I live in North Seattle and I don’t get down South very often. Last month, Visit Kent provided me with a hosted visit so I could eat, drink and explore what Kent has to offer! It’s a diverse city with an equally diverse variety of food options, open spaces, public art and so much more!
Visit Kent makes food and drink exploration easy with their self-guided Food Trails. You can enjoy downtown dining, farm fresh, international eats, kid-friendly kitchen, and local libations trails. I chose to explore businesses from a variety of trails and it was so much fun!
Upon arriving in Kent, my first stop was at Asadero. They’re not your average steakhouse and use Sinaloan methods – think high heat and mesquite. The meat is juicy and the spices are different than typical steak seasoning. To start, I had the guacamole casero served with housemade tostadas. The guacamole was very fresh; the tostadas were super crunchy and held up well to the dip. Next, I indulged in the tuetanos, a fire roasted bone marrow canoe with cotija cheese and served with crostini. The bone marrow was buttery and spread over the crostini perfectly. The flavor was rich and decadent. The star of the show was the vacio akaushi, a 14-ounce thick cut of Akaushi Wagyu. I’m told this cut was introduced by Argentinians to Mexican steakhouses. The beautiful cut of meat was served on a sizzling hot stone. Overall, this was a very filling and delicious lunch! I arrived when they opened and by the time I left, the restaurant was full!
My next stop was Carpinito Brothers Farm Stand to grab some produce for my weekly food shopping. This family owned and operated business has been in Kent for more than 50 years! I got everything I needed – bananas, pears, apples, cauliflower, persimmons and more! I appreciated their reasonable prices compared to markets in Seattle. Check out the size of this cabbage!
Although it had been a few hours since lunch, I still needed to walk it off. I mean…I ate a 14-ounce steak! My next stop was to the Green River Trail for a leisurely walk. It was a cold, rainy day in November so I didn’t walk as much as I’d like but finding peace in an otherwise busy world was a welcome distraction.
After my walk, I decided to sneak into a storefront to get out of the rain. I visited Sweetgyrl Designs’ Retro Emporium in downtown Kent. This was such a fun store! They had a large selection of Pokemon plushies, cassette tapes, and retro t-shirts. I bought tons of stuff including trading cards for my siblings – Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Lion King, and Power Rangers. I had so much fun browsing and buying gifts for people!
Lunch was finally starting to wear off and it was time for a snack at Sweet Themes Bakery! They had cupcakes, bars, cookies, cream puffs and more! I had a cupcake, cream puff and the cutest turkey macaron. I picked up a rice crispy treat in the shape of a turkey leg for my son. In addition to things they have in the case, they also do custom cake and cookie orders.
I stopped by Kent Station to browse at a few stores on my way to dinner at Banyan Tree. I was excited to try more of Chef Yuie Wyborg’s Northern Thai food since I’m such a huge fan of her restaurant Soi in Seattle! For dinner I had crispy garlic tofu, basil beef, and the most delightful roti with ice cream. The tofu was fried well and flavorful. The basil beef was mild and tasty. The roti was so soft and sweet; I could have eaten a ton of these!
After dinner, I headed to Showare Center to see the Seattle Thunderbirds take on the Portland Winterhawks. Fun fact: I worked at the Rose Quarter in Portland, Oregon years ago and was a big fan of the Winterhawks. I knew it would be a great match and it was! The T-Birds won 4-5 in a final SO!
Next on the list was Airways Brewing. We’d been following each other on Instagram so I couldn’t pass up the chance to visit for a brew. I had the Pre-Flight Classic American Pilsner and it was fantastic! It was smooth and went down very easy. I had a lovely charcuterie plate with blueberries the size of quarters! They were so ripe and juicy! The meat and cheese selection was divine and definitely not what I was expecting from a brewery. The space is a bistro and I can see myself spending hours there on the patio during the summer. Before I left, I had a great shrub. I was impressed not just with the beer but with the commitment to craft beverages of all sorts.
Can you believe that was just Saturday? I headed back to the hotel to get some rest before another busy day exploring!
Sunday morning started with brunch at Dogwood Cafe & Lounge. I forget how expensive it is to eat in Seattle sometimes. At Dogwood Cafe, I had a breakfast croissant filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, and sausage with a side of potatoes for just $9. It was a huge portion and just what I needed to fuel my wandering for the rest of the day.
As I left the cafe, I noticed that some of the lampposts had sweaters on them. I found a flyer that explained the yarn installation on 14 posts were a way of showing care and love for the space. They were adorable!
I’m a fan of outdoor sculptures! At 300 W. Meeker Street, I found a few that I loved. These were both made of utensils like forks, knives and spoons. Mythical Guardian is majestic and striking. Giant Penguin (and smaller penguin) stand nearby. Both pieces were made by artists at Green River College. These are playful and definitely worth a look!
My artwalk wasn’t complete without viewing the Danny Pierce outdoor murals. Pierce was an accomplished artist and native of Kent. Here are a few of the murals I found:
- Fire at Fred’s Place (W. Meeker Street near 1st S.): A Kent business burned near the turn of the century. The focus is on the community’s ability to unite in the face of challenge.
- The Lily (1st S. and W. Gowe Street): Hops are loaded onto The Lily which is docked on the White River.
- Transitions (2nd Avenue S. and W. Gowe Street): The Rasmussen family business evolves from blacksmithing to machinery repair to car sales.
My favorite mural is The Middle Garden (200 block of 1st Avenue S.). I gravitate towards monochromatic colors and the size was expansive, spanning over two buildings. It was created by Donald Barrie and depicts the Green River’s journey through the Kent Valley.
Rusty Raven is a family owned gallery and studio in downtown Kent. What’s better than buying from a local artist? How about buying from more than 20 local artists? Some things that caught my eye include handmade cards, mini oil-based prints on canvasses, PNW inspired buttons and a suitcase made from an up cycled gas can!
It was almost time to head home but I needed a snack. I stopped by Wild Wheat Bakery. The restaurant was very busy but I went to the counter to get goodies to go. I got a variety of treats including a blueberry danish, eclair and chocolate croissant. Everything was soft and sweet. The croissants were light and flaky. Yum!
Visiting Kent reinforced my belief that I don’t explore the PNW enough. I could spend my lifetime visiting different places near Seattle. I’m grateful to live in a place so beautiful and vibrant! Many thanks to Visit Kent and the many businesses that hosted me! I appreciate the opportunity to share what I’ve experienced with others. If you want a visual tour, visit my Instagram highlights to see the stories!