365 Things To Do Around the Eastside

Sharing Things To Do Around Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah, Sammamish and Woodinville

Day 33 of 365 Things To Do Around the Eastside: Steak Dinner at John Howie Steak Bellevue WA

John Howie Steak Bellevue WA at The Bravern USDA Prime Filet & American Wagyu Filet photo by Mike HestnessI had the pleasure of eating at John Howie Steak two weeks ago and I am still raving about how fantastic it was!

I love Steak. When John Howie announced that he was going to open a new restaurant at The Bravern in Bellevue WA my taste buds started to salivate. I waited a few months before I checked it out; now that I have eaten there I am HOOKED!

John Howie Steak is definitely an upscale classy dining experience. Its decor is modern and well-lit – which is something I like – I want to see what I am eating. (El Gaucho in Bellevue was so dark we used small flashlights to read the menu!!!) There is a nice size Bar, but I can imagine it gets full during the week after work. The dining room has a nice wall of windows that lets in lots of natural light.

While it is a beautiful restaurant we came for the BEEF so here is a recap of our meal:

They serve some pretty tasty fresh made breads, crackers and rolls. There were 4 or 5 different ones. I liked the Rosemary Rolls – warm, light, slightly salty and tender.

We had 2 starterJohn Howie Steak Bellevue WA The Bravern Calamari s. The 1st was one Fried Calamari and Baby Artichokes with Roasted Garlic and Lemon Aioli. This dish was the only thing that was disappointing. The Calamari was slightly soggy instead of a Fried Crispy treat. The serving size was ample enough for the 3 of us to share (we didn’t even finish it all).

Tempura Bacon at John Howie Steak Bellevue WA at The Bravern

The 2nd starter we ordered was FREAKING FANTASTIC!!! Tempura Fried Kurobuta Bacon with a Spicy Maple Ponzu Sauce!!! This is on their Happy Hour/Bar Menu – lucky for us our server was able to snag an order for us. The Bacon was Thick and Salty. The Tempura was fried to a beautiful golden brown, it was crunchy and light. The Spicy Maple Ponzu Sauce complimented the flavor of the bacon and the crispness to the tempura. This very well could be THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER EATEN!!! My motto when eating is “Everything is Better with Bacon!”

On to the main event one of us had the Alaskan Halibut that was pan-seared with Morel Mushrooms, English Peas, White and Green Asparagus. Alaskan Halibut at John Howie Steak Bellevue WA at The Bravern It had a light lemon and butter sauce. The serving size was large enough for the 3 of us to share and we even had some leftover to take home. The fish was firm and tasted fresh. The Asparagus was cooked perfectly, which was a nice surprise since most of the time when eating Asparagus at a restaurant it can be overcooked.

John Howie Steak Bellevue WA at The Bravern USDA Prime Filet & American Wagyu Filet photo by Mike Hestness

Two of us had a USDA Prime Filet and an America Wagyu Beef Filet. Both Filets were 4 ounces. They were served straight up with no sauce or vegetables. The USDA Prime Filet is Omaha raised beef and grilled over Mesquite Coals. It was cooked to medium rare and was thick and juicy. Tender is not the right word for this steak. It was more than tender. The flavor was big and bold. It was what Beef should be. The Just the right amount of fat to give it a deep taste.

Wagyu Fillet John Howie Steak Bellevue WA at The Bravern

The American Wagyu Beef Filet was an incredible piece of meat. John Howie Steak gets their Wagyu Beef from Snake River Farms over in Boise. The meat from Wagyu Cattle is known worldwide for its marbling characteristics, increased eating quality through a naturally enhanced flavor, tenderness and juiciness. Once again tender is not the right way to describe these Filets. They were SOFT, soft like butter that has been sitting in the sunshine all afternoon. The Wagyu are equal in taste to a Kobe steak. They are rich, marbled, thick, juicy and SOFT. You will not have a better piece of meat. It was simply perfect. Cooked just right – with a warm red center. Using any sauces would have been sacrilege. Wagyu Beef should be enjoyed naked and in its purest form.

Five Cheese Twice Baked Stuffed Potato at John Howie Steak Bellevue WA We also had 2 sides for the table: Asparagus Spears with brown butter and Meyer Lemon Hollandaise. Once again the Asparagus was cooked right it was young and tender. In addition to the Asparagus we had a Five Cheese Twice Baked Stuffed Potato with Bacon. This Potato was almost as large as a Nerf Football! Again it was awesome.

We didn’t really need desert, but we ordered it anyway.  It was a unanimous choice for getting the Flourless Semi-Sweet Chocolate Volcano Cake with warm Caramel Ganache, Vanilla Crème and two scoops of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. It was as expected – excellent!Chocolate Lava Cake at John Howie Steak Bellevue WA

I am looking forward to trying out John Howie Steak Happy Hour (Monday – Friday 3-6 and late night Monday – Thursday 9-11 Saturday 9-Midnight and Sunday 3-10).  If you would like to meet me at John Howie Steak for Happy Hour just let me know and I will be there. I want to try their Epic USDA Prime Beef Bacon Cheeseburger and the Beecher’s Flagship Reserve Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese.

John Howie Steak on Facebook

John Howie Steak at The Bravern
11111 NE 8th Street
Bellevue WA 98004
425 440 0880


May 11, 2010 Posted by | Eating Out, Happy Hour | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bonus Item 365 Things To Do Around the Eastside: Farmers Market Schedule

Here is a Bonus for the entire Summer Season

List of Farmers Markets on the Eastside for 2010!

Bellevue Farmers Market

Bellevue Farmers Market
Thursdays, 3pm-7pm

May 13 – October 14, 2010

First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue
1717 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue

Bellevue Farmers Market

Bellevue Farmers Market
Saturdays, 10am-3pm

Jun 5 – November 20, 2010

Washington Square
10610 NE 8th St, Bellevue

Crossroads Farmers Market

Crossroads Farmers Market
Tuesdays, Noon-6:30pm
May 25 – October 5, 2010

NE 8th & 156th Ave NE, Bellevue

Issaqauh Farmers Market

Issaquah Farmers Market
Saturdays, 9am-2pm
Apr 10 – October 9, 2010

1730 10th Ave NW, Issaquah

Juanita Farmers Market

Juanita Beach Farmers Market
Fridays, 3pm-7pm
May 14 – October 9, 2010

9703 NE Juanita Drive, Kirkland

Kirkland Farmers Market

Kirkland Farmers Market
Wednesdays, 2pm-7pm
May 5 – October 13, 2010

Marina Park, Kirkland

Mercer Island Farmers Market

Mercer Island Farmers Market
Sundays, 11am-3pm
June 20 – October 17, 2010

SE 32nd St at Mercerdale Park, Mercer Island

Redmond Farmers Market

Redmond Farmers Market
Saturdays, 9am-3pm
May 1 – October 30, 2010

7730 Leary Way NE, Redmond

May 6, 2010 Posted by | Eating Out, Family Activities, Gardening | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 32 of 365 Things To Do Around the Eastside: XXX Root Beer Floats

It has been years since I hXXX Root Beerad a Root Beer float, but I have heard about a place in Issaquah called XXX Root Beer, so I decided to check it out.

This is a throw back to the 1950’s Happy Day’s era! You would expect to see The Fonz or Ralph Mouth sitting in a booth with Fries and a Shake.

Even though it is a COOL spot, I wanted to check out their Root Beer, I mean it’s called Triple X Root Beer, so it should be good, right? So, I ordered a 32 ounce Root Beer Float – that comes in a Frosted Glass Mug!

Triple X Root Beer FloatOMG – it was sooooo gooood! The Root Beer is just like it was when I was growing up. Strong, with a bit of a bite and bubbly; add a couple scoops of Dairygold Vanilla Ice Cream and heavy Whipped Cream put in into a 32 ounce frozen mug and dive in. It was worth the drive to Issaquah!

XXX Root Beer Burger

XXX Root Beer also has a complete menu of Burgers, Dogs, Fries, Rings, Malts and Shakes – I am sure there are several other things on the menu, but I knew what I wanted and didn’t spend a lot of time reading it.

XXX Root Beer Piston Rings

The Piston Rings were THICK, BIG and Perfectly FRIED ONION RINGS. Some of the best I have ever had.

So, I saw an Evil Blue Hawaii Burger (Fresh Chicken Breast, Ham, Pineapple, Lettuce, Tomato, Cheese, Teriyaki Sauce, Mayo, XXX Dressing, Fries & Piston Rings) on the menu.

It sounded interesting I decided to do something different. I ordered a Double Burger with Bacon and Peanut Butter!

The very nice waitress wasn’t really sure about my order and kept repeating it just to make sure I wanted Peanut Butter and Bacon on my Burger. I did and it was very very yummy!

Peanut Butter, Bacon Burger

David Miller & Sue Cameron have written a nice HISTORY of XXX Root Beer Drive-In.

XXX Root Beer is famous across America for hosting Classic Car Shows and each Saturday (weather permitting) they host a Cruz-In!!! Check out their Web Site for a list of upcoming Car Shows and Events at XXX Root Beer.

Check them out on Facebook: XXX Root Beer Facebook Group or the Triple X Rootbeer Group

Cruise on in and try it out – you will become a loyal fan!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Eating Out | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 27 of 365 Things To Do Around the Eastside: Deep Dish Pizza Pie at The Pizza Bank

I hPizza Bank Kingsgate Kirkland WAave been told for several years about Pizza Bank in the Kingsgate neighborhood of Kirkland. How they have great deep dish pizzas and it is a nice family run joint. So, today we went and gave it a try.

First off, I love pizza. 24/7/365 would be fine by me. I like both deep dish and thin crust as long as it has cheese and sauce I like it.

We ordered the Large Old Number 29, which has Canadian Bacon, Shrooms, Italian Sausage, Olives and Motz. It was definitely a large pie. Hot, crispy and loaded down with toppings. It could have used an additional scoop of sauce, but it was good. Now I know why people have been talking up the Pizza Bank. They have been around since 1983, which is a long time in pizza years!

The large was enough to feed 3 of us and bring home a couple slices.

Pizza Bank Kirkland WA Deep Dish Pizza

In addition to Pizza they have many other Specialties of the House. I saw a couple of their Pasta dishes go by and the looked fantastic and enough to share; Lasagna, Baked Spaghetti, Pasta Greek Style, Clam Sauce, Shrimp Diablo and of course Chicken Parm.

Give Pizza Bank a try for Lunch or Dinner. You will get full, enjoy yourself and you should have some leftovers!

Deep Dish Pizza at Pizza Bank Kirkland WA

Deep Dish Pizza at Pizza Bank Kirkland WA

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Eating Out | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 26 of 365 Things To Do Around the Eastside: Monday Coffee Spot – Jitters Coffee

Jitters Coffee Redmond WA

While I used to be a frequent customer of Jitters Coffee in the Overlake area of Redmond over the past 5 years I moved to downtown Redmond so it’s not as convenient for me.

That being said I have many fond memories of good, almost great coffee. So this morning I decided to go back for a visit. This Jitters is in an old bank building, so it does have a drive thru – although no pneumatic tubes. Today the “lobby” was full of people socializing and working. There was only 1 empty table out of 10. All of the comfy chairs were full. It is defiantly a true neighborhood coffee spot. There was a group of retirees sitting next me to talking about how good the Sounder’s are, NICE!

Jitters serve my favorite beans – Café Vita and they offer baked goods from Alki Bakery!

Overall I used to love this place – I could get chocolate or strawberry whipped crème. Today the coffee was eh, ok, but not what I remembered. It was extremely busy with a queue of cars 4 deep at the drive thru . Tables full of regulars and it had a good energy or vide. I might just have gotten a bad pull of espresso or maybe the barista was under too much pressure due to how busy it was.

I will come back again – they offer punch cards – buy 11 get 1 FREE – just for the record I ordered a Mondo 20 ounce Mocha with Extra Chocolate and 2 Sweet & Lows.

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Coffee, Eating Out | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 21 of 365 Things To Do Around the Eastside: Seattle Restaurant Week 3 Courses for $25

Seattle Restaurant Week

Seattle Restaurant Week

April 18 to 29, 2010 over 100 Restaurants are offering a special 3 Course Dinner for Just $25 – it’s time for Seattle Restaurant Week! This is a way to celebrate local Chefs and Restaurants while eating some incredible food.

Local Eastside restaurants that are participating in this promotion include some very well reviewed names:

  • Artisanal Brasserie

  • Barrio Mexican Kitchen and Bar

  • Purple Café and Wine Bar

  • Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar

  • Wild Ginger

  • Anthony’s HomePort Kirkland

  • Beach Café

  • bin on the lake

  • Lynn’s Bistro

  • Trellis

  • Bennett’s Pure Food Bistro

  • The Dining Room

  • Woodman Lodge Steakhouse and Saloon

  • Barking Frog

You can check out more of the details for Seattle Restaurant Week on Facebook

Seattle Restuarant Week 2010

Seattle Restuarant Week 2010 on Facebook

To help celebrate Seattle Restaurant Week the Seattle Restaurant Cooperative is giving away a $100 Dinner Gift Certificate each day during this week long dining event. You can enter here

I think we are going to go to Seastar and give it a taste, which one are you going to try?

seastar restaurant and raw bar

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Eating Out | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 20 of 365 Things to Do Around the Eastside: Dine in Your Car at Burgermaster

BurgermasterI love Burgers, Shakes and Fries. Load up the car and head to one of the 5 Burgermaster locations around the Eastside. It is a total retro experience, minus the roller SKATES (although it would be way cool if they still skated). You pull into a parking space, turn on your headlights and wait for one of the servers to come to your car to take your order. While you wait for your burger to be cooked to order, you can turn up the tunes on the radio and rock out.

Your food will be brought to your car on a tray, roll your window up a bit so the tray can hang off the window and dive into the fantastic food.

Their Burgers are some of the BEST around. Thick, Juicy, Classic and Tasty. The menu is short sweet and simple: Burgermaster, Cheeseburger, Hamburger, Baconmaster (my fave) and Burgermelt.  Each burger can be customized with your choice of condiments, but for purists order just as it is on the menu, the same way since 1952.

They have thick, creamy and smooth Shakes or even better TRY ONE OF THEIR MALTS!!! They have 10 traditional flavors of Shakes: Chocolate, Hot Fudge, Strawberry, Vanilla, Pineapple, Root Beer, Blackberry, Tom and Jerry, Coffee, Mocha.

The Onion Rings are some of the best around. Large, Crispy and made with real sliced onions.

There are locations in Bellevue, Mill Creek, Everett, Aurora and University District. Make it a quest to visit each one this summer.

Awesome Burgers!


April 20, 2010 Posted by | Eating Out, Family Activities | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 15 of 365 Things To Do Around the Eastside: Friday Happy Hour @ Matt’s Rotisserie & Oyster Lounge

Friday is the day for Happy Hour here at Things To Do Around the Eastside!

Today’s choice is @ Matt’s Rotisserie & Oyster Lounge located at Redmond Town Center. Matt’s was recently Voted Best Happy Hour in Redmond by the Redmond Reporter and I would have to agree!

Matt’s Rotisserie & Oyster Lounge The 1st thing to know about HH @Matt’s is that it goes from 3-6 AND 9-Close Daily! It’s always nice to know where to go for a late night bite and even better if it is a Happy Hour.

The 2nd thing to know about HH @Matt’s is THE FOOD IS PHOEOMIAL!!! All apps are $5.00 and Oysters are only .75₡ on the Half Shelf.

Sample menu:

Oyster’s Matt Spinach, pancetta & lemon butter

Flash Fried Calamari Spicy marinara & lemon-garlic aioli

Spicy Buffalo Wings With Maytag blue cheese dip, celery and carrot sticks

Crispy Prawn Spring Rolls Prawns, carrot, napa cabbage, green onion, ginger, seaweed salad, rice noodles, hand rolled in a spring roll wrapper dipping sauces

Hot Dungeness Crab & Artichoke Dip Dungeness Crab, cream cheese, artichokes & spinach

Cambozola Flatbread Warm flatbread, white truffle oil, honey roasted garlic, cambozola cheese

Prawn & Avocado Pizza Grilled flatbread, spicy pico, chili-lime cream

Pan Roasted Manila Clams White wine, lemon, tomato & basil

Rotisserie Chicken Nachos Diced peppers, tomato, scallions, three cheeses Guacamole & chipotle sour cream

Roasted Mushroom Quesadilla Jack & Manchego cheeses, crimini & portabello mushrooms roasted poblano chiles, red onion, cilantro & goat cheese with chipotle sour cream

Mixed Grill Skewers Roti chicken, large prawns, K-Paul’s andouille sausage with honey garlic mustard glaze

Happy Hour at Matt’s Rotisserie & Oyster Lounge

Happy Hour at Matt’s Rotisserie & Oyster Lounge

The 3rd thing to know about HH @Matt’s is Go Now and Go Often!!! It is the Best Happy Hour in Redmond and maybe even on the entire Eastside!

Matt’s Rotisserie & Oyster Lounge
16651 NE 74th St.
Redmond, WA 98052
(425) 376 – 0909

April 16, 2010 Posted by | Eating Out, Happy Hour | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 12 of 365 Things To Do Around the Eastside: Food Porn? You Betcha

I have heard the phrase Food Porn before, but didn’t know what it was until Today on 365 Things to do Around the Eastside we are talking about the New KFC Double Down “sandwich.” Everything is BETTER with BACON!

Food Porn - KFC Double Down Sandwich

While I have loved The Colonel since I began eating, I have to wonder what he would think of the newest creation.Colonel Sanders

Me, I LOVE IT!!! While it is messier than eating a traditional sandwich, since there isn’t any Buns/Bread, it is worth the extra napkins. It has Monterrey Jack, Pepper Jack and BACON in between 2 Chicken Breasts.

Now, Iwouldn’t eat this every day, but when you are hungry for Chicken and Bacon, this satisfies the craving. Just so you go in fully informed here is the Nutritional Information for the Double Down.



Fat (g)

Sodium (mg)

KFC Original Recipe® Double Down




KFC Grilled Double Down




In case you don’t know where to find a KFC you can check out the Store Locator here.

Col. Sanders

As a piece of RANDOM TRIVIA – Did you know that Colonel Harland Sanders stated Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1930 and by 1965 there were over 600 Kentucky Fried Chicken locations!

April 13, 2010 Posted by | Eating Out | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 11 of 365 Things To Do Around the Eastside: Monday Means Coffee ~ urban COFFEE lounge

The only way to survive a Monday is with a great cup of coffee or espresso! Today we are heading to Juanita Village in Kirkland for a MOST EXCELLENT ESPRESSO.

urban COFFEE lounge Juanita Village Kirkland

urban COFFE lounge is more than just a place to run in and run out with your fave caffeinated beverage. UCL is a neighborhood gathering place, the center of a village; it feels like a “social version of your living room.” They focus on the ART of coffee. Perfection in a cup.

urban COFFEE lounge Espresso

UCL of course has the typical coffee shop fare: Mocha, Americano, and Cappuccino, but they ALSO have some pretty WILD and AMAZING other items on the beverage menu such as: Hairbender, Organic Loose Leaf Tea, The Gunslinger, Hemp Cappuccino, 14 Hands Cabernet (yes, Cabernet ~ UCL now is serving Wine and Beer ~ oh Happy Days)

They have some really incredible Baristas including Andrew who will be competing this week for the United States Barista Championship in Anaheim CA!

Don't Miss It Barista Championship

Stop by urban COFFEE lounge and give it a taste, you will enjoy every drop!

9744 NE 119TH WAY

April 11, 2010 Posted by | Eating Out | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments