There are more than a million ways to design a pizza at Golden Pizza so when the family behind the eatery claims they take pizza seriously, believe it. This seriousness begins with the dough, made with a recipe originally concocted by operations lead Reet Kaur's dad, who still expertly kneads the dough daily. All pies, no matter how different, begin the same way, with a layer of full-bodied red or white sauce, a stack of veggies or meats, and a top layer of whole-milk mozzarella. Then they go to the long-chamber oven, which is set at slow-baking temperatures and equipped with hot-air flows. In other words, this oven is the source behind the drool-inducing aromas wafting through the air at Golden Pizza. A couple of the creative pies include a tandoori chicken, a taco pizza, and tropical hawaiian. If all those pizza-making possibilities cause too much undue stress, stick to the other menu options of toasted subs, spaghetti, salad, and wings, or start a mock fight between breadsticks and bacon cheesesticks.
Ishtar Greek & Mediterranean Cuisine is named for an ancient Mesopotamian goddess of love, and the restaurant itself is a love letter to the Middle Eastern home of Iraqi immigrant and founder Alaa Hamadi. Inside, the smell of grilled lamb and chicken floats through in the air as arabic music softly plays, transporting the senses to the Persian Gulf and its surrounding cultures—the best of both worlds for Hamadi, who, as he told The Thunderword, fled Iraq in 1991 to escape the oppressive regime. Today, the large halal menu reaches beyond Persian cuisine to embrace Greek dishes and a few American standards, ranging from fluffy falafel balls to skewered beef and lamb morsels to gyro meat hand carved into the shape of the Mediterranean Sea. Huge windows run around the dining room's perimeter and wrap up onto the ceiling, and on sunny days, bamboo shades pulled over them give the impression of dining beneath a rustic arbor as light filters down through grape vines.
In addition to earning the title of Best Macro Brew in Roast magazine's 2011 Roaster of the Year Competition, Dillanos Coffee Roasters coffee—made at its Sumner, Washington headquarters—also fills cups at Urban Timber Coffee. Urban Timber's various in-state locations also brew other caffeinated drinks, such as caramel macchiatos and white-chocolate mochas. Other Northwest-made ingredients flavor its coffee alternatives, which include apple cider and protein smoothies. Goods sourced from local bakeries sweeten mornings, and candy toppings add an extra-sweet kick to create-your-own frozen yogurts.
Though its robust coffees provide the backbone of each storefront, not every Urban Timber Coffee offers the same delicacies or experiences. Microbrews and wine populate the beverage counter at its Kent location, for instance, which also requires a secret handshake to prove you’re 21 or older.
Corks and Canvas Events, like a work of fine art, came about by pairing a good idea with a passion to create. The founders both came from the marketing world, where they spent their days devising campaigns and events to inspire their audiences to take action. A shared love for art and wine inspired them to bend their action-creating talents toward a new goal?hosting painting and wine events in area wineries and wine bars, allowing guests to "uncork their creativity" and promote the burgeoning Washington wine industry in a social setting.
Their idea took the form of Corks and Canvas Events, where experienced artists lead guests step-by-step through the painting creation process. Guests re-create various paintings, everything from lush vineyard scenes to preening roosters, while sipping on glasses of local wines.
A poorly trained barista in front of a top-notch espresso machine is like an 8-year-old behind the wheel of a car—he has no idea the power before him, nor how to use it. Enter owner Bob Burgess—a specialty-beverage entrepreneur for more than 39 years—and his team at Seattle Barista Academy. For just less than a decade, Burgess and company have taught intense hands-on training programs that focus on crafting coffee, espresso, cappuccino, macchiato, and mocha drinks using advanced techniques and equipment. From learning the life cycle of a coffee bean to mastering grinding methods, extraction techniques, and latte art, students walk away with a wealth of knowledge that makes them more employable. Like deeply unpopular one-man shows, the classes consist of one-on-one attention, since class sizes are limited to no more than seven participants.
Seattle Barista Academy's staff members—all of whom have been professional baristas at some point in their careers—have up to 19 years of experience in the field. These sessions provide clients with the coffee-making and marketing knowledge they need to grow their coffee cart, kiosk, or fort built from coffee beans.
The amiable bakers at Cow Chip Cookies drop 11 types of dough onto sheets before baking their signature cookies to a golden finish. Fresh ingredients from The Butter Creek Farm are used to craft cookies available in flavors such as classic chocolate chip with Ghirardelli chocolate and Mock Baby Ruth cookies featuring a peanut-butter-and-oatmeal cookie-dough base spotted with chocolate and butterscotch chips. As the cookies drop, each one takes on its own slightly different shape, just like a handmade pillow filled with shredded college rejection letters. Gift boxes delight recipients with heart-shaped treats, seasonal shapes, or custom flavor combinations.