I was spoiled with great food and great company the previous weekend. As if the picnic (or as Carol called it – glicnic: as in glamorous picnic) was not enough to sate me, a night crashing at Mitch and Sharon’s led to breakfast in Seattle. Sharon loves a good breakfast spot, so much so that we all have been hounding her to write the definitive guide to Seattle breakfast joints.
I would have been content almost anywhere, breakfast food is kind of hard to flub. Pancakes, omelets, French toast; these are not the things of genius when you get down to it. But Sharon is not content with the breakfast food of mere mortals; where she leads, we gladly follow knowing that we are in for good things. The result was a trip to Sitka and Spruce in the Melrose Market.
My first visit to the place was a couple of years ago, when it was still just off of Lake Union in the Eastgate neighborhood. It was an unassuming little place, tucked into a one-off corner of a strip mall; sort of wedged between a teriyaki joint and a mini-mart. Not the location you would expect to find something special. In this little shoebox of an eatery two cooks performed an elegant choreography in the tiny kitchen while patrons were soon lining up outside hoping for a spot.
It’s in a more upscale location now, still in a corner of sorts; at the back of this little collection of interesting places. There is the cheese shop, the butcher, the wine bar, the florist, and then, all the way to the back is Sitka and Spruce. It still has the long, communal table though now it abuts the work island of the kitchen. It gives you the feeling of sitting in someone’s kitchen, an unusual and wonderful experience.
We were lucky, we got to sit right at that end. I watched, somewhat mesmerized, as our breakfast was prepared. Seriously – mesmerized; a couple of times I caught myself having to replay the conversation to figure out what I had missed! Everything here is meant to be shared. We each ordered a dish, and then everyone had a taste. Oh, and the scone. We had to have one of the big, beautiful scones that were piled into the basket just (fortunately) out of reach.
Funny to note how I have changed over the years. Communal tables used to bug me. I never ate eggs unless the yolk was cooked all the way through. Eggplant was disgusting. The list goes on. Yet here I sat, eating a perfectly cooked egg with a yummy, runny yolk dressing a concoction of eggplant and paneer cheese. Lounging at the communal table and soon chatting with a lovely couple from Sydney, Australia who were looking for insider tips on what to see in Seattle.
The food was excellent, the service was excellent, the mimosa was excellent; the company of good friends, old and new; it all combined to make the perfect end to a perfect weekend. From lunch high on the slopes of Mt. Rainier to breakfast in the city, I don’t think it could have asked for a better weekend.