Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Tasty Roadtrip Brunch at Calico Cupboard

Another trip to the Sea Tac airport means another opportunity for some good cross-border eats. Every time I drive the I-5, I always find myself wanting to stop in the quaint historical, riverfront town of Mount Vernon, home of the Annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. After my last trip, I googled the town and I found some information about the tulip festival, but more importantly, some tasty sounding restaurants. I pulled into Mount Vernon around noon, drove around for about 15 min in an attempt to find some tulips, but my grumbling belly encouraged me to give up and head to the Calico Cupboard Cafe and Bakery for some grub.

The Calico Cupboard is actually located in a heritage building that used to be grainery, and is now an antique mall.

The first thing you notice when you walk in is their giant bakery counter filled with an huge assortment of massive, drool-worthy cookies, pies, pastries, and desserts.

I was seated right away and even though they were quite full and everyone was moving with some hustle and bustle, their was a calm, sociable, vibe throughout. It seemed to be full of regulars, couples (young and old), families, co-workers....a real mixed crowd for a Wednesday lunch.

The decor has an antique theme (no big surprise here) and feels cozy yet spacious due to an open floor plan with high ceilings. Historical photos of the town's early years cover the walls and phrases like "Enjoy life...it's delicious" and "A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand" are painted on the walls.

My table with a view of the antique shop
Their menu is quite large and let me tell you, between the regular menu and their daily specials, it was tough to decide on what to order because everything sounds amazing. Also, I kept watching as servers delivered delicious looking dishes to all the surrounding tables. So confused, so hungry.
I was tempted by Calico Clam Chowder, Vegetarian Chili in Bread Bowl and all of their amazing sounding sandwiches.
In particular:
Fresh roasted turkey grilled with Havarti cheese, cream cheese, cranberries, Dijon mustard and red onion.
Grilled lean, thinly-sliced beef, grilled onions, Swiss cheese, BBQ sauce, horseradish and mayo.
A giant portabella mushroom marinated and grilled. Topped with melted provalone cheese, grilled red pepper, lettuce, tomato, red onion and a spicy chipotle mayo.
Triple deck of turkey, ham, jack cheese, tomato, Dijon mustard, light mayo and herbs dipped in egg batter and grilled in butter.

I asked my friendly server for some guidance and she recommended pretty much all of the delicious sounding sandwiches and a specialty hash from their all day Breakfast menu. I've been eating a lot of sandwiches out lately, so I decided to go a different direction and get the hash. It arrived a short 10 minutes later and I was pretty happy with the large bowl of country-breakfast-feel-good-eats that was placed in front of me.

A load of country style potatoes, farm fresh eggs scrambled with smokey ham, spinach, tomato, mushrooms, garlic, feta and parmesan cheese.

It was a large portion but I polished this off. Everything was well cooked (I typically prefer my hash browns crispier, but the softer chunkier potatoes worked well with the other elements) and the flavours all worked well together. The feta and parmesan cheese was salty and plentiful. The ham was crispy, smoky, and also plentiful. The spinach, tomato, mushrooms, parsley added bursts of fresh flavours. An added bonus was the nice assortment of hot sauces at the table which I used liberally.

My food and overall experience at the Calico Cupboard Cafe and Bakery left me with a big smile on my face and a full belly as I hit the I-5 back to Vancouver. Thumbs up!
Calico Cupboard Old Town Cafe & Bakery on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

heather mccloy said...

i die for their lemon snickerdoodle cookie and gigantor veggie sandwiches!