In 1985, as ends meet became harder to make, the Carleton family sold its cows and closed its nearly 30-year-old dairy farm. Not to be deterred, Mary Carleton began selling pumpkins and sweet corn from a roadside stand three years later. Today, the Carletons continue Mary's efforts by cultivating 60 acres of produce, including english peas, zucchini, and green and purple beans. Along with their own veggies, the Carletons stock their farm market with organic raw milk, grass-fed beef, local honey, and handmade pies.
After a summer spent selling their produce, the Carletons unwind with guests for nearly two months of autumnal fun starting in September. A corn maze with stalks more than 9-feet high snakes through a 4-acre field in a different shape each year. Come dusk, a cornfield eerily transforms into the haunted swamp, which dares guests aged 12 and up to creep through its creature-filled labyrinth. The pumpkin patch teems with various-sized pumpkins ripe for plucking, while the pumpkin cannon launches gourds into the air in hopes that one will transform into Cinderella's private jet. The fenced kids' area further entices youngsters with a zip swing, tube slides, and a rope maze, and the play area inside the barn intrigues them with a rope swing and hay maze.
Chopstix provides memorable nights with a concoction of dueling pianos, sing-alongs, and delicious American fare. The menu full of chops, seafood, salads, and pasta satisfies stomachs as ears get hand-fed honey-drizzled peanut-butter-stuffed trills and glissandi. Familiar appetizers such as calamari ($8.99) and coconut shrimp ($9.99) provide a tasty preamble to a steak salad ($14.99) strewn with organic greens, blue-cheese crumbles, diced tomatoes, and terra strips. Or opt for the provolone-smothered mushroom chicken ($14.99). The aptly named Sir Elton's London broil ($15.99) gets topped with béarnaise sauce and accompanied by fresh vegetables and mashed potatoes or krinkle-cut fries for a meatsperience that tastes as hearty and delectable as the eponymous knight’s outfits are glittery.
In the barrel room at Port Gardner Bay Winery, Chris Covington stays vigilant watching over casks of reds and whites with the anticipation and pride of a master winemaker. After learning that their engineering and chemistry knowledge could be put to use fermenting grapes and crafting unique alcoholic nectars, Chris and his wife Linnea began experimenting the wine-making process, eventually producing their own wines independently. Together, they now craft vintages ranging from cabernet sauvignons and merlots to malbecs and gewürztraminers, earning them a spot in Evening Magazine's "The Best of Western Washington". In addition to their day-to-day production duties, the couple also hosts frequent events, from tastings featuring live performances from local musicians to wine classes that discuss the wine-making process and dispel rumors that the best way to crush a grape is by breaking its heart.
Occasionally, the ground shakes at Karl's Bakery & Cafe, sending ripples through cups of coffee. These trembles occur throughout the day, but they're not the result of an earthquake or a T. rex playing hopscotch. Rather, they originate from the Everett train tunnel, located just below the café.
Since its inception, Karl's Bakery & Cafe has had a unique relationship with transportation. In the 1960s, it found a permanent home at Wetmore Avenue, earning the nickname "drive-through bakery" courtesy of a driver who crashed through the front window.
Perhaps the driver had a hankering for the café's glazed cake donuts or tightly coiled cinnamon rolls—they're freshly prepared daily according to time-honored recipes. Customers can peruse these baked goods as well as apple fritters, cherry danish, and other buttery delicacies in the bakery's display cases.
In addition to baking sweets, cooks prepare hearty breakfasts and lunches. Stacks of pancakes measure about three fingers tall, and four strips of bacon add a second deck to saucy cheeseburgers. Cooks bundle theses entrees with sweets for well-rounded meals, served in the café or catered to designated locales.