Place: Boat Street Café
Neighborhood: Seattle’s Belltown, 3131 Western Ave. (between Bay St. & Denny Way)
The scoop: This spot is a hidden gem. I lived in Seattle for four years and drove past this corner several times, but I never came across this restaurant. That being said you will find Boat Street tucked away down under an office complex, which is conveniently located in Belltown. Luckily, we were able to walk because there is only street parking. You will see a small sign and beautiful wild flowers pointing you in the right direction down the path to the intimate café. In fact, we walked past the area because we did not see the sign.
There are sets of mismatching rustic tables and chairs outside (for the few days that it is sunny in Seattle), as well as several spots inside. The server told us they generally hold one section of the indoor dining for large groups. After brunch we enjoyed a walk to the Pike Place Market (about a 10-minute walk).
Bottoms up: Although they do serve beer and wine, we opted for coffee and OJ.
The coffee had a bitter taste when served by the cup. They did offer an option to have a French press, which would be the way to go next time. There would be a big taste difference.
Orange juice $4
There was nothing special about the OJ, and it was a little overpriced.
Chew on this: The menu rotates quite often within each season, and they offer only a sample menu for online viewing. A few of their more popular dishes remain on the menu year round. They also use organic, humanely, raised eggs from a town near Seattle.
Banana bread $3.50
Mmmmm just like mama made! This large slice of banana bread was scarfed down in minutes. There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary about it, but it was delicious.
Jenn’s buttermilk biscuits $3.50
My mouth is watering just thinking of this biscuit, which was drizzled with honey butter. The outside of the biscuit was lightly crusted, and the inside was soft and fluffy. It tasted so homemade – yum!
Bread, butter and house jam $3.50
A very French-like breakfast. The rustic bread was fresh, and the jam was sweet and lumpy, making it seem homemade — something like your grandma would whip up!
Rustic cornmeal custard cake $10.50 / (Better than pancakes) served with sausage and maple syrup
I honestly had no idea what to expect. I love pancakes and things made with custard, so I couldn’t think of a reason not to try it. The server said it was a wise and delicious choice, and she was right on the dot. The dish came in a deep bowl, and the cake looked like a slice of pie. It had somewhat of a crusted layer on the outside and was filled with amazing warm custard inside. There were also browned bananas that offered as a great complement to the cake and maple syrup. As I was eating the meal, the inside of the cornmeal custard cake remained warm and was decadent. The side of sausage seemed out of place, but I am not complaining, as it added a spicy twist.
Boat Street smoked salmon Benedict $13.5 / With Arugula and Hollandaise
When in Seattle, you must eat salmon, right? Boat Street offered several different Benedict options. They used the same rustic bread offered as an appetizer for the base of the eggs Benedict, rather than the typical English muffin, which was delicious for soaking up all of the hollandaise sauce. The eggs were poached to perfection. The smoked salmon was cut to just hang over the pieces of bread and there were a few pieces of salmon on under each egg. I enjoyed the salmon in place of what is usually ham. The arugula on the side was pretty random as there wasn’t much to it except a few leaves. This goes the same for the fruit; however, it did add to the plate presentation.
Sausage and roasted vegetables with poached egg $14 / On leek strata
Leek strata is a traditional Italian casserole, and it was served similar to a potato bread crumb hash with a single poached egg sitting on top. The casserole contained sausage bits and roasted red peppers, and chives mixed together. Once you let the egg ooze all over, it was savory. I think it could have used two eggs, as the single one was on the smaller side. I also mixed the roasted tomatoes in, which added a nice touch.
Steak and eggs $15 / With Arugula and a baguette
I was expecting to get a strip of steak and a sunny side up egg, so I was pleasantly surprised when I received scrambled eggs and small pieces of steak. I enjoyed that the eggs were not overcooked, so it mixed well with the steak. The steak wasn’t really too seasoned (I do prefer seasoned steak) and cooked medium rare, which is how I asked for it to be cooked. The baguette was really fresh.
The final bite: I loved this café and wanted to give it five mimosas, but they were under staffed, which affected wait time and service. Other than that, if you are looking for fresh local, farm-to-table dishes, you will definitely find several savory and mouth-watering ones at Boat Street. The hidden but convenient location makes this a great place to catch up with friends.
Reviewed by: Erica