As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my husband and I drove up to Vashon Island from Portland to spend Labor Day weekend away from the city. On our way up, we made a side trip to Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood for brunch at Joule. We had both heard rave reviews about their food but had never been in before. In all honesty, I went in with fairly low expectations simply because of the hype but was totally blown away.
First of all, I loved the concept of their brunch menu. You can pay $17 for a walk through their buffet and you get to order an additional entrée as well. For $12 you can do one or the other, but it was well worth the money to try both. The bonus is that you get the best of both worlds — you get to eat something immediately (and we were SO hungry after the three-hour drive) but you also get a hot dish made to order, which can’t be beat.
The buffet isn’t the basic cafeteria-style line up of eggs, pancakes and toast. Instead it’s a small table of fabulously prepared items, all based on a theme. While we were there, the dishes were southwestern inspired: peaches in habanero syrup with cilantro, jalapeño pimento cheese with homemade crackers, green tomato jam, corn salad, corn bread, pickles and more.
I filled my plate and cleared it in record time. Everything was so good, but the peaches were the winner, perfectly ripe, sweet and spicy.
After we inhaled the buffet food, we were able to wait patiently for our entrees to arrive. My husband ordered the sesame waffles with chicken fried steak and smokey maple syrup. I ordered the coulotte with eggs and chimichurri, pictured at the top of the post.
The steak was tender and marbled and the eggs were perfectly cooked. But as delicious as mine was, I have to say my husband chose best — I wanted to run away with the sesame waffles. They were insanely good and the smokey maple syrup was spot-on. It was really a great meal to start our trip off with and I couldn’t recommend eating there more. (Listen up, all you PNW people!)
Afterwards we headed down to the Vashon ferry terminal in West Seattle. Within an hour we had made our way to our home for the weekend and settled in. The spot we rented (my first time using airbnb) is a private apartment on a small farm, complete with a huge garden and a hot tub.
We relaxed a bit before taking a walk around Vashon Town. We picked up a growler of the local brew, Cliff’s IPA, a wheel of local cheese and spotted this super cool tree in the town center. I have never seen a rainbow tree before (Eucalyptus deglupta is its official name) so I was pretty fascinated by it. How cool would it be to see a whole forest of these?
Then we stopped for dinner at purportedly the best restaurant in town, May Kitchen + Bar. May Chaleoy, the chef/owner, hails from Thailand and makes the food her grandparents taught her to cook when she was growing up. The restaurant itself is really cool, reminiscent of a speakeasy — no signage outside (we walked right by it twice without realizing it), dark wood and cozy tables.
The food was not the best Thai I’ve had (perhaps we’re spoiled in Portland with Pok Pok) but it was still tasty. The appetizers were the best part — a crunchy green papaya salad, spicy tender calamari (pla meuk yang) and charred Thai barbecue chicken wings.
The May Thai cocktail was also pretty fantastic (big and boooozy!).
It was nice to try the island’s “best”, but I think I’m more excited about our plans today for lunch, Perry’s Vashon Burgers. It’s not even noon and I am already daydreaming about fries and a malt!