macaroons from a tray of assorted crisp orbs, and we indulged. Love the name for the treats too- I’ll Have What She’s Having!

Here’s a link to keep you up to date with Chef Castigilia.

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Barkada soft opening menu.

Barkada had a soft opening just before Christmas.

I couldn’t wait to try some of the dishes I’d drooled over on Instagram, but the “permit gods” were not yet smiling on the final touches to the grill’s exhaust system.

Great news! The menu includes plenty of choices. Shells, bowls, and rolls, plus nigiri and sashimi and side dishes to complement, are listed out on the menu at 622 5th Ave. S., in Edmonds.

The meal began with a Sake Slushy. The drink of frozen rice wine and Filipino citrus was presented in a cream-colored porcelain fellow. I slurped the brain-freezing concoction through a straw protruding from his navel.

Holiday decor at Barkada.

Barkada has an interesting food vibe — Filipino with an Asian accent. This extends right down to the holiday decorations. Colorful Santa and snowman Japanese-type lanterns augment the seafood-themed decor. Ropes are draped on posts, anchors dangle and awesome octopus tentacles swirl on the wall as one descends to the lower level of the restaurant.

The atmosphere is one of relaxation, and the downstairs shelves are loaded with board games to entertain kids and grownups alike. Picnic tables for the larger groups give a nod to the non-fussy atmosphere.

The menu offers plenty of options for those who eschew meat but still eat seafood, including a crab burrito, much like hand rolls at a sushi joint. Sweet, fresh crab made this delicious roll disappear very quickly. Manila clams were offered in a hot Tamarind broth.

The beautiful orange gold of soft-cooked eggs grace the tops of arroz caldo (congee Filipino style). Comfort food with citrusy ginger taste, crunchy toasted garlic and lots of warm delicious broth is served in a Chinese to-go box, a nod to the origin of the dish.

Word to the wise: Shrimp Chips are addictive and my first order of the crisp orbs disappeared way before I’d emptied the belly of the porcelain fellow’s frozen concoction.

Off to a great start, but I can’t wait to return when their grill is operational and I can enjoy those Adobo dishes I crave.  Restaurant News offers Barkada the very best wishes for the New Year. Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 3-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m.-midnight.

Gravity Bar

The paper is off the windows at Gravity Bar, one of the new Edmonds spots located at 610 5th Ave. S. Suite B.  Owner Elyssa Boyd is not available for interview just yet…stay tuned.

Lynnwood Distillery celebrates

Wine Enthusiast Magazine named its Top 100 Spirits of 2017. Ranked with all the big-name mescals from Mexico and cognacs from France was this surprise winner: a gin from Lynnwood.

The winning “Woodcut Barrel Rested Gin” is from Temple Distilling, located near Alderwood Mall, in an obscure business complex that doesn’t even have a business directory. Head distiller AJ Temple said of the award, “It’s nice to be on a list like that. People expect the big names to be on the list. We’re a little distillery that is just starting its third year.”

Jamie Temple at the tasting bar.

Temple, 29, runs the distillery with his wife Jamie, who is expecting their second son in February. The couple from Bothell fell in love during high school on Mercer Island and attended Seattle Pacific University together before getting into the gin game.

“It’s always been kind of a dream — if we win the lottery it would be nice to open a distillery. Then it slowly evolved from ‘It wouldn’t hurt if we sat down and wrote down a business plan.’ And one day we took a leap, ‘Yeah, we’re actually doing this.’”

The couple’s marketing budget consists of running a tasting room out of a warehouse every Saturday and hitting any event that would have them. Lately, that’s been pouring gin samples at a Total Wine store and doing a few charity events to hawk their four gins. Temple isn’t the only local distillery to crack the Top 100 Spirits list — Westland Distillery and Captive Spirits Distilling also made it. But the Lynnwood distillery was an underdog; it isn’t a household name yet like those two critically acclaimed craft spirits.

Their Temple gin, with angelica root, cardamom and eight other botanicals, was aged for eight months in bourbon barrels. The judge said of their gin: “A light straw tint and aromatics that suggest a classic dry gin: mild juniper and citrus plus a hint of almond nods to the oak influence. The palate is distinctly sweet and light, weaving honey, coriander seed and lemon peel with Lychee-like floral notes. Plenty of white pepper and ginger- braces up the zingy finish. Think gin and tonics.”

Opening soon nearby: Readi Spaghetti, coming to Mukilteo Speedway: https://readispaghetti.com/

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2018 trends

2018 is the new black: Charcoal ice cream

From algae to activated charcoal, here is what we’ll be seeing in the coming year, according to the Specialty Food Association’s Trendspotter Panel:

Macro trends like sustainability and wellness, combined with consumers’ demand for convenience and flavor adventure, are converging in the 2018 trends.

Beets: their color saturation and visual appeal makes them popular. Ditto their high content of Vitamin C and fiber, and essential minerals like potassium and manganese.

Black foods: those made with charcoal. Coconut shells heated to extreme high temperatures and carbonized have a dramatic presentation and are reported to have detoxifying benefits. Look for items like charcoal pizza crust and lemonade on menus after the first of the year.

Homeopathic teas with roots and spices like dandelion, ginger and rosemary are showing up on restaurant menus in addition to the traditional tea.

Morinaga is reported to be what turmeric was in 2017. A tree native to the foothills of the Himalayan region in India, it can be used in a powdered form and has an intense green color similar to Matcha tea. High anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits.

Pink pineapples

Speaking of color… get a load of the pink pineapples! A program in development for over 12 years, they’re starting to hit the markets. Del Monte and Dole brands have been selling the fruit genetically modified to contain more lipocine. While some may be concerned with the GMO status, the FDA has approved these pineapples. The FDA notes their engineering to lower levels of the enzymes already in a conventional pineapple and converting the pink pigment lipocine to the yellow pigment beta carotene. Lipocine is the pigment that makes tomatoes red and watermelons pink, FYI…  common and safely consumed.

Great quote: The definition of an impulse item- a product so exquisite and delicious that it prompts a sudden unstoppable urge to indulge.

Some may worry about the recent shifts, such as Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and other enterprises that deliver hot meals to your door — or at least the ingredients to combine in your own kitchen quickly. But online retail isn’t good at sampling or creating a fun environment in which to educate consumers on food trends, and encourage some “spontaneous shopping“ too, they hope. One can’t smell the fresh bread or the coffee or resist a taste of the wonderful aroma from the kitchen, while browsing online.

Sugar tops the dietary list of no-nos. We will see alternative sweeteners with lower glycemic impact and fewer sugar-added calories in desserts. Syrups from date sorghum and monk fruit will join recipes and emerge as options for sweet.

Root-to-stem produce use and nose-to-tail butchery both focus on reducing food waste. Conservation concepts will inspire chefs in our local eateries to utilize the entire fruit and vegetable and include things like stems and leaves that are less commonly eaten.  Recipes like pickled watermelon rinds, beet green pesto, and broccoli stem slaw will introduce consumers to new flavors and textures.

Restaurants in Edmonds like Caravan Kebab are spot on with menu items from the Middle East that explore the complex cuisines and regional differences in ingredients. Consider foods like hummus, pita and falafel as easy entry points. Classic ingredients of Middle Eastern culture from Persian, Israeli Moroccan, Syrian and Lebanese influences bring new spice to dishes. These include harissa, cardamom and zaatar, and seasoned entrees like Sasha Kuka and grilled halloumi.

We’ve seen an explosion of gluten-free, but the traditional side of the bakery has also been elevated by sourcing and fine-tuning production processes: The rise of traditional bread, if you’ll pardon the pun. It’s become all or nothing — it’s either high-end and artsan in establishments like new Edmonds shop Ganache Patisserie, or low carb and high protein.

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Start 2018 with gastronomic celebrations!

Furi Chinese, at 546 5th Ave. S., Edmonds, is open New Year’s Day. Dine in or order take-out if celebrations from the night before have you huddled on the couch.

Come join Bar Dojo at Five Corners Jan. 7-11 for a week-long celebration of its five-year anniversary! Five great days with five-themed offers, there’s something for everyone to indulge in this week:

Special Five taco plate $20
Enjoy one each: Salmon tempura, Ahi tuna, Korean BBQ pork, spicy shrimp, lemongrass beef Banh mi

All day happy hour
Plus enjoy all day $5 charred jalapeño & ginger margaritas .

Half price wine night
Plus Chef Luis’ 5-course prix fixe menu

  • Hamachi crudo
  • Fried quail
  • Curried Lamb lollipops
  • Flat iron Satay
  • Matcha ricotta fritters

Live music with Enrique Enao
Plus $5 special appetizers during happy hour.

Hawaiian music with local Edmonds band Kue
Plus enjoy choice of five different types of poke bowls, served with sushi rice, edamame, seaweed salad, avocado, Furikake, watermelon radish & scallions:

*Tako poke

*Hamachi poke

*Ahi tuna poke

*Japanese scallop


Salt & Iron: Salt will be closed Jan. 1-11 for routine maintenance.

190 Sunset: Owner Tom Budinick says: “As 2017 comes to a close I wish to thank each of our guests, friends and families for making 190 Sunset such a special place!” The restaurant will begin 2018 with a new menu. “Foods for all moods”:  a focus on seasonal, local cuisine. It will offer a substantial amount of “shared plates” — small appetizer-size plates perfect for sharing and grazing. New drink specials and an enhanced wine list will launch at 190 Sunset.

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I’ll raise a glass of good cheer ro all restaurateurs in our lovely locale. I thank you for the opportunity to dine on your wonderful meals in 2017 and hope for many more occasions in 2018.

— 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.


7 Replies to “Edmonds Restaurant News: Farm-to-table dining in Snohomish, Filipino/Asian vibe at Edmonds’ Barkada”

  1. Hello Kathy,
    A few months ago you had mentioned that “rumor has it” that Top Pot Donuts would possibly open up by the end of 2017. I don’t think most of us were holding our breath, though many of us do wish it would open. It would be good for any small business to move forward with it’s plan as well as those of us that are wanting to give them a try.
    Any updates would be appreciated.


    1. Posting this for Kathy as she is having Internet issues: She contacted Top Pot and was told dry wall is being installed this week and they expect to have “a late winter opening.”


    1. Most have addresses listed. Others have website links so you can click and get specific hours, menus, etc. as those often change.


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