It's not every day that an aroma can pose a question. Upon stepping into Plaza Garcia Family Mexican Restaurant, the smell of baking tortillas instantly compels diners to ask themselves: do I want to fill those steamy flour blankets with char-grilled beef, marinated chicken, or lime-infused shrimp? Wood-carved booths and colorful murals of adobe villages create an ideal backdrop for mulling over this important decision as diners snack on homemade chips and chunky pico de gallo. Once their gaze tapers off the lively décor and settles onto the menu, an overwhelming choice of enchiladas, fajitas, and other traditional entrees springs forth to lend a choice of beef, chicken, or seafood centerpieces. Meanwhile, margaritas splashed with racy tequilas mingle with other libations to give customers the courage to croon tortilla-themed love ballads during karaoke, which occurs every Saturday night at the Woodinville location.
Woodinville Wine Tastings unites four wineries that sit within a pleasant walk of each other. At Davenport Cellars, patrons may sip cabernet sauvignon aged in French oak beneath impressionist oil paintings of natural landscapes. John Patterson of Patterson Cellars lets more than two decades of experience shine through in swirling elixirs, and red blends at Pondera Winery show a range of crimson shades like a bull’s anger-management counselor. Bordeaux grapes from a handful of Columbia Valley vineyards mingle in the shop’s cuvee, and guests at William Church Winery stroll beneath walnut-hued barrels, clicking together glasses of a pinot gris that hints at lemon zest and green apples.
Indian Palace Restaurant features traditional Indian fare where cooks spice dishes to each customer?s taste. Marinated chicken and tender lamb bake in clay ovens and jumbo prawns simmer in mildly spicy curry sauces. Indian chai tea boils with spices and milk, mango lassies combine with yogurt, and a selection of beers, wines, and cocktails from the lounge cleanse palates between bites.
When Andrés Cárdenas Guitrón emigrated to the United States from Mexico, he landed his first job as a dishwasher. He worked his way up the ranks to a food preparer, a cook’s assistant, and a chef before finally opening up his own restaurant. At Mazatlan, he dishes out family recipes that include grilled chimichangas, crab enchiladas, and steak picado christened in a Spanish sauce.
Edmonds handcrafts its wines in small, open-top fermentation tanks before aging them in small oak barrels. Producing only 1,000 cases of wine a year, the winery distributes them to local restaurants and gourmet shops. During your wine tasting, you'll get to try a variety of varietals, such as the sweet and dry 2008 Gewurtztraminer ($15), the intensely fruity 2007 Slide Ridge ($29), or the 2007 Delorious ($23), a wine made of equal parts delicious and glorious. Take note of which wine agrees with your flavor receptors and mind-matter the most, then take home a bottle.