El Sarape: Spicing up the Community since 1979

There’s a good reason that El Sarape has four restaurant locations. The food is authentic and delicious, and the service is consistently inviting.

When the Mexican restaurant first opened in Olympia in 1979, its owners believed that local and fresh foods shouldn’t be hard to come by. With that philosophy in mind, they have since opened in Tumwater, Lacey and Shelton as well. The chefs and team at each location are dedicated to providing customers with tasty food and quality service. El Sarape uses locally sourced grass-fed beef and free-range chickens.

The menu is extensive, from appetizers to quesadillas to sizzling fajitas. Diners will recognize most items on the menu, but they’ll also see a few special traditional dishes and dishes that present new flavors to a well-known cuisine. Chile a la Tinga is a traditional dish with a chicken and olive stuffed poblano pepper served with fresh salsa and jalapeño dressing. Baked Avocado Fries are spiced up with seasonings and lime juice and dipped in panko batter before baking to deliver a perfect crunch to each bite.

The street tacos are another part of the menu that can’t be ignored. Each one is topped with fresh onion, cilantro and cotija cheese. The Tinga street tacos are filled with shredded chicken cooked in a chipotle pepper salsa. The owners suggest pairing these tacos with a Cabernet Sauvignon from the wine menu.

Each restaurant location offers take out and secluded booths tfor dine in. Enjoy the authentic and bold flavors of Mexican cuisine at El Sarape.

EL SARAPE | elsarape.net

BY JORDAN MARIE MCCAW

Ultimate Fall Getaway in Leavenworth

Ready for a midweek escape? Look no farther than Leavenworth, Washington, nestled on the east slope of the central Cascade Range. Fall’s cooler nights and shorter days mean the mountainous region comes alive with vibrant colors of orange, yellow and red, providing breathtaking views as you drive along the Cascade Loop Highway.

At an elevation of 1,200 feet, the Bavarian-themed village of Leavenworth provides an excellent base for enjoying outdoor activities your family will love. There are over 800 miles of accessible trails for hiking and biking. You can play a round of lateseason golf or miniature golf. Take a walk along the Wenatchee River at Waterfront Park. Visit an orchard to pick apples or pears. Pack a picnic at the Cheesemonger’s on Front Street and enjoy all the sights and sounds of Leavenworth in autumn. If you enjoy the arts, check out the events lineup of music, opera, theater, dance, films and more at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts.

While exploring the streets of downtown Leavenworth, you can imbibe in a little wine-tasting in any of 20 tasting rooms. Indulge in an afternoon of “retail therapy” in the shops, followed by some quiet time in Front Street Park. This beautifully landscaped park in the heart of downtown provides a welcoming respite after a busy day. It’s also the site for some of Leavenworth’s most exciting fall festivals and celebrations.

Stick around through the weekend to enjoy the Autumn Leaf Festival, Leavenworth’s original festival dating back to 1964. There’s also live music in the Gazebo, Art in the Park, Fall Wine Walk and Oktoberfest. Visitors from all over the country flock to scenic Leavenworth in September and October to indulge in traditional festivities, fantastic food and of course beer!

Take in a little sightseeing while immersing yourself in fabulous fall color. Head to Lake Wenatchee, located halfway between downtown Leavenworth and Stevens Pass. The 489-acre lake offers over 12,000 feet of waterfront with plenty of space to relax along the shore and take photos of the stunning fall scenery. The reflection of vibrant autumn colors on the lake is breathtaking.

Tumwater Canyon, located along the Stevens Pass highway, is one of the top fall-foliage viewing spots in the region. Along the way are multiple pull-off areas for incredible viewing—and photo opportunities—of the towering cliffs standing above the roaring Wenatchee River. Don’t forget your camera!

For information on places to stay and things to do in Leavenworth, visit leavenworth.org.

KELLY LENIHAN

Up Your Culinary Game With a Cooking Class

Have you thought about how many meals you prepare for your family each week? Or how you pull off preparing tasty, healthy meals week after week without any formal training? Whether you’re a novice or an experienced home cook, if you’ve dreamed about upping your culinary game, why not take a cooking class and impress the loved ones gathered around your table!

Bayview School of Cooking
Located at Bayview Thriftway, BSC offers a tantalizing array of culinary classes for adults and children. The emphasis is on the fresh flavors from the Pacific Northwest and other ethnic flavors from around the world. In addition to its own team of instructors, BSC invites regional chefs, cookbook authors and restaurateurs to guestteach. Its specialty, multicourse dinners with wine/beer pairings, are a real treat.
Bayview School of Cooking
516 West Fourth Ave, Olympia
360.754.1448
bayviewschoolofcooking.com

Metro Parks Tacoma STAR Center
Among other amenities, South Tacoma’s Activity and Recreation Center has kitchen facilites perfect for hands-on cooking classes. The focus is on teaching family-friendly recipes and techniques. Classes are usually limited to 15 attendees, and community members can receive a discount by purchasing a STAR pass.
Metro Parks Tacoma STAR Center
3873 South 66th St, Tacoma
253.305.1022
metroparkstacoma.org/cooking-nutrition

Toscanos Italian Grill
Chef Tom Pantley serves up a demonstration-style cooking class and dinner at Toscanos every other month or so. He covers a variety of cooking techniques and styles to help attendees acquire the skills to increase their enjoyment of cooking for friends and family. Cooking classes include a four course dinner, wine sample, recipes and instruction. Chef Tom has been staging these entertaining, informative classes for over 25 years.
Toscanos Italian Grill
437 29th St NE, Puyallup
253.864.8600
toscanospuyallup.com

Ready to add new recipes to your regular meal repertoire and learn how to prepare delicious foods for every occasion? Choose a class that meets your interests and let’s get cooking!

KELLY LENIHAN