AUBURN, Wash -- When it comes to going out to eat, Lynette Portello has always been a fan of her local
Hop Jack's restaurant. But now when the Bonney Lake resident checks out their menu, she sees more than just food. She also sees herself.
"I wonder if I should turn to cooking for a living." Said Portello.
Earlier this year Hop Jack's asked their guests to submit family recipes for their new summer menu.
"They're always telling us great things anyway and so we're like hey, let’s just put it in a recipe and get it on a menu." Said Kevin Eggen, regional manager for Hop Jack’s.
The neighborhood gathering place received more than 150 recipes from around the state. Portello’s winning entry was inspired by a military deployment party for some family members.
"I just asked all the kids to tell me what their favorite foods are and we just made it together this jalapeno popper that has the world and everything in between." Said Portello.
Portello’s Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno dish wasn't the only winner.
"The Juicy Lucy is a hand pressed Angus beef burger," Said Eggen. "It's going to come with a bunch of different sauces and I think that's where it gets its name juicy."
"The HTBLT Salad. It's a really fresh salad. It's going to have Kalamata olives so it's going to have a savory taste to it."
And there were winners for drink ideas as well. Like the Strawberry Basil Lemon Drop.
"All of our lemon drops for the summer are served in an icy cup we call them," Said Eggen. "It’s a very special, unique drink to us."
Working with the community is nothing new for Hop Jack's. Last year the restaurant chain raised and donated more than 87 thousand dollars to local charities through their Good Neighbor Fund.
They hope their latest collaboration will be as fulfilling for their guests, as it was for them putting it together.
"It was a ton of fun for us to be able to make all the food items. A lot of full days and full bellies." Said Eggen.