EVERETT — A sideways wind blew me and my 3-year-old daughter into Kindred Kitchen in Everett one weekday morning. However, the howling wind and lashes of rain gave way to near calm as the door closed behind us.
The space is airy and sleek, with cozy chairs and tables big enough for two, plus ample light from a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. I had the Pacific Breakfast Sandwich ($10.70), with scrambled eggs, shaved ham, an herbaceous aioli, tomato and slices of cheddar and smoked Gouda on a soft roll. It was a busy morning, and they were sold out of the potatoes that normally come with the sandwich.
A few days later, I was back for sandwiches: the Vegetarian ($9.95) with a punchy Tunisian carrot spread and hummus, Swiss and havarti cheese, cucumber and red onion; and the Hat Island Ham ($9.95) with ham and havarti, Dijon mustard and mayo — both served on wheat bread with tortilla chips.
The sandwiches (and to be fair, the peanut butter toast my kid got on that first visit) are wonderful in that they’re classic, simple dishes executed perfectly. Nearly everything in the kitchen is made from scratch, and it’s all sourced locally. It’s everything I want in a quick lunch.
Kindred Kitchen (which turns two in December) grew out of CafeWorks and is a part of the HopeWorks social network. Now a full cafe with delivery and catering services, Kindred Kitchen has a program that places formerly homeless and low-income individuals in a 12-to-16-week training internship to learn all the aspects of working in a restaurant. Trainees work side by side with professionals and, at the end of the program, have opportunities for job placement — some even stay at Kindred Kitchen. All the more reason to support this little sandwich place.
Kindred Kitchen: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday; 3315 Broadway, Everett; 425-512-0343; kindredkitchen.com
Elsewhere in Everett, I grabbed the best garlic rice I’ve had in a while and gobbled some incredible fusion burritos.
11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday; 607 S.E. Everett Mall Way, Everett; 206-822-0308; graciescuisine.net
This cozy Filipino spot has a menu designed to be shared between two or three people (and priced accordingly). If you’re planning to dine-in, you should come with a few friends. Many of these dishes come straight to your table in deep silver pots — except for the pancit, presented in a tangle on a wooden board with a banana leaf — and are served family style. The menu is filled with classic Filipino dishes; pork sisig, silog paired with everything from milkfish to longanisa, beef calderata, crispy fried pork leg and lumpia.
I came alone, looking for takeout, and ordered a chicken silog ($15.40) with two fried eggs, garlic rice and marinated chicken, an order of lumpia ($8) and the lechon kawali — deep fried pork belly with rice ($24). The wait for to-go orders was 30-40 minutes, so I would also recommend calling your order in, unless you’ve got errands to run while waiting.
The food is well worth the wait. I could eat that garlic rice by the bucketful, same for the bone-in chicken adobo legs and thighs coated in a rich vinegar/soy marinade. The lumpia were wonderfully crispy little cigars served with sweet chili sauce. The fried pork belly was a little dry and undersalted — but I couldn’t help but peek at the food whipping out of the kitchen (like that pancit!) and am eager to go back for more of the menu.
10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; 7405 Hardeson Road, Suite E, Everett; 425-212-9295; facebook.com/ChopExpressEverett
I’m sure this place, located in a small strip mall less than five minutes from the Boeing campus, is absolutely packed during the weekday lunch hour. I was there during a relatively quiet Saturday afternoon where most of the clientele was breezing in and out, picking up to-go orders. There are a few oversized picnic tables inside for limited dine-in as well.
The menu is a tight selection of Korean-fusion burritos, one sub sandwich and a few appetizers: egg rolls, pot stickers, a salad. The burritos are gargantuan and served cut into halves, with slices of jalapeño and a lime wedge. I ordered the Huli-Huli Chicken ($10.50) and the Bulgorrito ($11). The Huli-Huli Chicken has tender lemongrass chicken plus chicken-filled dumplings, crunchy cabbage, cilantro, rice and spicy mayo. The Bulgorrito is much the same, except there’s sweet/spicy thinly shaved BBQ beef in place of the chicken and dumplings.
Off the cuff, dumplings in a burrito seem gimmicky and wholly unnecessary, but I’ll admit it: I’m totally converted. Eating a burrito of this size is a tall order; you’re never going to get every single flavor in each bite, so each one needs to provide that perfectly tuned symphony of flavors and textures. Smooth pebbles of rice meet the charred chicken and crunchy cabbage in some bites, others have the chew of a pan-seared dumpling. It’s sweet from the huli huli sauce and spicy from the mayo. It’s wholly fantastic. Same for the Bulgorrito, which marries the sweet chili tang of the beef with that same spicy mayo. A squirt of lime is welcome, but not necessary. A perfect order would be one of each, the halves split between two people.