Good food and happy times at Everett Olive Garden

Today Sher an I went with our daughter, son-in-law and grandson to see his final soccer game of the season at the YMCA. Done at 1:30PM, we were all ready for lunch, so off to the Everett, Washington Olive Garden we went.

Our favorite wine here, the Confetti Pink Moscato Rosé Wine

It had been several months since we had dined at an Olive Garden and our Seattle family also was looking forward to the cuisine. We were seated immediately and our server was at our table taking drink orders as soon as we were seated.

Zuppa Toscana, a spicy Italian sausage, fresh kale and russet potatoes in a creamy broth

Classic and tasty minestrone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The soups are all you can eat. Maj had two servings of the potato and sausage soup.

Maj had his favorite: spaghetti, meatballs and meat sauce

Sher ordered cheese ravioli with marinara sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cheese ravioli and Chicken Tortelloni Alfredo are both oven baked and come right from the oven on very hot plates. You are warned to be careful.

Daughter’s choice: Chicken Tortelloni Alfredo

And of course there is the never empty basket of warm bread sticks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all enjoyed our meals. The Olive Garden doesn’t please everyone, but we have never been disappointed at any one of these restaurants regardless of where in the country we have stopped. Consistency is something that makes dining choices a lot easier when you know what to expect.

Bellevue Washington Snowflake Lane Christmas parade 2022

Bellevue, Washington is east of Seattle across Lake Washington. Every year for the past 18 downtown Bellevue has put on a wonderful Christmas parade. The town has earned the title of being The Most Festive Town in America by the Huffington Post.

Crowd waiting an hour before the start

Everybody loves Frosty the Snowman!

 

 

 

 

 

Sher and I went to this parade back in 2014 during another fun visit with our Seattle family. So we were really looking forward to enjoying the parade again. As nearly 10,000 people a night show up to witness the parade, we had to get there early, grab some coffee and stake our claim on good spots that would give an unobstructed view of the parade route.

Cute penguin

Beautiful Snow Princess

Rudolph’s nose did light up!

The parade starts right at 7 when the spot lights turn on and the snow machines start the evening’s snowfall! In addition, spot lights of snow flakes move around on the street surface and the building fronts. The video gives a feel for the excitement of the parade, a look at the snowfall, and an appearance by Santa in person.

There’s that penguin again

We had a great time

 

 

 

 

 

It is, in our opinion, just awesome that Bellevue puts on this parade every night for 30 days. The number of participants, the costumes, and of course the lights and snow effects are marvelous. It is easy to see why 10,000 show up each night.

 

Revisiting Arnies Pacific Northwest Favorites

Over a year ago Sher and I were blessed to have been able to visit with family in the Seattle area. Fine dining is to be found along the shores of the Puget Sound. Here is one of those establishments. We’re looking forward to a return trip to Arnies soon!

We had a wonderful Sunday brunch today. Our son-in-law’s parents are here visiting as well, and our grandson is relishing having all four of his grandparents at the same time. Thus our Sunday outing was extra special.

Arnies trade mark signage

Dining w/windows overlooking Puget Sound

 

 

 

 

 

Arnies has been serving the area for 25 years. Today we went to the Edmonds location overlooking the Puget Sound and Edmonds Marina. You can also see the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry from the restaurant.

Each person gets their own mouthwatering cinnamon roll

Excellent Mimosa, Orange juice in champagne glass

Fresh fruit with creamy yogurt dip

Arnies is known for several things, not the least of which is their signature specialty dishes. Keep in mind that your dining experience includes not only your entrée, but a fresh fruit and dip tray. In addition, you’ll be treated to a Mimosa or OJ and a warm freshly baked cinnamon roll.

Belgian waffle, honey butter, maple syrup and bacon

Eggs Benedict with house made roasted potatoes

Three egg omelet with honey ham and Tillamook cheddar

The entrées are absolutely delicious. Each are hand prepared, served at the proper temperature, and presented as professionally as you always expect from an upscale dining establishment.

It is fun watching the Edmundson-Kingston Ferry come and go as you eat

The ambience at Arnies is relaxed with a premium feeling. The staff is most friendly and truly want you to feel like you are a valuable guest. The view of Puget Sound is truly magnificent with the islands in the distance and boats on the water. Out of all of our travels, Arnies is one of our favorite restaurants.

Note: After reliving this through our pictures and story, we are already planning our next Sunday brunch at Arnies in Edmonds.

Fresa Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar

Our daughter suggested a great Mexican restaurant for our supper last night. Sher and I went with her and our grandson and met our son-in-law at the Fresa Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar in Everett, Washington. She said that they had just happened on this place and were glad they tried it.

Stuffed chile poppers

Delightful queso dip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chunky fresh guacamole with lime, onions, tomatoes and cilantro

We started our dining adventure with some delicious appetizers. The tray filled with Chunky Guacamole tasted as good as it looked. The golden brown Chile Poppers featured full size, not sliced, jalapenos with sour cream and a dish of strawberry jelly for dipping and my was that queso dip scrumptious!

Fixin’s for fajitas

Steak fajitas

 

 

 

 

 

On to the main courses, our daughter and our son-in-law shared steak and chicken fajitas for two (see video). Sher raved about her vegetarian enchiladas (see video) and Maj had steak fajitas. The fajitas all came with very generous helpings of rice, frijoles, guacamole, sour cream and lettuce and tomatoes. Of course plentiful tortillas, corn and flour, were also served.

The quality of this restaurant is truly outstanding. The family traditions of this establishment shine through in not only the service but the excellent cuisine. We were very impressed and have to rate this as one of the best Mexican restaurants we have enjoyed. When in the Seattle area, do yourself a favor and dine at Fresa Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar in Everett.  This is the Fresa website.

 

 

Christmas decorations at Lynnwood, Washington’s Alderwood Mall

We did a bit of shopping after our dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory yesterday.  The Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, Washington was decked out in full Christmas season decorations.

Flowing light strands and huge stars

Pretty series of garland displays in store

Lovely pair of red trees

Green trees compliment the red ones

The moon was looking down on the walkways between stores

Holiday lights will help get you in the mood for Christmas!

 

The Old Spaghetti Factory in Lynnwood Washington

The Old Spaghetti Factory is often referred to as a “family-friendly chain eatery featuring traditional Italian entrees amid turn-of-the-century decor.” The one in Alderwood Mall in Lynwood, Washington remains true to that description.

Trolley full of, and surrounded by tables

Close look at the seating in the trolley

 

 

 

 

 

We dined there with our daughter, son-in-law and grandson tonight. The decor is immediately impressive to see, and this location even has an old Seattle trolley car from 1970 in place and used for dining.

Warm bread flanked by our cocktails and a beer, center

We started with some great cocktails. Sher enjoyed the Strawberry Pomegranate Drop, a delightful blend of  pomegranate vodka, lime, strawberry puree and a splash of sweet & sour. Maj really liked the Blackberry Pomegranate Long Island Iced Tea, a traditional mix of gin and rum and pomegranate vodka with Triple Sec and added blackberry syrup and a splash of sweet & sour.

Spinach and Cheese Ravioli, filled with spinach and two cheeses, topped with marinara sauce.

Meat Lovers Treat with Sicilian meatballs, Italian sausage, spaghetti with hearty meat sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

The food at the Old Spaghetti Factory is just plain excellent. The portion sizes are most adequate. Both Sher and I enjoyed our choices, as did the rest of the family. Our grandson is a pasta fan, and he really enjoyed the bread and his spaghetti.

This was a wonderful meal with excellent service. Our server was a very nice young man named Gaige who took very good care of us. He was friendly and helpful in explaining the menu to us. His service added to what was a most enjoyable evening out with our family. We would definitely recommend The Old Spaghetti Factory. OSF.com is their website listing all locations.

Teatro ZinZanni has a great show in Seattle’s Sodo Park

Coming Home is such a fitting title for the return of the Teatro ZinZanni’s production now being celebrated after its long awaited return to Seattle. The terrible events of 2020/21 that closed the show and the vintage 1910 circus tent had left a real void in the entertainment scene in the Pacific Northwest.

SODO Park, 3200 1st Ave S, Seattle

Now the show is back, this time in an old warehouse in SODO Park on Seattle’s south side. This is a limited edition run, now showing until February 19, 2023. The ZinZanni tradition of love, chaos and of course dinner is alive and well at this vintage venue. No tent, but a full bar is open, and the coat check room is in a huge old walk-in safe.

They make a stiff cocktail!

Curtains open, ready to be seated

Photo of menu items courtesy ZinZanni website

When you are seated, you will find the first course of your four course meal at your table. Tonight it was a wild mushroom tart with thyme-infused Madeira cream sauce. Second course was pumpkin soup with coconut and green chili sambal. The main course was your choice of meat, fish or vegetarian entrée. Chai panna cotta with a  blood orange glaze wraps up your feast for dessert. The four courses are brought to your table throughout the evening, at reasonable intervals, and not disruptive to the show.

The old warehouse becomes home to actors

The band, complete with Grand Piano

Now on with the performance! The setting here is an old warehouse of some kind. The trappings for the “Coming Home” show covered most, but not all of the old warehouse interior. Elaborate lights and sound systems were in place and provided technical support. The band was seated on an actual stage, and my did that small group of musicians put out an amazing variety of sounds.

Not enough can be said about the talented cast! Ben Wendel and Rachel Nehmer make up Duo Madrona, trapeze artist extraordinaire.  What they do is heart stopping!

Rizo is more than a superb vocalist. Her passion flows in every verse she sings, and her ability to hold a note seemingly forever will captivate you.

Vita Radionova defies the laws of physics with her contortion and hula hoop performance. As her act progresses, the number of hoops she uses increase!

Manuela Horn is the 6’2″ tall Yodeling Dominatrix. Yes, that’s what I said. Her antics keep everyone in stiches, and her interaction with one hapless audience member, well, it was interesting.

Elena Gatilova is a former World Champion of rhythmic gymnastics, and you won’t believe what she does on a suspended ring. Plus she is an excellent comedic actor.

Domitil Aillot trained at an internationally renowned Circus School in Paris. What he does with a stack of chairs from floor to ceiling will blow your mind, as will his performance on the Chinese Pole!

Michael Evolution is a world-class basketball freestyle juggler. Never heard of one? You are in for a treat! What this man does with three basketballs defies gravity!

Kevin Kent was a cast member of the original Teatro ZinZanni show in Seattle in 1998. His improvisation skills are unmatched, and his interactions with audience members in many different scenarios will have you surprised and in stiches. Enough said…

The Teatro Zinzanni trademark

Sher and Maj as taken by the Official Photographer

We were so glad when we heard that Teatro Zinzanni was back in business in Seattle. The new location works fine, and the cast, band and crew make for a delightful entertainment event. Learn more about the cast, band, menus and other points of information at the Teatro ZinZanni’s websiteDon’t miss a chance to catch this evening of love, chaos and dinner.

Hot chili on a cold night

Seattle was seeing a very rare 6 inch snowfall. Our grandson was home on a school snow day. And more snow was in the forecast as well. Seemed like a great night to have chili for supper.

A perfect snow day meal!

Our son-in-law made a crock pot full of tasty, hot and spicy chili. It included chili hot beans, diced tomatoes, black beans and elbow macaroni. I know he used some chili powder and other secret ingredients. Topped off with fresh diced onions and shredded cheese we all had a warm and filling supper suitable for a cold snowy night. Our son-in-law and daughter are both great cooks.

Burgermaster a Seattle area fixture for decades

Burgermaster began in 1952, and currently there are five in the Seattle area. Our daughter suggested we go there for supper before we went to see the Christmas lights.

No missing the name

Lots of parking, inside dining to the right

 

 

 

 

 

Sher and I were surprised to see what looked like an old fashioned drive-in, complete with car hops. (No, they were not on roller skates) No speakers to place orders here, the car hops had hand held devices to take our order. Large menu boards were prominently placed in front of each parking spot.

Fish hot from the fryer, lots of fries and slaw

Sher took a bite before I got the picture, rings to the right

 

 

 

 

 

I had the fish and chips, three pieces of “hand breaded in house” cod with a huge portion of fries and a small cup of slaw.  Sher had one of her favorites: grilled cheese with a slice of onion and a slice of tomato. Her side was onion rings, thus we were able to share and enjoy both fries and rings. Our grandson wanted a hot dog, and it was split into three slices and served on a hamburger bun. I’d never seen that served in a restaurant that way. He loved it!

The big menu board

Now you know where we were

 

 

 

 

 

All in all the food was good, served hot and quickly. We actually enjoyed eating in the car with our grandson between us. Our daughter and son-in-law were of course in the front, and enjoyed their burgers.  We all had great conversation and good food and drinks.