... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

Dessert Has 2 s’s Cause You Wanna Come Back for Seconds… Sweet Success!

It’s Sunday night as I write this. I just returned from the Kingfish Cafe. And just as in opening night over 19 years ago, I helped serve. Tonight I navigated through the packed 3 hour wait delivery Hoppin Johns, Fried Chicken, Red Beans and Rice, and Fried Catfish. For over 19 years, roughly 8,000 days, my life-long girlfriends, twin sisters, Leslie and Laurie have created and left their mark on our culinary culture. I smiled looking at us Menopausebarbees as we three stood at the counter feeling the radiant kitchen heat, adjacent to another life-long friend, Chris Bown and we squinted through our cheater glasses confirming table numbers and orders. Damn 20 years, where have the years flown? We grew up with the Kingfish.

In reflecting on who to shine in our Monday Menopausebarbee Spotlight, today again we are re-posting Sweet Success a post from February 2013. As Leslie and Laurie have demonstrated, when you have a dream and you work hard, life rewards you. Dessert has two s’s cause you wanna come back for seconds. Kingfish Cafe, We will patiently await your second act.

Congrats Leslie and Laurie- Success has 2 s’s also. Job Well Done!

February 2013

I was just starting High School when we met. As precocious teenagers, we listened over and over to Irene Cara sing songs from the movie, Flash Dance, participated in Lip Sinc contests, and spent our summer vacations swimming on the shores of Lake Washington. We became fast friends and this bond has lasted a lifetime. We attended the University of Washington together and the twins,who are identical sisters, Leslie and Laurie were track stars running the middle distance.

I recall all the various and sundry jobs and positions these two have held over the years. Leslie was a sales lady at a popular boutique in the University District called Nellie Stallion and Laurie worked as a special education substitute teacher. For twelve years, Leslie found her calling as a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines and Laurie doubled as a young mother to two daughters and they owned a janitorial company where they worked at night.

The fates changed their careers and our palates were forever grateful when nearly 17 years ago this April, they opened the Kingfish Cafe.

As part of our series this month on having heart, and the fact that it is Black History Month, I would be remiss not to feature my favorite local eatery and my lifelong friends.

For 17 years, I have witnessed the dedication, hard work and heart the twins have put into their thriving establishment.

When you walk through the doors of the Kingfish at 602 19th E. there is an immediate sense of comfort and that’s what Leslie calls the cuisine… it’s Southern comfort food. Here are some thoughts in Leslie’s own words:

D: When you started the Kingfish, you had no restaurant experience. What inspired you?
L: After visits to the East Coast, we found that the Pacific N W didn’t have celebrated diners such as The Shark Bar, Jezebels, B Smiths and of course Sylvia’s. We knew that was a niche that needed to be filled.

D: I see this month’s special is the Jambalaya. Do you have a favorite? Or is that like asking a parent which child they prefer?
L: I really do love all of our menu. The Red Beans and Rice, Fried Chicken,and Catfish, but if pushed for one, I’d say The Mac n Cheese.

D: You recently started Happy Hour?
L: Yep, from 4- 6, smaller bites and special prices on beer, wine and spirits.

D: Who would you most like to see come through that front door?
L: Definitely, our First Lady Michelle Obama.

D: She would be in good company. Over the years, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Gwynith Paltro have all eaten here and former Governor Rosellini celebrated his 100th birthday here as well.

The dinner hour approaches and the restaurant gets full. A regular, who the Kingfish staff refer to as “family” gives Leslie a hug. She is called away to direct some of her staff of 26 young men and women. She returns after seating an 8 top.

I talk to Leslie daily, so I know there is no such thing as spare time, but I ask anyway.

D: You and Laurie truly are two of the hardest working people I know. But you always find time to work out, watch Law and Order (the original), garden and read.

Leslie shares that Laurie has taken up painting and she is working on a screen play about the quirky life of a restauranteur.

Now why doesn’t that surprise me? Langston Hughes was their grandmother’s first cousin. Creativity is in their DNA.

Leslie wraps up a beautifully decorated slice of bread pudding for me to take home to my mother. It still baffles me after all these years how she maintains her size zero fit figure, especially with all the delectable cuisine at her disposal daily. Leslie keeps her heart healthy by working out every day- she’s fierce about it. But she is also disciplined and believes in moderation and not overindulgence
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sweet success