350 Elliott Ave W
Seattle, WA 98119
Sure, Seattle has the Space Needle, Pike’s Market, and a lot of white ferries, but more importantly, it also has the Shanty Café. Located on the western edge of the city, the Shanty Café has been serving down home, come-n-git-it vittles since 1914 (think World War One). Sitting on a little triangle of land in the shadow of tall office buildings, this tiny café looks vintage and eclectic. Something a Hollywood set designer could be proud of. Yet, it’s the real thing. Weathered, cracked and peeling, it’s the epitome of a classic diner.
Step inside, and be treated to a trio of friendly waitresses who know all the locals. There are even little brass plaques in front of some of the counter stools. Grab a seat, and spend some time looking at the menu. It’s not big, but features some really neat stuff. Fritattas like the Popeye (bacon, fresh spinach, eggs, and cheese) or the Elliott (shrimp, fresh spinach, tomato, eggs, and jack cheese). Or how about six different kinds of Benedicts. Six! There is the Classic, of course, but how about Florentine (fresh spinach, tomato, poached eggs, and tangy Hollandaise) or the unusual Veggie (veggie patty, spinach, tomato, poached eggs, and that great Hollandaise sauce). All the Benedicts look beautiful, the eggs are perfectly poached, and you certainly won’t go away hungry.
The breakfast plates come with an enormous portion of homemade hash browns, but ask nicely and the waitress will substitute the café’s Super Browns, which are a wondrous medley of hash browns, peppers, bacon, onion and cheese. Splash some Tabasco on those Browns, and they are a meal on their own.
All in all, the Shanty Café is a great breakfast find in a big city full of fabulous food. You will probably find that everybody in town has heard of it, but none of them have actually been there. Go ahead. Take a chance. It’s totally worth it!
Just Good Eats © 2011