King Solomon’s Reef

Yummy potato gems

We went to King Solomon’s Reef diner with an out-of-town guest and they had something for everyone including the vegetarians who lean toward the vegan end of the spectrum. It’s a quirky place but the service was friendly and we felt right at home. (Some readers of this blog might like to point out that I am also a little quirky. Guilty as charged; I am a vernacular girl.)

I had the “Chicken-Fried” Tofu Burger. They pretty much had me at tofu. I am one of those apparently rare individuals who really like tofu and I am always up for a new take on my long-time love. My better half had the Buffalo Tempeh and our guest had the Monte Carlo. We all had pie for dessert. If you are a vegetarian, desserts can be few and far between. But King Solomon’s has vegan pie, people! More than one! Choices!

Fun fact: While we were ordering we learned that our octogenarian guest had never had tater tots, one of the sides offered with his sandwich. How do you describe a tater tot to someone who has never had one? Tasty fried nuggets of potato deliciousness?

I did a little research and learned that Tater Tots is a registered trademark of Ore-Ida. Ore-Ida’s founders created Tater Tots in 1953 as a way to use up all the extra pieces of potato. According to Wikipedia, Americans eat 70 million pounds of potato gems per year.

Please, for the love of diner food, please don’t wait until you are in your 80s to try tots. You may not like them, but they might be your new favorite side dish.

Located in downtown Olympia at 212 4th Avenue E, Olympia, WA 98501, (360) 742-3199
King Solomon’s Reef is open every day, 8am-3am; always a good idea to call ahead on holidays.

Love,
Oly

PS Check out the Olympia Downtown Associations guide to shopping and dining.

PPS I support the Wikimedia Foundation and I encourage everyone to do the same. From their site: “The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property.”


Today’s weather: A little colder today, highs in the 30s the couple times that I checked. Drizzly rain on all three dog walks. The Evergreen State is also the Evergloom State sometimes. Just keepin’ it real.

Joe Knows

Hibiscus frame

After a particularly dark period of my life when I lived in lands without Trader Joes, it became a permanent fixture on my “must-have list” for any new home. Trader Joe’s is the first store that I went to when I arrived in Olympia. Actually, I think we went to Trader Joe’s before we even saw our new house.

What I love about Trader Joe’s:

  • Lots of vegetarian and vegan options including desserts
  • Great prices
  • Good produce
  • Naan
  • Good coffee
  • Flowers and plants
  • So much dark chocolate goodness

We do the majority of our regular shopping here so we have learned their inventory and we’ve probably had almost every vegetarian thing that they sell. In December, I stockpile Wintry Blend coffee and peppermint green tea. Can’t get enough of either one. There’s always coffee brewing so you can taste a new variety before you buy. They also have samples and more than once, I have bought the whole shebang. And there are a lot of Trader Joe’s dinner hacks that are just a Google search away. 

If you like fresh flowers, it’s only a mini splurge at TJs. I have an orchid from Trader Joe’s that I have had for three years and it’s moved with me twice! It’s fierce. I definitely recommend their orchids.

Trader Joe’s is on the west side of Olympia, 1530 Black Lake Blvd SW, Olympia, WA 98502. Hours: 8 a.m.–9 p.m.. (360) 352-7440.

Love,
Oly


Today’s weather was actually pretty nice. I saw the sun. No rain, highs in the mid to upper 40s. No complaints!

Meet me in the (Thai) Garden

Thai Garden

Thai food, Indian food, Mexican food and pizza–those are my comfort foods. And whenever there’s a birthday or another special occasion, you can bet one or more of these play a starring role. There may have been a birthday, so we had Island Market Pizza for lunch and Thai Garden for dinner.

Thai Garden Restaurant & Lounge
2735 Harrison Ave NW, Olympia, Washington 98502,  (360) 943-6292

Thai Garden is located near Target in Olympia. We got takeout this time but we have eaten in and really liked the ambiance and the service. This is a place to go for a dinner out with the family, visitors or for a special occasion.

I always get the golden tofu. My better half cannot get enough of the Tom Kha Vegan soup. We also shared the yellow curry and fresh spring rolls. We have been able to get vegan options here and the staff are helpful. When we ate in, our server gave recommendations that were spot on. We also really like their jasmine tea.

Happy eating!

Love,
Oly

Stay on Target

Stay on Target

Even chain stores have a little local flavor. And let’s face it, sometimes you need food, socks, lip balm and kitty litter. Target has all of this and more. The food section of the Olympia Target is legit. Not a lot of produce, but the basics. Sadly, there is no Sprouts or Whole Foods here, so if you are looking for vegetarian/vegan options, you have to get creative. Target carries a decent selection of Amy’s, Gardein, Silk, Ripple and Annie’s. This the place to get the almond and coconut versions of Natural Bliss creamer (addicted).

The Olympia Target store has it’s customer service desk in lane one of the registers rather than along the perimeter. Everyone seems super nice. During my last trip, two associates helped me and another stopped to ask how I was. The Olympia store is also home to the Sticker Lady cashier. We go through her line whenever she’s working for the pick-me-up.

Looking for Seahawks gear? You can find also find that here. Target offers seasonal merchandise in addition to year-round offerings: back to school, outdoor living/furniture and holiday decorations.

Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, and unincorporated Thurston County have a plastic bag ordinance so stores carry paper bags and you have to pay for bags. This encourages people to bring their own bags, of course, and no one seems to care if you use your Trader Joe’s bags at Target. (There is a Trader Joe’s in Olympia! More on that in a later post.)

The Olympia store has a CVS Pharmacy and a Starbucks and you can recycle plastic bags at Target. Speaking of plastic bags, you can pick up a free umbrella bag when it’s raining to contain your wet umbrella while you shop. Be sure to reuse and then recycle it! 

There is another Target in nearby Lacey.