Cocina Oaxaca Opening In June

May 23, 2018 6:39am

via La Cocina Oaxaqueña Facebook page

We have more info on the new Mexican restaurant opening in the former Mio Sushi location (7900 East Green Lake Dr N).

Owner Misael Dominguez (a partner of the La Cocina Oaxaqueña restaurant on Capitol Hill) confirms that he is opening Cocina Oaxaca this June. He said he plans to have a similar menu to the Capitol Hill restaurant as well as a few additional traditional dishes only available at the Green Lake location.

Expect a June 20th opening, happy hour and both in and outdoor seating. Hours and a website are still in the works.



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PCC Meal Kits Put to the Test

May 22, 2018 2:13pm

Suddenly meal kits are everywhere – bringing fun, hassle-free cooking to you online, via subscriptions, and at your supermarket.  PCC Community Markets debuted its “Scratch-Made Meals at Home” kits in April, and provided Greenlaker some to sample.

The “globally inspired” kits, retail at $19.99, serve two people, and are “almost entirely organic produce and non-GMO, locally raised meats.”  They are packed at the store using minimal, mostly recyclable packaging.

But how easy are they to make? Are they a viable option for our family dinners? My husband and I decided to find out: we asked our two teenaged sons to cook them.

We chose two separate dishes and split into teams cooking simultaneously, which made it feel less like everyday dinner and more like an event.

With luck, we would achieve something like “Blackened Seasonal Fish Tacos with Avocado-Tomatillo Crema” and “Pan-roasted Chicken with Honeyed Carrots and Pistachios & Currant-Couscous.”

Each son, one 14, one 16, had an adult sous-chef ready to help or just translate words like “sear.”  (Until this their cooking experience had come mainly from the packages of chocolate chip brownie mixes.)

Photo by Erica Grivas

Ingredients: Many. At about 10“ x 10 “x 5”, the boxes were a challenge to fit in our fridge.  We opened them to find towers of containers of spices and condiments and the biggest, brightest lemon I’ve ever seen. Everything was individually packaged.

In the case of the chicken dish, (I was on Team Chicken), inspection revealed two fist-sized chicken pieces, several carrots (very sweet and crunchy) one wilted sprig of thyme, and some pistachios that could have been fresher, along with yogurt, couscous, and currants. My husband reported the fish taco ingredients all looked great, even the cilantro.

Prep: Minimal. Basic chopping was required, and some extra but common pantry ingredients needed (salt, pepper, honey, cooking oil). These were specified on the back of the box. One took 35 minutes, one 45 – which isn’t much longer than a typical night of pasta or burgers.

We discovered we need some work on the knife skills. One son, asked to slice the carrots lengthwise, insisted on using the knife cleaver-style, sending carrots ricocheting, like raquetballs.

Cooking: Several simple steps.  For example, Team Chicken had to roast carrots, sear and then roast chicken, and make couscous. Somehow we managed to choreograph both meals and eat together.

Taste: really good. The fish tacos were my favorite, flavor-packed and nuanced.  The elder son said the chicken was good, but that he’d prefer a simpler menu minus pistachios and currants. (Younger son didn’t sample any, opting to eat pizza at the 8th grade dance.) I thought the chicken dish was a perfect blend of sweet and savory.  My husband said he’d happily make both again.

If so, we’ll add side dishes to supplement; the portions are on the light side. The box does suggest salads to accompany the meals. But all in all, getting to make nearly restaurant-quality food (depending on your cooking talents) at home in under an hour was a welcome surprise – and a lot of fun.

Photo by Erica Grivas

Want to try your own? PCC’s kits are available both online through Amazon Prime and Instacart, and at the Green Lake Village location – lucky us.





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Two New Restaurants Moving Into Green Lake

May 16, 2018 6:04am

Remember those mysterious photos of Mexican dishes on the outside of the former Mio Sushi in North Green Lake? After Mio Sushi shuttered a few weeks ago several photos of Mexican dishes appeared on the windows without any sign, menu or information about the future restaurant. While the restaurant name has remained secret, we got a tip from a Greenlaker who said she spoke to people working in the new space that said the restaurant is going to be La Cocina Oaxaqueña, a restaurant that focuses on Southern Mexican food. The tipster also said it could open as soon as June. We reached out to the restaurant to confirm but did not get a response. We will keep you posted if we hear more.

Meanwhile, Eater Seattle reports that on the other side of the lake, in the former Butcher and Baker Space (6412 Latona), Frelard Tamales is moving in. Slated to open this Fall, the Green Lake location would be the first sit down location for Frelard Tamales, which was previously only been available in area farmers markets.




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Dead Duck Found At Green Lake Killed By Dog

May 15, 2018 9:59am

Greenlaker reader Ericka let us know that she encountered a dead duck last week in the park. Even more upsetting, the duck was killed by a dog.

Here’s what she says:

Last week I saw a dead Mallard at the Green Lake Theater swimming area. It had been killed by a dog. You can see two puncture marks where the dog grabbed it by the neck. It was definitely not an eagle. I have seen eagles kill and eat birds. They will carry off and eat the entire bird. My concern is that I am seeing more and more dogs off leash at the park. Allowing dogs to harass and kill wildlife at the park is unacceptable and illegal. If anyone sees this happening, please report it to the police. Thank you.

Ericka also shared with us that the Seattle Parks Department later closed part of the grassy area, likely to quarantine the area because of the decomposing duck.

This is a good time to remind everyone that it is illegal to have dogs off leash at Green Lake – which includes letting dogs swim in the lake.

Here is the specifics from

“Except as expressly allowed in subsection B hereof, it is unlawful for any person to allow or permit any dog or other pet to run at large in any park, or to permit any dog or other pet with or without a leash, except Seeing Eye or Hearing Ear dogs or dogs used by public law enforcement agencies and under control of a law enforcement officer, to enter any public beach, swimming or wading area, pond, fountain, stream, organized athletics area or designated children’s play area.”

But that doesn’t mean that dogs can’t enjoy Green Lake. Dogs can walk the lake on a leash and enjoy a fabulous off leash dog area nearby.


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Meet Ri Ri: The Green Lake Ferret

May 11, 2018 7:49am

We run into many dogs walking Green Lake. We have even met a bunny and a giant pig. Recently we met RiRi – as in Rihanna – a 4-month-old and fully grown inquisitive ferret.

RiRi hasn’t attempted to walk all of Green Lake, but instead has explored some of the grassier spots- most recently playing in the grass by the wading pool.


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Green Lake’s Carnegie Library

May 9, 2018 6:45am

Next time you walk in or out of the Green Lake Library, stop at the foot of the stairs at the main entrance. There you will find this plaque of the library’s origin. I, personally, have walked in and out of that library dozens of times and never saw this plaque – maybe because I’m chasing kiddos or have my arms full of books? But regardless, there’s an interesting story behind it.

Take a second and pop over to Wikipedia… there you will find that Green Lake is one of 2,509 libraries donated by Scottish businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Only 1,689 were built in the United States. Even more fascinating, Washington state received 43 Carnegie Libraries between 1901-1916. But of those 32 remain and only 14 continue to serve their original purpose as a library.

In my mind, that makes Green Lake’s even more of a gem. Want to know more about the history of the Green Lake Library? Check out our post here.


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Injured Heron At Green Lake

May 6, 2018 4:41pm

We just received word from a concerned reader saying she spotted what appeared to be an injured heron at Green Lake earlier this afternoon. According to her, one of the wings looked like it had a hole in it.

Heres what she said:

“On Sunday 5/6, I saw a heron by the “turtle log” that appeared to have an injured wing see above photo.  I wasn’t able to determine how bad the injury was. There are multiple herons at Green Lake, however, they are territorial and usually hang out in the same places. So, someone will most likely see this bird at the same spot.

If anyone sees this bird, please observe if it is able to fly or if the injury has progressed to a point that it cannot manage as it normally would. If necessary, please call Seattle Animal Shelter at 206-386-7387. They will capture the bird and take it to PAWS Wildlife Shelter for treatment. Please do NOT attempt to capture the bird.”

The “stump” in the photo above is near the area where the bird was seen but along the water’s edge.
Thanks to reader Erica for the tip! And we do hope this bird is ok.

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A Recipe For Your Roses

May 1, 2018 7:34am

Photo of Green Lake roses via trip Advisor

As our beautiful cherry blossoms fade around Green Lake, another season of blossoms is approaching – roses! Greenlaker Tom Donnelly sent a recipe from the American Rose Society (ARS) that he has been using for years on his roses. Tom says that with the type of soil we have around Green Lake, this recipe will help provide the nutrients and minerals that are often lacking in our area. The recipe claims that it can help improve growth within a week.

Here’s the recipe from American Rose Society:

Alfalfa Tea (By: Howard Walters)
Alfalfa tea is a great spring or fall potion that doesn’t interfere with normal seasonal processes. Alfalfa tea releases a growth hormone that makes everything work better. Just add 10 to 12 cups of alfalfa meal or pellets to a 32-gallon plastic garbage can (with a lid), add water, stir and steep for four or five days, stirring occasionally. You may also “fortify” with 2 cups of Epsom salts, 1/2 cup of Sequestrene® (chelated iron, now called Sprint 330) or your favorite trace element elixir.
The tea will start to smell in about three days. Keep the lid ON. Use about a gallon of mix on large rose bushes, 1/3 that much on mini’s. And keep the water going.
When you get to the bottom of the barrel, add water to fill it up again! One load of meal or pellets will brew up two barrels full, but add more fortifiers for the second barrel. You’ll see greener growth and stronger stems within a week.

While this recipe will help your roses to thrive, it also comes with a warning – make in a covered container and plan to use it prior to a rain so you don’t offend your neighbors.


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May 2018 Happenings In And Around Green Lake

April 23, 2018 6:36am

via Green Lake Chamber/ Love


King County Master Gardener’s Plant Sale 
Fri., May 4 4pm – 8pm and Sat., May 5 9am – 5pm

Plants for gardens and tomatoes & edibles, local vendors, ornaments, and advice.

Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st St., Seattle 98105

For more information, go to the Master Gardener’s Site.


PhinneyWood Art Walk: The BIG One

Friday, May 11, 6-9 pm & Saturday, May 12, 12-5 pm

Celebrating its 23rd year, the BIG One will feature art from 70- 80 Phinney/Greenwood businesses, entertainment including musical performances, street performers, chalk art and activities for the kiddos. Neighboring restaurants will also offer menu specials for the two-day event. Art Walk maps and information on participating venues will be available online at and at participating businesses the week of the event.

For additional information, check


Kid’s Fishing Event at Green Lake

Saturday, May 12 by the Bathhouse Theater at Green Lake

For $25, kids from 5 to 14 years old get their chance to catch 2 trout. Green Lake is stocked with trout the night before to help guarantee a catch. Each child receives a fishing pole, t-shirt and a hands-on fishing lesson from volunteer anglers. Participants will also have the opportunity to take part in water safety, boating and natural resource demonstrations.

To order tickets (by timeslot) go to: the event’s ticket page.


Wallingford Farmers Market Opens Wednesday May 16

Close to Green Lake, this Farmers Market has several stalls of fresh food, produce and ready to eat dinner. And, if you have tiny ones, its the best Farmers Market for free range runners. Huge fields and a nice playground make this market a great spot for families. But take note, parking is difficult and much of the area requires permit parking after 5 so watch those signs.

Every Wednesday 3 – 7 p.m. through late September. For more information, go to the Wallingford Farmers Market site.




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