French flavors, favorites found at Five Restaurant Bistro in Edmonds
When I visited, however, I was spending a year of college abroad and wasn't exactly the foodie I am today.
So I did not partake of the breakfast sandwich known as croque madame.
Fortunately, I don't even have to leave my beloved city of Edmonds to enjoy the classic toasted ham and cheese sandwich of French fame.
Five Restaurant Bistro, which has developed a devoted lunch and dinner following since it opened in January, has also been serving one of the best, perhaps most overlooked. brunches around.
Five, let me tell you non- Edmonds residents, is worth a stop before you jump on the ferry to Kingston or if you're the type to seek out a one-of-a-kind brunch, regardless of location. (Don't miss Five on Highway 104, next to its unlikely neighbor, Edmonds Auto Parts.)
Every time we visit Five I order the same thing — the croque madame ($7), a surprisingly tidy package that transcends the definition of sandwich.
At Five, it's made with two slices of rich Giuseppe pan bread, two thin slices of salty, tender baked ham, a touch of Dijon butter, a light layer of bechamel and a thin blanket of melted, toasted Swiss cheese, all topped with an expertly cooked sunny-side-up egg.
Never have the elements of a sandwich come together so beautifully on a plate of mine.
Every bite of bread was crunchy and cheesy and yet tender to my fork. You do not pick up the croque madame or even the eggless masculine version, the croque monsieur ($6).
Though the egg yolk burst beautifully onto the plate to ensconce the sandwich, all the egg white was thoroughly cooked, not slimy.
Rookie that I am, I was leery of ordering a sandwich that might come bathed in bechamel, but it was not a problem. Five's version of the white sauce was contained in the sandwich and added only luxurious texture and stability.
That means the sandwich doesn't slide around or fall apart as you try to eat it. It stays delightfully intact. And though the croque madame may sound like a heart attack on a plate, it's not greasy or gut-busting.
Don't expect a monster portion of breakfast potatoes on the side of your brunch at Five. My sandwich came with a small cluster of green grapes, a bright, cheerful foil to the main attraction.
We ordered freshly made Stumptown Coffee Americanos and they were perfect, hot, strong and full-flavored.
Service, though a bit sluggish on one occasion, was timely, friendly and professional.
Five's warm but modern atmosphere is built around wooden tables and chairs, dark flooring, plus shabby chic decorations, candles and flowers.
Though my husband and I haven't tried lunch and dinner here, we will. Five's back patio recently opened up for a limited number of customers and it looks romantic for a hot summer date night, thank to party lights and new wood fencing.
Locals rave about the popular chop salad ($6 for small / $10 for a large), featuring wine salami, provolone, garbanzo beans, basil, tomatoes and red onions, served with a creamy tarragon vinaigrette.
Glowing reviews of the pizzas abound, too, including The Farm ($13) with Italian sausage, caramelized onions and mushrooms, and Pear Pizza ($13) with Bartlett pears, gorgonzola, toasted pine nuts and dill pesto.
If Five can pull off the rest of its European-influenced menu as well as it does its brunch sandwiches — and I suspect it can — we are all in for a quite a treat in Edmonds.
Five Restaurant Bistro
650 Edmonds Way, Edmonds; www.fiveedmonds.com; 425-563-7117
Specialty: Northwest cuisine with European touches
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays and Mondays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; brunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Alcohol: Full bar