On Thursday, July 2 Peace Lutheran Church will host a potluck-presentation block party from 6 to 8 p.m. featuring the Tour de Revs, a trio of Lutheran pastors travelling cross country on a bamboo bicycle built for three to promote wellness and raise awareness and funds to end hunger. 

This will be stop 39 of 65 in their 13,000 mile journey traveling on their custom bamboo bicycle created by Craig Calfee from a design originally created for local production in the developing world.
The cycling Revs will share about their trip, the bike, and their mission to end hunger.  Cycling youth from Peace Lutheran, St. Luke's in Bellevue, and Our Savior's in Issaquah will be cycling in that evening from a local cycling and service trip and will also share about their experience.
West Seattle and White Center Food Banks along with other local charities and community agencies will be represented, the grills will be grilling and the people chilling.
Bring a non perishable food item for the West Seattle and White Center Food Banks and something to share.
Ride your bike and end the evening with a sunset ride in beautiful West Seattle with the Revs.

Photo credit: 
Photo courtesy Tour de Revs

This summer, through the efforts and contributions of the community and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Delridge Produce Cooperative will present a 16-part series of moving informational produce-collection-and-distribution centers.

The project was made possible, in part, due to a $15,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund grant.

At each of four locations along Delridge Way Southwest, a regular day will be chosen to host the project for all four consecutive weeks. For example, the Delridge P-Patch might host the 'Market' every Monday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., from August 17 to Sept. 7.

The 'Market' will serve as a collection point for donations of produce from backyard growers, P-Patchers, Washington farmers, and local contributing businesses. Produce will be given away as it is collected to demonstrate how a community can work together to ensure food resiliency, food security, food diversity and food prosperity.


I’m taking a multivitamin and a couple of other supplements, so I can eat whatever I want, right? Well, not exactly.

When patients are suffering from an illness that a therapeutic dose of a specific vitamin will help, I always recommend supplementation. However, it’s only part of the general treatment plan that I put together.

When they are looking to lower their risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, I suggest starting to build a strong foundation with a healthy diet.

Sure, cod liver oil is great (and oh, so yummy) to take to improve depression, skin health, digestion and brain function. And since most mercury is found in flesh, not in liver tissue, there shouldn’t be a concern about mercury levels, especially if you buy a pharmaceutical-grade brand from your doctor rather than a store-bought one. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to eat two to three servings of fish each week.


Smokin' Pete's BBQ in Ballard was named the seventh-best barbecue joint on the west coast in the June issue of Sunset Magazine.

The restaurant was opened five years ago at the corner of 20th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 65th Street.

Owner Julie Reinhardt was raised in Ballard and attended Ballard High School. She said the location was perfect because the former butcher shop had a smoker in the back and there is a long tradition in Texas of barbeque restaurants opening in old butcher shops.

Sunset described Smokin' Pete's meat as "juicy with a subtle, almost haunting quality." Read the entire article here.

Reinhardt said Smokin' Pete's stands out from the rest of the barbecue pack because they use high quality meats, slice their brisket Texas-style, and make everything from scratch.

"We do some things differently," she said.

On top of co-owning Smoking Pete's with Eric Reinhardt, Julie recently wrote her own barbecue book, "She Smoke."

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Julie Reinhardt, co-owner of Smokin' Pete's BBQ, weighs out a rack of ribs.

The Phinney Farmers Market is in full swing, and it wont be too long before there are strawberries, cherries and raspberries on the farm tables, said Chris Curtis director of the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance.

The Alliance also operates the West Seattle, University District, Capitol Hill, Lake City, Columbia City and Magnolia markets.

Curtis said each week in June, there will be a "tasty selection of uber-fresh, healthy, and absolutely delicious greens and other spring veggies," at the Phinney Market, which operates Fridays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 29 through Oct. 2 in the lower parking lot at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, at 67th and Phinney Ave. N.

The market has a line-up of weekly music and other events, including a special cooking demo by New Orleans chef Poppy Tooker.  Chef Poppy will show shoppers how to make a fabulous gumbo using what’s fresh on the market tables on Friday, June 19, 4 p.m. 
She is touring with her new cookbook, which shoppers will be able to purchase at the market on June 19. 

For a quick list of farmers and vendors at the market this year, click here.  

Photo credit: 
Photo courtesy Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance

The Phinney Farmers Market operates Fridays, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the lower parking lot at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, at 67th and Phinney Ave. N.

To many, the phrase “healthy chocolate” seems like an oxymoron, but a few local women are proving that chocolate can be more than a delicious treat.

Xoçai chocolate is a company that has developed various chocolate products with various health benefits. The company was started four years ago by Jeanette Brooks, a woman with a deep love for chocolate and whose diabetes kept her from enjoying her favorite treat.

So she developed a chocolate that she, and others with health concerns, could enjoy.

The chocolate is uniquely healthy because of how it is made. Xoçai has the patent on cold pressing chocolate which better maintains the antioxidants.

They use cocoa powder, açaí berry and blueberry as well as other healthy ingredients like flaxseed, plant based omega-3s.

As a result, three Xoçai chocolate squares, containing only 100 calories, has as much antioxidants as 1.91 pounds of spinach, two pounds of raspberries or 12 pounds of tomatoes.

The chocolate also combats free radicals, which cause disease and aging. It doesn’t have added caffeine, preservatives, fillers waxes, trans fats or processed sugar.

Photo credit: 
Rose Egge

Xoçai chocolate, offered through a West Seattle distributor, has surprising health benefits.

A “fresh” take on Northwest cuisine is coming to West Seattle thanks to Herban Feast’s latest culinary venture.

Fresh Bistro, a full-service restaurant located at 4725 42nd Ave. S.W. beneath the newly constructed Mural apartments, will hold it’s grand opening Friday, May 22 at 5 p.m.

Herban Feast has been catering creative Northwest events since 2003. They are committed to providing exceptional service along with delicious food crafted from fresh, regional ingredients. Owner BJ Duft described what guests could expect from their Fresh Bistro experience.

“Some of the things we are serving are bright, lively and fresh foods made from products you would find at the local farmers market. They’re not over the top eclectic; but are definitely unique, things like gooey duck and halibut cheeks,” he said.

Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

A Fresh Bistro halibut plate. The new restaurant opens Friday.

OK, so we know that Theo Chocolate is technically located in Fremont, not Ballard, but if you’re a fan of chocolate you will certainly forgive us for making this one of our 101 Things to do in Ballard.

Just think of it as something to do FROM Ballard and make a visit to Theo even more of an adventure by walking or biking to get there (after all the chocolate samples, you’ll need some way to burn off the calories).

However you slice it, this melt-in-your-mouth opportunity located in the old Red Hook Brewery building is within close reach for any Seattleite, considering there are only 18 operating chocolate factories in the entire country—most of which are owned by the same mega-corporations.

But Theo is different—in almost every respect. The first and only organic and Fair Trade chocolate factory in the country, Theo Chocolate is “equal parts delicious and ethical” buying organic, Fair Trade certified cocoa beans direct from farmers and grower coops.

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Photo credit: 
Lori Hinton

Theonista tour guide Nicole Pita pulls out a tray of tempting Theo confections. CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS FROM THE TOUR.

Plaka Estiatorio
5407 20th Ave. N.W., 829-8934
Tuesday through Saturday: Lunch 11-3, Dinner 5-10

Plaka Estiatorio, one of the latest addition to Ballard's ever-growing restaurant scene, is an Athenian style establishment named after the old Athens neighborhood Plaka. Here, dogs romped freely, and the mayor generously gave of himself to all that would gather round. Crying out for love, all would converge for simple, elegant foods.

That of course is made up. But our visit to Plaka was real, and it already feels like it's been around for a while, as they've created a "lived-in" feel.

One of the nice touches is the old wood floor from the clock repair shop, which formerly occupied the space. Under the old funky carpets lay a beautiful and burnished hardwood floor, all a'shining and a'glow. And now, with that nasty carpet removed, it can shine again. Seldom is something more exciting or worthy of celebration than a bright and shiny floor that is daylighted from filthy rugs.

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Photo credit: 
Jim Anderson

Plaka Estiatorio, located at 5407 20th Ave. N.W., has authentic Greek feel.

With efforts by Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin, Mayor Greg Nickels has eliminated fees for food gardens grown in planting strips.

In previous years, many residents had been told that growing food in planting strips was not allowed. In reality, such gardens were permissible within department of transportation safety guidelines, but discouraged, according to the city.

In 2008, Conlin, chair of the council's Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Committee, requested the transportation department clarify and communicate those guidelines to the public and shift to encourage planting strip

The new modified rules are the result of that request.

The changes are one of several steps that council, through the Local Food Initiative, is taking to encourage Seattle residents to plant vegetables and other edible foods.

"The new rules will make it easier for people to grow their own food in Seattle," said Conlin. "Gardening in front yards and planting strips is a great way to build community."

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