Thursday, October 31, 2013

To Eat or Where to Eat…

those are the questions.

It was our final day in Sequim, WA, a town that has become a popular retirement spot for old people like Chuck and me. Why? From what we understand, Sequim lies in what is called the Olympic Rain Shadow. When you condense the meteorological jargon down to simple language, it means that “(t)he Olympic Mountains act as a wall that protects the northeastern Olympic Peninsula and San Juan Islands from the bulk of the rain that moves into the Pacific Northwest.” ( And this means less rain and more sunny days. And we have been fortunate to have seen our share of such sunny days.

So what should we do on this sunny day? Should we go somewhere scenic? Unfortunately, Olympic National Park was still closed due to the government shutdown. So dining out seems to be the best option. But where?

On our trips in and out of Port Townsend, we passed a this quirky joint—Fat Smitty’s—and thought that the chain saw art was calling our name.
After a quick “Google” I learned that you either loved or hated the food which was mostly burgers. I also learned that many diners thought it could be cleaner and that the owner—a former Marine—had less than a warm and fuzzy personality. But Fat Smitty’s was still calling to us.

But that wasn’t the only thing calling to us. What else, you are asking? You’re not? I’m going to tell you anyway—it’s bacon. Not just any bacon. The bacon at the Oak Table Café. So the Oak Table Café it would be…again (see yesterday’s entry).
When we entered, we were immediately greeted by John, our server from our previous visit. “You’re back again,” remarked John.
In response, I told him that I would like to say we came back to see him, but it was really for more bacon. In addition to being an excellent server and the source of those immortal words “We’re famous for our bacon,” John has a sense of humor. As will be seen later in this blog.

We knew that each of us wanted our own order (four slices) of bacon. I briefly thought about the café’s Apple Pancake that is described on the menu as “Made in the tradition of a soufflé, baked in our oven until it's at least three inches high, filled with fresh apples (peeled and cut in our kitchen) and generously covered with a pure cinnamon glaze. A pancake you'll talk about forever!” This sounded a lot like the Munchener Apfel Pfannekuchen (pronounced fan-e-koo-ken) that I had eaten at Magnolia Pancake Haus in San Antonio. Only this one sounded bigger. It’s a good thing I resisted. I saw John bringing one to a sturdy looking young man sitting in the booth behind Chuck and halfway through this young man admitted defeat and called for a “to go” box.

Instead I ordered the Silver Dollar Pancakes which was a plate of ten cakes about three inches in diameter. Somewhat larger than a silver dollar. The café makes their pancakes from unbleached hard wheat flour, cream, eggs, and their own sourdough starter.
Aside from being delicious, what set them apart was the paper thin crust that kept the syrup from completely soaking into the cakes. This might not be a plus for you, but it is for me. And I should mention that the café makes its own syrup which is neither too sweet nor too viscous.

Chuck selected French toast which might sound humdrum, but is anything but when prepared by this café’s kitchen. The bread was thick sliced sourdough and the egg mixture developed a crusty surface.
How do they do this? John explained that the kitchen clarifies butter daily and anything cooked on the flattop is cooked in this clarified butter. Wonderful.
And the bacon? Perfect. Maybe we should have ordered a third plate to share.

As we were munching away, John brought over one of the café’s 49'ers Flapjacks for us to sample.
This was similar to a Swedish pancake but served flat and not rolled and was delicious when eaten with the whipped butter and house-made syrup.

Now I told you earlier that John has a sense of humor. I wasn’t long before he returns to our table and presents the Corn Dog Platter—two lavender and one chocolate.
At first I thought that they were some kind of pastry in corn dog form. I picked one up and discovered that it weighed a ton. Plaster of Paris. I wonder how many unsuspecting diners actually tried taking a bite from one of these. Fortunately for John, we also have a sense of humor.

This is one of those rare 5.0 Addie restaurants where everything we tried was first rate. I would reorder any of them in a heartbeat. But then you don’t get to try anything new.

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

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