When you first drive up, you are not sure if you're in the right place. It looks more like a nostalgic knick-knack shop than a place to have lunch.
When you walk in, you see a few seats in the front of the shop among the vintage finds and local art. There's local handmade jewelry, vintage paintings, groovy home accessories. There is a wicker couch and chairs in front of the electric fireplace and another tall bar style table.
If you go in the back, you'll find an open kitchen and more seating.
You can check in and be seated and the waiter will come to take your order. Or you can place your order at the counter. At the counter, you can study the local beer and wine list.
The menu is set up for lunch or a light early dinner. There are sandwiches, homemade soups, small salads, canapes and snacks.
On the day I visited, I dined solo. They had just opened when I came in. I made my way to the back and was seated at the very comfy wicker couch and had a look over the menu.
I have to say that dining on the couch allowed me to kick back and relax, something you can't always do in other places.
I opted for the canape sampler, which gave me three canapes ($7); a BLT with smoked salmon ($8); and a peach market spice tea.
My canapes came first. I chose the Garden, with fresh cucumber, tomato and artichoke spread on foccacia; rustic beef made of good quality roast beef luncheon meat with horseradish spread on crostini with smoked mozzarella melted on top and crisp onions on top of that; and the meatball canape, with Italian meatballs sliced in half, melted smoked mozzarella and crisp onion on focaccia.
All the canapes, enough for two or three bites, were quite tasty. They would make a great addition to a bowl of soup to round out your lunch.
My sandwich came quickly after I finished my canapes. The BLT had thin sliced smoked bacon, Northwest style smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes, romaine and mayo on a locally made focaccia roll. Like everything else I had tasted so far, the sandwich was fantastic.
My only gripe is the tomatoes fell out of my sandwich while I was eating it. I suspect that the chef went for the cherry tomatoes because they are sweeter and great tomatoes are hard to find so early in the spring.
Some other menu choices are hot grinders, a hot beef and bacon sandwich, a smoked salmon canape, an albacore tuna canape, Caesar salad with smoked salmon, Nicoise salad and always a homemade soup daily.
I had thought the location was a little odd because it was a bit of the main shopping area in Snohomish, but it didn't seem to deter people. While I was dining, several local people came in and ordered food to go and chatted it up with the waiter. I think the Hungry Pelican has a host of regulars already.
The chef posts her daily specials on Facebook so you can find out what is cooking before you leave for lunch. The hours are a little odd but I think that is because the place is basically a one-woman show with just a few extra hands to help serve.
The Hungry Pelican is definitely worth seeking out if you're in Snohomish antiquing or just work in the area and need a wholesome and tasty lunch.
Who knows? In addition to a good lunch, you may find the perfect gift or some special item for your home.
The Hungry Pelican
113 Avenue C, Snohomish; 360-243-3278; www.thehungrypelican.net
Specialty: Homemade soups and sandwiches.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Vegetarian options: A few.
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