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Two semi-new spots to check out:

Rhododendron Café

The Farm to Market Bakery resided on Gilmore Avenue in Bow for 12 years, owned by Jim and Lisa Kowalski. When Don and Carol Shank decided to retire, leaving the Rhododendron Café after 30 years, Jim and Lisa knew it was the right moment.

Photo courtesy of Rhody Cafe

They purchased the property at the intersection leading into the beautiful Chuckanut Drive, moved their bakery into the former gift gallery and brought a new menu into the Café. It was a quick turnaround: they took over on October 1, 2013, closed for two days and reopened with the existing staff on October 3. Light and airy, you'll find yourself relaxing over delicious food and beverage.

Expect handmade food made from scratch and sourced locally when possible (and if you understand what the Skagit Valley is all about, you'll know most of it is locally sourced). They offer brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The Senegalese peanut soup is a menu staple you won't want to miss.

Check out their menu online.

5521 Chuckanut Drive, Bow WA 360-766-6667

Wednesday-Friday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Cantina de San Patricio

Inspired by a battalion of Irish-Americans who chose to expatriate to Mexico after the Mexican-American war (possibly because owner Patrick McAleese loves Mexican food and is Irish), Cantina de San Patricio is a welcoming den of dark wood inside with a patio view from Post Alley over the Sound outside. Opened in November 2013, they offer weekend brunch, daily happy hour and dinners focused on traditional Mexican flavors.

Photo: chicken and rice courtesy of Cantina de San Patricio

Dishes are made in-house with market fresh ingredients. A few of their dishes: cactus stuffed with seasoned beef and vegetables, prawns with pineapple salsa, and pollo con mole. While Cantina Queso Blanco may not be an authentic Mexican dish (maybe a little more Tex-Mex), it is absolutely addictive. Order it at your peril.

Margaritas are plentiful, and there are plenty of other signature cocktails to check into, like the Caliente Senorita made with jalapeño.

Check out their menu online.

1914 Post Alley in the Pike Place Market, Seattle WA 206-443-2150

Monday-Friday 3 p.m. to close Saturday-Sunday 10 a.m. to close Happy hour 4-7 p.m. daily

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