Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Posts Tagged ‘eggs Benedict

Our French friend loves eggs Benedict. The best I’ve had was at The Wolseley and we had breakfast there with her on our last day in London. Her favourite in Seattle is at B&O Espresso, her local café in Capitol Hill. In the neighbourhood for more than three decades, the building is approved for demolition and the closure of B&O Espresso is imminent.

A refrigerated glass cabinet displayed cakes and the espresso machine was gurgling. To the left of the entrance is a nook and to the right are two connecting dining rooms.

We were seated in the corner room which faces the intersection of Olive and Bellevue. The décor is quirky with stained glass panes, eclectic furniture, lime walls and vintage posters.

I spotted the Valencia mocha when I was perusing the beverages menu and it evoked a childhood memory of Jacob’s Club Orange. A latte with orange essence, nutmeg and Ghirardelli cocoa, it was an aromatic twist to a standard mocha.

A creamy mocha milkshake was topped with a sphere of cream and chocolate shavings.

Morsels of spiced kofta and molten pepper jack were folded into a just set three egg omelette. This was served with a generous side of tender potatoes and toast with Deer Mountain jam.

Soft poached eggs. Fluffy English muffins. Fresh Hollandaise sauce. The golden yolk cascaded and the pastel Hollandaise was viscous and tangy. It was a superb eggs Benedict, just how weekend brunch should be.

I hope B&O Espresso can continue to operate.

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The weekend was slick with rain. We revelled in the precipitation after a week of snow, sleet, hail, ice, slush and sub zero Celsius temperatures. Salt and pepper mounds of ice were the melting remnants of ‘snow-mageddon, snow-pocaplyse, Western Washington winter walloping’.

We splashed up to Capitol Hill for brunch. Oddfellows Café was a convenient location for our hobbling friend on crutches.

Two chalkboards welcomed us as we shook off the raindrops. Bright and spacious, the café was buzzing with Seattleites sharing snow experiences.

I finally read the chalkboard, and realised we were blocking the entrance and not waiting to be seated. I queued to order while Mr S searched for a table. The menu was categorised into morning, salads, plates and sandwiches.

Scones, cookies, muffins, cakes and quiches were displayed at the counter to tempt patrons.

Adjacent to the counter was a wall pinned with Oddfellows Café branded merchandise. Below was a sideboard for tea and coffee condiments.

We huddled together at a table by the window and door. Every time it was opened, a gust of wind chilled the cosiness.

A salvaged star spangled banner fluttered proudly at the front alcove.

A cute posy of flowers in my favourite colour.

At a café or for take-away, Australian baristas love latte art. I appreciate the quality of coffees in Seattle but I’ve missed the rosetta adorned cups!

I selected the breakfast panini. Fried eggs, rashers of crispy bacon, slices of tomato and molten Provolone were sandwiched between griddled bread and served with a side of salad greens. The yolk oozed as I cut the panini in half and it was a hearty breakfast.

I neglected to request the Hollandaise sauce separately and the eggs Benedict was drowning in a lemon pool. A thick piece of country ham cushioned the perfectly poached eggs.

Ms C chose a healthy fruit salad with Greek yoghurt, and baguette with butter and jam. The jam was a confounding raspberry syrup but the bread was fresh and crusty.

A postcard of a vintage black and white portrait of regal gentlemen accompanied the bill.

Oddfellows is a deservedly popular neighbourhood café!

We travelled from Vancouver to Whistler on a beautiful day. We revelled in blue sky, marshmallow clouds and brilliant sunshine as we ascended. It was a blissful moment when I spotted the first snow-capped mountain.

We were famished so we dropped our baggage at the hotel and walked quickly to La Bocca for a late lunch.

Painted poppy throughout, La Bocca shared a kitchen with the Amsterdam pub next door. We removed our layers and settled into a cosy corner. The brunch menu had breakfast items, share plates, soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas and stir-fries.

Mr L ordered the Benedict trio. Anticlockwise from top: spicy Benedict with hot coppa and crispy onion ring, traditional Benedict with ham and BC Benedict with smoked sockeye salmon. All three were served on an English muffin topped with a soft poached egg and citrus Hollandaise sauce.

Mr S also selected a breakfast dish. The skillet of Montreal smoked meat hash had smoked meat, hash brown, sautéed onions and capsicum, signature sauce, and topped with poached eggs.

I craved a hearty meal in the cold weather and compromised on the chilli prawn wok. A generous amount of tiger prawns were sautéed in garlic butter and tossed with crisp vegetables and steamed noodles in a Thai sweet chilli sauce. I switched from chopsticks to a fork as the noodles were slippery! It was a little sweet and lacked ‘wok breath’ (鑊氣) but the ingredients were fresh and plentiful.

Warmed by a full stomach, we exited to explore Whistler Village.

On our last day in Brisbane we bartered a ride to the airport for breakfast at The Little Larder. A popular café in the riverside neighbourhood of New Farm, it was quiet mid morning on a weekday. There was temporary reprieve from the heat and humidity of a subtropical spring.

A creative chalkboard in colourful calligraphy enticed passers-by.

Inside were birch tables, bold red walls and metal racks of newspapers and magazines. We were seated outside on a bench in the shade.

Stools were engraved with ‘Larder’.

A cute porcelain pot of sea salt flakes.

‘The lot’, a traditional British fry-up, will sustain you through the day! A large plate was piled with poached eggs, bacon, sausage, hash brown, caramelised onion, roasted tomato and toast.

The eggs Benedict was layered with grilled ham, ladled with a glossy Hollandaise sauce and topped with a crostini.

A healthy choice was poached eggs drizzled with dill mayonnaise on a square of crispy polenta served with roasted tomato, avocado slices, spinach and a wedge of lemon.

I have fond memories The Little Larder’s French toast with grilled banana and maple syrup so I ordered it again. Dusted with icing sugar, I saturated the eggy bread in the Canadian specialty. I savoured the sweet bananas, appreciating that it was still a treat after a cyclone damaged crops earlier this year.

We left content after a hearty breakfast, cups of coffee and glasses of cold pressed juices.

Autumn is here. I love the transition between seasons, how the previous lingers and the next emerges. Crisp mornings and deciduous trees shedding their golden leaves, interspersed with surprise bursts of sunshine.

A couple of locals have mentioned Row House Café and we meandered over to South Lake Union for weekend brunch. Located on Republican between Fairview and Minor, it is away from the Westlake and Terry hub.

A homely house converted into a café, Row House is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

The front room is warm and welcoming with chalkboard menus, cake stands and bottle lined shelves.

There are two dining rooms decorated with eclectic recycled furniture.

Salvaged mirrors hung on walls and it was fun to peek in them for interesting reflections.

Row House served illy coffee and I cozied up to a smooth mocha.

It was quiet on a late Saturday morning and service was efficient. The relatively small café had about a dozen items on the weekend brunch menu.

Mr S ordered the eggs Benedict with prosciutto. We exchanged a knowing glance when we noticed the uniform shape of the poached eggs. Deceptive in appearance, the eggs were perfectly poached and not rubbery. The Hollandaise sauce was a little bland and watery but the oozing yolk and cured meat were flavoursome.

I was tempted by the description of the hundred layer French toast. An interpretation of French toast made with a flattened croissant, it was buttery and soft.

The Row House website describes the café as a ‘conversation house’ and it is indeed a welcoming place to sip coffee and chat.

A weekend trip to Southern California was temporary reprieve from a wet and windy Seattle. We spent Saturday in Santa Monica and it was a delight to squint in the sunshine, wear flip-flops and splash in the Pacific Ocean again.

Our generation of Australians grew up with ‘Slip Slop Slap Seek Slide‘, a public health campaign against skin cancer, and sunglasses and hats are requisite outdoor accessories.

Ms D-R recommended Coast at Shutters on the Beach for brunch. With a panoramic view of Santa Monica Beach, the hotel is a sight to behold. Painted ivory and white, the building is resplendent against the blue sky and palm trees.

Coast is on the bottom level of the hotel with a beachfront entrance.

How apt that the hotel logo is a deckchair, symbolising an idyllic holiday!

The upper levels are One Pico and The Living Room, both with a spectacular vista.

Coast has counter seating, a communal table and a patio. The main dining room has wide beach frontage.

The communal table was laden with wine glasses for a cosy family gathering.

Nautical themed, the restaurant is spacious and welcoming. Our corner booth had vertical navy stripes. Framed black and white photos hung on the slatted walls.

A glass jar of Bonne Maman honey accompanied my pot of Art of Tea Earl Grey.

Mr S’s espresso was served in a daffodil yellow cup.

Ms D-R ordered the traditional eggs Benedict with the Hollandaise sauce on the side.

The chicken Caesar salad was rustically chopped and lightly drizzled with a tangy dressing.

Topped with yoghurt, cinnamon and berries, the granola parfait was a generous size with plenty of fruit.

I had a simple but tasty breakfast of fried eggs on toast at the hotel so I opted for spaghettini pomodoro. Tangled strands of al dente pasta were tossed with tomato, basil and garlic. It was well seasoned and scrumptious, hearty sustenance for an afternoon walk.

Santa Monica is a charming spot and I fell in love with Shutters on the Beach.

I’m an impatient person. I dislike lateness and just tolerate timeliness. I’m almost always early which perpetuates my impatience! Cooking risotto is a mental challenge – like a child on a road trip, ‘are we there yet, are we there yet’. As for roasting, baking or grilling, I’ve been known to turn the oven light on and sit cross legged in front of the glass panel, staring, willing it to cook faster with my Jedi mind powers.

We thought we had enough time for brunch on Saturday prior to an appointment. We slid into a booth at Steelhead Diner and quickly ordered. The restaurant was busy, all the tables and booths were occupied and most of the counter seats were filled. Although crowded, there was a pleasant hum to the place, a rhythm to the shuffling waitstaff.

There is an Australian connection at Steelhead Diner and Chef Kevin Davis’s love of fly fishing is evident throughout the dining room. The fly, an artificial lure or bait, features prominently as the restaurant logo, is the design on the plates and are displayed in acrylic boxes along the booth dividers.

Our booth had a view into the kitchen via a framed wall cut-out and it was a hive of activity, there was a silent efficiency to the chefs’ movements in a confined space.

And so we waited. Mr S sipped his drip coffee and I drained my freshly squeezed orange juice. And we waited. The booths on either side of us were served their meals. And we continued to wait. At this point, I got really agitated as we were at risk of being late for our appointment, so I asked as politely as possible about our meals.

I explained that we were now in a hurry and the waiter was apologetic, so much so that he returned with a complimentary starter of a slice of caviar pie with traditional garniture. I had momentarily mistaken it for a slice of cheesecake!

The biscuit base was replaced by finely chopped boiled eggs, the cheese was crème fraiche and the topping were four types of caviar. It was a kaleidoscope of colours with capers and diced red onions scattered on the plate. Creamy and briny, it was a heavy dish to nibble on for two.

I’m usually a slow eater but we ate our meals in record time. I hoovered my eggs Benedict, my plate emptied before Mr S’s. On soft, chewy toast, the ‘sequimbled eggs’ had chunks of Dungeness crab with two perfectly poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce.

A gentle nudge with the knife released a golden ribbon of egg yolk, and it swirled through the sweet crab meat and mixed with the mild Hollandaise. I regretted not savouring each mouthful more.

A thick patty wedged in a Frisbee sized bun, the Wagyu beef burger was massive. With molten cheddar, sautéed onions and mushrooms, tomato and lettuce, the burger was rich and filling. I deftly snatched a couple of chips and the golden batons were crunchy and not oily, probably the best chips I’ve had in Seattle.

As we were paying the bill, one of the chefs poked his head out of the frame and apologised again for the lateness of our meals. Despite the rush, we appreciated the effort of both the waitstaff and the kitchen to redress the situation. And we made it to our appointment just in time!


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