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Orcas Island is not in Puerto Rico

When I first moved to Seattle and people affectionately talked about the San Juan Islands, I wondered why so many Seattleites made weekend trips to a city in Puerto Rico. I’ve since learned the San Juans are located in the beautiful Evergreen State and  only a ~2 hour drive and a picturesque one hour ferry ride away. […]

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Leavenworth: Cheesy Bavarian Knockoff or Natural Wonder?

Let’s answer these questions immediately: Yes, and absolutely. Leavenworth is indeed a faux-German town with no real ties to Germany or German settlers. The rebranding of Leavenworth was the byproduct of a brilliant marketing scheme to boost Leavenworth’s depressed economy after the Great North Railroad moved its headquarters to Wenatchee. The gas station, bank and […]

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Stockholm: Eating Crayfish the Swedish Way in the Land of the Blondes

My friend Sam, who had a Swedish girlfriend in the 90s and made several trips out there to visit her, shared his thoughts with me on this Scandinavian country that’s roughly the size of California: “It’s an interesting culture over there. It’s hard to describe. Everything is neat in its box.” I chime in: “Like […]

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Barjot, Capitol Hill’s New Neighborhood Coffee Spot

The only thing missing when I lived on the corner of  Bellevue/East Thomas in Capitol Hill 12 years ago was that cozy neighborhood cafe; one that spends as much energy on the food menu as crafting the perfect espresso.   Cafe Barjot, that neighborhood spot I always wanted, is now here (unlike the swimming pool […]

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Walden, the Underground Wine Bar Located in a Pioneer Square Thai Restaurant

What happens when two trained lawyers with a background in library science and a sommelier open up a weekend wine bar pop-up in a Pioneer Square Thai restaurant? As a postcard I picked up on my international travels once read (with a rabbit eyeing a carrot), “I feel something good happen to me.” The pop-up, affectionately […]

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Montana, Home to Much More Than Just Frito Pies

I’m often lured by global vacation destinations, but my recent trip to Montana reminds me there is much to be desired within the good ol US of A. An hour flight from Seattle into the quaint airport of Kalispell (where the bathroom, rental car and baggage claim are all within 100 feet) followed by a […]

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Sound Food: Vashon Island Scores a New Dining Experience

Willows Inn at Lummi Island isn’t the only game in town when you’re looking for an island dinner adventure.  In the past 13 years as a Seattleite, I’ve visited Vashon Island a handful of times to bike around the island (40 miles, one loop), get my hands on some fish tacos at Zamorana, spend an […]

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Digital Hair Food

Where does one get a bite to eat while getting a digital perm? This was my main concern as I walked on the stretch of North U District on University Way to TenPachi Salon. TenPachi is apparently THE place (the only place maybe?) to get a digital perm in Seattle. Why was I thinking about food […]

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Natural Wines, as Cool and Trendy as Vinyl Records

While I’ve been stuffing my face and writing about Promethus Brown (of Blue Scholars) and his wife Chera Amlag’s monthly Filipino pop-up,  Roll with Jen columnist Luke Wohlers has been busy drinking and writing about wine. Not long ago a friend encouraged me to buy an old-fashioned record player. He said I was missing out […]

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W.T. Vintners: A Sommelier Who’s Also a Winemaker

This article is written by Luke Wohlers, my sommelier buddy and monthly columnist for rollwithjen.com. In 2011 I volunteered for my first grape “crush” in Woodinville, Washington. Then I soon found out this was no simple candy crush. It’s actually pure cardio fitness treading around in a vat that feels like a grape version of […]

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