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Archive for February, 2014

It’s been about forever since my last post, but I have been extremely busy with the newest addition to my family.  My wife gave birth to our beautiful baby girl, Rylie Kadence – literally the week after my last post in October! She has been such a blessing and joy in our lives and as I’m sure all parents can attest, a first child is a minor adjustment to say the least 😉 I’m not going to sugar coat how magical being a new parent is, because it’s not. Your life as you know it, without a child, is literally turned upside down with the added responsibility and care of a baby. Now, I’m in no way saying I don’t enjoy being a new father, because I absolutely LOVE it! I wouldn’t change it for the World! It is definitely cliché, but the love and joy you get from being a new parent is indescribable – one literally cannot put into words how I feel every time I look at her. If you don’t have kids, sorry… you probably cannot relate… but to all my parents out there, this “club” is friggin’ amazing!

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rylie kadence @ 2-months

Now, onto the goodies! Last Friday, Valentines Day, I took my family (it’s so cool I can say that now) on a 30-minute ferry ride west of Seattle to Bainbridge Island. Bainbridge is a very charming town with many gems to discover, both as a foodie and as someone looking for fun activities. Here’s what our day trip looked like:

Café Nola:

Through a few recommendations, we had lunch at Café Nola. Located on Bainbridge Island’s main street of E. Winslow, Café Nola is a nice little spot that serves up some great food and drink. Cherry and I were on a mission for one thing in particular – fish ‘n chips. Going back seven years, fish ‘n chips has been our Valentine’s Day tradition and we’ve sampled quite a few spots in Seattle and even up North in Victoria B.C. I’m not sure exactly how this tradition started, but it’s a damn good tradition, and are you really going to argue against fish ‘n chips!?

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view from the street

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tight yet cozy quarters

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 bread ‘ oil

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kale salad: smoked bacon, pickled egg, roasted garlic mushrooms, pecorino vinaigrette $6

Knowing we’d be partaking in a meal of deep fried goodness, Cherry and I made a conscious decision to balance the meal with a salad. So we split a side order. This was a well-dressed salad with rich flavors of the bacon and garlic mushrooms and balanced nicely with the vinaigrette. The pickled egg added just a hint of brightness to each bite.

cafenola_fishnchips

fish ‘n chips: pacific cod, malt slaw, steak fries $14

These large pieces of Pacific cod were nicely breaded with great crunch in each bite. The fish was fresh and perfectly cooked – tender meat that flaked off. The pieces served here might be the biggest I’ve seen! The only thing bigger would be breading and deep frying a whole filet. The chubby kid side of me was definitely cheering for joy. I would have liked the dish better, if served with a quartered lemon slice, but the malt vinegar and tartar sauce sufficed. The slaw was prepared very well. I favor malt vinegar slaw over the traditional mayo,  because the malt vinegar does a better job blending the subtle bitter and sweet from the cabbage and carrots. The steak fries were your standard fare.

Mora Iced Creamery:

Having never been but hearing as much positive praise as an establishment could possibly receive, we decided to stop by. Ok, that’s not true. I’ve had Mora on my never-ending list of “must tries” for the last few years, and finally found an opportunity to come.

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cheesecake with brownies

Rich flavors from the real cream cheese and awesome brownie pieces… which happen to come from a local bakery. Ohh, and Cherry couldn’t wait for me take a picture before she started diggin’ in!

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pistachio

Creamy. Nutty. Delicious. Three very naughty words when describing something you want to put in mouth over and over again.

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devil: whiskey ice cream infused w/Australian hibiscus flowers in syrup

I wasn’t able to pick up much of the whiskey flavor, but the ice cream was definitely rich and creamy. The hibiscus flowers were also delicious! The texture reminded me of cherries in a cherry ice cream and the flavors were subtly sweet.

Blackbird Bakery:

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cinnamon walnut coffee cake

We ended the trip at Blackbird Bakery to pick up a few goodies for the road. Yes, I know we just had ice cream, but if you didn’t know already, Cherry has a sweet tooth the size of Texas and I’m never one to disappoint! Blackbird Bakery is a nice place offering freshly made pastries of both the sweet and savory variety. I didn’t end up taking many pictures of what we bought since they were mostly boxed or wrapped up. Cherry ordered a few cookies and an herb roll to go – all of which were very good once we got home. I was able to get a shot of this coffee cake as we sat and ate while waiting for the ferry. Overall, it was a tasty coffee cake with chunks of walnuts and pleasant flavors from the cinnamon and coffee cake. It wasn’t as moist as I’d had hoped for, but then again, we did come in 30-minutes before closing, so that could been a factor.

Bloedel Rerserves:

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my valentines 

We spent the bulk of our time at The Bloedel Reserves, which is wonderful public garden with roughly 2-miles worth of walking trails taking you through the lush flora and fauna of this region. There is a visitor center at the half-way point of the trail that doubles as a rest point and as an event hall for musical events. I particularly enjoyed the Japanese Garden located towards the end of the trail. I would highly recommend visiting Bloedel during anytime of the season – but bring comfortable walking shoes. We will definitely be back in the spring to see different flowers in bloom. Keep in mind that there is an entrance fee.

My Conclusion:

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a stone’s throw away

I consider Bainbridge Island somewhat of a hidden gem. Those who frequent or live on the island know how great it is and those who do not, simply don’t know what they’re missing! We weren’t able to explore as many of the “commercial” points of interest as we would have liked, but that only gives us another reason to come back!

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