Chinatown Restaurant – San Francisco, CA

Food: Hattie
Food: Parents
Kid Friendliness
Summary

Restaurant: Chinatown Restaurant
Cuisine: Chinese
Visit Date: February 20th, 2016
Location: San Francisco, CA
Address: 744 Washington Street
Price of Kids Meal: No kids’ menu, but Dim Sum dishes were $4-$10 each
Child Friendliness Factors: Page from Chinatown Restaurant menu
-Changing Table in restroom: No, and the restroom was down a flight of stairs, and not exactly clean. 
-Child hand washing made convenient: No.
-Highchairs available: Yes.
-Drinks: Just ice water in grown-up cups.
-Child-friendly food/servings on menu: Dim Sum dishes are the right size for children, and many have flavors that appeal to toddler taste buds as well.
-Welcoming touches for children: None.
Additional Comments:
-Nice soju selection.
-Great view from balcony
-In the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown
-Serving the community since 1919

While my family and I were in San Francisco for Chinese New Year, we were able to have lunch at this hidden gem. Some of my followers may know already, but I am a huge fan of noodles, and Chinatown Restaurant makes excellent noodles! I also liked how dishes were served family style, on a giant lazy-suzan in then center of the table, so I got to try a bite of everything. After dinner, the waitress brought little bowls of green tea ice cream for everyone. What a treat!Chinatown Restaurant green tea ice creamChinatown Restaurant oodles

I was born in September of 2014, and ever since I started eating solid foods I have been a self-proclaimed foodie. I am also an aspiring chef (actually, I just aspire to reach the kitchen counter right now), and experienced restaurant critic.

Historic Churches of Monroe, WA

Monroe has a number of historic churches that still stand today. Let’s start with Monroe United Methodist Church, pictured above. This brick beauty was the city’s first church, organized in 1896, with the current building being built in 1924. Here’s a postcard featuring the church from the 1950’s.

monroe methodist episcopal churchThe Monroe Congregational Church is just down Lewis Street, First Congregational Church of Monroeand it was the 5th church to be built in Monroe, in 1907. From the churches archives, “in 1907 the church lots cost $470.00 and the erection of the building $3,000.00.” The stained glass windows in this church are beautiful even to passersby on the outside, and breathtaking inside! I was unable to find any information about when these windows were installed, but they appear to reflect the local setting of Monroe, tucked in at the foot of the mountains, with the valley spreading out wide on the other side. The windows are done in twi-panel style, with the center panel of each being the largest. This is a popular design style for religious art.Stained Glass from First Congregational Church of Monroe

 

Stained Glass from First Congregational Church of Monroe

I have been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1995. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Professional Child Development. In my free time, I love LEGO, ballet, ballroom dancing, eating out, traveling, history, architecture, genealogy, and people.

Queen Anne House – Snohomish, WA

After writing a post about the Southernmost House in the United States, I began to pay a little bit more attention to the architectural styles of the homes I was seeing on my travels.

Front of home, with tower and ornamented gable.
Front of home, with tower and ornamented gable.

I have always found the “Queen Anne House” in Snohomish to be beautiful, but it has no signage (it is a private residence, after all), and if there’s no Wikipedia page on it, I’m clueless! That is, until now. I did some research on Queen Anne Style victorian buildings in the United States, and I ran across the book Beautiful America’s Northwest Victorians, which mentions this home. It says it was built in 1887 (which fits for the neighborhood), and “has a shingle-clad, centrally-placed tower, faux quoins, and an explosion of cut-out ornament in the front gable.” I would say that is a fairly accurate description of this home!

For those of you wondering what a “quoin” is, I googled it, and vocabulary.com says: Some quoins are decorative features, providing variety and pattern to the corner where two exterior walls meet. Others have an important structural job, strengthening buildings by reinforcing the corners. Quoin was originally an alternative way to spell coin, and was used to mean “cornerstone” or “wedge.”

It is also pictured on the front of the visitors brochure for Snohomish, but the woman at the Visitor’s Bureau knew nothing about it when my dad asked her. P.S. The Visitor’s Bureau is only several blocks from this home.

Rear of home.
Rear of home.

P.P.S. Apparently, there is a photo of the house on Wikipedia, I just never saw it until now. Opps! It’s on the page for Snohomish, Washington, a page which lists 19 ‘notable people’ to come out of Snohomish. Only one of those 19 is a woman. Hmmm…

I have been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1995. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Professional Child Development. In my free time, I love LEGO, ballet, ballroom dancing, eating out, traveling, history, architecture, genealogy, and people.

NYP Bar & Grill – Everett, WA

Food: Hattie
Food: Parents
Kid Friendliness
Summary

Restaurant: NYP Bar & Grill
Cuisine: Burgers
Visit Date: March 25th, 2016
Location: Everett, WA
Address: 1321 SE Everett Mall Way
Price of Kids Meal: $7
Child Friendliness Factors: 
-Changing Table in restroom: Yes, but it’s a left-handed one, so it was a bit tricky.
-Child hand washing made convenient: Not really.
-Highchairs available: Yes, but no booster seats. One of the staff members had some extra Bumbo seats at home & brought them in for customers to use as boosters, but since my rear end has been too big for a Bumbo since I was about 6-months-old, I can’t imagine that the big kids are very comfortable in them.
-Drinks: Ice water was served in a lidded cup with a bendy straw.
-Child-friendly food/servings on menu:  Yes…except there were NO fruits or vegetables anywhere on the kids menu. When mama asked the waiter, he said they don’t really have any fruits or vegetables because they don’t serve steak. He then offered to look for some fruit because they do serve fruit on Sundays. Strange.
-Welcoming touches for children: Crayons for coloring on the kids menu.
Additional Comments:
-This place specializes in local ingredients and local brews.
-Located within walking distance of a used book store, a pet store, and Toys ‘R’ Us. You can make a whole day of it!
-No outdoor seating available.

NYP Kids MenuI took my mom and grandma to NYP Bar & Grill for my grandma’s birthday, and she loved it! She raved about the Bloody Mary she had, and her onion rings were super yummy. I didn’t mind the lack of fruits & veggies because I just ate the lime, dilly bean, and cocktail onion from the Bloody Mary, then the waiter brought a side of fruit leftover from last Sunday. My mom gave me the tomato off of her burger & we called it good. My mom loved her burger too. The only problem with our visit was some front-of-house stuff. One server spilled mom’s fries, another one spilled a sauce cup in the lap of our neighbor, it took forever to get out bill (we walked in at 11:10 and didn’t walk out until 12:45), and our waiter wasn’t too sharp. (For example, when grandma asked for a lemon, she was given a lime, and when trying to explain the difference between the million dipping sauces they offer, he explained Chipotle Aioli as “Ranch-based.”) They specialize in Washington brews, but their coasters were from a brewery in Colorado because “they were cheaper.”

Back of house = A+

Front of house = C-

Pull it together, guys.

I was born in September of 2014, and ever since I started eating solid foods I have been a self-proclaimed foodie. I am also an aspiring chef (actually, I just aspire to reach the kitchen counter right now), and experienced restaurant critic.

Southernmost House in the United States

Casa Cayo Hueso – The Southernmost House in the United States, is located in Key West, FL (along with all of the other southernmosts). Historic Southernmost HouseOn the right is a historic photo of the house from the Historic Markers Tour website. Here is the house history in a nutshell, copied from a sign inside of the hotel.

The Southernmost House was built in 1897 by Judge Vinning Harris. Harris’s wife was the youngest daughter (Florida Curry) of Florida’s first millionaire William Curry. The house was designed as a one bedroom mansion, to only accommodate the couple themselves. The style of the house projects one of the best examples of Queen Anne Victorian architecture, making it the second most reproduced image of any house in America, behind the White House. Many historical figures and celebrities have enjoyed the mansion’s elegance as well as the beautiful oceanfront setting.

Mrs. Harris engaged Thomas Edison to oversee the electrical design and installation of the house. The Harrises had invested in the Overseas Railroad to Key West, which was developed by Henry Flagler, who was a visitor to the house during the early period.

During the Prohibition period from 1919-1933, the mansion served as a “speakeasy” club. The first floor served as the restaurant, the second floor for casino gambling, and the third floor for “socializing.”

Southernmost House gate
Casa Cayo Hueso front gate

During this period, the mansion was visited by many celebrities and notorious gangsters en route to Havana. A little known secret of the house is the bullet hole in the front window of the reception salon, was said to be meant for Al Capone. The house was purchased in 1939 by the Ramos family who continued to operate it as a cafe/night club called “Cafe Cayo Hueso,” which hosted such notables as Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal and Truman Capote, Tallulah Bankhead, Gloria Swanson, Louis Armstrong, Charles Lindbergh and Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian inventor of the radio-telegraph system. Then, in 1949, the Ramos family completely renovated the mansion for use as their private residence.

The Ramos family, originally from Spain, was one of Florida’s oldest merchant families, who settled in Spanish Colonial Florida (in St. Augustine) and moved to Key West in 1819. Because of their ties to the Spanish Royal family they hosted King Juan Carlos of Spain on several occasions. In fact, a landing pad was added to the oceanfront deck to accommodate his private helicopter.

Five presidents of the United States were hosted at the Southernmost House. They were Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, and James E. Carter, Jr.

The house served as the Ramos-Lopez family residence until 1996 when the mansion was completely renovated and converted into the luxury guest house as it remains today…a uniquely beautiful piece of Florida’s colonial history.

Now for the interesting stuff-Casa Cayo Hueso SignThere is a sign posted outside of the building, and it reads as follows:

Casa Cayo Hueso
The Southernmost House
in the Continental United States
Key West, Florida
-Facts-

1. Owned by: Ramos-Lopez Family 1939-present
Owned by: Harris Family 1900-1939
2. Judge Jeptha Harris was beloved and respected jurist.
Definitely not a party animal. A circuit judge, not a salvage judge!
3. No ballroom on second floor – never was and never will be.

Ramos-Lopez Family – One of Florida’s oldest merchant families. Established in Spanish Colonial Florida at St. Augustine and moved to Key West in 1819.

I find this to be a very intriguing sign, because if I were to list facts outside of my establishment, I would list some from the previously quoted history of the home, not the fact that there is no ballroom on the second floor. There must be more to this story…

Southernmost House side view

And by the way, do you think that Florida Curry caught any grief growing up about her name? She was born & raised in Florida, after all.

I have been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1995. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Professional Child Development. In my free time, I love LEGO, ballet, ballroom dancing, eating out, traveling, history, architecture, genealogy, and people.

Dim Sum Factory – Bellevue, WA

Food: Hattie
Food: Parents
Kid Friendliness
Summary

Restaurant: Dim Sum Factory
Cuisine: Asian (Dim Sum)
Visit Date: Thursday, January 21st, 2015
Location: Bellevue, WA
Address: 4092 Factoria Blvd SE
Price of Kids Meal: No kids meals, but Dim Sum was $7-$10 each, which would be the right size for a child.
Child Friendliness Factors: 
-Changing Table in restroom: No, but there is one in the mall restroom if you’re willing to walk.
-Child hand washing made convenient: No.
-Highchairs available: Yes, but they were strange, and not terribly effective.
-Drinks: Water was served to me in an pink acrylic glass without a lid or straw. I thought it was cool, but I did spill quite a bit. Opps!
-Child-friendly food/servings on menu: Not really.
-Welcoming touches for children: None.
Additional Comments:
-Located inside of Bellevue’s Factoria Mall.
-Awesome viewing area into the kitchen, as long as the servers aren’t that busy and don’t mind you standing in their work space.

This was the first time I felt like a restaurant was a true “fail.”

Crazy high chair
Crazy high chair

The style of highchair they put me in was older than my parents, and it was so easy to get out of. They didn’t offer me anything like crayons or kids cup, and they didn’t even have a kids menu. The waiter gave me a regular glass of water, which I thought was pretty cool, but I did kinda spill on accident…several times. I didn’t really like any of the food they brought. My mom’s noodles had two entire sprouted bok choy plants on top, which even she didn’t eat (and she claims to love veggies). My dad wanted to split a bubble tea with me, but they were out of “bubbles!”

Me trying to fish an ice cube out of my water.
Me trying to fish an ice cube out of my water.

Luckily we got to go to the children’s museum that night, so our day was far from ruined by our bad dinner. Kids, tell your parents to skip the Dim Sum Factory & head straight to Jamba Juice or Red Robin’s instead.

I was born in September of 2014, and ever since I started eating solid foods I have been a self-proclaimed foodie. I am also an aspiring chef (actually, I just aspire to reach the kitchen counter right now), and experienced restaurant critic.

The Ruby Theatre

Ruby Theatre PlaqueNestled in picturesque Chelan, WA, the Ruby Theatre was constructed in 1913 and still has many of the trademark playhouse features today. According to the Wikipedia article on the theatre, the theatre was “named after Ruby Potter, the daughter of its manager, Frank Potter.” It was constructed by brothers Herbert R. Kingman and Morrison M. Kingman, who also built several other locally famous buildings in town.

ruby-theatre-interior
Initial Theatre Interior

Now, the Wikipedia article goes on to say, “Potter moved his operation from the storefront Gem Theater to the Kingman’s new Ruby when the Kingman’s purpose-built theater opened. Competition initially came from the Auditorium, which burned shortly after the Ruby opened in 1913. Potter and his wife were killed in 1918. The next year the Kingmans sold the theater to a barber named Kelsey from Omak.” The competition burned down? He and his wife were killed? This sounds like it deserves some further research…

I searched Ancestry.com and found this newspaper article, which I confirmed through their online archives:

The Ellensburg Capital, June 19, 1919

KILLS WIFE AND SELF

A tragedy, the worst in local history, was enacted at Vantage ferry, on the Columbia river, Sunday night about 11 o’clock, and the survival of a witness made all facts easily obtainable in what would otherwise have been a deep mystery. This witness was Rubby (sic) Potter, adopted daughter of Mrs. F. J. Potter, whose husband has been operating the inter-county ferry at Vantage. At the hour named, Potter entered the room of his 15-year old foster daughter and attacked her with criminal intent but her resistance was so determined that his designs were thwarted and he left her and went down stairs, where he sent a bullet crashing through the head of his sleeping wife and then ended his own life by shooting himself in the temple. Death in both cases was instantaneous.

The unfortunate girl remained alone in the house with the dead until Monday morning at 9 o’clock when tourists arrived to whom she told her story and word was soon sent outside. Coroner Gregory summoned a jury and an inquest was held there. The girl gave a straight and impressive story that was entirely convincing to the jury and the verdict was in accordance with this horrible tale, the details of which would not bear printing. The bodies were brought to Ellensburg and prepared for burial by the Bridghein(?) undertaking establishment. The father of the murderer lived at Trinidad and was soon on the ground. He has brothers and sisters in different parts of the Northwest, while his victim’s parents live in Ohio.

Potter has been running the Vantage ferry across the Columbia river and the commissioners of both counties were greatly pleased with his work, as he was a mechanical genius, kept his machinery in perfect working order and always took pride in all he did. His wife and adopted daughter conducted the Vantage Inn, which they kept in a neat and attractive shape and they enjoyed a good patronage.

There seems to be no reason to try to account for the horrible crime committed by Potter; it is enough to conclude that the man was insanely infatuated with his foster daughter, which is borne out by the fact that he told his intended victim that it was useless to make an outcry, as her mother would not wake up for three hours, showing that he had given his wife a sleeping potion.

The tragedy certainly created a sensation in the entire community and was deeply regretted by every one.

So he did have a daughter named Ruby, and he and his wife were killed in 1919, but this says he worked as a ferryman on the Columbia River, and I’m assuming lived in Vantage, WA, which is almost 2 hrs away from Chelan by current transport. I’m pretty sure that the Columbia River doesn’t connect to Lake Chelan easily…whitewater rapids perhaps. Not accessible via ferry. A mystery unfolds…

Now onto that fire. Here is from an old Lake Chelan Historical Society publication:

“In addition to building the large Campbell home in Chelan in 1890, (A.F.) Cox also designed and built the Hotel Chelan in 1901 and the Chelan Auditorium in 1902.

The Auditorium was a massive building with balcony located in the general area of the present city library (in 2004 the city hall) and fire station. It seated 700 comfortably and it is recorded that another 100 crowded in for a Saturday evening Thespian play.

It was heated by one large wood fueled stove, and during winter activities there those in front would bake, and those to the rear, freeze.

It burned down one night in the late twenties, and they say it took the embers three days to cool.”

No mention was made as to the cause of the fire, but it seems awfully convenient for the Ruby to have their competition burn down so soon after they opened. Yet another mystery of the Ruby Theatre.

To see what’s playing next, visit the theatre’s website.Ruby Theatre Street View

I have been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1995. I have my Bachelor’s degree in Professional Child Development. In my free time, I love LEGO, ballet, ballroom dancing, eating out, traveling, history, architecture, genealogy, and people.