The sun is here and what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than rounding up some delicious Tukwila treats for a picnic in the park.
On a recent sunny weekday afternoon, I did just that. I filled a picnic basket for under $40 with food and beverages from local retailers and headed to Tukwila Park.
My first stop on my picnic adventure was to Cost Plus World Market to grab a couple of its “Nostalgic Single Sodas” ($1.49). The store has a collection of retro soda brands made with real sugar cane. There are classics like orange, grape and cherry sodas to rootbeers and ginger beers, grapefruit, key lime cream, strawberry rhubarb and lemonade sodas.
Next, I headed down Southcenter Parkway to BevMo! for some serious libations. BevMo! has approximately 3,000 different red and white wine labels, 2,500 spirits and 2,500 beers. Prices for wine range from $5 to $300 a bottle, with their high-end selections stored in a special wine vault. Store Manager Robert Moore Jr. picked out the perfect Two Vines Cabernet Sauvignon ($7.99) to fit my budget and pair with the Muffaletta sandwiches I would later pick up from Friendz Café. The blackberry fruit tones would balance out the fatty meat of the sandwich because the wine is a little drier, Moore said.
As an added bonus, Two Vines happens to be a Columbia Valley, Washington wine.
Before I continued on to get my sandwich, I stopped by Valerio’s Tropical Bakeshop inside Southcenter Mall’s Seafood City. I wanted to seek out more of the rich culture Tukwila has to offer, so I chose the Filipino bakery to select my dessert. Valerio’s has many sweet and fluffy wonders to tantalize your palate. I chose the Leche Flan ($4.99), made with egg yolk, sugar, pie crust and milk. Their most popular item is a sweet roll with purple taro root filling called a Pan de Ube. It’s great to eat anytime. Valerio’s is a California-based chain and as I perused the small shop, many people circulated through, filling their baskets with goodies.
On to Friendz Café I trekked, having added dessert first to my picnic basket. The café is nestled in a residential neighborhood on East Marginal Way South, not far from BECU’s corporate headquarters. I called ahead for my Muffaletta sandwiches ($7.50) to beat the weekday rush from noon to 1:30 p.m. The New Orleans inspired sandwich has salami, ham, provolone and Swiss cheese and is topped with their spicy homemade olive spread. Some may call this sandwich spicy; for me, it’s a walk in the park. I am used to asking for as many stars or spices as possible when dining in ethnic restaurants. I do not like my food tame. These Muffalettas have a slight, slow burn for some who aren’t use to spiciness. There are other options at Friendz Café like the “Rueben,” “2×2 on the Grill” and the “Soul on a Roll,” which has a hotlink. Oops, I lied, more spice! There are salads at the café too though.
Tukwila Trading Company was my last stop to pick up some giant strawberries ($2.50) and a couple of small bags of Kettle brand potato chips. The grocer on South 144th Street has lots of fresh produce, seafood, meats, a wall of fresh chilies and spices and plenty of other staples.
At Tukwila Park, I enjoyed my spread, on the lawn, next to the gazebo. The park sits on Tukwila Hill, just above the Southcenter shopping district. It’s a 6 1/2-acre park, with trails, tennis and basketball courts, a children’s play area and picnic and barbecue spaces. For dinning outside, there are two other recreation areas worth checking out in the city: Riverton Park and the Tukwila Community Center.
Enjoy the sun and bon appétit!
Tukwila Park, 15460 65th Ave. S.
Riverton Park, 4101 S. 131st St.
Tukwila Community Center, 12424 42nd Ave. S.
Tracey’s Picnic Picks
Cost Plus World Market, 17680 Southcenter Parkway, Tukwila
BevMo!, 17197 Southcenter Parkway
Valerio’s Tropical Bakeshop, 1368 Southcenter Mall, Suite 150
Friendz Café, 12930 E. Marginal Way S.
Tukwila Trading Company, 3725. S 144th St.