Cheat Sheet: Homegrown in Kirkland
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The gist: Seattle's beloved sandwich chainlet opens its first shop on the Eastside, bringing the same sustainable mission with a laser-focus on local ingredients.
The vibe: Super casual, yet this order-at-the-counter cafe is much more stylish than a fast food joint, using a mix of modern and reclaimed material to create a welcoming space where it's comfortable to hang out. But the shop is so close to Lake Washington, so we suggest you take your to-go order down to the water's edge for a picnic.
Eat this: We love Homegrown's balsamic-marinated portobello and goat cheese sandwich, pictured, dressed up with pesto and a mess of tender arugula. Meat lovers will dig the seasonal roasted pork loin special. The meat is rubbed with Stumptown coffee and chili, slow-roasted and perfectly partnered with sage aioli and apple butter on a roll. As far as sides go, try the Yukon gold potato salad, which gets its tang from Greek yogurt. Bread options include a chewy baguette or whole grain — both made with flour produced in Washington state. There's also gluten-free bread.
Drink this: They make a big deal out of selling boxed, not bottled, water, but we would much rather stick a straw in a Harmless Harvest Raw Coconut Water, the best-tasting coconut water we've ever tried and a brand that's just now surfacing in Seattle. Of course you can alsways get your caffeine buzz on with Stumptown.
Skip this: So far, the soups we've tried have left us cold, though a little bit of salt wakes most of the flavors up.
The tab: Sandwiches and salads are in the $10-12 range.
The verdict: A great addition to the downtown Kirkland culinary landscape, especially on sunny days when you should make it the first stop before heading out for a picnic.
104 Water St., Kirkland; 425-296-4128
Previous Cheat Sheet coverage on Zagat Seattle:
Brunswick & Hunt
Canterbury Ale House
Yong's Tofu House
Tipsy Cow Burger Bar
The New Bauhaus
Teddy's Bigger Burgers
The London Plane
Brimmer & Heeltap
Loulay Kitchen & Bar