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Tacos and Burgers and Baos, Oh My! | A Review of Lincoln South Food Hall

I have a new favorite place to go hangout and eat great food! Whether you’re looking for healthy breakfasts that taste great, a place to go for lunch dates, dinners with variety or just to grab a snack, this place is fresh, fun and full of energy while still managing to give off a relaxing feel. As you’ve probably figured out, I’m talking about Lincoln South Food Hall. Located in Bellevue, in Lincoln Square South, this food hall is the first of its kind in the area and its menus are just as innovative as its business model.

Lincoln South Food Hall is a client of ours and it is awesome to have clients with brands that are so easy to support and stand behind. I can honestly say, I don’t just like them because they are a client; I like them because they are intentional about creating an environment that is fun, friendly and has amazing food. They strive for excellence in their service which is shown in action by their staff (including management) who go around picking up trash and dishes. This is really nice of them to do considering that this isn’t a sit-down restaurant, but an open-seating lay out.

This wonderful new addition to Bellevue is owned by serial entrepreneurs, Elaina Herber and Jeffrey Fredericks. The culinary team is led by Executive Chef Daniel Laferriere and the food halls’ menus were created by Chef Kevin Hee. (They’re who we have to thank for such fresh, delicious food!) The rest of the staff is directed by General Manager Reid Kendall; Reid is friendly and can be seen around the food hall serving food and clearing tables.

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I could go on and on about their service and their staff, but let’s talk about what really matters, the food.

SO. MANY. CHOICES.

Being that I am incredibly indecisive and I love variety, it’s like this place was made for me! I can order different foods from 6 different restaurants, run by world class chefs and make 1 awesome meal. Whether I’m in the mood for Mexican, American or pizza I’m covered for these and other options at the food hall. The restaurants that make up Lincoln South Food Hall are:

Avo-Poke – A poke/salad bar with fresh ingredients and toppings that you get to choose to customize your order. They have poke, all sorts of vegetables and of course, avocado! This place has variety and fresh ingredients nailed down and they’re the perfect place to grab something healthy while you’re on the go.

Burger Brawler – Their burger is definitely in my top 3. Quality ingredients are evident in this masterpiece. They have a flavorful prime chopped steak blend, topped with melty taleggio or aged English cheddar depending on which burger you get. The brioche buns are buttered, toasted to perfection and dusted with salt and pepper. Plus, you can add bacon to your burger for $2, which is what I’ll be doing next time! They have more than just burgers too. They have a fish sandwich as well as a falafel veggie burger and an assortment of fries. Last, but not least, they have milkshakes topped with lots of goodies and DEEP FRIED OREOS with cereal infused milk! (How cool is that?!)

Crosta E Vino – This place is an Italian dream come true. They have fresh ingredients with Italian options that can either be ordered to-go or enjoyed in the food hall at their wine bar. C V has pizza in a wide range of flavor combinations from ham and eggs, to clam and prosciutto, chicken and kale and vegetarian options like their ‘shroomin pizza or their organic tomato pizza. As I previously mentioned they have a wine bar, with a variety of wines, ON TAP. One thing I’m looking forward to trying is their plates. They have plates of salami, cheese olives and more and I can’t wait.

Fat & Feathers – So far I’ve only tried the Japanese fried chicken bao here, but the flavors were great and I loved the soft bao bun. I look forward to trying more of their baos and their ramen. The ramen flavors I’m most looking forward to trying are the mushroom ramen and the Mochiko chicken ramen.

Barrio Luchador – Mexican is my favorite food genre overall. So, I always love trying out different places. This joint specializes in street tacos and other street food favorites from their indoor Airstream taco truck. The carne asada taco was wonderful, the char and flavor of the meat was perfect. I added a lime crema sauce to mine and loved it. I also tried their elote and ancho chips and guacamole. They have a salsa bar which is delicious and an array of beverages, my favorite being the Mexican Coca-Cola or Jarritos sodas.

Baguette Epicerie – This is my personal favorite overall. I love French bakeries, breads and food. They have cheese and charcuterie plates, croques, pastries and baguette sandwiches. They have ice cream flavors that are unique and delicious; like Fruity Pebbles and Ube! They have an avocado toast that is absolutely gorgeous. On their plates they serve all kinds of meats, cheeses, jams and tiny pickles. My favorite thing I’ve had here so far is their herbes de provance butter on toasted baguette slices; so simple, light and refreshing.

All of these places are popular (go figure!) so try to avoid the lunch rush if you can to avoid lines. As amazing as this place already is, they’ll soon be getting even better; online ordering for pick up will be launching soon and eventually they’ll have delivery too! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates and fun food photos.

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Introducing Jaimeson Waugh

Jaimeson Waugh graduated from DeVry University with a Bachelor of Science in “Multimedia Design & Development” in 2015, but has been doing web design since 2002, making Neopets pages in HTML at 11. Jaimeson joined CeSI last November & started full-time in December. Jaimeson likes to study & read about as much as possible about a variety of subjects, including literature, art, math, and programming, as well as do puzzles like Sudoku. Everyone please welcome Jaimeson!

6 Date Ideas Around Seattle This Valentine’s day

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so here are a few ideas for you and your valentine. Notice, we said around Seattle, not “in” Seattle. The goal with these date ideas is to keep things simple and give you unique, fresh ways to celebrate. If you’ve already done all things Seattle for date night, it may be time to give Seattle Southside a try.

Dinner & A Movie – This is a twist on a go-to date for many people. Head up to Bellevue for dinner at the Lincoln South Food Hall. They just opened in January 2018 with 6 different eateries and they are incredible. High quality food with a relaxed feel. Lots of options. You could try snacks from a couple different places or get a full meal from just one location.

There’s a lot of seating to choose from and the design and decor is definitely high end. They make use of a variety of hardwoods in their decor which gives off a warm, cozy and contemporary feel. All in all, there is a ton of great food and drink options to choose from and it’s all delectable and mouthwatering.

After dinner make your way over to the new Cinemark Reserve in Lincoln Square South Theatre. They’ve got super comfy reclining seats with plenty of space between rows, so you can see the screen well. Also, this theatre is for ages 21 and up only, is especially nice on a date night. They have food and drink service as well as a full bar. What I’d suggest, being that this is your after-dinner movie, is to check out their drinks and dessert menu and/or popcorn and candy. Another amazing thing about this place is that you can call over staff with the push of a button on your chair if you need a drink refill or would like to order something.

Bowling & Froyo – Have fun going out, but keep it chill! (Get it?) You could grab froyo at White Cap Frozen yogurt in Burien or Gelato (if that’s more your thing) from Mezzo Gelato Travel Bar and Café also, in Burien. You could also check out Yeti Yogurt in Southcenter, which may come in handy with my next suggestion.

For bowling, I’d suggest ACME Bowl in Southcenter. It’s located in the same shopping center as Yeti Yogurt. ACME Bowl is clean, fun, and has lots of lanes. They also have pool tables so you can play a few games if you ever have to wait for a lane and they have a restaurant so you can grab snack while you bowl. Definitely the makings of a fun date night.

Coffee Shop & Stroll Through Your Favorite Shops – So, the way this works is you grab coffee from your favorite café or coffee shop. This could be someplace like Starbucks or it could be someplace more local like Mike’s Community Cup, Burien Press or Normandy Perk. Coffee shops are a great place to relax and just talk with each other.

Next, you’ll grab your coffee (or your second coffee if you already finished your first cup) and you’ll make your way towards one of your favorite stores. You can check out downtown Burien, Des Moines by the Marina (there are so many cute shops in these areas!) or any other favorites you may have. For me, it’s Target and sometimes Barnes and Noble.

The goal is to just walk around and look at everything, talk, get to know each other better and just relax. At some place like Barnes and Noble you can read a little and make lists of all the books you’d like for birthdays or Christmas. Target is just great for everything. There’s so much to look at. This date doesn’t cost too much and it’s laid back.

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Flowers & Chocolate – Everyone knows these gifts have become a bit cliché (especially on Valentine’s Day), but here’s a creative spin on the classic. Go on a walk with your date through the Seatac Botanical Garden. Take a look at all the foliage, flowers, scenery and appreciate their beauty outdoors. You may not get to take them home, but the walk is romantic and this way you get to see lots of foliage (and maybe take some pictures). This garden is open from dawn to dusk every day of the year.

Either before or after your stroll through the garden, you can head down to Southcenter for a tour of the Seattle Chocolate Factory. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and tours run the same days during the hours of 10am to 3pm. I’ve heard great things about these tours. You get a behind the scenes look at the chocolate-making process, a brief lesson on the history of chocolate and (perhaps the best part) FREE SAMPLES! You get to taste some of their chocolate throughout the tour. Definitely more interesting than a box of chocolates. Schedule your tour here. https://www.experiencechocolate.co/book-a-tour

Go to A Fancy Dinner with A View – For this one there’s a few places you could go for this, but my suggestion would be Anthony’s HomePort in Des Moines. They are located right on the water down by the marina. The view may vary depending on the weather and where you’re seated, but it’s always beautiful. Even more important than the view, the food here is phenomenal. I’ve actually been to this restaurant for Valentine’s Day twice before. I really love it. They usually have some sort of special for the holiday.

They have candles on the tables and little vases with a few flowers. The ambiance is warm, cozy and romantic. My only caution is to try and get a reservation ahead of time. You can get in without one sometimes, but why risk it? The other great thing about going here is that after dinner, you can go for a walk down the marina. It’ll probably be a bit brisk, so bring a jacket!

Dream A Little – This one is a cheap or free option, but romantic and fun just the same! Gather up some of your favorite snacks, park to watch airplanes and come up with bucket lists together. Being that we live so close to an airport, there are lots of places to park where you can see airplanes. This is definitely a relaxed date, but sometimes that’s the best kind.

You can write your bucket lists alone or together. You can add things on your list that are for both of you to do together or that are a goal just for you. After you’ve completed your lists it can be fun to share them and come up with ways to start checking things off. What’s great about sharing this with someone else is that they can challenge and encourage you to take action and help you meet your goals. Plus, this is a great way to get to know each other better!

So, this Valentine’s get creative, use your imagination and have fun! If you liked these date ideas, please let us know. Also, we’d love to hear any other date ideas you have! Share them with us on our social media and share “5 Date Ideas around Seattle This Valentine’s Day” with your friends. Thanks for reading!

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Drum Roll Please…

Our own, Keturah Boyts, has been nominated for the Ambassador of the Year Award with the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce! We'll be sure to keep you posted on whether or not Keturah wins this award. All winners will be announced live at the Business Awards & Recognition Luncheon which will be held at the Four Points by Sheraton - Seattle Airport on February 9, 2018. To see all other awards and nominees, click here.

Next time you're able to make one of these functions, say hi to Keturah! She regularly attends the Morning Buzz and Ambassador's meetings each month, Lunch and Learns, luncheons and mixers. So, just about any event you go to, you'll see her!

We are proud to be members of the SSCC and have gained tremendously from our nearly 19 years of participation. If you own or work for a business located in the Seattle Southside area you should definitely consider the benefits of becoming a member. We're all winners if we're members of the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce!

Keturah, Keturah Boyts, marketing, marketing specialist, social media support, seattle southside chamber of commerce

5 Tips for A Healthy New Year

We know many of you have New Year’s resolutions planned after 2018 begins. (Or goals if “resolutions” are too cliché for you.) Your resolutions may have something to do with travel, finances, career/education, family, or in many people’s cases, health and fitness.

A gym membership can be a great way to reach some of those health and fitness goals, but if that’s not really for you, there are still plenty of things you can do on your own to kick off 2018 in a healthy way!

Here are a few things you can do to begin your year with a healthy kickstart:

  • Run for fun. (This may sound like an oxymoron to some of you.) There are always different runs happening around the area. Usually themed, 5Ks, marathons, races, etc. There’s at least one a month, usually more, so you could make a habit out of doing one run a month or whenever you feel like it. Take a look at some of these to get started: http://www.runguides.com/seattle/runs
  • Try other kinds of exercise besides running. Dance, yoga, Zumba, cycling. These are all great ways to get moving in a more creative way than usual! You could also try things like joining a recreational sports team or looking up fun workouts on Youtube. There is so much more to choose from than this, so use your imagination and come up with something fun!
  • Go hiking. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have plenty of hiking trails to choose from. Click here to see the trails in our state. Hiking is a favorite activity for many in the Seattle area and it’s a great way to get active while taking in all the beauty that makes where we live a “Pacific North-Wonderland”. Plus! National park free day is on January 15, 2018. This will allow you to get into Olympic and Rainier national parks for free. There are some incredible views on these hikes, so bring your camera! https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm
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  • Get outside. Even if you’re not running or participating in an outdoor aerobics class, getting outside to read a book, go for a walk or to have a picnic is good for your health too. Fresh air really is good for us; good for the soul. Even though it rains, we live in a beautiful place, so let’s make sure we get out there and enjoy it. Free State park day is on March 19, 2018. These parks are wonderful places to get outside and have some fun! http://www.parks.state.wa.us/281/Find-a-park
  • Create healthy habits. Drink more water, stretch each morning, eat more natural, nutrient rich food. Any or all of these are great places to start, but there is so much more you can do to make small changes to improve your health not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too. Every once in a while swap out a starchy side-dish for a side salad. Take time to really relax. Make sure you spend time re-energizing. (You may do this best by spending time alone or by spending time with good friends. It’s different for everyone.)

Remember! The changes you make don’t have to be drastic ones. Focusing on small lifestyle changes one step at a time is sometimes the best way to make sure they stick.

…And A Happy New Year!

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As 2017 comes to a close and 2018 quickly approaches, it definitely causes us to reflect. How has the last year been? What have we accomplished? And what are we looking forward to in the year to come? We hope that you and your loved ones had a Merry Christmas, a wonderful Thanksgiving and that every other part of 2017 was amazing as well.

For our business, 2017 was a year of change, growth and learning. While it has stretched us beyond our comfort zone and things have seemed difficult at times, we are so grateful for this season. Our business has grown stronger and God continues to place opportunities before us for even more growth on a regular basis.

We look back on 2017 with gratitude and we look forward to 2018 expecting great things for our clients businesses as well as our own. From all of us here at CeSI, we’d like to wish you a Happy New Year!

7 Ways To Enjoy the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We know that sometimes the days and weeks leading up to Christmas can get a bit hectic and even stressful at times. It can be easy to forget that this is “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. What a shame to go through this season without soaking in all the great things about it, so we’ve come up with 7 ways for you to truly enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!

    1. Make the most of the little things. Driving around looking at Christmas lights, drinking hot chocolate, window shopping, baking cookies, the list goes on. All of these things can be some of the most relaxing and fun things to do around Christmas time. All the little things can be a great way to make memories and they’re definitely worth slowing down for.
    2. Make a Christmas bucket list each year. Every year try your best to prioritize the things you want to see/do during the holiday season. That way you can be sure not to miss out on the things you care the most about, but you also don’t feel like you have to go everywhere and do everything.
    3. Don’t let a tradition become a burden. Keep the traditions that mean a lot to you and your loved ones, but feel free to let go of those that are more work than they’re worth. This also leaves room to make new traditions.
    4. Try to have more friends and family get together at the same time. This will keep you from running in so many different directions. By getting everyone together you can slow down and enjoy the time you’re spending with those that you love a little more.

  1. Share the work. By delegating and sharing the workload when it comes to preparing food, decorating or planning for holiday parties, it makes it easier for everyone. This way you can enjoy the party too. Plus, as everybody has a role, attendance is likely to improve and it helps build community.
  2. Simplify your gifts. Consider getting one gift for your friend or family member rather than multiple. If you are getting gifts for an entire family maybe get something that the whole family could use. (i.e. a family pass to the zoo, board games, movie night gift basket.) Sometimes a handmade gift or an item can be nice, but gift cards can be nice too. Especially if you give a gift card to a nice restaurant for a couple to go out.
  3. Take time to relax! Remember to slow down, take a break and do things that you enjoy. Make sure you remind yourself what this season is all about and what makes it so wonderful.

Thank you for reading “7 Ways To Enjoy the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so be sure to find us on social media. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and we hope that your days are merry and bright!

The Best Hot Chocolate in Town

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Winter is quickly approaching and you know what that means, IT’S HOT CHOCOLATE SEASON! Now, of course, you can have hot chocolate in fall or spring or anytime really, but there’s just something magical about drinking cocoa around Christmas time. So, we figured we’d put together this list of some of the best places to find ready-to-drink hot cocoa. This way you’ll be able to drink some of the best hot chocolate in town while you find your Christmas tree, finish your Christmas shopping or drive around looking at lights

Dilettante – This chocolate shop/mocha cafe has some of the best drinking chocolate around. Many of my friends agree, it’s their favorite. It’s rich and of course, chocolaty. They even serve it with extra chocolate that melts into when they serve it to you. There is a shop in Kent as well as one in the airport, in addition to a few other locations around the Seattle area. You can pick up a cup of this cocoa before you board your flight, or while you strolling around Kent Station finishing up some Christmas shopping.

Jewel Box Cafe – I have not been here yet, but a friend recommended this place to me and the reviews are solid. This friend of mine loved their hot chocolate and said “…the atmosphere is fun and hip.” This shop has a location in Northgate and in Tacoma. They serve crepes, espresso, salads, baked goods, bubble tea and more in addition to their hot cocoa.

Moore Coffee Shop – This is another shop that was suggested by a friend. She loves their hot chocolate and after browsing through their website, I like the variety on their menu and the look of their shop. I’m looking forward to trying this place out for myself.

Storyville – There are locations for this shop all around the Seattle area. Every one I’ve been to has been cute and cozy. They have great coffee, wonderful customer service and they serve up a mean hot chocolate. I’ve heard many friends recommend this establishment over the years.

Auntie Irene’s – This gem can be found in Des Moines down by the marina. They are an adorable little coffee shop that serves amazing ice cream, baked goods, salads, sandwiches, espresso and hot chocolate. This shop has a drive through as well. You can stop by and get an ice cream cone AND a hot chocolate without even getting out of your car!

Mike’s Community Cup – Mike’s is a great place to cozy up with a cup of cocoa and one of your favorite baked goods, bagels or sandwiches. The name of this place really rings true. Whenever I go here and want to spice up my drinks with fun flavors, the staff are always great sports, so you may be able to experiment a bit with some fun flavors in your cocoa.

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While we were mainly focused on telling you the best places to find ready-to-drink cocoa, we also thought we’d include a couple of places you can go for hot chocolate mix that you can make at home.

Trader Joe’s – Everybody loves Trader Joe’s! Their peppermint hot chocolate mix is a favorite to many. Who doesn’t love a peppermint cocoa every once in awhile?

Chocolopolis – Located in the Interbay/Queen Anne area of Seattle, this chocolate shop has chocolate (obviously), gifts, and a variety of drinking chocolates in unique flavors. They have a peanut butter drinking chocolate that I would love to try!

Pinterest – Don’t forget to check out Pinterest for incredible recipes you can make at home. There are so many varieties and options! (Crock-pot hot chocolate is my absolute favorite. There’s even a white chocolate version!)

Thank you for reading “The Best Hot Chocolate in Town”! We hope that this post has given you a few ideas of where to go the next time that you’re craving hot chocolate. We’d love to hear about any other favorites you may have, so be sure to find us social media and share this with your friends.

What CeSI’s Thankful For

The Holiday season is upon us. With it being November and the nearest holiday being Thanksgiving, we see it fit to take some time as a business to think about what we’re thankful for.

We’re thankful for our community and the people and businesses that make up that community.

We’re thankful for the opportunity to watch businesses build and grow.

We’re thankful for all of our clients who strive for success alongside us and make our business better as they grow their own.

We’re thankful for the Seattle Southside Chamber that has been an incredible resource for us over the years and has given us the opportunity to partner with other local businesses and organizations around improving education and economic development.

We’re thankful for Peter Busacca with Washington BBI for his business insight and Dan DeVries for his awesome commercial photography as well as many other consultants that we have the privilege of working alongside.

We’re thankful for the work that we get to do and the fact that as we help other businesses become more successful, we become more successful.

Last, but not least, we’re thankful for you reading this right now and we hope that you feel encouraged to remember what you have to be grateful for and to get even more involved in this community that we share! We wish you the very best this holiday season.

Locally Sourced Christmas Gift Ideas

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For many, the holiday season has officially begun. Whether you like to get in the Christmas spirit early or not, we are quickly approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before you know it! Sometimes it can be difficult finding a gift for friends and family that we know they’ll love. Stressful even. We understand. So, we’ve come up with a bunch of ideas for gifts that anybody would love and as an added bonus they support our local businesses and community!

 

• For your coffee loving friend, you could get a gift card and some grounds or pastries from Mike’s Community Cup.

• For your dog or your friends with pups, you can get toys and treats from The Soggy Doggy that your four legged friends will love.  Also don’t forget to groom your pup here before family and friends come to visit.

• Your foodie friend will love a gift certificate to B&E Meats. At this local butcher, you can select the cuts you’d like. This place is local, fresh and has some of the best meat and seafood around.

• A great gift for any kids you know that are under 48 inches tall is a Wiggleworks Kids Play Pass! There are multiple options ranging from 5 visits to monthly unlimited passes. This indoor play place is tons of fun for kids and parents.  With one location in Bellevue’s Crossroads Mall and one in Puyallup’s South Hill Mall you have a choice of destinations.

• You can get a watch or jewelry item repaired for a friend or family member at Fast Fix Jewelry. You can also buy charms, jewelry, watches or jewelry that’s handmade by the owners’ wife. There are so many choices!

• A relaxing gift would be a gift certificate to a local spa like The Spa at Cedarbrook Lodge, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa or Skinperfect Aesthetics.

• You can gift a friend or a couple with a stay at a nearby hotel. Gift a loved one with a staycation. It’s an affordable way to give them a break. Find a few hotel options here.

• Something that would be fun to get together would be a bunch of little gifts from Pike Place Market. There’s all sorts of great stuff at the market. Flowers, baked goods, cheese and all sorts of handcrafted goods. A gift basket compiled of fun things you find would be thoughtful and unique!

• There’s a new bakery in Burien and they sell some cute and delicious desserts and breads. From macarons, to chocolate and pastries, baked goods from Bakery Nouveau would make a fantastic gift.

• Another foodie friendly gift would be an assortment of Popcorn from Freedom Snacks. They have a huge variety of flavors and colors. They’re located right in Normandy Park. Plus, who doesn’t love popcorn?

Dilettante Chocolates has tons of great goodies and the option to pick out your own assortment of chocolates. Plus, they have some of the best hot chocolate around!

• Foodies will also love a gift certificate for a local restaurant like Anthony’s Homeport, Spencer’s for Steaks & Chops, Basil’s Kitchen or many others!

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Thank you for taking a look at “Locally Sourced Christmas Gift Ideas”. We hope this has been helpful in getting the ball rolling on your Christmas shopping and that it inspired a few fun ideas of your own! We’d love to hear your thoughts so be sure to find us on social media.