Ballard Ranks 5th According to Walkscore.com

According to this Ballard News Tribune article, Ballard has a walk score of 94 which ranks them 5th out of 100 neighborhoods in Seattle. Ballard features over one hundred restaurants & bars packed in its dense urban setting as well as grocery stores, libraries, parks, and a post office, all of which are within a short distance from each other. As the high ranking indicates, not many neighborhoods in Seattle offer as much variety and in such a close proximity as Ballard does.

One of the reasons why Ballard is ranked as high as they are is because of the diversity of places that are within a 5 minute walk. This is one of the strongest indicators of how walkable a neighborhood is according to Walkscore.com.  In case you were wondering, the 4 neighborhoods ahead of Ballard are:

4. Cascade
3. Belltown
2. South Lake Union
1. Denny Triangle

With this great summer weather that we are currently having get outside and walk around Ballard and make sure to let us know what you think about our walk score of 94!

New Ballard Burger Restaurant

This week Li’l Woody’s Burgers & Shakes opened up next to the The Bay movie theater (2040 NW Market St). With their previous success on Capitol Hill, they decided to try their luck in the heart of Ballard. Offering Molly Moons milk shakes, hand cut  french fries, and countless burger combinations Li’l Woody’s is a perfect option for one of our perfect Ballard summer nights.  

For a complete menu check out their website at lilwoodys.com.

It’s Halloween; Don a Scary Costume, Save at These Local Restaurants/Bars

With Halloween right around the corner, Seattle restaurants are taking advantage of the festive scary scenery, and rewarding  cladly dressed Seattleites with specials on food and drink around town, from now until October 31st. Check out the list of establishments who actually prefer if you’re dining in Zombie attire than suit and tie this week.

Boka will be offering happy hour prices on all food and drink items to all diners dressed in Zombie attire this Saturday October 27th! Zombie diners are also encouraged to head over to the Thrill the World dance off in Occidental Park to break the record for biggest “Thriller” performance.

Belltown Pub will be hosting a Dracula PJ party with Halloween food and drink available, and no cover charge from 9-close on October 27th.

Linda’s Tavern is having a 50’s themed Halloween mixer on October 31st, with guest DJ King Dude. Party begins from 8pm-close, with free entry. Costumes strongly suggested.

Cupcake Royale Place your order of 12 or more cupcakes on or before October 30th for your big Halloween party, and receive a free pint of Cupcake Royale ice cream.

Cafe Flora will host a pumpkin decorating event on Saturday from 10am-2pm in Washington Park, perfect for your little ones. Pumpkin bread, pancakes and spiced cider will be on hand to snack on during the festivities. Costumes are welcome!

Support Seattle Firefighters This Weekend: Pig & Pipes Event

The Old Peculiar Public House in Ballard will host it’s annual fundraiser to benefit the Seattle Firefighter Drum Band, and Seattle’s Bravest Charity, originally known as Seattle Fire Fighter’s Benevolent Association. The charity came to shape in 1995 after after the deaths of 4 firefighters Pang Arson Warehouse Fire, and has since grown into a huge organization that supports the community and the Seattle Fire Department. 

The fundraiser will have a pig roast and lively pipe band that will perform in traditional attire, ie kilts, high socks, newspaper boy caps and bagpipes throughout the day, from 10am on. The bar will roast several pigs and serve yummy sides like macaroni salad, coleslaw, and baked beans. The fundraiser is a 21+ only event, and micro brews can be purchased for $4 a beer. Tickets for this event cost $20 bucks per person in advance, and $25 day of the event, and include entry, food, and entertainment. For more information on the event, or to purchase your ticket early, visit the Pigs & Pipes page.

Kickin Boot Whiskey to Open Next Thursday

Photo Courtesy of facebook.com/kickinboot

As we’d mentioned in a previous article, the folks who run the Matador restaurants are opening another restaurant, but leaving the extensive Tequila list at home; Kickin Boots Whiskey in Ballard will open next Thursday, catering to all the dark liquor and BBQ lovers in town! The building owners told the restaurateurs to keep as much of the original building as possible, and they catered to the request by keeping the original ceiling and floors in tact.

Kickin Boot has an outdoor patio that seats 50, all ages dining area, and a wrap around bar with a Southern touch. The patio has heated floors and a pull down garage door perfect for Seattle’s unpredictable weather, but according to My Ballard, the owners hope to keep the patio open throughout the summer. For more information on the grand opening, visit Kickin Boot’s website.

Best Seattle Bars to Watch the Olympics

If you’ve been keeping up with any of the Olympics this year, you’ve probably noticed that there is quite a handful of local Washingtonians representing the United States, as well as other countries at the London games this year. Our state is represented by hot shot swimmer Nathan Adrian,  Basketball Star Sue Bird, and Adrienne Martelli in women’s rowing. If you’ve been busy outside enjoying the sunshine, or holed up at work during prime Olympic hours, we’ve got a handful of local neighborhood bars that are playing the games non-stop through August 12th, so you can catch team USA in action.

If you’re in Capitol Hill the newest sports bar in town 95 Slide open from 2-2, and the bar is planning on having food and drink specials during major Olympic events such as the basketball finals. If you’d like to feel like you’re in London, hit up one of the  sister English pubs, in Ballard the Market Arms or George and Dragon (operated by the same English owner). Spit Fire and Buckley’s in Belltown will have specials during popular Olympic events, and Spitfire will be hosting a closing ceremony party, similar to the big event they had on opening night. Come on out and experience the Olympic tradition, and success of team USA with your neighboring sports fans through August 12th!

Seafoodfest Is Here This Weekend!

The much anticipated Ballard Seafoodfest is finally here this weekend, and Ballardites are getting things started with a neighborhood BBQ kickoff this Friday, to benefit the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial at the Ballard Elks. The BBQ will have live music from a local band playing Johnny Cash, food from Smokin Pete’s BBQ, and of course, beer from local favorite Maritime Pacific Brewery

Saturday events begin from 11am-9pm, and Sunday festivities run from 11am-7pm, and feature beer gardens, a lukefish eating contest, hearty salmon BBQ, and even doggie stations from local businesses to host your furry friends for a dip in a kiddie pool, and free treats. There will also be live entertainment at several stages throughout the day, with performances by local and visiting accordion musicians on the main stage, and storytelling and juggling on the kids stage. Come on down to Ballard this weekend, and checkout the Seafood weekend festivities!

Cupcake Royale Now Offering Ice Cream!

Is it summer yet? We’ve seen a glimmer here and there, but the folks at Cupcake Royale are happy with what they can get this summer, and taking the opportunity to launch ice cream in all 6 of their store fronts.

The delectable cupcake gurus are now offering flavors such as “cupcakes n cream” as their signature flavor, and will have many other unique flavors such as their “whiskey maple bacon crack” made with locally sourced Woodinville Whiskey, and Zoe’s meats bacon, “Bonanza” made with bananas homemade brownies and caramel, burnt caramel and sea salt, and red velvet cupcake; yum! The newest store front is located at 108 pine street downtown and will open this Saturday, but until then will have a food cart outside the store front serving scoops from noon-8pm. The Ballard, Capitol Hill, and Bellevue locations will have scoops, shakes cones and sundaes on their menu, and all other locations will have pints to go.

New Ballard Restaurant: The Gerald

Ballardites, add a new restaurant to your radar. The space at 5210 Ballard Avenue will now be known as The Gerald, a restaurant/bar tapping into our desire for American comfort food. In an effort to fill the void created when Denny’s was torn down, The Gerald will be offering classic American diner options, such as Mac ‘n cheese. For the full menu options, please check out its website.

Perusing the menu, you know that I’ll be checking this place out in the next few weeks for three reasons:

  1. Poutine –  The heart attack-inducing food, poutine, is fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds. Slowly but surely, the Canadian classic has been sneaking down south in to the States. So, I cannot wait to taste The Gerald’s poutine creation.
  2. Swedish Meatballs– Despite living in the Nordic capital of Seattle, it is surprisingly difficult to find a place that serves Swedish meatballs. The only place I know that serves Swedish meatballs in Ballard is The Copper Gate. Besides that, the only option to satisfy my craving was to hop in a car and get lost in a Swedish maze of modern home furnishings that is IKEA. Now that The Gerald is open, you can bet I will order the Swedish meatballs. Thank you, The Gerald, for honoring Ballard’s Nordic roots.
  3. Cocktails – The Gerald offers an intriguing cocktail menu, inspired by the 50s and 60s. Highlights include the numerous gin cocktail options (the Ruby Gin Fizz, the Gimlet, and the James Bond-inspired Vesper), various ginger options, and more. I cannot wait to sip on a Silent Third while enjoying a sunny afternoon. Wouldn’t you like to try a “sexy coupling of lemon & vanilla,” otherwise known as the Sidecar? Oo, I’m thirsty!

The Gerald looks like a restaurant-bar hybrid. In the sea of restaurants and bars in Ballard,  it will be interesting to see how this one succeeds, as there are a few other restaurants that offer the comfort food options. It opens tonight, but an official grand opening will happen in the next few weeks. If you stop by, tell me what you think!

Don’t forget to check out The Gerald’s Facebook!

Top Ten Restaurants and Bars in Ballard of 2011

As a Ballardite who lacks an inner Julia Child, I find myself eating out a lot. Fortunately, Ballard is home to a large variety of restaurants, so I’m never bored. One Ballard couple took it upon themselves to eat and review every single restaurant and bar in Ballard. This is quite a feat, as our neighborhood has a lot to offer. One year later, they had made their top 10 list. Here is the list with links to each restaurant:

10. Tie between Flying Squirrel Pizza and Bastille
9. Copper Gate
8. The Boar’s Nest
7.Pasta Bella
6. Thai Thani
5. The Sexton
4. Ocho
3. La Carte de Oaxaca
2. The Walrus and the Carpenter
1. Plaka Estiatorio

So, Ballardites, what do you think? Do you agree with this list? What did the Seattle couple leave out? What adjustments would you make?

I’ve reviewed La Carta de Oaxaca and agree that it is absolutely delicious. Looking at this list, I’m honestly embarrassed that I haven’t been to many of these delicious places! Where have I been eating? It looks like I have a mission!