The Big Breakfast Adventure | Andaluca

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

I SO did not want to get up at 5 am this morning.  Ever have those days when you realize a couple hours too early (or 6 hours too late, depending on how you look at it) that you forgot to turn your cell phone alarm clock off?  Sigh.

Armed with a new Cee Lo Green CD courtesy of the musically manic Mr. Nyheim, I headed off to Andaluca for the Best Granola in Seattle.  As I paddled down the I-90, a song that would make my Therapist chuckle if he knew I was listening to it, reverberated around Dottie’s interior.  An especially jolly, endearingly titled little ditty, “F*** You”, with classic lines such as “I guess he’s an X-box and I’m more an Atari”.  I would imagine that Cee Lo got quite a rush out of recording that particular song.

I pretty much aqua-planed all the way from the Cascade foothills to downtown Seattle, then got caught in one-way hell trying to get to the 400 block of Olive Way.  The trouble is, you see, that unless you know which way is one-way on Olive & unless you know that Stewart & Olive intersect, at which point they miraculously both become Stewart, then it can all get a bit confusing.  I knew neither.  I do now.  Still, there was hardly any traffic so a couple of spins around a couple of blocks in order to end up facing the right way on the right side of Olive didn’t pose any problems.  Of course, had I just checked the map before I left home…

As I stepped inside Andaluca it was very reminiscent of walking into Lola…posh, upscale, plush, cozy.  Fabulous booths, gentle, romantic lighting.  It was just me & the staff at 7:30 am, which was just fine with me since I was feeling a little dishevelled after my short walk from the car.  It was, as Winnie the Pooh would have observed, a very blustery day.

I quickly (too quickly it turned out) ordered up a hot chocolate.  When it came it was very large & very pretty.  Much larger & prettier, in fact, than it appears in this shot.

I {very disappointingly} have to report that in the taste department, however, it was lame.  And the syrup drizzled over the top was just nasty.  Every time I went to take a sip of the hot stuff I got a whiff of this fake I-don’t-know-what brown syrup.  Sigh.  I think that one of my 2011 New Years Resolutions (which I have still to make, btw) will be to not have hot chocolate anywhere unless I know in advance that it’s the {real} good stuff.  It’s {almost} enough to make me want to start drinking coffee.  I must have spent an inordinate amount of money over the last year on really bad hot chocolate.  There goes another 4 bucks this morning.  I hate that.

Now Andaluca made it into the 55 Best Breakfasts in Seattle by virtue of their Granola.  So I was a tad confused when Seattle Magazine actually ate & wrote about the Muesli instead.  I decided to go with the Granola.  It would seem quite strange to me to say I was going to eat the Best Granola in Seattle & then eat & write about Muesli.  But maybe I am just odd.

Things on the taste front improved dramatically once the {house made} Granola arrived.  *Truly* delicious granola.  It arrived in a bowl almost big enough to take a bath in & was surrounded by taste-tinglingly tart yogurt & smothered in handfuls of fresh blueberries & raspberries.  The raspberries alone would have cost you at least $5 at the grocery store.  They made me think it was summer…quite a feat considering the weather outside.  Bursting with sunshiny flavor.  Bursting.

Now if it’s OK with all you lovely readers, I’d like to have a hazelnut moment.  The hazelnuts in Andaluca’s Granola are simply *brilliant*.  And I don’t use that word lightly.  I have spent hours of my life roasting hazelnuts by hand over an open flame, so I know a good roasted hazelnut when I taste one.  Apart from the flavor you can tell a great roasted hazelnut by the even color throughout the nut.  Andaluca’s are perfect.  And yes, I checked.  I admit that oats, bran, coconut, hazelnuts, almonds, honey doesn’t sound like the tastiest breakfast in the world and I suspect that had I not been driven here by my commitment to eating the 55 Best Breakfasts in Seattle, I would never have chosen it.  I actually doubt that I would ever have known that Andaluca existed.  This crazy Big Breakfast Adventure has been an enlightening experience.  My mouth would have really missed out had it never had a bowl of Andaluca’s Granola.

OK.  Now that I’ve made you all want to eat Granola at Andaluca, I must point out that granola does not constitute breakfast.  Granola is an appetizer (even if it is served in a bowl big enough to take a bath in).  So now I’d had what I came for, what to have for breakfast?  So much scrumptious sounding stuff on the menu.  Banana Pancakes…Rosemary Chicken Sausage Hash…Hazelnut Waffle (there’s those fantastic hazelnuts again)…Italian Eggs Benedict…and “The Special”:  Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon lox, cream cheese, chives, onions & tomatoes.  Served with garlic roasted Yukon Gold potatoes.  Ugh.  Sounds horrible, huh?  I’ll have that please.

No one rushed me & I was allowed to sit there contemplating life for quite a while between courses.  Mind you it was deserted when I arrived, but by 8:30 it was positively buzzing.  I think all the Mayflower Hotel guests next door do breakfast here.  I wish I had got here at 7 am.  I was so enjoying my solitude curled up in the enormous comfy booth. 

The scramble was cooked a little harder & drier than I like (I have come to learn that Americans tend to like their eggs super-cooked whereas we ex-pat Brits like them softer & creamier), but the aroma & taste of the smoked salmon was overwhelming good.  It was incredibly filling, although I had just downed that big ole dish of granola.  The potatoes were not the best.  They weren’t roasted, and some of them were decidedly under-done.  In their defence, I barely had room to eat the Scramble so maybe that had a bearing on it all.  I ate all the Scramble and immediately decided it was time for a nap.  Rats to living 33 miles away.  Totally worth the trip though. 

Totally.

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*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!

Deeply, and in key » Foodie Footnotes - [...] The Big Breakfast Adventure | Andaluca [...]

The Big Breakfast Adventure | Tilth » Foodie Footnotes - [...] came with it were some of the most flavorful hazelnuts I have ever eaten.  You’ll know from earlier adventures that me and hazelnuts generally have a bit of a *thing* going on.  There babies are truly from [...]

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