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Mexican in Phinney-Greenwood: HECHO

Since moving to Maple Leaf, I don’t get to stroll down Greenwood Avenue as often as I used to.  So when a friend asked me if I’d seen “that new Mexican place,” I assumed she was talking about a small hole-in-the-wall with a few tacos.

Enter HECHO, now open at 7314 Greenwood Ave N.  Well, in truth, it’s been open since about the first week of April – but came in silently and I didn’t stumble upon any press about it back then despite my obsession with following the likes of Eater and Seattle Magazine.   When I passed by it walking the dog yesterday, I was immediately attracted to the bright exterior wall that is labeled in words like “Tacos” and “Pescado” and the one that caught my eye – “Margaritas.”

So I called my friend and we decided to go check it out.   I’ll start off by saying it’s not the cheapest Mexican around.  I knew that beforehand; I checked the menu online and was well aware that I wouldn’t be getting out of there for less than $20 if I ate.  We sat at the bar and ordered drinks.  The menu we were handed inside didn’t have all the items that the online menu listed (it must rotate a little) but I was soon over that disappointment when I found the Margarita Fresca.  Unlike a lot of margaritas made with syrup and “fake” stuff, this was made with fresh fruit puree (strawberry, but the fruits rotate too).


We had chips and salsa ($4) and guacamole, and then being slightly full on chips ordered light appetizers of taquitos and a quesadilla.  Both were whopping portions and we couldn’t finish either, but that’s good to know for next time!

After trying to think for some time about what used to be in the large spot HECHO now occupies, we finally asked our bartender.  It replaced Carmelita’s – the vegan joint.  I guess that’s one point for meat-eaters, but there’s still a few veggie options on Greenwood Ave.

Definitely recommending this place, and I’ll be going back.



6th Annual Party in Greenwood Park: August 16th

Mark your calendar for the 6th Annual Party in Greenwood Park, on August 16th from 11am to 2pm.    Kids will get to enjoy a Pop-up Adventure Playland, and adults can feast on the vegan food truck “No Bones About It.”

And for everyone?  The famous and talented Bubble Man will perform at 11am.

Greenwood Park is located on 87th Street between Fremont and Evanston Avenues.  The event is free, but there is a suggested donation of $2 to $5 per child.



It’s not easy to find decent square footage when condo shopping in Ballard, but this 1,181 sq-ft two-bedroom home definitely provides it.   Located on the 6th floor of LEED Silver certified Hjarta, this condo has a spacious living area with slider to back patio and electric fireplace, designated dining room, and kitchen with breakfast bar, stainless steel appliances and under cabinet lighting.

The master bedroom has a walk-in closet and big bathroom with separate tub & walk-in shower.  Conveniently, the second bedroom is all the way on the opposite side of the home, with a full guest bathroom.  Washer and dryer are included, and found in the guest bathroom.

Home 610 comes with one parking space and one storage space, both located in the garage below.  Hjarta also has some fantastic building amenities – a community room with kitchenette, pool table, lounge seating and patio, and an exercise facility located off that room with separate spaces for cardio and yoga/pilates.    There’s also a large rooftop deck with seating, barbecues and a p-patch.  The building itself is solid concrete & steel.

You can call me at (253) 653-6299 or email for more info on this condo at 1530 NW Market Street in Seattle.

Priced at $549,950







For the second year in a row, the awesomely-named Stairmasters of the Universe took to the Columbia Tower for the Big Climb for Leukemia today, along with about 6,000 of our closest friends.  This was my fourth overall climb, but twice in recent years.  Both racers and climbers (timed versus untimed) head from the 4th floor to the 73rd floor using the two stairwells in the building, all the while raising money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I’m proud to say that for the second year in a row, the Stairmasters of the Universe pulled together to raise over $1000 for cancer research, and all of us made it to the top in decent time.  It seemed as though the weather knew what we were doing today too, and presented us an amazing view of the city from the 73rd floor!

It’s great to see that for the past few years, the Big Climb has completely sold out, and this year the sell-out was faster than ever.  And because they have to limit the amount of participants for sheer space at the event, they also require every adult participant to raise at least $100 if they’d like to continue to be invited back.  This ensures that a good amount of money gets raised, and we all try our hardest to raise more than the minimum.


Thinking about signing up next year?  It’s well worth it.  It’s not the stairs that are troublesome while you’re climbing, it’s the lack of oxygen as you get higher in an enclosed space.  Your lungs will burn for a good thirty minutes afterwards, and your legs will feel tired the rest of the day and ache on Monday morning.  But as you climb each flight, you see pictures of both survivors and those that are being remembered, and it’s all worthwhile.


This blog has been on hiatus for about five months now fully – and that was for a few good reasons.  First of all, I was considering a move outside the city (can you believe I actually considered leaving this place?).  Secondly, it was “like, totally stressing me out, man.”  No, really – as I gained more and more readers, it became more of a situation where i felt obligated to post anything just to keep everyone happy.   But as of late, I’ve realized the only person I need to keep happy is myself.   So the format is changing a little – I’m not going to keep trying to post a wide range of happenings in my neighborhood for the sake of satisfying a broad audience.  Instead, I post events and anecdotes that are personal to me, that I actually attend, and that I care about.  So check back often to keep up to date on the happenings of North Seattle Sarah.

North Seattle Sarah Moves to Maple Leaf

I love Green Lake.  I love how walkable it is, and all the restaurants & coffee shops & pubs & parks I can easily get to – but I had been renting for quite some time and as a real estate broker, I couldn’t justify my rental situation any longer.  I’d been wanting to purchase for a long time & make that leap into homeownership, but I also knew I wouldn’t settle for owning a home I didn’t want or love just for the sake of owning it.

And so my 30th birthday came this past June – and I had always thought I’d own a home before I was 30.  It woke me up and I actively started looking – and found a small, mostly cosmetic fixer that I adore in Maple Leaf.


It says something about the condition of the market when real estate brokers are making moves and purchasing – interest rates are creeping up and pricing some of my clients out of what they want.  Home prices aren’t just creeping up – they’re growing like weeds and people who purchased just six months ago already have a substantial amount of equity in their homes.

Now I live in Maple Leaf – and I have been there for two weeks.  I tore up the carpet in my new home to expose the original hardwoods which I will soon be refinishing.  I just tore a wall down between my kitchen and dining room, which will open things up.  I have new cabinets on order, new appliances installed, and am plumbing in a dishwasher.   Most importantly, I’m gaining a tremendous amount of satisfaction in doing a lot of the physical labor myself.

I just went through what a typical first-time buyer goes through.  Of course, being a broker for  eight years, I knew the process thoroughly and was prepared for everything – but there’s still stress, and panic, and a wave of emotions.  Now,  “I know exactly how you feel.”

If you’re currently renting, I encourage you to look at your monthly rent versus mortgage payment right now.  Seattle rents are becoming some of the highest in the nation, and interest rates, although rising, are still low.   WHY HAVEN’T YOU BOUGHT YET?  It’s a serious question – if you’re paying more in rent than you would in a mortgage, renting just doesn’t make sense anymore.

New on the market: Huge U-Dist home with basement apartment

Just listed: 5221 18th Ave NE in the U-District, with 2750 sq ft.   Out of everything I’ve listed and sold this year, this home is by far my favorite.  I can’t remember seeing a larger living room – complete with french doors, original wood-burning fireplace, and a full wall of windows with built-ins and window seats.  On top of that, this house has refinished hardwoods throughout, and the formal dining room is gorgeous and bright with more built-ins.


The kitchen is spacious with two fridges, and there’s a 3/4 bathroom plus a laundry room on the main level too.  Upstairs, all four bedrooms are a great size.  One has a private, quite large balcony, and one has another wall full of built-ins and a window seat (I love window seats).


To top it off, this house has a basement apartment with two bedrooms and another bathroom.  And although street parking is fairly easy (and zoned), there’s two parking spaces – tandem – off the alley for the house, one of which is covered.


I’m pretty excited about this one, and it won’t last long.  Come visit me Saturday, July 20th, from 1pm to 3:30 pm at the open house.  List Price: $649,950.