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Pull empty belly up to an Oak Table breakfast

THE OAK TABLE CAFE

292 W. Bell St.

683-2179

Open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. daily

Breakfast and lunch only

oaktablecafe.com

$$



I defy you to find me anyone here who hasn't dined at The Oak Table - or at the very least hasn't heard about it. It's practically a Sequim institution.

And it sets the tone just right for our sweet little town ... homey and welcoming. Why, even the bathrooms are just like home: For your pleasure and entertainment, The Oak Table provides reading materials!

The Oak Table started out as a run-down little homestead in 1981 and over the years morphed into its present Thomas Kincade cottage.

The lobby feels like you walked right into the Nagler family home. I have the "collecting disease," so I especially love the vintage plate collection on the walls and the shadow boxes filled with militaria - a tribute to the Nagler family's service to our country (you'll find them hung just outside the restroom area).

Children will be happily occupied in the play area until they have food in front of them. The 3-D map of the peninsula, highlighting points of interest, must be very helpful for visitors - and I know this dining establishment gets plenty of those during the season; it's on the list for residents to take visiting family members.

The Oak Table is open for breakfast any old time, but Monday through Saturdays they offer lunch as well.

Every morning they make their daily soup from scratch. And a quiche du jour. Look for the blackboards: They'll tell you what the chef thought of today.

Their lunch menu features several salads: sesame chicken, barbecue, and shrimp, and the Oak Table salad bowl with a medley of meats, veggies and cheeses. All their dressings are homemade and all the usual suspects are offered including lavender ranch.

There are deli sandwiches with shrimp, avocado, turkey and veggies. And burgers of course. Both come with your choice of salad or waffle fries.

Try one of the lunch specialties such as teriyaki or barbecue chicken sandwiches, or their gourmet gobbler with breast of turkey, crisp bacon, Swiss cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and a special sauce on grilled wheat bread. The Alaskan sandwich comes with smoked ham and baby Alaskan shrimp. Like pitas? They have turkey and Greek.

Their vanilla ice cream crepe for two is the perfect way to finish your lunch. Top yours with chocolate syrup, cherries, peaches or strawberries.

But The Oak Table is really the place to come for spectacular (and decadent) breakfasts.

Of course, they serve breakfasts that offer all manner of combinations of eggs in various forms accompanied by potatoes, meats and veggies.

Make sure to request their homemade American-style potatoes - best breakfast potatoes in town!

Lots of omelettes to choose from like the mushroom with béchamel sauce and sherry and served with potato pancakes. The Spanish comes with a hearty sauce and 28 other ingredients. Mexican has ham and green pepper, salsa and sour cream. The Italian omelette is filled with Italian sausage and fresh spinach and cheese. Their shrimp omelette boasts baby Alaskan shrimp covered in béchamel sauce.

Remember "Goldilocks and The Three Bears?" Well, they even serve porridge. What bear wouldn't love a bowl filled with whole rolled oats, fresh apple slices, blueberries and strawberries and served with fresh cream? No wonder Goldilocks scarfed down three bowls. If that girl had any manners at all, she would have at least left them with the vanilla yogurt parfait filled with homemade granola and seasonal fruit.

Waffles can be had with strawberries and peaches, diced apples with cinnamon, blueberries, bacon bits and Georgia pecans.

Try their French toast made with sourdough bread and a blended egg batter.

The Oak Table gets especially "creative" with their pancakes. For chocoholics, have yours sprinkled with chocolate chips.

Rarely on a menu do you get the chance to order buckwheat pancakes; but here they are. I just love 'em. I guess you have to acquire a taste for buckwheat. If you read those gourmet magazines, you'll see the taste described as "rich," "earthy," "assertive" and "nutty." Buckwheat is high in protein and gluten-free, so it's a good choice for people with wheat allergies.

Other pancake specialties include German or Swedish - made from an authentic Swedish recipe with imported lingonberries, and fruit blintzes with your choice of strawberries, Kijafa cherries, brandied peaches or blueberries.

Did I say "decadent?" For a real sugar rush, order their famous (rightfully so) apple pancake. Think soufflé, a towering 3 inches high and filled with fresh-cooked apples smothered in a pure cinnamon glaze. Every time one of these is brought to a table, heads turn.

Although they don't serve the "real deal" maple syrup, their homemade "imitation" tastes just like the real thing (most restaurants serve imitation but never get the consistency right and compensate with too much vanilla flavoring). And theirs is served just like it should be, nice and warm.



Shelley Taylor and her husband relocated to the peninsula from California and are active in property tax reform issues. By her own admission, Taylor likes to eat.



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