By Cassandra VanKeuren Special to the Herald.
If you’re heading to the Skagit Valley Tulip festival, don’t eat breakfast.
Stop by Calico Cupboard Cafe and Bakery for a hearty country-style breakfast instead.
Calico Cupboard is the perfect place to fill your belly before a long day of viewing tulips, art and shopping.
Calico Cupboard has locations in La Conner, Mount Vernon and Anacortes. My husband and I visited the Calico Cupboard in downtown Mount Vernon and we were instantly won over by the charming country decor, the awe-inspiring pastries case and the soulful music on the radio.
We were seated promptly and a server immediately brought our very tasty, locally roasted coffees. Looking over the menus we had a hard time deciding between six different hashes, four different types of pancakes, French toast, waffles, scrambles, quiches and omelets. Oh my, too much to choose from!
I finally decided on the eggs Benedict ($12.59) with homemade English muffin, smoked salmon and fresh fruit on the side. My husband ordered the Calico hash ($10.99).
While waiting for our food, I had a chance to take in our surroundings. Calico Cupboard adjoins a home and gift store called Re-Feather Your Nest. The store sells second-hand furniture and country-inspired decor.
Lots of old timey photos from our area cover the restaurant’s walls, and a wonderful antique gas fireplace sits in a corner. It really is the kind of place you can fall in love with and want to come back to over and over again because of its wonderfully relaxing atmosphere.
Our food arrived promptly and both dishes looked really great. My husband’s hash had red potatoes, smoked ham, green peppers, onions, country gravy and cheddar cheese. He thoroughly enjoyed it and was not able to finish because the portion was so large. I sneaked a bite and thought it all was really tasty, but I would have wanted a little bit of spice in the country gravy.
My Benedict was perfectly prepared. The poached eggs had the right about of runniness. There was an abundant amount of smoked salmon and Hollandaise sauce. The homemade English muffin was definitely special. The fresh fruit on the side was a nice touch and I could tell the cooks made an effort to pick fresh and ripe fruit. Everything was delightful and filling.
At 11:20 a.m. Calico stops serving breakfast and changes to its lunch menu, which features burgers, soup, sandwiches, a few specialty entrees and hashes.
On our way out I wanted to choose a pastry to take home for our son. There was so many to choose from: chocolate-covered cream puffs as big as my head, multiple cookie bars, cakes, cookies and breads.
I finally decided on a lemon doodle ($2.49). Basically it was a snickerdoodle with lemon drizzle on top. I shared it with my son after school and this just might be our new favorite cookie.
And don’t miss Re-Feather Your Nest or Red Door Antique Mall on the same block. Also, there’s the Skagit Valley Co-op just around the corner.
Calico Cupboard is a wonderful place to start out your journey into the tulip fields or rest up with a lunch or to stop by for coffee and a pastry any time.
121-B Freeway Drive, Mount Vernon; 360-336-3107; Calicocupboardcafe.com
Specialty: Breakfast and lunch; baked goods.
Hours: open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; limited menu from 4 to 5 p.m.
Vegetarian options: Plenty.