Breakfast Junkie!!!

Phoebe's Pastry Cafe

4/18/2018

Welp. This SAYS it's a breakfast place but in reality? Not so much. 

Phoebe's Cafe is the sister to their flagship pastry place over by the Auto Mall. It is DARLING and right on Division and I wish I owned it. A breakfast place? Well, that's a stretch. They have coffee, espresso, and a glass case of pastries & pre-made sandwiches to be reheated. This "house" has a bar up against a window that sits four. All other seating is outside. And really, that's what this place really is ~ a walk up. With a killer parking lot. 

This is hard to review because I want to make this into something extraordinary. And it could be. It has a FULL KITCHEN and by removing the case, having a real menu? It could be spectacular. So I'll jump right into it.

Ratings:

Location: 5. Seriously. Awesome parking right next to the new park. 

Coffee: 3   Cup: ? Everything is in a to go paper cup so I can't really    rate it.

Green? 5 Probably? No jammers, no to go boxes, I don't think I saw any plastic. 

Help: 4 Nice enough but once I ordered, she totally ghosted.

Food: 0 I had their version of an Egg McMuffin. Reheated disk from hell and nope is a SUPER good way to express it. 

 

Rating: 2.8      LOVE the building and location and if you want to sit outside and enjoy a cup of coffee to go? This might be your place. I'm sure summers here are hoppin.

 

They don't really have their own website but check out the West Central Park site for information. Phoebe's Cafe

Remember, everyone has an opinion. This is just mine. I would LOVE to hear about your breakfast experiences at Phoebe's Cafe. Send me an email and I'll add it to the restaurant blog. Thanks for visiting!

The Bread Peddler

4/18/2018

The Bread Peddler is an interesting space in that it really hasn't figured out what it wants to be. 

It's a bakery with a HUGE kitchen and with that came maybe six or so breakfast items. I USED to love this place. Always busy, a FABULOUS poached egg on their toast drizzled with balsamic. Killer coffee.

But then then lost their way.

It's still busy. You stand in line to order but they got fancy and took down their menu board. You don't know what to do as your standing their in line with ten of your favorite new friends. The menus? They are located at the register... which makes NO sense. It means that by the time you are helped, you have no idea what's on the menu unless you are ordering a pastry and a loaf of bread. 

So this time I had my staple ~ the poached egg. Another difference is that they no longer give you a number, they take your name. Normally, I'm all over this but in this space? You get the pastry queens coming out from behind the glass wall, yelling your name and not seeing your hand. Frustrating.

AND THEN! My lovely poached egg? My staple? The ONLY thing I eat here? It came on burnt toast, the poached egg was a hard boil, meaning no runny goodness, and overall? a MASSIVE bummer. 

And let's talk coffee. They have great coffee. But this time? Cold in a massive oldeytimey diner cup. Mine was chipped so I moseyed back up to the register, cut in line and opted for their in house espresso cup. And the coffee was hot this time. Grrr

And maybe part of the Peddler's issue is they opened the Peddler BISTRO around the corner. It serves the exact same menu but in a sit down, fancier space... without the baked goods. And an alcohol license. Maybe the confusion is the diversification of the two. Don't know. Hmmm

So Rating!

Location: 5 The location is great. Down by the docks, across from the Senior Center, street parking. Be careful of the parking lot next door~ they are enthusiastic about ticketing. I've lucked out but it's only a matter of time. Because of the location, you get a little bit of everyone... which is AWESOME. And their is tons of seating! Bonus!

Coffee: 5    Cups 0... a hard 0 Chipped and heavy and not good. 

Green: 5 probably. Cream is up at the register so no creamer bombs. Jam? Don't know. They have plastic straws if you want to grab one but I think they probably last a REALLY long time here. No Styro. So yeah. A five.

Help: 3 Nice enough. 

Food: 1 SUCH a let down especially since I have been here multiple times. And to be fair, maybe breakfast on this side isn't their gig. May they are focusing more on the breads and the pastries and the six items on the menu are an after thought. Don't know. But it was a bummer. I'll test drive the Bistro but won't be back to this side. 

Rating: 3.1

Check out their website The Bread Peddler

Remember, everyone has an opinion. This is just mine. I would LOVE to hear about your breakfast experiences at The Bread Peddler. Send me an email and I'll add it to the restaurant blog. Thanks for visiting!

Cafe 186

3/30/2018

This is one of those instances that you ask yourself, "where am I going again?"

Cafe 186 is located at the top of 4th ave, close to Ralph's Thriftway and yes! In the old Elks Club Lodge #186. I'm using the term "old" not because it's changed hands. It's literally old. If you have never been, it's a big room and it's like stepping back into 1945. Paint. Tables. Old bar in the corner. It is NOT an inviting place to eat OR hang out. 

BUT!

A chef named Steve, saw potential.

He is the owner of Cafe 186 and fell in love with the kitchen and the promise of opportunity. Let's get this straight, this is not refined dining but! the menu is really interesting and really LARGE. I sat at the bar which is literally THE BAR of the Elk's Club. I couldn't bare to sit at one of the tables so I moved stacks of Elk paraphernalia and bellied up. The food is very very good and it's meant for the people who ate or still do...eat "that way"; lots of fried and lots of portion. The hashbrowns are homemade and great. All sauces? Homemade. I had razor (and I wouldn't recommend those fried sheets of leather) but everything else was very very good.

So a word about Steve: he sincerely likes what he does and I think he sincerely like people. He comes out from behind the kitchen and talks to folk about his food, their experience and the weather. And he has a vision for that place. 

What is it, you ask?

Well soon, the snooker table in the back room is going to be removed and that whole side room is to become the Cafe and he's trying to locally resource and has strong beliefs about recycling and he's decorated it in his mind with oldey timey memorabilia and even though he's been there a year already (who knew?!), he has a vision. And wants it to see the vision through. I really liked him.

So. Ratings.

Location: 3 but with a HUGE caveat! It's in a unremarkable building that someone needs to come in and gut. In reality, I wish I owned it because this location is up and coming as people migrate away from the downtown, the parking is great and it's easy to get in and out of. But it basically needs a fire. IF Steve remodels that side room and makes it into something? That is a serious game changer. I don't know if Steve's food can weather the challenges of this building.

Help: 4 I think the waitress has probably been waiting tables too long. Pleasant and that's about all. (Obviously, I'm a fan of Steve). If you go, have low expectations of coffee refills. 

Coffee: 4 Fine enough       Cup: 2 Elks Club cup. 

Green: 2 Plastic cream bombs and jammers but we had a long conversation on his choices which came down to loosing inventory when people saaaay, don't use all of their cream. I thought this odd as the amount of cream in the bottom of a tiny pouring cup would HAVE to offset the amount of plastic and annoyance of people like me. 

Food: 3 I think I have have to rank this this low due to the razor clams. And the overall grease factor. Huge fan of the browns tho. I would be interested in what other people think of it and if age demographics are at play.

Rating? 3.

Check out their website:Cafe 186 

Remember, everyone has an opinion. This is just mine. I would LOVE to hear about your breakfast experiences at Cafe 186. Send me an email and I'll add it to the restaurant blog. Thanks for visiting!

 

King Solomon's Reef

3/30/2018

More commonly known as "the Reef"! 

Soooo....it's taken me a little bit to talk about this one. I needed to decompress because no lie, the Reef probably has the best food in downtown. BUT MAN. 

Lets's start at the beginning. I was the first person there at 8:30am. I parked in front because how often do you get front row parking downtown Olympia?! This is the location of many of our resident homeless and mental health challenges. The tattoo place across the street is a haven because they have a great little alcove. Same with next door and to the east is a parking lot where the morning takes on the morning. 

The Reef is most popular at night and I'll be honest, I've been one of THOSE people partaking in their vibe at 2am after a pub crawl. This was my first time at the Reef during the morning. Do NOT look too hard at this place. I am AMAZED it hasn't been shut down so obviously the kitchen is WAY cleaner than the actual restaurant. There is crap stacked everywhere and the "ewe factor" is strong with this place. 

So let's talk food. Amazing. I had the chicken and waffles. It looked like a hot mess but it was probably the best fried chicken I have ever had. Moist, flavorful, I feel like this dude in the back is a southern wizard making something from nothing. Great coffee. Diner cups. No straws (but alas, the little creamers plastic bombs). So the food is off the charts. I think that's one of the reasons it's so popular with the night crowd. That and it's the only thing open at 2am but eh. 

Now let's talk experience. 

As I was sitting there, the place starts to fill up with every walk of life. I am downtown A LOT so there isn't a lot that really bothers me. This dude sits next to me, keeps getting up to ask patrons for a cig, sits again, up again, sits again, goes outside and looks in the gutter for butts, whips it off, lights, puffs, comes back in, repeat. More folk fill the place. Meth guy wearing a surgical mask, construction guys, dude in a suit, gal with sticks in her hair. It's Olympia.

Exceedingly happy with my feast, I pay the bill, say thanks and head out to my awesome parking place.

Someone who should be in the hospital had hocked a big loogie on the handle of my car. He should be in the hospital because I seriously don't know what is growing in his lungs but the color was the combo of that stringy moss you pick up with a stick in a bog and saaaaay Kermit in a blender. Now I TOTALLY understand the downtown homeless and mental health issues exploding in our small/now big city. Olympia is fielding all three city's "challenges", they can't keep up and it's a BIG point of contention. How do you balance enabling and tough love? But I have never had that "f-you" visceral response as I did that morning. I had always given the population a pass, so to speak, with the understanding that they are doing the best they can with the skills they have... and what if it were me. 

With that said, I was pissed. 

I went back into the restaurant and everyone was super great and super apologetic. The locals at the bar, the help, everyone. They gave me bleach, paper towels and some gloves and out I went, to scrape off the toxic waste from my door handle and to say under my breath, this is the last day I give anyone downtown "a pass". 

So. Ratings. *sigh*

Location: -5. That is a NEGATIVE 5! I cannot in any form recommend parking your car in this shit show. Enough said.

Help: 5. Seriously, salt to the earth. One older man, running the joint and great. Coffee was always filled, he checked in, friendly to everyone with tough love for the morning crowd he has to endure every morning. And latex provider! ;  ) 

Coffee: 5  Cup: 3 eh. 

Green?: 3  Only dings were the creamer bombs and jammers. But eh, it's a diner

Food: 5 Awesome. Which is why I am TOTALLY bummed that I won't be back. Off the charts, great diner food. 

Rating? 2.7

Check out their website: The Reef

Remember, everyone has an opinion. This is just mine. I would LOVE to hear about your breakfast experiences at The Reef. Send me an email and I'll add it to the restaurant blog. Thanks for visiting!

FOLLOW UP: 10 am on a different day. In front of the restaurant, in the tattoo awning, a 300+ pound man was so loaded he can't get his pants on and they are around his knees. I will never be able to UN-SEE the amount sores on that dude's backside and ball sack. Nope. 

 

 

Our Table

3/14/2018

WHY DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS PLACE?!!!

I am downtown ALOT. Like, a lot a lot. And maybe I haven't gone because it's next to the Voyeur and across from the homeless park~ oh I mean, the "Artesian Commons". There's a lot of sketchy crap that goes on down there which means as a single lady, it's not my "go-to". Case in point? 10 homeless sitting outside the Voyeur, getting baked, so you're not able to use the sidewalk... ALTHOUGH they apologized as I worked my way through the makeshift sit in. As a side note, I parked around the corner EVEN THOUGH there was a parking spot right in front of the band of merry makers. Easier. 

ANYWAY

I have SERIOUSLY been missing out and this is going to be my staple! Hands down, one of the best breakfast joints in Thurston county.

You walk in and they have a counter reminiscent of your kitchy diner. Super clean, light and airy. It's actually a pretty big place with ample tables to move around for larger groups. Sunday mornings, this place is packed and their food is off the charts. Well seasoned, locally sourced, large portions, great ingredients, banging coffee (and coffee cups!). The whole thing was awesome!

But the BEST PART?

I'm sitting there talking with the VERY friendly waitress named Abby, and another lady from the restaurant wanted to know if I'd like to share some of her champagne. SUPER confused, Abby proceeded to tell me, IT'S A BYOB ESTABLISHMENT!

WHAT?!

So yes, if you would like to have mimosas with your breakfast? Just bring in your bottle order some orange juice and you're good to go! BUT THERE'S MORE! There's a window between their kitchen and the bar next door SO! If you wanted a beer or saaaay a martini to go with your omelet or stack of hotcakes, you just order it up and they stick it through the window! GENIUS!!! (They do serve lunch in case you don't want to get your alcoholic on before noon)

They've been there for three years and I think they seriously need to rethink they're marketing strategies. My green self- no straws or styro, loved this place and I will definitely be going back!

So Ratings!

Location: 2 Like I said, it's on the sketchier side of the city. You might have to step over someone if you park down the street but don't let that deter you. It's worth the reality shock of our downtown community. Street parking only

Help: 5 Not even a question. Courteous, on-it, fabulous

Coffee: 5 and it kept comin. Maybe because I was sitting at the bar but I am now VERY well caffeinated Cup: 5! WhooHoo!! Easy to hold, good size, CLEAN. BUT! I discovered that they also have the old diner cups that weigh 5 pounds so it might be a crap shoot on which one you're served. Love that their creamer comes in a saucer so you don't have to put the spoon on the counter! Yep!

Green: 5+ I have never seen an Oly restaurant this earth friendly. No straws, Styro, creamer bombs, jam squares. Fabulous

Food: 5 I had their Our Table Omelette. Crazy good. Came with their potatoes that were fabulous, just make sure you like garlic, and this biscuit/cornbread thing that looks like a hockey puck but has tons of flavor. Real jam and real butter. The whole thing was awesome

Rating? 4.6

Check out their website: Our Table

Remember, everyone has an opinion. This is just mine. I would LOVE to hear about your breakfast experiences at Our Table. Send me an email and I'll add it to the restaurant blog. Thanks for visiting!

 

Biscuit House

3/9/2018

I can honestly say, this has a VERY different vibe! 

Can't find this place? Well, it might be that it's located in the Toyota car dealership! You park, navigate the sales folk, tell them that you are there for breakfast and head to the back of the showroom. Nuts.

Warm and fuzzy this is not. It's a cold bar with some tables and stools designed so you can watch TV and wait for your new (or old) ride. It turns out this is the sister restaurant of one located in Lakewood and this is SERIOUSLY worth this weird location. You order at the register, they give you a number and you wait for the delivery. Drip coffee is free as is bottled water. You can order espresso at the counter with you meal and eh, it's okay. 

Do yourself a favor: STICK WITH ANYTHING WITH THE BISCUIT!  I had their signature plate which comes with biscuits & gravy PLUS two eggs PLUS two sausages PLUS bacon PLUS potatoes! I ate on this puppy for two and a half days and I am a fan. I'm used to little hockey pucks of death and these are not you mother's biscuits. (Sorry, mom) Well worth it. They don't do anything cheap. Or bad. The servings are huge. 

Green this place ain't. I've never had more plastic and Styrofoam in my life. Cups, lids, creamers, straws, cups, jam, salsa cups, boxes, water bottles. The only thing that WASN'T plastic were the stir sticks. Olympia is pretty dang enviro-friendly so it was actually SURPRISING to see so much in one space. When I was finished with breakfast? AMAZING to see my footprint. 

So! Ratings? 

Location: 3 It's in a CAR. DEALERSHIP. Can't really do a lot about it though the parking is AWESOME!

Help: 5 Friendly, courteous, sorta like a car dealership!

Coffee: 3  Coffee Cup: 0 Plastic & Styro 

Green:  Big Fat 0!

Food: 5 All day long! (well really only until about 4)

Rating? 2.7 

Check out their website: Biscuit House

Remember, everyone has an opinion. This is just mine. I would LOVE to hear about your breakfast experiences at the Biscuit House. Send me an email and I'll add it to the restaurant blog. Thanks for visiting!

 

New Moon Cooperative Cafe

3/2/2018

Does anyone is town know that the name is New Moon COOPERATIVE CAFE? Everyone just calls it New Moon so I was surprised when I checked out their website. Who Knew?! But I swear to God, I want to like this place. Truly. And I have tried. A LOT. Like, a lot a lot. 

Every time, the experience varies. Once, we sat there for 15 minutes before being acknowledged, which is hard to do in a restaurant that has 10 tables. We got up and left. Another time, there weren't any seats so I sat with a local on a double table. He was fabulous but I had to go to the register to order and get a refill on the coffee. The waitress would gush all over this cat but every time, even to get a napkin, I would have to chase her down. It has this "don't bother me because I'm Olympia and orgaaaanic" vibe that is so irritating in some of places in town. 

So I didn't have a lot of high hopes going into this one.

They have obviously done some training. The waitress was fabulous. Super nice, fast, knew her stuff. PLUS I had forgotten my card in my car and she let me go get it. So bam! One hurtle down!

But the reality? I just don't like their food. I don't know why exactly but I think that it's just sooooo lacking of anything interesting. Hated the coffee and the coffee cups need to go back to 1950. Hash browns, no flavor. Eggs, no flavor. Just one big "eh" all the way around. I soooo want to like it because it's this weird little icon of Olympia. I just can't.

So. Ratings?

Location: 4 Fun little spot and I think that's why folk go. Street parking only. It's quirky and if there isn't a table, you are waiting outside, so plan ahead.

Help: 5 THIS time. She was great and I should have written down her name!

Coffee: 2 It had this floral taste. Couldn't get past it. Cup: 0 yes... that is a zero. Man, I hate their cups.

Food: 2 I'm trying. It's just so nondescript and I want it to be better. 

RATING? 2.6

Check out their website: New Moon Cafe

 Remember, everyone has an opinion. This is just mine. I would LOVE to hear about your breakfast experiences at New Moon. Send me an email and I'll add it to the restaurant blog. Thanks for visiting!

 

 

Martin Way Diner

2/23/2018

This place is slammin ALL OF THE TIME. Don't even ATTEMPT weekends and even on weekdays, I recommend sitting at the bar (plus you get to watch the happenings of the place and plan your next vacation when you win the pool tab you just purchased!)

This is a diner in every sense of the word. From the cooks to the wait staff to the menu, this. is. a. diner. Do not expect she-she food here. Do not expect a ton of small talk and do NOT piss off the waitress. She will give you the what for and then again just for fun. I love this place. It's sassy and it's a mix of every part of the Olympia population. 

Their food is diner food. It's not healthy but it is really really good, plain and simple and seasoned the way it should be. Large portions and yes, paper "I can't eat another thing" boxes which is a big deal in my environmentally-don't use straws, brain.  The coffee was fabulous but their cups are terrible. THOUGH, to be fair, they're the cups that weigh five pounds and I'm sure they would go through a bunch without said girth. 

So Ratings:

Location: 5 GREAT PARKING! You can get in and out of this place easy peasy!

Help: 5 Everyone looks like your grandma so DO NOT MAKE THEM MAD

Coffee: 5 Rot gut joe  Cups: 1 Okay a 2 since they add to the diner experience

Food: 5 It's greasy goodness. You can't eat like this all the time (or maybe you can!) but every once in a while? Totally worth it. 

Rating? 4.4

Check out their website: Martin Way Diner

Remember, everyone has an opinion. This is just mine. I would LOVE to hear about your breakfast experiences at the Martin Way Diner. Send me an email and I'll add it to the restaurant blog. Thanks for visiting!

 

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