Washington Watchlist: Movie And Food Pairings

We are all still learning to adjust to “the new normal” these days, as we hit the 1-year COVID-era mark. This pandemic has forever changed us, both individually and collectively. You miss traveling so much, you’re willing to give up the window seat. You miss living the full Washingtonian life. We hear you, and we are right there with you.

We’re sure you’ve had your share of show binging. You’ve subscribed to every streaming service. You’ve Uber’d all of the Eats. Your couch has a permanent indentation, and you’ve answered “Yes” when your TV asks you if you’re “Still Watching?” But what if you could do it with good intentions? What if you could wine, dine and watch your way into helping your community businesses thrive? To help support our community, we’ve gathered up recommendations for a few of our favorite locally owned restaurants. While we’re at it, we paired them with some binge-worthy series and movies that take place or were filmed right here in Washington.

TV poster from Netflix show Firefly Lane which was filmed in Washington

Firefly Lane – Netflix

Looking for a new series to watch with your cross-country friends? Firefly Lane stars Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke and takes you on a multi-era journey. Season one of this series follows their characters Tully and Kate from when they met in grade school in the 1970s, through three decades, and now to their current adult lives. From two different backgrounds and upbringings, these girls show us how their friendship grew into an unbreakable bond. The nod to the decades of fashion, and an amazing soundtrack (available on iTunes and Spotify) makes the story that much better.

Movie poster for Netflix show Firefly Lane, which was filmed in Washington

There are several nods to Washington in this series, as the author attended University of Washington and lives here in Bainbridge Island. Locations such as Snohomish, Langley City, and Downtown Seattle.

Characters from Netflix show Firefly Lane which was filmed in Washington

Fun Fact: This series is based off of the novel Firefly Lane, written by #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Kristin Hannah. For more details from the author herself, be sure to check out Kristin Hannah’s website page, Behind The Book (she even offers a Firefly Lane Memory Tour!).

Baked Brie and Château de Valmer Bundle for the show Firefly Lane filmed in Washington

Local Pair Up: We are huge fans of the Heavy Restaurant Group’s latest gift to us all during quarantine life, called Heavy Goods Market. The Heavy Restaurant Group encompasses local favorites like Barrio, Claret, Fiasco, Pablo y Pablo, The Commons, and Meet the Moon. Heavy Goods Market offers a selection of food, wine and cocktails inspired by their restaurants. These are available for delivery and pickup, and they even have a “in-market shopping” option inside of Fiasco. The dishes come with baking and preparation instructions.

IG: @heavy_goods_seattle
Takeout: Yes
Dine In: See the Heavy Group Restaurant Guide for info on their on-site hours and locations.
Delivery: Yes
Gift Cards: Digital and Physical gift cards available for purchase
Our Favorite Dishes:
-French Dip Bundle for 2 
-Baked Brie and Château de Valmer Bundle (includes a flavored brie of your choice, Salt & Sugar crackers, and a specially paired bottle of Château de Valmer Chenin Blanc) 
-Truffle Mac & Cheese

Deception Pass Bridge used while filming The Ring

The Ring (2002) – Amazon Prime, AppleTV

Ah, yes. The terrifying movie that made us all steer clear of wells and hold our breath for TV static. In the American adaptation of the Japanese horror movie, a killer videotape piques the interest of Naomi Watts, who plays Seattle reporter Rachel Keller. Much of The Ring was filmed here in Washington state, with the majority of it being on Whidbey Island. The writers and directors wanted dark and gloomy — and Washington naturally delivered. If viewers look closely, they’ll notice that the route driven to the Moesko Lighthouse actually passes over Deception Pass Bridge, and by Pass Lake.

Pass Lake, used in filming The Ring

The real Moesko Island lighthouse is actually called Yaquina Head Lighthouse, and is located in Oregon. Geographically it might not check out, but, we’re still here for it. Some other Washington filming locations include Bridal Veil Falls, Bellingham, and the Port Townsend Ferry Terminal.

The Ring was filmed on Whidbey Island

Fun Fact: There are several “ring” Easter eggs hidden throughout the film: like Rachel’s apartment numbers, the wallpaper, and the patter on the doctor’s sweater.

Frasers Pork Shank Gnocchi to pair when watching The Ring, which was filmed in Washington

Local PairUp: If you decide to go scope out some of the Whidbey Island filming locations, be sure to grab a bite at Fraser’s Gourmet Hideaway in Oak Harbor.
IG: @frasersgourmethideaway
Takeout: Yes
Dine In: By reservation recommended
Delivery: No
Gift Cards: Available for purchase
Our Favorite Dishes:
-Garlic & Brie Fondue
-Smoked Pork Shank Gnocchi Carbonara
-Crab & Shrimp Lasagna

10 Things I Hate About You (1999) – Disney+, AppleTV, Hulu

What kind of streaming bingers would we be if we didn’t throw in a 90’s rom-com! Meet Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), new to the area and finding himself majorly crushing on the popular Bianca Stratford. Cameron’s courting takes a turn for the worst after he learns that Bianca’s father rules that she cannot date until her shrew older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) starts dating. Cameron makes a deal with the rebellious, hard-ass Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger). The deal goes awry, and prom is rapidly approaching.

Padua High School known as Stadium High School in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You
Padua High School known as Stadium High School in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You

This movie might take the cake for most Washington locations represented, from Seattle all the way to Tacoma. Perfect for a Washington daytrip, we suggest turning up the soundtrack while reliving the famous paintball scene at Gas Works Park (except, maybe leave the paintball guns at home). While you’re in the area, you can check out the Fremont Troll, Kerry Park in Queen Anne, and Lake Union. Make your way down to Padua High School, or better known to locals as Stadium Highschool, which is over 100 years old! If nostalgically reciting Julia Stiles’ famous “10 Things” poem isn’t a good enough reason to re-watch this fan favorite, the scene with Heath Ledger singing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” definitely is.

Fun Fact: This drama is a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Local Pair Up: Dirty Oscar’s Annex is located in Downtown Tacoma. Featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, this spot is well-known for their Parmesan Tots and Pork Tacos. Be sure to check out their Mini Oscar’s Annex for heated tent and patio dining!
IG: @dirtyoscarsannex
Takeout: Yes
Dine In: Yes
Delivery: Available through ChowNow.com
Gift Cards: Available for purchase
Our Favorite Dishes:
-Stoner Sandwich
-Dead Elvis Burger
-Parmesean Tots

50/50 (2011) – Amazon, Hulu, AppleTV

Clearly, we can’t get enough of Joseph Gordon-Levitt (can you blame us, though?). In this dramatic-comedy, he plays Adam Lerner who is given a 50/50 prognosis upon learning he has cancer while in his 20’s. What could have been another sob story film was tactfully revamped into a comedy that reminds us all about the important things in life: family, love, friendship, and rolling with life’s punches. He’s joined by a hilarious cast, including Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick and Anjelica Houston. This movie will make you laugh, cry and definitely think. While this movie wasn’t technically filmed here in Washington, its storyline takes place here in Seattle!

Macaron from Lady Yum in the movie 50/50 filmed in Washington state

Fun Fact: On one of the cubicle walls in the Seattle Public Radio office, there is a small clipping visible from our local newspaper, The Stranger! Way to represent Seattle!

Macaron from Lady Yum in the movie 50/50 filmed in Washington state

Local pair-up: There’s a pretty hilarious scene in 50/50 where JGL finds himself sharing some “special macarons” with some of the other patients he meets during his chemo treatments. While we don’t have any of “that kind of special” macaron recommendations, we do highly suggest scoping out the delicious flavors at Lady Yum – “Macarons & Mischief”. Not only do they offer 2-day FedEx shipping to send to your cross-country quarantine friends (#WeMissYou), the majority of their menu is also gluten free! And not to worry, if you’ve found a rotating flavor in the past that is no longer on the current menu, you can order it under the “special orders” section online. (So, they’re still special macarons, just in their own way… see what we did there?).

IG: @LadyYum
Takeout: Yes
Dine In: N/A
Delivery: Yes
Gift Cards: Available for purchase
Our Favorite Dishes:
-Shindig
-Honey Lavender
-Salted Caramel
-Hawaiian Pound Cake

Free Willy (1993) – Amazon, AppleTV

We know, we know… a throwback tearjerker. But we truly cannot leave this one off the list. If you’re an animal lover like we are, we know you’ll be all in your feels while reliving this childhood classic. In this story, our whale pal Willy was said to be captured in the San Juan Islands off the Washington Coast and brought to captivity, at a fictional Northwest Adventure Park in Seattle. Watch on as you root for Jesse, the young boy with the most epic geometric print wardrobe and ‘90s hair, who knows where these beautiful creatures belong — free and in the wild.

Movie scene from Free Willy, which takes place in Washington

Fun Fact: Although Free Willy is set to take place in Washington, it was filmed mostly in Astoria, Oregon. If that rings a bell, that’s because The Goonies was also filmed there.

Merchandise from Marination, a restaurant serving Hawaiian-Korean fusion cuisine

Local Pair Up: We cannot get enough of the menu at Marination! Their Hawaiian-Korean fusion cuisine is out of this world. We caught up with the folks over at Marination, and they want to spread the word that they are now open for breakfast at Marination Ma Kai! Their loco-moco breakfast burrito is no joke! Be sure to check out their website for locations and hours.

IG: @curb_cuisine
Takeout: Yes (even alcohol to-go!)
Dine In: At Super Six and 6th & Virginia locations
Delivery: Available for catering
Gift Cards: Available for purchase online **And cool merch!**
Our Favorite Dishes:
-Kalua Pork Quesadilla with Aloha Tots
-Loco Moco breakfast burrito
-Malasada Hawaiian donut filled w/ Nutella or Coconut Cream

Sightless (2020) – Netflix, Amazon, AppleTV

After a brutal attack, Ellen (played by Madelaine Petsch) wakes up blind in her Seattle hospital room. While struggling with adapting to her new life, she hides away in what she believes to be her brother’s apartment, who is living abroad. Ellen begins to become suspicious of those around her, fearful that her attacker is continuing to haunt her. She realizes that the false sense of reality around her is keeping her, and others, imprisoned. This suspense movie runs along the lines of Bird Box and The Invisible Man, with several moments where you will feel her sense of paranoia and terror. Sightless makes reference to places in Washington like Downtown Seattle and Mercer Island.

Poster from the movie Sightless which takes place in Seattle

Fun Fact: This film had its world premiere at the Dance with Films Festival in September of 2020. If Ellen looks familiar, you may recognize her (Madelaine Petsch) as Cheryl Blossom in the CW series, Riverdale!

Local Pair Up: A local Olympia favorite, Tugboat Annie’s is an absolute must. In addition to their awesome menu, they also rent out kayaks in the warmer months! They’re known for their oysters and clams, as well has their casual and welcoming environment.
IG: n/a – Can be found on Facebook or online.
Takeout: Yes
Dine In: At 25% capacity, not accepting reservations.
Delivery: No
Gift Cards: Available for purchase through Giftly
Our Favorite Dishes:
-Tugs poppers
-Crab Melt
-Banana Annie

We hope you enjoy our picks, and that this feel-good list helps make quarantine just a little more bearable! Thank you for helping to support your local Washington businesses! Be sure to tag us in your photos @ExploreWashingtonState!

Photos by: Lady Yum, Marination, Heavy Restaurant Group, and movie posters from “Free Willy,” “Sightless,” and “Firefly Lane.”

Amy Breeding

Amy Breeding

Amy Breeding is a traveling Registered Nurse, currently living in the Seattle area. After growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, she decided to explore the PNW and fell in love with everything that Washington has to offer. Her favorite hikes in Washington are Lake 22 and Artist Point.

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