Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Warm House in Neah Bay

“Warm House was one of the seasonal villages of the Makah people on the rainforest coast of Washington state. Warmhouse is the name given by the Makah Tribe to their new restaurant on the shores of Neah Bay” (
As we were leaving the Makah Museum, Chuck paused to read a sign outlining Neah Bay attractions. As if he were reading our mind, a Museum staff member said to Chuck, “You won’t find many of them open this time of year.” He was referring to the list of restaurants.
I had done a little pre-outing research and found only two places rated at In addition to the Warmhouse Restaurant, there was a place where the specialty is the wood fired chanterelle mushroom pizza.
I knew that this would be a non-starter with Chuck and didn’t press the issue.
Most of those making comments at Trip Advisor mentioned the restaurant’s wonderful views of Neah Bay.

Since the restaurant was small with windows on three sides, every table was guaranteed to see them.

But many of those making comments complained about the Warmhouse’s service.

I am never sure how to interpret the latter complaint. If it takes an eon to receive menus and water, that is service. If your server disappears never to be seen again, that is service. Rudeness and/or incompetence, those are service. But when your food takes forever to reach your table, I don’t consider that to be the fault of the below minimum wage server. Anyway, we experienced nothing but prompt and pleasant service from two members of the Makah Tribe.

We both began with a cup of clam chowder which was a nice combination of potatoes, clams, onions, and carrots.
What was surprising was the presence of bacon. This is not the norm in the Northwest. In fact, when searching for restaurants in an upcoming location, I found as part of one’s description of their chowder—and this is a paraphrase—“Northwest style. No bacon.” Well, I like my chowder Northeast style. With bacon. So I enjoyed this chowder very much.

We then went on to share the Captains Plate—a very large platter of cod, calamari, and clam strips—and added a side of fries.
The first thing we noticed was that each of the three items had its own distinct coating. The cod (left in the photo) was in a traditional beer batter. Under the light and crisp batter was wonderfully sweet and flakey fish. The calamari (center) seemed to have been lightly floured before frying and was a tender combination of rings and tentacles. And the clams had a thicker and crunchier coating than the calamari.

These weren’t bad clam strips—for Northwest clams. But while I have recognized the superiority of West Coast Dungeness crab over the blues found along the mid-Atlantic and Gulf states, I still will vociferously argue the superiority of East Coast clams—especially the Ipswich variety—over razor clams, which these were.

And the side of fries was a very large basket of good coated fries.
We decided, with some encouragement from our server, to share a slice of the Mudslide Pie.
I think that there are numerous ways to make this dessert but the Warmhouse’s was a coffee ice cream version on a chocolate cookie crumb crust and garnished with chocolate pieces and sliced almonds. And the little bit of raspberry drizzle helped to balance out the pie’s sweetness.

We found the Warmhouse Restaurant to be a very good lunch spot in Neah Bay and will give it a 4.0 Addie rating. And now off for the remainder of the day’s travels.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

We had traveled US 101 to WA 112, which took us along the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Neah Bay. On our return trip to our RV park, we took a more inland route (WA 112 to WA 113 to US 101). This route took us through the Olympic National Forest and
past Lake Crescent.
Because of the overcast skies, the deep blue color of the lake was obscured.
The highway hugged the shoreline of this beautiful lake, but there were very few turnouts along the 8.5-mile length of the lake.
Nevertheless, those few opportunities were well worth a lingering stop.

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