gracecheung604 | write on time: Portage Bay Cafe - Organic, Local and Seasonal Fare

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Portage Bay Cafe - Organic, Local and Seasonal Fare

Since we were in Seattle and didn't really know of any good brunch places, we took my fellow foodie Erin Ireland's advice and checked out Portage Bay Cafe in South Lake Union. And boy, are we glad we did! They pride themselves on serving organic, local and seasonal ingredients.
First things first, coffee. And this mug's quote is really their philosophy. Give a damn about your where your food comes from, what goes into your body, if it's ethically cultivated, how everything tastes and how it impacts the environment around you. 
I'm not a huge coffee fan myself, but I am a fan of Mimosas, so I had their Lemonade Mimosa, made with freshly squeezed lemon juice and it was only $5! 
IMG_0860 For the simpler palates at the table, we got a plain side order of whole wheat toast with butter and a fried egg. Simplicity but you can really taste the difference organic products have compared to the conventional. 
This is an item from their regular Brunch menu and I'll just give you the description as they have poetically written it. It is their Chile-Braised Beef Breakfast Sandwich, with Painted Hills beef braised with spicy chiles and tomatoes, served on a homemade organic Yukon potato English muffin with sheeps-milk feta cheese, a sunny side up egg, and a slice of tomtit with some fresh roasted jalapenos. The beef was aplenty, the goat cheese gave the sandwich a good depth of flavour. The jalapenos weren't too spicy, I guess the grilling mellows them out. I couldn't tell that this English Muffin was made with potato, but it did a good job of holding everything together.
IMG_0871 For me, I tried their Grilled Spot Prawns Salad, with three wild, Washington caught, head on spot prawns grilled to perfection and tossed with organic garbanzo beans, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, Alvarez Farms grilled zucchini, mixed greeds, mizuna salad with a rice vinegar lemon dressing. (Yes, that is the verbatim, from the menu description). 
It was a daily special, so don't expect it there all the time. The grilled head on spot prawns are a sight to behold, aren't they? A light dressing, served on the side as requested, was tart, lemony and very refreshing, perfect for dunking the prawns into! The heads, after being grilled, are just like chips and sometimes better than the flesh of the shrimp itself. For more Spot Prawn goodness, check out Ki in Vancouver
One thing this cafe is known for is their Toppings Bar, which is loaded with fruits, nuts, butter, and organic maple syrup from Stannard Farm in Vermont. You can get this when you order their pancakes, French toast and oatmeals or porridge. Otherwise, it's available as a side to any order for $6. We didn't try this as all our dishes were fairly "loaded" already, but it's such a signature item that it's well worth a mention.

Take note:

  • Their toppings bar looks fun - you only go up once and can take as much as you want
  • They have three locations, Roosevelt, South Lake Union & Ballard, all with their own Daily Specials
  • Opens at 7:30am for breakfast and closes 2:30pm daily

Portage Bay Cafe Restaurant & Catering on Urbanspoon

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