As a food town, Seattle may not have the swagger of New York or San Francisco or LA, but it stands on its own. Ask foodies across the country about Seattle and they might mention Pike Place or the fact that Tom Douglas catered a fundraising lunch for President Obama, but ask them if they’ve heard of Kirkland, Washington and they’ll say, “Oh yeah, like at Costco. Kirkland.”
A Microsoft bedroom community, Kirkland is the home of Costco #1, but it’s also the home to one of the best restaurants in the Seattle area — Café Juanita. Specializing in northern Italian cuisine with a focus on locally sourced ingredients, Café Juanita is casually elegant, at once special occasion and neighborhood spot. You might know chef/owner Holly Smith as winner of the James Beard Foundation’s 2008 Best Chef Northwest, or for her turn on Iron Chef America, where she won her bout with Iron Chef Cat Cora. This year, Chef Smith was nominated as Outstanding Chef in the US by the Beard Foundation. But I gotta tell ya, I didn’t need the Beard Foundation to confirm that Chef Smith’s got game.
In the summer, it’s supposed to be easy to be extra virtuous. Cherries, berries, peaches. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers…the markets are overflowing with lovely produce to tempt your tastebuds. But I was anything but virtuous this weekend. It was glorious in Seattle. Summer truly arrived, the sundresses and sandals came out of hiding and we had a little barbecue. Nothing fancy, just sausages, potato salad, grilled peppers and zucchini. But something about sitting out in the warm summer sun put Doritos, Fritos and cupcakes on the menu, too. It was a “I’ll start that diet on Monday,” kind of weekend.
Every city has at least one, right? The breakfast/brunch spot that people line up and wait for without complaint. When we lived in LA, it was Maxwell’s (or Blueberry, or Lulu’s), in San Francisco it was Rose’s and (RIP) Ti Couz; in Portland, there’s TastynSons. In Victoria, BC, it might be the Blue Fox Café.
By Sunday morning, our birthday crew was going in separate directions. Some to the spa, some headed home, so it was my morning to get around and see the city. I scoured Yelp for potential breakfast spots and hit on the Blue Fox Café. Four and a half stars on 129 reviews, with many warning about the wait. It was already almost 8:30 am, so I get movin’.
The last time I was in Victoria, BC, it was a pass through point on the way to and from Tofino. We darted around downtown trying to find some quick lunch before the ferry to Port Angeles. This past weekend, I headed up to Victoria with the city as the end destination for a girls weekend celebrating my friend Linda’s birthday. We stayed at a great little place on the Inner Harbour – the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort.
I spent the weekend celebrating a friend’s birthday in Victoria, BC. After you’ve been deep into your cups, you’ve gotta follow it up with a, ahem, hearty breakfast. The Blue Fox Cafe in Victoria, British Columbia has an amazing list of Eggs Benedict options. More from the Blue Fox Cafe and other trip highlights coming this week.