Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses.
During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.
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.
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.
With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company’s product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
This naturalistic approach is fully realized in Jamba Juice's selection of smoothies. Made with 100% fruit juice, sherbet, and frozen yogurt, the frosty delights range from all-fruit smoothies such as peach perfection and strawberry whirl to more indulgent creamy treats, including peanut butter moo'd, an enticing blend of peanut butter, bananas, nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt, and milk chocolate.
For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents protein-packed mini wraps, toasted bistro sandwiches and California Flatbreads that pack only about 320–420 calories each.
Great American Casino brings a little bit of Vegas to the Northwest, gathering hooting and hollering patrons around table games such as baccarat, Texas Hold 'Em, blackjack, and other styles of poker, such as Progressive Fortune Pai Gow. Most tables have a betting limit up to $300, and aside from the top-shelf thrill of walking away with the pot, regular players can earn rewards redeemable toward electronics, meals, hotel stays, and Great American merchandise.
Like the best Vegas casinos, Great American brings more to the table than just gambling. There's live entertainment most nights, including local bands and musicians from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. There are full-service dining rooms where the menus also bear an Asian influence, with dishes such as pad thai and Kalbi ribs. The menus are slightly different at each of the four locations, but generally encompass an international spread that might include pizza, pub-style fish 'n' chips, and creme brulee, much like the meatloaf served in the United Nation's cafe.
Mick Kelly’s Irish Pub boasts a full menu of eclectic pub fare for lunch and dinner daily. Appetizers range from the elegance of steamed local clams ($8.99 for a half pound, $14.99 for a pound) in a white-wine, garlic, and butter sauce to the potato decadence of seasoned fries ($4.99) baked under a blanket of cheddar cheese and topped with sour cream and green onions. Empty-handed post-auction attendees can make a taste-bud bid on the hearty selection of handheld sandwiches, such as the french dip with a rosemary-shallot au jus ($9.99), whereas the eatery’s Irish specialties promise to make eyes, noses, and mouths smile. Summon a serving of the corned beef and cabbage ($9.99–$11.99) or the slow-cooked Guinness beef stew ($8.99–$10.99) to satisfy a Leopold Bloom–esque appetite, or indulge in the apple-brandy pork chops ($15.99) or spicy prawn penne ($14.99). For guests allergic to the moon, Mick Kelly’s Irish Pub serves up a bounty of brunch bites on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon.
At Bison Creek Pizza & Pub, the past meets the present in both food and décor. Located inside the historic Burien Theatre, the pizzeria serves its gourmet pies from a modern kitchen, but it pours mixed drinks from the theater's original saloon-like bar. A stage has replaced the screen, and free live shows blare music across the expansive room regularly. Bison Creek's menu exemplifies the same juxtaposition of tradition and change, boasting specialty pizzas that it's served since opening in 1975, now with modern twists such as gluten-free crusts, soy cheese, and invisible slices.
Customers can build their own pizza, but the pub is known for its gourmet options such as the 6th Gear—a pizza piled high with chicken, bacon, and artichoke hearts simmering garlic cream sauce with onions and garlic. The menu has expanded as well. Grinder sandwiches filled with tender pulled pork or heaps of salami, bacon, and pepperoni come with a pile of fries, and the kitchen produces pasta dinners with homemade sauces such marinara, alfredo, or pesto cream.