Blue Vanilla Bakery: Chat over pastries, pancakes and terrific sandwiches in Des Moines
Blue Vanilla Bakery, a short walk from the Des Moines Marina, offers coffee and pastries, terrific sandwiches and a limited but adequate breakfast menu.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Blue Vanilla BakeryAmerican
22341 Marine View Drive S., Unit D, Des Moines
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday.
Etc: Major credit cards accepted; parking on street; no obstacles to access; no alcohol available.
On a rainy afternoon when you want to have a long conversation over coffee without being rushed out the door, Blue Vanilla Bakery is the place to be.
We were tucked away in this small Des Moines cafe, located in the basement of another business, catching up on our lives over a late lunch as other customers came and went with their lattes and pastries, or formed chat groups of their own.
People in the neighborhood refer to this as the place for "ladies who do lunch."
The menu: It is limited and scrawled on a blackboard near the door. Swedish pancakes ($7.50) and quiche ($6) are among the limited breakfast offerings. If the cook isn't too busy, she'll make them for you even in the afternoon. There are specials that vary. Soups ($4.50 cup/$6.50 bowl) range from Mulligatawny butternut squash to chicken noodle and sandwiches (about $7.95) from pulled pork to French dip.
What to write home about: I ordered a muffuletta ($8.50), a Sicilian sandwich common in New Orleans. I loved its tangy olive tapenade, which came with ham and havarti served on focaccia that wasn't too thick.
My friend enjoyed a special that included Caesar salad and a sandwich of roast beef, cheese and just the right amount of horseradish ($7.95).
What to skip: You can order to take out or eat in. We ate in and found the service disappointing. Regular customers seemed to be well served but new ones ignored.
The setting: The cafe has pale-blue walls and lots of space — so much that it lacks coziness.
Summing up: Our order — a muffuletta, sandwich-and-salad special, chai latte and Snapple ice tea — came to $22.45 without tip. This is a place for scones and bakery goods, which sell out fast, terrific sandwiches and conversation. All in all, you can't go wrong here.
Nancy Bartley: 206-464-8522 or email@example.com
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