Restaurant News: No need to book a room to enjoy this hotel fare, plus hop a ferry for delicious dining


The interior of the Cascades Restaurant and Bar, located inside Embassy Suites in Lynnwood.

An article called “Summer Safe-cation” caught my eye and prompted thoughts about how we proceed, as warmer temperatures and blue skies encourage us to break out of the house, for a change of scenery and routine. Travel opens the possibilities for adventure, but we need to be safe while we contemplate excursions beyond our four walls.

A clever friend in years past simply erected their tent in a forested area close to the edge of their property. The children enjoyed sleeping bags and tents, even toasting marshmallows over a small hibachi. Their mother enjoyed the convenience of a stroll through their backyard to her kitchen and the refrigerator, which held items for grilling, and ice for chilling drinks, without the mess of Igloo coolers — a win all around.

As hotels open, and our comfort level with staying away from home increases, there’s potential benefit for a change of venue to freshen our attitudes.

Many hotels provide options for breakfast, and happy hour fare. My research shows many opportunities for upgrades beyond a waffle maker in the breakfast bar area, or snack foods offered to balance alcohol consumption. Many smaller hotels, especially in smaller communities, provide some of the best options for enjoyable cuisine.

A pre-COVID trip to the Bellingham area yielded a pleasant surprise at Northwater, a fabulous restaurant tucked inside the Holiday Inn located by the airport.  The gustatory gem provided sumptuous breakfast, lunches and dinners, comprised of locally sourced produce and proteins. Coupled with brew on tap from several of the fine establishments in the area, and bottles of wine from the same, one could truly stay on site, and enjoy.

Seafood stew at Northwater.

I look forward to a return trip, when they open again, to meditate over a steaming bowl of seafood stew and sip brew and cocktails made from local Bellingham breweries and distilleries.

Meanwhile there are opportunities closer to home, and the bonus of a “stay local vacation” means no need for the whining, “Are we there yet?”

Local corporate-run entities Hampton Inn, Courtyard by Marriott and Embassy Suites offer chef-staffed kitchens, which provides sumptuous dining, possibly at poolside or delivered to one‘s room.

Truly a step above the waffle makers in some places, the breakfast offerings are available when one is enjoying the lodgings or not. Ditto the evening fare:

Here are some examples:

Cascades Restaurant and Bar has been featured recently on the Lynnwood Restaurant Showcase. Conveniently located inside Embassy Suites in Lynnwood with plenty of parking…it was worth investigating. Yours truly coaxed her husband out when we noticed the menu included meatless options like the Beyond Burgers.

Appetizers and salads were so satisfying and portions that allowed for sharing and more:

PNW Cobb Salad contained fresh, crisp chopped romaine, succulent shrimp, black olives, tomatoes, bacon, sliced avocado, hard-boiled egg, topped with mesquite-grilled salmon.

Chicken Quesadilla offered up tender-crisped tortilla triangles that held generous wedges of chicken breast, and condiments were presented in a taco-shaped bowl for an elegant touch.

Are you new to the “plant-based” options or a bit timid to try cooking or grilling at home just yet? Cascades Restaurant and Bar offer your pallet a test drive with one of the handheld options on menu — the Beyond Burger. Plant-based protein is new to many. This patty was juicy, pink and tasted great. Topped with lettuce, tomato,and avocado on a brioche bun, and a choice of the sweet potato fries made the selection healthier too.

Shrimp Mac N Cheese: Comfort plus in a bowl that includes toothsome premium cuts of pasta enrobed with three kinds of cheese, and a bonus — grilled shrimp and andouille sausage. Plus a crusty slice of garlic bread to swipe up any remaining cheese in the bowl.

Cascades Chef Salesh Karan

Noteworthy is the “Specials” sheet — the chef creates a few dishes that are offered each month a different dish each evening, and the pricing is special too. In April we enjoyed a dish created by the resident Chef Salesh Karan, called Amaretto Prawns. Jumbo shrimp, wrapped with bacon and grilled to crispy perfection, were plated up on creamy mashed potatoes and broccoli, sauced with a creamy liquor-flavored application that made all of the ingredients in the dish sing in harmony on the fork.

No driving required

Create adventure with a day trip that doesn’t involve piling into the family car at all. The Washington Ferry at the Edmonds dock will whisk you and your family to Kingston and back. Walk on and avoid the lines of cars and enjoy the fresh air atop the decks of the Puyallup or the Spokane.

Some of our local entrepreneurs have opened a second spot on the “other side” of the water… in Kingston. It’s a short stroll to enjoy ultra-fresh seafood, Mediterranean fare, or try out Kingston’s local brews. Be sure to save room for the many temptations offered.

Ono Poke Too

Ono Poke Too, located at 25960 Central Ave. N.E., in Kingston, is another one of the opportunities to ferry over for a bite. Fabulous fish and fantastic views, what’s not to like?

Kafe Neo Kingston offers the same great Greek/Mediterranean cuisine we enjoy in Edmonds. Located in Kingston next to the Firehouse Theater. 11171 N.E. State Hwy 104 Suite 101, Kingston.

Many more “opportunities” line the street that leads to the ferry dock:

The Kingston Ale House (formerly Main Street Ale) located at 11225 N.E. State Highway 104, Kingston.

J’aime Les Crepes

J’aime Les Crepes: situated right on the corner of the loading area and convenient for travelers to grab a bite to eat while they wait to board the boat.

Homemade quiche at Over The Moon Coffee

Over The Moon Coffee offers much more than caffeine. Calories from the delicious homemade fare can be burned off by the vigorous walk to their establishment on 11229 on Hwy 104.

Cheers to Mossback

Mossback is open again, after a winter hiatus, and  is “on my list” for a visit soon. Take a look at the drinks specials they just posted and an example of their exquisite cuisine — halibut all spruced up for spring! The farm-to-table establishment is a short stroll to 26185 Ohio Ave. E., in Kingston.

After a whole year of waiting, adventures await- Get out and explore, try new eateries, hike new paths… celebrate the return to what many of us used to take for granted.

— 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.




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