Thursday, April 30, 2009

Slow Pokes Brisket and Pork

I'm a sucker for good BBQ, and nowhere in Renton is great barbecue. We've got some pretty good barbecue in Sandie's Place and Cedar River smokehouse, and Gabby's in Skyway.
There's a new player on the BBQ scene, Slow Pokes, located near the Great Wall Shopping Center. Technically, they are not "real" in that the meat is slow roasted rather than smoked. Still, the meat is good, and the sandwiches are a very good value. The sandwiches are all served on sub rolls, or maybe Vietnamese Banh Mi rolls? And they are stuffed with meat. The place is part of a gas station building, always a good sign. Choices include the original with it's natural juices, or Texas Style ( with BBQ sauce) or Philadelphia cheese steak style, or Mexican, or Italian. The place has maybe three tables, but for 6.99 you will get a good tasting very large sandwich on a good fresh roll.

18010 E Valley Hwy
Kent, WA 98032
(425) 251-6820‎

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where is Renton's Best Pizza?

The Rock Wood Fired Pizza and Spirits has opened in The Landing, and among many other things has a lunch buffet featuring a variety of pizza, pasta, soup, and salad. Not a bad deal for 8.49, including soft drink, but how's the pizza?
The place is a fun, rock n'roll themed restaurant. The music's great. The servers were attentive and welcoming. One of the soups, a creamy chicken with wild rice, was outstanding.
The pizza? It's good. Almost all wood fired pizza is going to have a good crust, and crust is so underrated in general.
I've had better wood fired crust before, but just the fact that this is a wood fired crust is a big plus. Toppings were pleasant and there was a good variety of them. Sauce was a little too thin.
Is this Renton's best pizza? No. Renton is blessed with a few really good pizza places including Angelo's, Armando's, Vince's, and Amante.
But the Rock is pretty good, and some people really like odd themed places. I'll go back.
The Rock Wood Fired Pizza and Spirits
830 N 10th St
Renton 425-255-0334

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pssst, wanna buy a house?...OR Playin RUFF!

Two things today which are related:

1. Renton's Off Leash Dog Area, to be located behind the Renton Community Center across the river and near the Cedar River trail, is aiming for an August opening if the user group, Renton's Unleashed Furry Friends can match the city's 20,000 dollars. They're off to a good start, have a wine and auction benefit scheduled for tonight at Vino in the Landing, and a later event being scheduled for the Dog and Pony Alehouse and Grill. They're looking for donations and volunteers and are a wonderful group of people.

2. I'm a real estate agent. It is seldom revealed here because I have to keep up the image of uber cool blogger, and face it, real estate agents aren't cool. They're thought of as people who will sell their grandmother if they could earn a commission, and you can tell they're lying because their lips are moving. On the evolutionary scale, they're thought of as somewhere between a leech and a tick.
Two years ago many real estate agents were suggesting that if you didn't buy a house right then, you'd never be able to afford one, you'd be priced out forever.
Fast forward two years, and many Renton area homes are now worth 25% less than they were. But now, many of these same real estate agents are suggesting that you'd better buy a house right now because we've hit bottom and that interest rates won't fall any more.
What am I suggesting, and what does this have to do with dog parks?
I'm not suggesting that people buy houses or not buy houses. Prices have come down and interest rates are low, but I'm not going to be like many real estate agents and pretend I can predict the future.
But....if you already want to buy a house, and use me as your real estate agent, I'll donate two thousand dollars for the Renton off leash park. I'll donate it in your name if you like. Buy enough houses and you can probably have the dog park named for you or your German Shepherd- Basset Mix.
I'm not going to suggest that if you buy a house you'll get rich. In fact, the opposite happened a couple of years ago after some real estate agents referred their clients to their loan originator buddies to make sure they could qualify for a loan they couldn't afford, and then prices went down.
There are lots of good reasons to own a home. Over the long haul homes usually keep pace or exceed the inflation rate. And when you own a home, it's yours, meaning you can do with it what you like. Tear out all that grass and plant blueberries. Or paint the house purple. Use the garage for your heavy metal band to practice in.

If you want to buy a house, and also want to support Renton's Offleash Dog park, I'm your man. How cool is that? 206-349-2574 or
Ira Sacharoff Seattle office

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Breakfast at Ikea

Have I mentioned how much I hate shopping at Ikea?
I know, it's almost disloyal to Renton to say that. Did I mention that the place is too big,the parking garage is insane, I can't find anything, it's too crowded, every piece of furniture or kitchen nicknack is named Sven or Lutefisk or Dritsek, and it just gives me a headache almost every time I've gone there? Not that I'm the type who complains :)

But....they have the best breakfast deal around in their restaurant, if you get there before 10 AM...Your choice of Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and coffee, or two eggs, potatoes, bacon, and bread ( kind of a sweet bread/donut hybrid)and coffee, for $1.99!

If you get there early enough, the store is not open but the restaurant is!
So the parking lot will be empty, you'll even be able to park right next to the entrance, and you won't have to be distracted by some teak veneered magazine holders named Torvald.

601 SW 41st St.
Renton, WA 425-656-2980

Friday, April 03, 2009

A short ramble on Annexation

Some of your neighbors who you think live in Renton don't actually live in Renton. They may live in unincorporated King County very near the city limits. I am one of "those" people. I live in Earlington, about two blocks from the Renton city limits. King County wants to rid itself of administering and providing services to unincorporated areas adjacent to cities,is urging adjacent cities to annex them, and Renton has a bunch of those. Benson Hill was annexed to Renton in 2008, and Springbrook Terrace is going to be annexed in April, 2009. Fairwood residents narrowly voted last year not to become an independent city, but annexation to Renton is still a possibility, and within the Fairwood area is a smaller area known as the Red Mill area, where there is a movement afoot to have this smaller area annexed to Renton, regardless of what happens to the rest of Fairwood. Then there's the West Hill and Earlington.
On Monday, April 6th, 7PM at Renton City Hall, there will be a hearing on the Earlington annexation proposal...But wait a minute, you say? Isn't Earlington already a neighborhood in Renton? Yes, it is, just not all of it. Some of Earlington is in Renton ( annexed to Renton in 1948),some is in unincorporated King County, and The Earlington annexation would add to Renton about 100 acres, 127 dwelling units, 292 people, and Minter's Earlington Greenhouse....But wait a minute, you say? Isn't Earlington part of the West Hill, and aren't they also being considered for annexation to Renton?
Yes, the Earlington that isn't part of Renton is part of the West Hill, which also includes Lakeridge, Bryn Mawr, and Skyway, and yes, there is a separate effort going on to annex that whole big area to Renton, but the Earlington area has some different issues. We, the unincorporated Earlingtonians, unlike our fellow West Hillers, have Renton phone numbers. Unlike our fellow West Hillers, we are served by City of Renton water. And we're closer to the Renton Fred Meyer than to the Skyway bowling alley.
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not only a resident of the Earlington and West Hill annexation areas, I'm also on the West Hill Unincorporated Area council.
I don't have an official position on the overall West Hill annexation. But I'm in favor of the Earlington annexation. If nothing else, I'd get annexed off the West Hill council, a much more honorable way of leaving than being diselected.