With Baited Breath

Saturday got off to an early start.  I was so jazzed about some of the goings-on from Friday that I don’t think I could have stayed in bed if you’d paid me.  This is where my mind was when I sprung off the mattress:  Yes.  Yes, I think I will make 4 batches of Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream before I head out on my Big Breakfast Adventure.  Yes.

And then it rapidly progressed to this:

  1. Big! Breakfast! Adventure!  Hello, Phinney Ridge.
  2. 4 batches of Cheesecake Ice Cream custard nestled in the ‘fridge.  And all before I’d even got dressed.
  3. I have THE. BEST. FRIENDS.  Yes, Farmer Becky & The Big Guy, I am especially looking at you today.
  4. I ♥ my life.
  5. Desperately trying to resist the temptation to eat a Boost Bar before breakfast. Heaven help me.
  6. Overcast.  It’s going to be a great day, anyway.
  7. Waiting with baited breath to hear the verdict on the test podcast.  Cat.  Hot tin roof.
  8. I am so behind on blog posts it is starting to become funny.
  9. Wildly excited about last night’s Friday Night Dinner.  Still.  Swoon.
  10. Gosh!  Is that the time?  I expect my breakfast buddy would prefer I got dressed before leaving the house.
  11. Happy Saturday!

The drive over to Phinney Ridge was rather uneventful until I got right up close to my destination on NW 65th Avenue.  Then it got wildly exciting, and I wished I’d been in a fast car with a really low center of gravity and sticky tires.  NW 65th Avenue in Phinney Ridge reminds me of San Francisco – skinny and a lot like a rollercoaster.  And SO much fun if you take it fast.  My buddy, Mark, assures me that if you go fast between Sycamore and 1st you can catch air.  Knowing Mark and his penchant for driving motorized vehicles (albeit usually on snow) very fast, I suspect that he has caught air on NW 65th Avenue on more than a few occasions.

The Ridgeback Cafe is an unassuming little place.  So unassuming that I drove right past it and had to do a U-ey.  The abundant parking right outside the door, on both sides of the street, and the lack of a line were mildly worrying.  Not to mention that NW 65th Avenue is really just a little residential road.  I wondered how this Big Breakfast Adventure was going to turn out.  Nevertheless, I bounded in and located myself under a small window at the back.  Anything for a bit of natural light on the proceedings.  I had assumed that the Ridgeback Cafe’s name had something to do with being located in Phinney Ridge. I certainly wasn’t expecting gorilla salt and pepper pots on the table.  Silly me.

Ridgeback Cafe, Phinney Ridge, Seattle

One glance at the menu reminded me I had forgotten this was to be a long-overdue addition to the crêpe-fest I embarked on last year, starting at La Cote Creperie in Madison Park.  Hello, crêpe-fest.  It’s been a while.  I’m going in.

The delightful Ms. Bromwell joined me, a few minutes after 8 am, having been mis-directed by her Garmin.  This was our first Big Breakfast Adventure together and we had such a lovely time, I hope this is the first of many Bromwell-Brown Breakfasts.

I was, having had so many bad crêpes, a little nervous about downing one at such a relatively unknown place.  Often there’s a reason why eateries are not well known.  When we left we were wondering why we hadn’t heard of The Ridgeback before.  We *loved* the food, and the place was positively full to overflowing.  The line may not have formed before they opened, but it sure didn’t take long once 9 am rolled around.

They gracefully accommodated Ms. Bromwell’s request to have the contents of The Original Bean Wrap - roasted yams, sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, black beans, Field Roast chipotle sausage, cheddar, mozzarella, and spinach - dolloped onto a bed of fresh spinach instead of wrapped in a flour tortilla and grilled.  Gluten intolerants rejoice!

The Original Bean Wrap at the Ridgeback Cafe, Seattle

They also cheerfully brought me my dessert crêpe exactly how I asked for it – with regular sugar and fresh lemon juice – instead of powdered sugar and butter.  We *really* like The Ridgeback Cafe.

Lemon and Sugar Crepe at the Ridgeback Cafe, Seattle

And the main event?  I chose The Ridgeback Crêpe – sausage, caramelized onions, avocado, sautéed mushrooms, cheddar cheese, spinach, egg. Topped with poblano sauce and crème fraiche - and I gotta tell ya…this was a fine, fine crêpe.  I was a tad concerned about how hot the poblano sauce was going to be.  By the end of it, Ms. Bromwell and I were asking if they sold it by the bottle.  (They don’t – yet.)
The Ridgeback Crepe at the Ridgeback Cafe, Seattle
I forgot to ask if they would sub out the potatoes for a side salad, but I am sure they would have happily done that too.
The Ridgeback Crepe at the Ridgeback Cafe, Seattle

If you want some good grub at a family friendly restaurant in a quiet neighborhood with plenty of {free} parking, head on over to Phinney Ridge and hang out at The Ridgeback Cafe.  We loved it here.

There’s a few other must-do’s if you breakfast on Phinney Ridge:

  • Swing by Honore Bakery for macarons.  Because your mouth will thank you.  Over and over if you buy enough. 
    Macarons at Honore Bakery, Ballard, Seattle
  • Fill up with gas at Safeway on 15th. Especially if you have a Safeway loyalty card.  Because your wallet will thank you.  Every day until you need to fill up again.
  • Drive across the Aurora Bridge.  Because the view is awesome.  Even when the weather isn’t perfect.

I did all 3.  Way to go, Saturday!
The Ridgeback Cafe on Urbanspoon

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

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