August is a busy month for us with two birthdays, an anniversary, and this year a visit from Grandma thrown into the mix. We celebrated Slaed’s birthday just a few days ago in Wallingford, a Seattle neighborhood on the North end of Lake Union. Slaed’s birthday request was a simple picnic at Gas Works park with friends. He also wanted his favorite pizza to be involved. After settling the boys into a perfect spot at the park, I sneaked away to pick up dinner from the Northlake Tavern & Pizza House, less than a mile down the road. For 2 reasons, we “carried our pizza out”. First, this favorite pizza joint of Slaed’s is classified as a tavern, which means Bergen is not allowed in! And second, even though the interior of Northlake is classic and features commissioned murals from Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist David Horsey, who wants to spend a perfectly sunny, 75 degree evening in a dark, dungeony bar?
Since I was in charge this time (and alone!), I paid attention more. At $70 for one large pie, one medium pie, and a side salad, I was taken aback. That’s some expensive pizza! The guy muttered something about the weight of the pizza, and I reluctantly forked over the cash. As I waited for our order to come out, I did some reading of the articles and menus posted on the wall. It turns out that the large pizza, “the combo”, aka Slaeds most favorite, weighs a whopping 6.1 pounds!
I also learned that Northlake Tavern is one of the oldest pizzerias in Seattle. Opening in 1954, it’s of course famous for it’s piles of ingredients, but the thick crust and zesty sauce also seem to keep people coming back for more. After I was given careful instructions on how to carry the pies at an angle that was just so, as to prevent a collapse, I slowly slowly returned to the car, nervous. I did make it back with everything intact, and joined Slaed, Bergen, and our friends enjoying themselves on the hillside.
Gas Works park is a special place in Seattle. According to the Seattle Parks and Recreation website, back in the early 1900’s a gas plant was constructed where the park now sits. Then came the import of natural gas in the 1950’s making the plant no longer necessary. The area was opened as a public park in 1975.
Besides picnicking and just hanging out, like us, park goers fly kites on the famously big hill, participate in kickball leagues, and take in the beautiful views of the Seattle skyline. Many festivals are celebrated at Gas Works, and it is the premier spot for viewing the fireworks on the 4th of July.
Even though the pizza was delicious, we didn’t exactly devour it. As you can imagine, you get a lot out of a slice of a 6.1 pound pizza. That was okay with Slaed though because that meant plenty of leftovers to be enjoyed later! Remember that blueberry picking? I whipped up a blueberry rhubarb crisp thanks to those juicy berries, and THAT was devoured. Not exactly birthday cake, but good enough!
Info to Know:
- Gas Works Park
- 2101 N. Northlake Way Seattle, WA 98103
- Open 6 am-10pm
- Even on a crowded, sunny day we were able to park in the lot
- the Northlake Tavern and Pizza House
- 660 NE Northlake Way Seattle, WA 98105
- Open until 10pm Sunday-Thursday & until 12 am Friday and Saturday