Mom and Pops Cakery owner Colleen Dunn picks out a Valentine’s Day-themed cupcake for a customer on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Mom and Pops Cakery owner Colleen Dunn picks out a Valentine’s Day-themed cupcake for a customer on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Nuggets: Rave-worthy Sichuan and a long-awaited cake shop open in Everett

And that’s just the first course in our resurrected roundup of the most appetizing food news in Snohomish County.

Happy Friday! This week we’re heralding the return of Nuggets, a much-loved recurring feature pioneered by my food beat predecessor, Taylor Goebel. Here you can find all the news that’s fit to print on your favorite Snohomish County eateries.

Got a nugget you’d like to share with your fellow gourmands? Send me an email at riley.haun@heraldnet.com and you just might see it in the next edition.

Now, let’s get to the juicy stuff!

Sichuan cuisine and cupcakes in downtown Everett

Two new eateries, one savory and one sweet, have opened their doors in the downtown core since last month.

Frying Lemon Fish at 2616 Colby Ave. opened in late January, and if Yelp reviews and gushing social media comments are any indication, it’s serving up pretty fabulous Sichuan dishes and Chinese American classics. Fans of the tantalizingly spicy will find plenty to enjoy here, with Sichuan cooking’s emphasis on mala — the tingly, tongue-numbing sensation created by generous helpings of peppercorns and whole dried chilies — taking center stage.

There are several verifiably delicious Sichuan places farther south in Lynnwood and Edmonds, but it’s Everett’s first foray into the regional Chinese cooking style. If you’re new to it, ease yourself in with salt and pepper prawns ($18) or shrimp and seaweed fried rice ($14) before going ham on the spicy cold noodles ($10) or chili beef ($17). More familiar Chinese restaurant dishes, such as orange chicken and scallion pancakes, also get great reviews. Frying Lemon Fish is open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Monday and closed on Tuesdays.

When you’ve finished your Chinese feast, you might find yourself wandering a few blocks over to the brand-spanking-new Mom and Pops Cakery at 1407 Hewitt Ave. for dessert. The shop, which has been in the works for three years as owners Colleen Dunn and Chris Boone painstakingly renovated the space, has been cranking out cake pops, cupcakes, macarons and more since their soft opening last weekend.

A red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting from Mom and Pops Cakery on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting from Mom and Pops Cakery on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The cakery is open with limited hours and selection as of now. Dunn said Wednesday she planned to do one more soft opening event this weekend after last week’s “huge success” and was in the process of determining opening hours. Check back soon for a full review of this delicious new spot in Everett!

Impresario aims to impress with Della Terra menu in Snohomish

The cozy space at 113 Avenue C in Snohomish, formerly the home of reservation-only dining experience Chef Behind the Curtain, has begun a new chapter as a high-class cocktail bar with an enviable lunch and snack menu. Impresario, open 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Monday and Thursday through Saturday, features a vintage speakeasy vibe with a cocktail menu crafted by Bex Woolman. (Local food trivia tidbit: Woolman co-owned Chef Behind the Curtain with Joel Childs, who’s now head chef at Everett’s acclaimed 16Eleven.)

Chef Cody Castiglia of Della Terra, a catering company in Snohomish, prepares a dish of Black Cod Acqua Pazza. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Chef Cody Castiglia of Della Terra, a catering company in Snohomish, prepares a dish of Black Cod Acqua Pazza. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

But before the glitz and glam descends in the evening, the space houses a lunch restaurant headed by Cody Castiglia. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Castiglia offers a seasonal and fresh menu of small plates such as a roasted chicken and goat cheese sandwich with cranberry fig jam ($17) or winter squash bisque with candied pepitas ($8). It’s the first brick-and-mortar venture for Castiglia, whose Snohomish-based Della Terra Catering is known for its creative farm-to-table offerings.

Much love for mushrooms, for a cause

It may be too late to get a bouquet of freshly unearthed mushrooms for your valentine, but Everett’s Black Forest Mushrooms is keeping the spirit of the holiday going through the end of the month.

Blue Oyster mushrooms grow at Nathanael Engen’s property in Everett, Washington on Monday, March 27, 2023. Engen describes his business as “cultivating mushrooms, and healthy communities.” (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Blue Oyster mushrooms grow at Nathanael Engen’s property in Everett, Washington on Monday, March 27, 2023. Engen describes his business as “cultivating mushrooms, and healthy communities.” (Annie Barker / The Herald)

The indoor gourmet-mushroom farm and store at 2110 Hewitt Ave. is running its “Mush Love” event through Feb. 29. For every pound of local, hyper-fresh fungus purchased, Black Forest will donate a matching pound to Snohomish County food banks. The goal is 6,000 pounds — want to help them get a couple pounds closer?

Black Forest founder Nathanael Engen said in a statement that the Mush Love initiative is his way of giving back to a community that’s welcomed his business so warmly since its official opening in December.

Nathanael Engen poses for a photo with mushrooms he grows at his property in Everett, Washington on Monday, March 27, 2023. Engen describes his business as “cultivating mushrooms, and healthy communities.” (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Nathanael Engen poses for a photo with mushrooms he grows at his property in Everett, Washington on Monday, March 27, 2023. Engen describes his business as “cultivating mushrooms, and healthy communities.” (Annie Barker / The Herald)

“By participating in Mush Love, you’re not just enjoying nutritious gourmet mushrooms, you’re also playing a vital role in supporting local food security for those at the highest risk of malnutrition, and spreading love within our community,” the statement said.

Woody’s reopens the back door

After three years on hiatus, Woody’s Backdoor Brews is back up and running in Marysville.

Describing itself as an “after-hours extension” of Fanny’s Restaurant at 505 Cedar Ave., Woody’s is named for the proprietor’s grandfather, who always did enjoy a cold homebrew. Come through the secret breezeway entrance behind Fanny’s from 2 to 8 p.m. seven days a week and sample luscious pub fare like burgers, grilled sandwiches and steak. And of course, there’s always a rotating cast of curated local beers on tap.

Riley Haun: 425-339-3192; riley.haun@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @RHaunID.

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