Exciting new casual dining concepts
By Christina Olson Hendrickson
When the decision was made to build a new facility across the street from the existing Quil Ceda Creek Casino, the Tulalip Tribes recognized it was an opportunity to rethink everything.
It wasn’t just about adding more gaming machines and table games, though they did (the new casino offers 500 additional machines, three new tables and an expanded entertainment lounge). The new location was also an opportunity to better align the casino with the Tribes’ commitment to environmentally sustainable practices.
Dining was given special focus.
Two years of planning were kicked off with an extensive review of the current kitchens’ appliance energy use, process efficiency, and waste generation. The design team identified areas of improvement, and lower-impact solutions were finalized for the kitchen, restaurant and other dining options.
The design team carefully selected energy-efficient appliances, like speed ovens, which combine convection baking and microwave technologies to reduce cooking time. They considered issues of waste–not just food, but also disposable items. To cut down on the environmental impact of packaging leftover food, they sourced compostable to-go containers. Small details add up fast, and every aspect of the cooking and dining experience was considered in the quest to build a “green kitchen.”
From the front door to the back door and beyond, the restaurants at the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino will be the ‘greenest’ in the Northwest,” said Belinda Hegnes, Interim VP of Quil Ceda Creek Casino. It’s a tribute to forward-thinking by the Tulalip Tribes.
The forward-thinking extends to the dining venues and menus, as well.
One of the dining options at the new Q is The Kitchen, a food hall with a variety of stations offering made-to- order menu items. Guests can visit as many as they’d like, and their selections are recorded on a card used to pay for everything at the end of their meal.
From the front door to the back door and beyond, the restaurants at the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino will be the ‘greenest’ in the Northwest.
It was important to the Tribes to locally source as much as possible. The culinary team decided to build their menus around classic Northwest fare, such as Puget Sound clams and oysters, berries from Skagit Valley, wild-caught Alaskan salmon, Walla Walla Sweet Onions, and chicken from Draper Valley Farms. While the full menus have yet to be released, they’ve given tantalizing hints about fresh pizza and pasta, roasted prime rib, and an all-day breakfast.
They’ve also made it clear desserts aren’t getting neglected, with mentions of gelatos and chocolate lasagna. One stand-out offering will be the Tacoma- made chocolate shawarma, solid pillars of chocolate hand-shaved over desserts and coffees.
The three on-site bars will also focus on local options, featuring regional beers, Northwest wines, and a range of craft cocktails.
The Q is not the first to recognize that sourcing locally ensures high quality food. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the phrase “farm-to-table” is almost clichéd. But the Q’s decision to keep the supply chain local isn’t motivated by trends or market research–it’s rooted in the values of the Tribes, and reflects their commitment to the environment and the community’s growers, farmers and artisans.
Dining at the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino promises a fun venue, delicious Northwest flavors, and an environmental impact visitors can feel good about.
The new Quil Ceda Creek Casino is expected to open early in 2021, and is across the street from the current location off of exit 199 on I-5.