Cupcake Royale

I went to a friend’s house for a dinner on Saturday night and I had one easy task to complete-bring a dessert.  It wasn’t until after buying cheesecake at Safeway did I realize I should have walked across the street from Canal Station (A Ballard Seattle condominium building) to Cupcake Royale.  Cupcake Royale has a variety of flavors and cute packaging that would have been great.   (Come to find out, Cupcake Royale was one of the hostess’ favorite treats). I had been meaning to go after reading numerous articles on boutique cupcake shops in Seattle recently, so the next day I went.  I went there at about 8:30 p.m., surprised they stayed open until 10 p.m. on Sunday, to discover it was “Happy Hour”.  Happy Hour isn’t a set time at Cupcake Royale, but if the clock is ticking closer to closing and the cases are still full, Cupcake Royale happily offers amazing deals to get rid of that day’s batch.  I bought three, and got three free as they still had a fair amount left.  I had seen their cupcake of the month online, the “Velvet Elvis”, a banana cake with chocolate peanut butter frosting and wanted that.  Unfortunately it was, not surprisingly, sold out for the day.  I chose a “Triple Threat”, a “Royale w/ Cheese”, a “Classic”, a “Red Velvet”, a “Salted Caramel”, and a chocolate cake with vanilla/strawberry frosting.  All of these flavors are described on their website.   and all were delicious.  I tried a bite of each and left them at a friend’s.  There is just too much temptation bringing them home!  Cupcake Royale’s original location is in Madrona, and they also have locations in Capitol Hill, Ballard, West Seattle, and Bellevue.  If you’re in the mood for something sweet and simply delicious, check out Cupcake Royale.  I’m glad I did.

Red Mill and Totem House Unite?

Red Mill Burgers, the trademark Seattle burger joint, is reportedly interested in opening a new location at the recently closed Totem House in Ballard.  Red Mill opened in 1937 in Capitol Hill before closing in 1967.  Then in 1994, Red Mill Burgers opened in Phinney Ridge, and then one in Interbay in 1998.  Red Mill Burgers has been voted The Best Seattle Burger in Seattle Weekly for 10 years in a row, and even recommended by Oprah.  Owners John and Babe Shepherd had interest in buying Totem House years ago, and now after its closing in December, the Shepherds are once again trying to buy it.  The Totem House is considered a Seattle icon, and the new Red Mill will incorporate Totem House classics like fish n’ chips along with Red Mill burgers.  The Shepherds have yet to get a response in regards to their interest in Totem House.  Totem House closed due to economic troubles, after having been open as a restaurant since 1945.  I’m all for another Red Mill and for preserving the unique Totem House.  Let’s hope this works out!

King’s Hardware

When I think of my favorite bar to go to on a Friday night, one word comes to mind- “Kings”. Technically it’s two, “Kings Hardware”, but it’s normally referred to as just “Kings”. I like to think that the name might even be an homage to its obvious superiority to other Seattle bars.  The atmosphere is relaxed, but hip at the same time, and there is an indoor and (large) outdoor area to occupy.  One of the best things about King’s, however, has to be the games.  Not only do they have “board games” like Jenga that can be requested and played at your table, but I think the Skee Ball at the back of the bar is an even greater attraction.  There are two Skee Ball machine’s at King’s making for great competition and fun.  King’s has been drawing in the crowds for beers and burgers, operating by the motto “Can’t beat our meat!” since Linda Derschang (owner of Linda’s Tavern in Capitol Hill) decided to turn the previous hardware store into bar.  King’s creates its delicious burgers from Misty Isle Farm beef, a ranch in Oregon. Their creations come with a variety of toppings, and the most unique is undoubtedly the peanut-butter-topped, “After School Special”. I’ve been especially lucky to have friends who live mere blocks from King’s, and now I have more of an excuse than ever before to traipse over to my favorite weekend (really any day)haunt.   The bar has had over a dozen magazine mentions for being one of the city’s greatest bars-compliments to both beer selection and grub.  Also, I almost died when I saw the host of one of my favorite travel shows, Man Vs. Food, Adam Richman donning a King’s Hardware shirt on an episode that wasn’t even featuring Seattle!  You know it’s good when a grubbin’ guy like that will represent when he’s hundeds of miles away!  Anyway, if you’re looking for a great Friday night with friends, or just a tasty dinner with your family during the week, don’t hesitate to check out King’s Hardware.  King’s Hardware is at 5224 Ballard Ave. NW.  Please visit their website for more information and menus.

Small Theatre Charm

Don’t get me wrong.  I was “WOW”ed when I watched Harry Potter in IMAX donning my 3-D glasses, but I was absolutely charmed when I saw the new Disney movie “Tangled” at the Magestic Bay Theatre on Ballard’s NW Market St. last week.  Although the theatre hasn’t been around for 80 years (it was rebuilt in 1998), it has that old-time charm that makes movie going so fun.  We purchased tickets from a center box at the building’s exterior and passed a modest concession counter before climbing three sets of stairs to a small, but comfortable theatre.  Maybe it was the curtains near the considerably-smaller–than-average screen, or the fact that there were probably 50 seats total in the theatre-it was just pleasant.  Not to mention the young girl who danced in front of the screen for a good 10 minutes before the previews started.  I don’t think that would fly anywhere else but Majestic Bay.  The design features were modern, though.  The theatre had nice, high-back chairs and the image quality was great.  I was also pleasantly surprised when I saw one of Seattle’s Parade of Pigs statues dressed as an usher on the theatre’s third floor.  Everything about this theatre appealed to me, and probably would to many.  So if you’re in the neighborhood, don’t miss the opportunity to catch a flick at Majestic Bay.  They are currently playing three films: The Green Hornet, True Grit and The Fighter.  See information and movie times on the official website.

Seattle Make a Sundance Appearance

Every year, Park City, Utah holds its internationally-known film festival, Sundance.  This year, Sundance will take place January 20-30th and four independent films by Seattle artists will be debuted.   A Ballard resident, Lacey Leavitt, will have two films for which she was scriptwriter shown at the festival.  Leavitt is the board president of Independent Film Project Seattle.  The two films, The Off Hours and The Catechism Cataclysm, also have the common bond of crew member Megan Griffiths.  Two other two, The Details and The Oregonian, will also show at the festival.  For ticket and festival information, please visit the official Sundance website.  Good luck to all who worked on these films.  I’m sure Seattle will be proud.

Spring Into Sports

For those of you who have kids, registration for Spring sports begins at the end of the month.  Registration for Ballard Little League will take place on January 26th at 3003 NW 65th Street at the Sunset Hill Community Club.  Parents or guardians are aksed to bring medical forms, birth certificates and proofs of residences to this in-person registration.  You can also register online.    February 1st is the opening registration day for the Ballard Boys & Girls Club baseball season.  Kids in preschool up to 4th grade are allowed to participate.  There is a $75 fee which includes Club membership. 

If your daughter is interested in playing a sport, try Lacrosse.  The Quick Styx lacrosse club has a 7th/8th grade team, a 5th/6th grade team and for the first time this year a 3rd/4th grade team.  The cost is $100/player and $25 membership fee.  Visit their website for more information.

Harlow’s Saloon on Seattle’s Old Ballard Avenue

Ballard Avenue has a new bar to a cold beer, drink, or even a TV dinner.  It is in the triangular Junction Building on the corner of Ballard Avenue and 20th Ave NW – basically across from the Tractor.  The building is old brick building like most building on the street, and the bar is kind of a Ballard-hip dive bar with tallboy beers with such beer as Schmidt, Olympia, and Milwaukee’s Best.  The bar is not the biggest space, but it is a fun place to hang with friends.

I went on the opening weekend (about a month ago) and had a good time.  I have heard from a friend that they have added some board games since then and there was talk of adding a table top video game which would be cool: hopefully it will be Ms. Pac-Man.  Also, I heard they may have guest bartenders on Tuesday night.  Maybe just a rumor, but if they do it, I try to get first in line and invite all my friends.

If you are on Ballard Avenue and need a beer, check out Harlow’s, another cool Ballard bar.

New Ballard Project

Yesterday, January 3rd marked the second Design Review meeting for a mixed-use development to be built on an empty lot at 6559 15th Ave. N.W.  The proposed building will be a five-story project with live/work units and 101 residential units above a parking garage providing spaces for 67 vehicles.  On January, 11th a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) determination meeting will take place at the Ballard High School Library.  This project proposal is one of many upcoming residential projects around the Seattle area.

Ballard House Fire

Friday, December 31st, a house fire occurred on the corner of N.W 65th St. and 9th Ave. N.W in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.  Firefighters rescued eight people from the home, who had managed to escape the flames and were sitting on the home’s rooftop.  The home and belongings perished in the blaze and donations are being made to the fire’s victims.  The cause of the fire is still unknown and monetary damages resulting from the fire are around $300,000. Please bring donations to the Ballard Key Bank location at 1536 N.W. Market St.  To donate at any Key Bank, specificy that you are donating to the Luberts Family Fund.