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Restaurants & Bars

Port Townsend and Poulsbo

Tom Armitage | Feb 5, 200105:46 PM

I’ve posted previously on places to eat in the Port Townsend area, but have a couple of things to add. Breakfast at the Chimicum Café, south of Port Townsend, is highly recommended. There’s no fancy stuff on the menu here. Just eggs, bacon and sausage, hash browns, pancakes, waffles, french toast, and a few standard omelets. I had bacon, eggs, and hash browns. The bacon was very tasty, perfectly cooked, and generously portioned, and the hash browns were as good as they get. The over-easy eggs weren’t as soft as I’d asked for, but were acceptable. I love this sort of classic, nothing-fancy, plain-and-simple place when the food is as well prepared as it was for breakfast at the Chimicum. Unfortunately, I’ve had much less success with the lunch items at the Chimicum, except for the pies.

I had lunch at Silverwater Café on the first floor of the old “Elks Building” at 237 Taylor Street in Port Townsend. My wife and I shared a bowl of black-eyed pea soup which was a little too sweet for my taste, but otherwise just fine. I had pasta and veggies with gorgonzola sauce that was pretty wonderful, heady with the flavor of the gorgonzola and well spiked with garlic. Though my wife disagreed, I thought that the flavor of the breading on her pan-fried oysters distracted from, rather than enhanced, the flavor of the oysters. I admit to being a purist when it comes to oysters, however, and generally insist on eating them raw without any adornment whatsoever other than the seawater and natural “liquor” that remains in the shell. (Although I remember Tom Douglas’s spicy cajun oysters, served at the old Café Sport, with great fondness.) I’ve had better meals, but the Silverwater is a pleasant spot for lunch on the weekends, especially since Jake’s Original Grill doesn’t open until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and is closed on Sunday.

Over on the Kitsap Peninsula, I had dinner at the Poulsbo Wine Cellar in, of course, Poulsbo. In our party of four, two had the chicken, one had the pork chop, and I had the ribeye steak—all from the regular menu. The pork chop and steak were both good, the chicken not so good. The crème brulee was pasty and well below the mark. Service was painfully slow, due largely to a young, inexperienced waitress. If you stick to the pork chop and ribeye steak, you’ll be okay. Otherwise, the results don’t match the obvious ambition of this small town restaurant, and I’d recommend heading for Bainbridge Island, where there are better pickings.

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