The local flavors of brunch at Portage Bay Cafe
The owners of Portage Bay Cafe in the University District opened a new location in the South Lake Union district about nine months ago...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Portage Bay Cafe & CateringAmerican
391 Terry Ave N., Seattle
Hours: Breakfast 7:30-11 a.m. Mondays-Fridays, lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, brunch 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (dinner for private parties only).
Etc: Major credit cards accepted; on-street parking; no obstacles to access; alcohol served.
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The owners of Portage Bay Cafe in the University District opened a new location in the South Lake Union district about nine months ago, much to the delight of residents and businesses looking for an upscale breakfast, lunch or brunch spot. The cavernous cafe does a brisk business, especially on weekends.
Owners John and Amy Fair Gunnar, who tout the benefits of eating locally grown, organic food, hope to expand to Ballard later this year.
The menu: Egg lovers will find omelets aplenty (ranging from $10.95 to $13.95) and four different benedicts ($11.50-$14.95), which come with potatoes. Carb fiends and sweet tooths will enjoy the big pancakes (about $10 for two) in traditional, vegan and gluten-free varieties, or French toast — both of which entitle one to visit the toppings bar laden with butter, organic maple syrup, nuts, canned peaches and pears and mixed berries. The Double Drunk French Toast ($11.95) is served in a "blueberry-Jim Beam compote, Clear Creek loganberry liquor-laced vanilla custard." The lunch menu includes burgers and sandwiches.
What to write home about: If you like bold flavors, the Wild Salmon Omelette topped with organic avocado salsa ($13.95) is your ticket. We savored the smoky, salty salmon bits, Spanish manchego cheese and chopped green onions mixed into the three-egg omelet. We also loved the thick slices of bread, fresh from Great Harvest Bakery. Don't leave out the Pepper Bacon ($3.75), four glorious strips of swine.
What to skip: The "herb-roasted" potatoes come off bland and uninspiring, not to mention served in such quantities as to deliver a glycemic knockout punch. The liquor aftertaste of the Double Drunk French Toast wasn't pleasing to our palate; if you want French Toast, stick with the popular Cinnamon Twister.
The setting: REI meets Whole Foods here: It's an industrial space with concrete walls and long wooden sculls suspended by cables attached to the high ceilings. It's noisy, not intimate. Framed photos of organic farmers punctuates the owners' locavore philosophy. Service was acceptable.
Summing up: The Double Drunk French Toast, Wild Salmon Omelette and Pepper Bacon, plus a juice and coffee, came to $38.77, including tax and tip. Trendy Portage Bay Cafe dishes up a good organic brunch that tastes even better because it supports the local food movement. The industrial décor seems attuned to the style — and wallets — of its white-collar neighbors in this increasingly upscale district.
Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or email@example.com
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When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.