The chicken souvlaki at Brianna’s Cafe comes with a green salad, bread, potatoes, a vegetable medley and tzatziki yogurt sauce in which to dip the grilled chicken skewers. (Gale Fiege / The Herald)

The chicken souvlaki at Brianna’s Cafe comes with a green salad, bread, potatoes, a vegetable medley and tzatziki yogurt sauce in which to dip the grilled chicken skewers. (Gale Fiege / The Herald)

Family run Brianna’s Cafe in Marysville serves comfort foods

My editor, Sara Bruestle, recently heard from a reader who suggested we check out Brianna’s Cafe in Marysville.

Brianna’s is an American comfort-food diner that serves breakfast, lunch and supper, with meals such as eggs Benedict, chicken-fried steak, sandwiches and baked spaghetti. Faced with a busy work week and the need for a little comfort, we welcomed the idea of lunch at the cafe.

Shortly after our arrival we were met by a beautiful 4-year-old girl who gave us each a Dum-Dums lollipop.

Our very fine and genuinely kind server turned out to be the little charmer’s big sister, Gabriela. Obviously, we learned, the cafe is a family business.

Indeed. Gabriela told us that her father, Gabriel Valadez — the cafe’s owner and chef — had learned his craft during a long stint as a cook for Voula’s Good Eats in Mountlake Terrace. In fact Brianna’s menu includes some of the Greek and Italian meals sold at Voula’s.

“But we’re not Greek,” Gabriela said with a smile. “The owners of the previous restaurant that was located here served Greek and Italian, too.”

So, who is Brianna? I asked.

“Is she your mother?”

Gabriela smiled.

“My mother is Monica. Brianna is the one who gave you the suckers,” she said. “That’s her job when she’s not at pre-school.”

From then on we were fast friends with Brianna, whose photographic portrait hangs on the wall. Brianna is the youngest of Gabriel and Monica’s five children.

“We all try to help at the restaurant,” Gabriela said.

Brianna politely chatted with us at our table, sucked on lollipops, pretended to eat soup from her water glass, nibbled on my slice of grilled bread and squealed when her older brother showed up to work.

Sara and I opted to have dinner for lunch.

My chicken souvlaki ($13.75) came with a green salad, bread, potatoes, a vegetable medley, tasty tzatziki yogurt sauce and skewers of perfectly seasoned and grilled chicken.

While the chicken was wonderful, the mixed vegetables were overcooked and soggy, and the mashed potatoes didn’t really fit. Instead, a bit of grilled zucchini and potatoes would have been great. Brianna’s Cafe has only been open since September, so I imagine the Valadez family is still working out the kinks.

Knowing she would take half of the generous portion home, Sara ordered the baked lasagna, with its signature tomato sauce ($13). Instead of salad, she ordered the Greek avgolemono soup, which is made with egg, lemon, chicken and rice. Talk about creamy comfort food.

The highlight of our meal, besides visiting with Brianna, was the dessert that was included in the price. Sara and I agreed it was the most delicious creme brulee we’d ever had. Gabriela said her dad’s cream pies are popular as well.

We also hear that the fries and the waffles at Brianna’s are outstanding. We’ll be back. If we’re lucky, Brianna will be there to sit with us.

Brianna’s Cafe

314 State Ave., Marysville; 360-659-9222; www.facebook.com/BriannasCafe

Open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily

American diner food, with some Greek and Italian specialties

Talk to us

More in Life

Flytrap, Carnivorous plant. ( Dionaea muscipula ), close up
Grow a carnivorous bog garden for the weirdness factor

Alien-like plants — such as pitcher plants, cobra lilies, sundews and Venus fly traps — can do well here.

Silver, Blue and Gold, a Bad Company tribute band, will perform May 14 at Historic Everett Theatre. Pictured (from left) are Jeff Mills, Dean Babbitt, Bob Kelly, Steve Kelly, Dan Canyon and Dan Ellsworth. (Tribute Kings)
Rock show Friday in Everett pays tribute to Bad Company

Silver Blue and Gold, named for the 1970s British supergroup’s power ballad, headlines a show in Everett.

While Bulley’s candelabra primrose can naturalize, it is best to plant three to five to insure pollination and seed set. (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: Primula bulleyana, Bulley’s candelabra primrose

This primrose can naturalize, but it is best to start with more than one to insure pollination and seed set.

This strange looking cast-iron tool is a coffee grinder. Beans go in the top, the lid is put in place and the beans are ground and drop into the lower section mounted on a wooden base. It sold for $413 a few years ago. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
This strange looking cast-iron tool is a coffee grinder

The Enterprise Manufacturing Co. founded in 1864 was one of the leading makers of grinders.

See "Rusty Red Axe" by Scott Filipiak in the "Northwest Enterprise" exhibition in Lynnwood.
Exhibits focus on Northwest’s natural and built environments

“Northwest Enterprise: Working in the Northwest” and “Northwest Eden: Trees, Plants and Gardens of the Northwest” can be seen through June in Lynnwood.

Sorticulture, Everett’s garden arts festival is scheduled for June 11-13 on Wetmore Avenue between Everett and Hewitt avenues. (Ian Terry /Herald file)
Ian Terry / The Herald People look at roses at the Sorticulture Festival in Everett on Friday, June 9, 2017. Photo taken on 06092017
Home and garden events and resources around Snohomish County

Home and garden events and resources around Snohomish County

Owners Newton and Naomi Kellogg opened the Ulysses Coffee cafe on April 24. (Kira Erickson / South Whidbey Record)
South Whidbey’s abuzz over couple’s new coffee shop

The owners of Ulysses Coffee Co. drive-thru in Bayview have opened a sit-down cafe in Langley.

salmonberries. Getty Images
What to look for when picking wild berries native to our area

You can find nutritious huckleberries, salmonberries, salal, dewberries, thimble berries and more.

A primer on the health advantages of eating whole grains

Brown rice, whole grain pasta, oatmeal, popcorn and whole wheat bread offer whole-grain goodness.

Most Read