The Big Breakfast Adventure | Etta’s

(In case you missed how the Big Breakfast Adventure got started, you can read it  here:  How it all began)

I had been wanting to get to Etta’s for a while.  I *love* Eggs Benedict & Etta’s made Seattle Magazine’s grade by reputedly serving up the Best Northwest Spin on the breakfast classic.  Taylor was game for the adventure: a die-hard Hollandaise-hater was ready to give the sauce another shot.  And if you’re going to do that, you may as well start with the best.  There was no way Tom Douglas would use a packet mix for his Hollandaise.  Nope, this was going to be the real thing.

So getting downtown early on the weekend is always a breeze.  Ditto on the parking.  Etta’s is a stones throw from Pike Place Market, but that didn’t stop me from snagging a free parking spot just 50 feet from Etta’s doors.  Yay!  Taylor was already out & about, wandering around the north end of the market as the vendors were trickling in & setting up their stalls for the day.  We were early so Etta’s was not yet ready for us…they were busy taking deliveries & getting all the final touches put on the tables.  At opening time there was a short line but we quickly got shown to a cute little two-person table right in the corner of the window, which was just perfect.  Etta’s, by the way, is huge.

Lindsay was the bright & bubbly server who came to take care of us.  I love a server with a sense of humor & a great attitude.  Lindsay certainly had both.  She also honestly declared the hot chocolate as “nothing special, it’s just made with Hershey’s syrup”.  Right on Lindsay.  I had figured that Etta’s would serve the same hot chocolate as Lola.  Rats.  Tom, please can we get some decent hot chocolate in your restaurants?  They deserve better.  Your customers deserve better.

Taylor had coffee, I had peppermint tea, which actually came in a decent sized pot, although I do want to know why I got a Denny’s-look-alike mug instead of the cool Etta’s mug that Taylor got.

Eggs Benedict Northwest Style @ Etta's

 Now, if you’re looking at that image & wondering why the Hollandaise is rather pale & interesting looking instead of neon yellow…well, pale & interesting is how it is supposed to look.  If you ever get served up neon yellow Hollandaise, you know it came straight out of a packet & has likely never been anywhere near a real comes-in-a-shell egg.  Buyer beware.

Etta’s Hollandaise was a {very} beautiful thing.  It was a touch on the dill-y side for me, but the consistency & flavor of the sauce was perfect.  Taylor the die-hard Hollandaise-hater concurred:  {great} Hollandaise is yummy.

The flavors of the dish combined - the Hollandaise, the crab meat, the dill, the muffin – were intense & delicious.  I did however have issues with the spinach.  I *love* spinach if it comes one of two ways:  creamed spinach or raw spinach.  Anything in-between is simply not for me.  It brings memories of being force-fed bitter, boiled, frozen spinach blocks when I was a child flooding back.  A particularly unpleasant recollection.  I spent days of my childhood desperately trying to get the slimy, nasty-tasting green-stuff down my throat without throwing up, but not being allowed to leave the table until my plate was clean.  So, the cooked spinach rather spoiled this whole dish for me, but Etta’s…totally not your fault :-)  Next time I will ask for it sans spinach or have them replace it with sliced tomato or avocado or something else.  Taylor on the other hand was thrilled to have spinach right there on the muffin as a bed for the {perfectly-poached} eggs.

No neon yellow Hollandaise at Etta's

The potatoes that arrived with the Eggs Benedict reminded me of short, fat chips from the local Chippy back ‘home’.  They were very yummy & a really nice change from the ubiquitous hash browns.  What I wasn’t expecting from Etta’s was a little pot of ketchup on the side of my plate.  It seemed really rather odd & out of character.  I did love dipping my potatoes in it though.  The other thing that struck me as a little peculiar was the half a strawberry.  If it was garnish, why sit it next to the ketchup?  It’s the same color.  I have no idea what the strawberry’s purpose was; if it did, indeed, have any purpose whatsoever.

So, Etta’s do make a very yummy Northwest Spin on Eggs Benedict.  It was a tad spendy at $18 & one of the most expensive breakfasts to date, but not one of the most memorable, although the plate of French Toast that I saw on the next table looked amazing. The location & the style of the restaurant do make the whole package a rather attractive breakfast option though especially if you have out-of-towners visiting.  I am sure that I will go back, visitors or no visitors.

Etta

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

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