News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Zaina opens in Maple Leaf Village

July 15th, 2013 by master

If you drove in the vicinity of Lake City Way and Northeast 80th Street over the weekend, you likely noticed that the new restaurant Zaina, home of the “Greatest Falafel on Earth,” has opened and that it was immediately quite popular in the community.

Neighbor Eric sent us the above photo from Saturday night, telling us:

The place was slammed tonight with a line out the door.

We’ll try to stop by soon to get more information about the falafel and gyro shop, which previously was located in Pioneer Square.

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Coming soon: "Greatest Falafal on Earth"

April 19th, 2013 by master

The space recently vacated by iBurger & Shake won’t stay empty for long.

Signs posted at 8000 Lake City Way state that “Zaina” is coming soon, boasting “Greatest Falafal on Earth” and “Best Gyro Ever.”

Anybody heard anything else about Zaina?

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Flying Squirrel Pizza opening pushed into August

July 21st, 2011 by master

Well, we have some good news, and some bad news about the upcoming opening of Flying Squirrel Pizza Co. at 8310 Fifth Ave. N.E.

And the bad news isn’t so bad. Although the opening of the pizzeria originally was slated for April before it got pushed into July, the company tweeted yesterday that we only have a little to longer to wait:

Looks like late august. Lots of city code approvals to go through with the new build-out. 

But if extra time means they’re also putting some extra care into improving the former location of A New York Pizza Place, it’s also a sort of good news.

As evidence, yesterday @flyingsquirrel also posted the photo at right via the tweet:

The drywall crane has landed at Maple Leaf! Starting to look like a restaurant… 

And on their Facebook page, they’ve posted a photo of the pizzeria’s new oven:

Hello Maple Leaf….here is your oven. We’re getting there…

The best news yet: Flying Squirrel may not physically be open, but they’re already a part of the Maple Leaf community and plan to be at the Maple Leaf Summer Social from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, at Maple Leaf Park Playground, 8801 Roosevelt Way N.E.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

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The Fine Diner is now open for business

July 15th, 2011 by master

Although it’s just a “soft opening” for now, The Fine Diner International Cuisine at 1000 N.E. Northgate Way opened its doors on Tuesday, and hungry patrons were filing through the door at dinnertime Friday.

Chef/owner Ron Chomcey is aiming for a grand opening in a couple of weeks, and in the meantime plans to continue expanding the menu by featuring more specials and adding a new menu item every week.

“Once we get a little more established, we’re going to feature a different region of the world every month,” he said. And once The Fine Diner receives its liquor license, he also plans to pair that featured region with the appropriate beer/wine/spirit.

For now, the menu includes appetizers, soups and salads; sandwiches ranging from $7.25 to $9.65; burgers ranging from $7.75 to $9.50 wraps for $8.95; fine entrees including The Rib Eye for $19.45 or Spaghetti & Meatballs for $9.89; and kids meals. There still are no alcoholic beverages, although Chomcey is hopeful they will have beer and wine in about a month.

The Fine Diner is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Chomcey plans to expand hours in the future and include breakfast in about three months.

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Upcoming tequila tastings at COA

June 28th, 2011 by master

If you missed the Cinco de Mayo tequila-dinner pairing at COA Mexican Eatery & Tequileria, 7919 Roosevelt Way N.E., there are more chances coming up to taste some of the unique tequilas available at the new Maple Leaf restaurant.

At 6:30 p.m. July 7, Eric Lorenz with Lorenz Agave Spirits will share his knowledge about the history of tequila while you taste his Aha Toro Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and Amigo Reposado. Cost is $40, and will include the Lorenz tequila tastings and bocaditos from COA. From the COA website: 

This will be an awesome experience to learn the history of Tequila & how far it’s gone. This tasting will be like stepping into the past and seeing what Tequila was intended to be.

The month’s second tasting begins at 6:30 p.m. July 30, with “Tequila Evangelist” Clayton J. Szech inviting just 16 people to an intimate tasting of his private collection. Cost is $55, and includes bocaditos from the COA kitchen. From COA:

This tasting will be a VIP experience. … These tequilas you will not find in your local liquor store. You will be able to experience tequila like you never have before as Clayton will explain the history & process the tequila went through before arriving at your lips. The notes, the flavor, the color it will all make sense after this event.

Tickets to both tastings can be purchased through the COA website.

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COA invites Maple Leaf to Cinco de Mayo pairing

April 26th, 2011 by master

Edgar Carreon, owner of COA Mexican Eatery & Tequileria, with his fiancee, Juanita Bond, in front of the tequila bar on the first floor.

When COA Mexican Eatery & Tequileria officially opens May 20 at 7919 Roosevelt Way N.E., owner Edgar Carreon plans to offer more than just his favorite dishes and tequilas. What he really hopes to share with the community is an experience.

“One of the ways that we are different from most Southwest-style restaurants is that we are part of the Mexican culture,” Carreon said. “We didn’t come up with the idea; we didn’t come up with the recipes. These are things that we grew up with; these are the things that we still eat at home.

“We have a really personal relationship with the culture that we think is a really different experience.”

And because Maple Leaf has welcomed COA with such open arms, Carreon in turn is opening the doors to the restaurant a little early for a Cinco de Mayo dinner-tequila pairing specifically for the neighborhood. (UPDATE: Reservations now are being taken. Click to the bottom of this post for details.)

Carreon explains that his first restaurant, La Casita in Mount Vernon, is important to him because of the way the restaurant was so warmly welcomed into the community when it opened nine years ago.

“(Maple Leaf) has been the location that makes us feel just like we did in Mount Vernon,” he said.

The three-course meal offered May 5 will feature a tequila specifically chosen for each course from Casa Noble, Corrido and Ahatoro. Patrons that night also will get the chance to try some of the restaurant’s original tequila cocktails, as well as samples of dishes not being served with the meal.

So what style of food might you expect at COA? Carreo admits that much of the menu might not seem new to patrons who frequent Mexican restaurants, but he thinks the execution of the dishes is what will make the food unique. [Read more →]

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