Thursday, March 27, 2008

Restaurant Review (Cafe Happy in Kirkland, WA)

I was at Cafe Happy recently. We go there every once in a while. This is a Taiwanese Vegetarian Restaurant. If you want to get a quick bite it is a great place to stop by. It is a small, cozy restaurant with a round family-sized table with chairs around it. Their wait time on a given order is five to ten minutes on a busy day and three minutes on a slow day. They are really busy on Saturday afternoons and during lunch hour on weekdays. I had been there on a Saturday afternoon once and have never seen this place so packed before.

Cafe Happy is located on 102 Kirkland Ave. in Kirkland. They are open seven days a week. Their hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 8:30 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm.
They have a combination of entrees, combo meals, soups side dishes, sandwiches, fresh juice blends and bubble black tea. They also serve ice cream in summer. Their most popular dishes according to the owners are Ma-po tofu, spicy club fries, soy chicken with vegetarian BBQ sauce, soy chicken with broccoli and special soup.

The owners do not speak much English so their daughter Amy, was translating for them and would go back and forth asking her parents for more information on a particular dish. She also said that teenagers really go for the Bubble tea they serve at the restaurant. My husband usually goes for the vegetable buns/ soy buns they have on the menu, my daughter likes their stir fried noodles and vegetable chowmein, and I like their sauteed veggies with ginger sauce and veggie meat balls with broccoli or spinach. I have tried their spicy club fries and they are all right, but the veggie buns are awesome. I also liked their fresh juice blend of spinach, celery, and beet. Their bubble tea is also worth giving it a try. It was large enough for both of us to share.

The owners are Chin, ChenChu and Chang, ChinJuei. This is a couple run restaurant with the wife doing most of the cooking and the husband taking care of all the orders and juices. Their eighteen-year-old daughter, Amy also helps her parents at the cash register during Spring Break, vacation and on weekends. The couple started this restaurant because they have been vegetarians all their life and decided to use their spare time in cooking vegetarian food for others. They opened this restaurant in 1997. Their location is close to the beach and so sometimes after our meal we walk around the beach if it is sunny, unlike Seattle weather which can be rainy.

If you are planning to eat at Cafe Happy, you can choose to stroll, near the water, about a block away. There are summer concerts in the park nearby so that would be a good option to enjoy a late lunch or early dinner on a Friday evening and spending the rest of the day playing with your kids, walking your dog, or reading your favorite book. If you are going with a group then playing volleyball is another option before your meal. Not too far from the restaurant, is a rent-a-moped and para-sailing place, which would be good to do sightseeing if you are in the neighborhood for a few hours.


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