My Edmonds Restaurant News: We dish on patio dining and College Cafe fare

Strawberries at sunset at Anthony’s. (Photo by Kathy Passage)

Summer has arrived. Edmonds diners intent on exposure to the sun are parked on patios and camped out on chairs and tables at the front of many at local restaurants. I found over 30 locations that have “outdoor seating” as an option. You can see the list here.

Coffee tastes better when your breakfast or brunch brew is accompanied by birds’ song. Benches full? Warm days mean Walnut Street Coffee will roll up the doors so everyone can enjoy. Feel the breeze as you sip tea in front of Baicha’s Tea Room.

The patio at Red Twig. (Photo by Janette Turner)
The patio at Red Twig. (Photo by Janette Turner)

The outdoor patio at Red Twig is crowded with folks at their leisure, to enjoy a steaming cup or the full meal deal. Enjoy live music on last Wednesdays each month.

Linger over lunch under the umbrellas on Las Brisas’ patio. Chips and fresh salsa keep hunger at bay as you sip a Cadillac Margarita or a cold cervesa and wait for delicious enchiladas or other authentic fare. Dine surrounded by fabulous flowers at Anthony’s Beach Café. Serious sun and sand border the café’s outdoor tables and can entertain kids and grownups alike, if the popular outdoor spot gets a bit busy.

Outside dining at Las Brisas.
Outside dining at Las Brisas. (Photo by Janette Turner)

Tables on deck at Anthony’s Homeport are coveted accommodations with spectacular views of Puget Sound. Sip wine or your favorite brew during happy hour or enjoy one of the Sunset Dinners. Pamper yourself. Enjoy a seasonal dessert. Fresh hot coffee and sweet strawberries covered in cream and sailboats silhouetted by the setting sun; a fabulous finale to a fantastic meal.

We’ve spotted locals, seated at tables with or without the shade of umbrellas and snapped a few shots to share in this column.

Readers, I know you all have your favorite spots to nosh al fresco. Send us some “Suppertime in the Sunshine Selfies.”

See my entire list of outdoor seating here.

The College Cafe bakery.
College Cafe baked goods. (All cafe photos by Kathy Passage)

June is graduation time. Students are treated as families celebrate the day, with food. From simple cake and punch, to catered events at home or in one of our many restaurants in Edmonds, we sup and salute the honorees.

But some students cook their own meals. I managed to get a table this week at a local eatery, the College Café. The student-run restaurant at Edmonds Community College Culinary Arts Program, at the end of the quarter showcased students’ mastery of fine cuisine, plated artfully and seasoned to perfection.

The menus insert states: We believe in bringing you local, seasonal, natural and organic foods, as well as environmentally-friendly products.

Soup and salad.

I was hooked with my first spoonful of the fresh tomato cream soup. My lunch companion said “I don’t care much for tomato soup.” But she kept her spoon busy and nearly emptied her cup. The garnish, a crisp of melted Parmesan, created a delicious contrast of sharp, nutty cheese with just-picked ripe tomatoes sourced from “farm direct produce.”

The salad, a wonderful slaw with light vinaigrette, was not over-sweet and topped off with a few golden raisins— delicious first course to the Southern Comfort theme menu.

Sauteed shrimp at the College Cafe. (All cafe photos by Kathy Passage)

Our first entrée, Sautéed Shrimp with a homemade Sriracha sauce, plated up on creamy grits accented with mustard greens. The shrimp were sautéed to perfection and seasoned with so much flavor, I thought they might be wild caught.

Next up was Chicken Fried Steak that my grandma would give an A+. Grass-fed beef from Olsen Farm was pounded out flat and cooked to a perfect pink, and fork tender. Peppery gravy, garlic mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts earned “extra credit.”

Barbecued pork. (Photo by Kathy Passage)
Barbecued pork.

My absolute favorite was the Barbeque Pork Roast. The fork tender pieces of pork were served over tiny tender baked beans and with a side of collard greens. I am a fan of Carolina-style sauce and theirs was well balanced between vinegar and sweet.

College Cafe Desserts. (Photo by Kathy Passage)

Desserts! Bakery students’ endeavors meant many miles I must log on the treadmill at my gym. So worth the extra sweat. I chose four to taste on the spot and took home the lavender shortbread and mini macaroons with a rose water filling that I can tell you now, were divine. Sampled on the spot where an amazing blonde brownie, a crispy chocolate walnut cookie, a luscious raspberry chocolate cream torte, and a crème brulee.

Zoka Coffee is served at College Café and my Americano capped with perfect foam, ended the meal on a high note.

School is out. September will bring new students who’ll whip up sumptuous meals. College Café is a treasure for lucky residents in the Edmonds area who have the leisure to enjoy top cuisine that won’t clean out their wallets.

Located in Brier Hall, Room 105, at Edmonds Community College. Call 425-640-1405 for reservations. Open most Mondays through Thursdays -11:30 a.m. -2 p.m.  Last seating at 1 p.m. See their Facebook page for weekly menus when they reopen this fall.

Kathy Passage

— By Kathy Passage
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A specialty gourmet food broker for over 30 years, Kathy Passage has in-depth knowledge on food and the special qualities of ingredients used in the exquisite products she helped bring to market. Kathy brings this unique perspective from the “other side of the plate” to writing about the food and restaurant scene in Edmonds.

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