Family wished to treat the Restaurant News writer to brunch on Mother’s Day, but reservations were booked solid at local downtown favorites.
Restaurant News has been called out by colleagues: not enough reviews on mom-and-pop establishments with words like family or pancake in their names. Family Pancake House on Highway 99 certainly fit the bill. So Restaurant News and her family motored to the restaurant at 23725 Highway 99 in Edmonds and celebrated Mother’s Day.
Friends said, “The Hollandaise sauce is better than the expensive places downtown.” Value prices on senior menus were mentioned. “Experience down-home cuisine and save some money,” they said.
I craved Eggs Benedict Florentine Style, so I consulted a waitress. She stated their Hollandaise was made from a mix. “But we add butter to make it taste better.”
I noted the price for my dish was a dollar higher than my favorite spots in downtown Edmonds — so much for saving money.
My companions chose burgers. The menu offers a full selection of entrees and it was 2 o’clock in the afternoon when we arrived. In the past, we have enjoyed piles of pancakes and waffles, topped with whipped cream and strawberries, at Family Pancake House. It’s nice to have so many options.
The guys’ burgers arrived ahead of my egg dish so I nibbled on my husband’s generous side salad and sneaked a few of my son’s crispy steak-cut fries. My son praised his cheeseburger, with all the added accompaniments, and hubby said the Garden veggie burger was moist and tasty. The Eggs Benedict arrived, with a side of fruit, instead of hash browns. The fruit was nice and fresh. It cost 99 cents to upgrade.
The first bite of egg, sliced tomatoes and fresh green spinach tasted great. But my teeth crunched on a bit of grit. Maybe the muffin? It was a bit crispy. I took another bite. Nope this could only be eggshell. I poked around in the golden sauce dotted with globs of butter. I discovered several large pieces of shell, when our waitress came by to say “How’s everything?”
I raised my fork, its tines loaded with hunks of white egg shell. She gasped, apologized profusely and whisked away the plate, leaving me to munch on my cup of fruit.
By the time the replacement entrée arrived, my guys had finished their food. My waitress explained there was a” communication challenge” in the kitchen and a “misunderstanding as to why the dish needed to be prepared again.” She paused at the table.
My husband and our server watched, eyes glued to my fork as I raised my first bite. “No crunch.” I smiled at our relieved server who retreated to the kitchen. I took another bite. Crunchy, but not a shell. It was crispy spinach.
Lost in kitchen translation was the need to replace all the ingredients, including the eggs and the sauce. It appeared the cook had removed my partially eaten egg. In its place sat a fresh poached replacement. The remaining items had been slapped on the grill to reheat, which explained the now browned and crisped spinach. More Hollandaise sauce was added over my previous serving. In fact, he’d only replaced the one egg. Its companion, the yolk now cold, remained perched on the second slab of tomatoes and muffin.
Restaurant News hates to make a fuss. Rather than further distress our waitress who’d done her best to rectify the problem, I pasted a smile on my face and picked at the remains on my plate. I did not ask for a doggie bag.
I saw other happy patrons plow into piles of pancakes and waffles. My guys had no need for to-go boxes, because they’d cleaned their plates. But for those who want Hollandaise made from scratch, poured over perfect poached eggs, stick to the Main Street establishments, in downtown Edmonds. You’ll save money and not have worries about extra, unwanted ingredients like egg shell in your dish.
Cuisine al Fresco: A local treasure of outdoor dining, our Edmonds Museum Garden Market offers food and beverage to enjoy whilst you stroll and shop, every Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Bell Street. Whatever your taste buds desire, it’s only a few steps away.
What fun to watch the production line of plump pastry at Market Mini Donuts, and it’s even more fun to eat these tasty treats. Pop’s Kettlecorn’s sign says “Once you taste it, you’re hooked.” I agree and it’s great to note that their corn is Non-GMO. Other sweet/ walk-around dessert options include Whidbey Ice Cream Bars and Pies from Deborah’s Homemade Pies, which come in small personal size — or take home a full size for your family.
Middle Fork Roasters offers their beans for home use, or enjoy their brew, hot or cold, from their stall. If tea is your preference, the Spirit of Tea will provide many choices to sip as you stroll, or brew at home. Quench your thirst with cold apple or pear cider at Martin Family Orchards, or Shrubs — otherwise known as “sipping vinegars” — from Sweet Caroline’s. More substantial fare is offered by Falafel Salam, La Strada Dolce Pizza and a new food truck called Taqueria Los Chilangos.
A visit with friends and neighbors is a great way to spend time while in line for baked goods at the market’s most popular booth: Snohomish Bakery. My market food list wouldn’t be complete without mention of the cool drinks and dogs with all the toppings, available from Hot Dogs A La Carte.
Our early summer-like temperatures have brought vegetables and fruits to market ahead of the usual schedule. The Edmonds Museum Market stalls are loaded with asparagus, early greens, radishes and my personal favorite: rhubarb.
Speaking of rhubarb: A while back, I’d issued a challenge to local restaurants and bars: Show me your rhubarb recipes — and they have.
First up is Chanterelle’s May menu dish: Pork Medallions with fresh Rhubarb Compote. Spring rhubarb, onions, garlic, Dijon and thyme season the roasted red potatoes and fresh vegetables on the plate.
Salt & Iron‘s Rhubarb Swiss Roll features cardamom sponge, rhubarb jam, ginger mascarpone, and warm rhubarb compote. A delight for dessert.
Restaurateurs and Bar keeps: Please share more rhubarb items in the comments section below.
Prom dining possibilities: How many of you went to your high school senior prom and dined on not-so-memorable fare? Seated at the folding cafeteria tables, served up in the school gymnasium? Our modern-day graduates can enjoy gourmet fare at our fine local establishments and not worry about prom dresses catching on the metal bench seats.
Lucky students at Edmonds-Woodway (prom is June 4) and Meadowdale (prom is May 28) have great local dinner choices. Consider, for example, Scott’s Bar and Grill. They offer a 3-course “Prom Dinner” that includes starter, entree, and dessert for $29.95. Reservations recommended.
Red Lantern Chinese Restaurant at 546 5th Ave. S. (in the former La Galleria next to the IGA) has their sign up on the roof, and has posted their menu in the window. A handmade dim sum specials list has excited Restaurant News’ taste buds. A peek inside the paper- covered windows indicates they are still some weeks away from opening their doors.
— By Kathy Passage
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.