Greetings and salivations!
Hitting much closer to home, this entry will highlight the Deru Market in Kirkland, Washington. Tucked back into a cozy neighborhood off of NE 85th Street in Kirkland, you might start to question if you’ve taken a wrong turn as you drive further into the residential area. Ignore your instincts to turn around and keep going towards the end of the street – and there it is!
Upon receiving a glowing review and recommendation from a coworker, I was excited to make a visit. Not only do they have in-house café dining (just added this fall!), they also offer full-service catering and cooking classes. As I regularly plan events as part of my day job, I’m always looking for quality local restaurants to support. I can honestly say I was hooked after my first visit and now that I’ve gone back a few times and have also used their catering services, I’m looking forward to a long and delicious partnership.
On my first visit, they hadn’t yet added their indoor dining area so I made my order to go. Right away I was drawn in by the delicious smells coming from the kitchen. Then as now, the kitchen area is viewable to the public and I was happy to play foodie voyeur as I waited for my order. I surmised that some of the amazing smells must be coming from the large, brick pizza oven perched just inside the kitchen. I’m sure the large trays of handmade focaccia cooling on the counters were also contributing to the mouthwatering aroma. The more I breathed in, the harder the wait became.
While anticipating the tastes these smells would accompany, I had the chance to scope out the kitchen layout and design. It’s a large, open area with high ceilings and several long, artistically arranged counters and tabletops. While although the staff was abuzz with activity, the well-organized, open feel of the kitchen lent an unexpected sense of tranquility to the scene. It was also great to see the two co-owner/chefs personally preparing the dishes. Chefs Jamie Cassady and Jordan Cooper are graduates of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York and it certainly shows in the manner in which they present themselves in the kitchen. Alas, if I had only half of their knife skills, my kitchen would be a much more productive place indeed…
As I admired the kitchen scene, I was also drawn to the well-stocked deli-case and counter at the front of the shop. Loaded with rustic salads and stacked with freshly made bakery goods on the counter, I desperately searched for a justification to try each and every one of them. And then it dawned on me… Catering! I vowed if I made it out of the shop with only my lunch order, they’d be hearing from me the very next time I was in need of a caterer. (And a happy ending it was! I only ordered enough for one that day, but did indeed get to try SO much more when I procured their catering services a few weeks later. I win! And as I received rave reviews from the recipients of said catering, I’d say everyone was a winner!)
Of the delicious Deru Market items I’ve tried, here are a few of my favorites:
- Smoked Brisket Sandwich (w/Beecher’s cheddar, arugula and aioli) – Tender, melt-in-your-mouth brisket on house-made focaccia. I would eat this sandwich every day if I could. Come to think of it, why can’t I?? (Except on Sunday. They’re closed Sundays. Sigh…)
- Sardine & Herb Pesto Sandwich (w/aioli, arugula, lemon and pickled red onion) – Not made with the canned, oily sardine variety, this sandwich features delicate fillets on house-made focaccia. The creaminess of the aioli with the bitterness of the arugula and tang of the onion is a perfect mix of flavors.
- Kale Caesar Salad – Fresh baby kale with house-made anchovy vinaigrette and Parmesan. Simple and delicious.
- Celeriac Soup – This wasn’t on the menu the last time I went in and I hope they bring it back soon! A satisfying blend of cream and comfort, but still very light and refreshing.
- Marinated Beet Salad (w/pistachio, goat cheese and frissee) – Perfectly marinated beets tossed with frissee and pistachio encrusted dollops of goat cheese. SO good!
- Orzo & Cauliflower Pesto Salad – Orzo pasta tossed with pesto, walnuts, garlic, lemon and Parmesan. This salad is a wonderful side, but could easily stand on its own as a main dish.
- Salted Peanut Butter Cookie – All of their baked goods have been delicious, but I have a special place in my heart for their salted peanut butter cookies.
- Any of their coffee drinks (w/house-made syrups!) – Did I mention they make their own syrups??
There are several other items I could list, but at the risk of typing out their entire menu, I’ll leave some of that list for you to explore on your own. You won’t be sorry. But if you happen to grab the last brisket sandwich or salted peanut butter cookie, I’ll be comin’ for ya… To very politely ask you for a bite, of course.
723 9th Ave – Norkirk Neighborhood
Kirkland, WA 98033
M-F: 11am – 9pm
Sat: 9am – 9pm
Next up: Kalaloch / La Push / Forks
Happy New Year!!