Best Breakfast in Seattle – Second Stop, Portage Bay Cafe
Outside of good strong black coffee and maybe crumby piece of coffee cake, my ideal breakfast goes well into the morning, if not early afternoon. Sometimes I think the word “brunch” was created just for me.
Second Stop – Portage Bay Cafe
As I mentioned the other day, breakfast in Seattle can be simply fantastic, an experience even, a great place to take your significant loved ones for an entry or an exit to this great city. In case you missed it, I first mentioned Toulouse Petit as one of the great places to get a wonderful breakfast.
I have been meaning to write about Portage Bay Cafe, a great local restaurant and any of their three locations (SLU, Ballard, and Roosevelt), and I am not exactly sure why I haven’t yet. This is simply one of my absolute favorites. Not just for the food, but for the energy, their service, and their commitment to food values that are becoming more and more important to me.
Note: all of my “memories” of eating at Portage Bay Cafe are all at the SLU location. Decor, etc may vary at the other two locations.
When you come into this great restaurant, you will be greeted with a bustling team of servers scurrying around in their “Eat Like You Give a Damn” black t shirts, refilling coffee, dropping off gorgeous plates of food, and otherwise making the experience enjoyable. On the wall, what first catches your attention is the mural of images, some of food items we would recognize like Challah, fish, wheat, fruits, and veg, but also faces. Faces of farmers, food suppliers, growers, and artisans that are all a part of Portage Bay Cafe’s commitment to buy local, mostly organic, and fiercely seasonal food. Think of it as the farmer is greeting you as you walk in. Immediately, you are curious, if not fascinated about what could then come out of the kitchen.
I have consumed several of their menu items including several of their egg dishes (their “spanish” migas and their rich dungeness crab eggs benedict!).
I have also consumed my share of their classic breakfasts with local meaty bacon, ham or sausage, roasted baby reds and uber-delicious hash.
But one doesn’t just go with the “typical” breakfast fare when at Portage Bay, no, unless you have an aversion to wheat, the highlight is their Challah french toast (oh sure they offer pancakes and waffles, even GF ones but c’mon). Trips to the breakfast bar where there are overflowing bowls of fruit compote (blueberries, strawberries, peaches and more!), whipped cream, real maple syrup, nuts, oats, and all sorts of other great ways to enjoy the beautiful eggy Jewish twist bread that is the highlight of Friday night Shabbats everywhere. Outside of maybe brioche, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate bread and french toast then with some Challah. Golden, brown, rich and yet light, Challah (click the link for my recipe) seems to take on whatever gooey, syrupy, flavorful topping you want to put on it. It is simply perfect.
A fun, VERY energetic restaurant committed to core food values that feel a lot more sincere than lip service or a trend, next time your family is in town, or getting ready to leave, bring them to Portage Bay Cafe and Eat Like You Give a Damn.