NFT Seattle Redmond

Redmond

Essentials
Easily accessible to and from the surrounding Eastside cities and Seattle, Redmond claims the title "Bicycle capital of the Northwest"--the eleven-mile Sammamish River Trail takes cyclists to the Burke Gilman Trail ending in Seattle. With what seems like hundreds of Starbucks (and counting) within a five-mile radius, the daily mocha will prevent you from dwelling on the drizzle. Picnic or catch a summer concert at Marymoor Park.

Sundries/Entertainment
For most, the phrase, "Redmond Nightlife," is an oxymoron. Don't count on much being open after 10 p.m. With the exception of a few movie theaters and a few restaurants with decent happy hours, people head for downtown Seattle to get their kicks. Organic grocery chains Whole Foods and See more.

>PCC are decent shopping options. But you can simultaneously support local farmers and save some coin at the Redmond Saturday Market.




         



On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Karen Watson
Photo:  Karen Watson

Three Lions Pub
If every Holiday Inn had an English Pub, this is what it would look like. Giant plasma screen TVs bring the English flavor with showings of football, rugby, cricket and other equally obscure sports. Snooker? Really? Alternate these with a few Tetley’s mirrors or pictures of St. George and you get the idea. But forget all that. Come to the Three Lions for the food. This is where a joke about British food is supposed to go. The fish is perfectly battered and crispy, not greasy. The curry sauce is homemade every day, and a Welsh friend tells me that it is of the authentic chip shop variety. The Lancashire Pasties and other meat pies are baked fresh next door at the British Pantry (where you can stock up on Branston Pickle, PG Tea, Cadbury Flake, Sausage Rolls, and Hello magazine). The carnivores of my acquaintance get glassy-eyed over the Leicester Bacon Cheddar Burger. Although the interior is a bit sterile, the food and welcoming bar staff are worth a visit.



Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo:  Meiwa Chen

Sages Restaurant
Sages Restaurant is not your average neighborhood Italian restaurant. It's opened by a Polish chef, and if the seasonal, rustic Italian menu doesn't make your mouth water to the point of flooding, there's something wrong with you. Sages offers tastier-than-ever dishes such as the spicy shrimp tower, their signature stuffed chicken marsala, pan-seared salmon, and of course huge, stomach-groaning portions of ravioli and homemade gnocchi. The pasta dish interestingly dubbed the "Wife's Favorite"--a rich, slightly sour, pink-sauced penne pasta with shitake mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil and topped with grilled chicken is a must try. Better take that award-winning tiramisu in a to-go box.



Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo:  Meiwa Chen

Marymoor Park
If you've got nothing to do on a Friday night (let's face it, on the Eastside...), head over to Marymoor Park for the Group Health Velodrome's Friday Night Racing series. They've even got races on Monday and Wednesday nights, all starting at 7:30. The racing season is from the end of May to mid September, and the $4 tickets cost less than a movie ticket, leaving you a few extra bucks for the beer garden. Or hand those few extra dollars over to the announcer, who will use any donated cash as incentives for the racers to lead the lap, creating entertainment for an audience that basically stares on half enthused as the bicyclists take on the 30th or so lap. But hey, these riders are serious--cycling with no brakes or gears takes a lot of skill and strategy--numerous World Champions and Olympic medalists started their training here!



Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo:  Meiwa Chen

Frankie's Pizza and Pasta
We've all heard the rumors about certain unnamed pizza chains' bored line cooks spitting on your pizza pies when they pile on your specially requested toppings. Said rumors inspired me to forever boycott pizza chain establishments that were delivered by high school boys until I was introduced to and tasted Frankie's Pizzas. A family-owned Italian cafe, the specialty pizzas here are mouthwatering (and later, drying--considering the high sodium intake). They've got over a dozen special house pizzas, but try the Pizza Florentine or the Passion Pizza of Verona. Frankie's doesn't deliver, but they do take out and also cater to large parties. Salads, pastas and calzones are so-so, though, and the extremely family-oriented environment is cheesier than the pizza, with kids crawling everywhere, bopping up and down their booster chairs, anxious for the pizzas. Even the 6-year-olds I know are picky and prefer Frankie's over Papa John's.



Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo:  Meiwa Chen

The Matador
Bar food for dinner? Usually, I would go "ugh," but at the Matador Restaurant and Tequila Bar, the $4-5 happy hour plates were surprisingly "not bad." They were even worthy enough to be considered dinner, since their actual dinner menu is a bit overpriced. One of the few bar scenes to be found in Redmond, happy hour here is loud and crowded, housed in a red brick building the city proudly preserves. Walking in the door past the red curtains, the bull skulls obviously match the name, but large stained glass featuring skeletons wearing a skirt? Uh, yeah... Need another drink. Or maybe not, since their cocktails (mostly margaritas) are diluted by the ocean of ice cubes. And if you make it in the door a single minute after 6 pm, wave buh-bye to that $4 menu until 10 pm. Spicy fried calamari and chili aren’t as appealing at that hour anyway.



Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo:  Meiwa Chen

If you want a job at a certain software company, the Typhoon in Redmond is crawling with Microsofties during lunch hour to whom to hand your resume. With two locations in Washington, this upscale, modern Thai chain in the Northwest lacks the low-key, family friendly coziness that other Thai restaurants tend to provide. Instead, Typhoon offers Happy Hour with house-invented cocktails, and appetizers start at $1.95. A House Special is Lemongrass Clam Chowder, and the curry and noodle dishes here rarely disappoint (go for the Drunken Noodles). But if you dare order a tongue burning 4 stars, drown down the heat with one of their 90 premium teas.



Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo: 

Ooba Tooba
Move over, Taco Del Mar. Unlike your dry, overcooked meats and limp cabbage waiting to be dolloped into flour tortillas, Ooba’s knows the definition of “fresh off the grill.” I can smell Ooba’s grill from 2 blocks away, and it smells gooood. Their thick, smoky skirt steak and chicken burritos are oozing with white beans, minted rice, pico de gallo, jack cheese and guacamole, with a side of chips. After several years I still can’t convince myself to try anything else on their menu (chicken scratches on a chalkboard), despite the fact that the portabello mushroom quesadillas, fish tacos, enchiladas, etc, all look, smell, and sound just as appealing. Knowing that you can make unlimited visits to the fresh, homemade salsa bar itself is reason enough to pay a visit. Taco Del Mar doesn’t even give you chips for free.



Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo: 

Pomegranate Bistro
Hidden in a business park, from the outside the Pomegranate Bistro slightly resembles a warehouse, but inside? Such a cute place. Seriously. With chandeliers, pomegranate pink walls, wooden tables adorned with different colored tablecloths, a huge open kitchen visible through the glass windows and a wood fire burning oven, the menu full of comfort food has a Southern slow-and-drowsy ambiance that makes you never want to leave. Owner Lisa Dupar, well-known local caterer, hit bull’s eye with her cozy family style bistro, gathering Indian, Chinese, European and American families all in one room… I have never seen so many non-embarrassed, non-grumpy high school and college aged kids willingly out with their parents. On the weekend. Apparently they’re all here for the hearty firebread (try the one topped with arugula, prosciutto, truffle oil, and sea salt). If you don’t have time for the weekend brunch but don’t want to miss out on the goodness, there’s a grab-and-go bar with coffee, fresh pastries and dessert. I repeat, grab-and-go dessert.



Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo: 

Taste the Moment
Funkily formal, you’ll think you’ve committed a crime at Taste the Moment if you forget to lift your pinky finger while having tea at this Victorian restaurant. Unless you can pass yourself off as a child under 12, the most affordable option on the tea menu would be the “Taste the Moment Tea”—a pot of tea of your choice, a raspberry or chocolate crepe, a variety of breads and a fruit salad. Although it is tempting to misbehave here just to see how far you can go, try not to play with the jam, clank your spoon (if you’ve figured out which one to use!) against the china, or trickle scone crumbs all over the white table linens. Easily mistaken on the street as a private home, this is the place to impress your grandparents or future in-laws, but that’s only if you have any table manners.



Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
Photo: 

Theno's Dairy
Lines undoubtedly get long in the summer, but it is currently at a gloomy 42 degrees and us crazy locals still want ice cream—as long as our feet are firmly placed on top of the heater while we devour the goodness, that is. Iconic Theno’s with a huge plastic cow in front, this family-owned dairy has been making their own milk and rich creamy ice cream in Redmond with local cows since 1944. The small, re-painted raspberry colored building does look like it’s been here since the 40’s and could collapse at any second, but that’s part of its charm. All’s forgiven and forgotten once they churn up their seasonal flavors—you can purchase plastic tubs of cantaloupe ice cream in the summer, pumpkin during Halloween, eggnog during the winter…what’s better than ice cream and warming up in front of the fireplace on a frosty night?



VCC

Posted By:  Meiwa Chen
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Victor's Celtic Coffee & Roasters
It’s called Victor’s, but Victor is no longer the owner. Despite the space expansion to accommodate more caffeine junkies, there have been reports of getting kicked out if you hog a table for more than an hour. The new owner, Walter, must favor me, since I’ve claimed space for more than 2 hours on several occasions without attracting a glare or growl from the staff. They’ve got to-die-for lemon bars and ultra-rich desserts, live music on weekends, not to mention their own specialty coffee combinations such as the Java Jane: shots of espresso, milk, sticky chocolate syrup, caramel, then topped with swirls of chocolate whipped cream. Just make sure it’s Walter that’s making your coffee and not one of the inexperienced baristas—otherwise it all just tastes like a baby’s boring steamed milk. No debit and credit cards accepted, and no wifi. But this Irish joint is worth it if you need a Starbucks alternative.




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