Pies at Cama Beach Cafe include blackberry.

Pies at Cama Beach Cafe include blackberry.

Great ways to reward yourself at Cama Beach Cafe

Wake up on Saturday morning. Decide to walk, whatever the weather. Drive down Camano Island to the state parks. Hike the trails. Work up an appetite.

Beyond the fresh air and the views of Saratoga Passage, here’s the reward: Breakfast or lunch at Cama Beach Cafe, located in the lodge at Cama Beach State Park.

Breakfast is served all day, but for those who scarfed their oatmeal before hitting the trails, the cafe has some wonderful sandwiches.

My husband and I were there on Sunday afternoon this week. I ordered the delicious and generous caprese sandwich for $10. It included fresh tomato, spinach, mozzarella and the cafe’s house-made pesto on a delightful soft ciabatta. Made by Ara Drosse from her sourdough starter and baked on the island in her Wild Patch Bread’s wood-fired oven, the bread was soft yet substantial and flavorful without being overwhelming.

My husband had the huge Reuben sandwich, filled with tender pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and house-made dressing, layered on marbled rye and then grilled hot. The spear of dill pickle delivered the right accompaniment.

We added tasty, but not too spicy, cups of chicken chili ($2) to our sandwich plates and were satisfyingly replete by meal’s end.

We took home a blackberry pie, made by pastry chef Nicole Pang, and were well pleased. Nothing better than blackberry pie, which is $4 a slice or $20 for the whole pie.

More about breakfast: First, you must try a house-made potato-dough cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing or one of the cafe’s signature buttery scones, which are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. (Both $3.50 each.)

The omelet or scramble is made with three local eggs. For $11, you choose your fillings (ham, bacon, cheese, veggies), home fries or fruit, and toast topped with house-made jams. Quiche is made fresh each day with varying fillings and served with fruit or home fries and toast for $10, and Swedish pancakes for $8 are topped with jam and sour cream and served with bacon, sausage or fruit.

The cafe serves drip coffee, tea and a variety of espresso drinks. Also on the menu are $5 kids’ plates for the children or grandchildren you bring along.

Regular hours at the Cama Beach Cafe are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

However, chefs Donna King and Jeremiah Leighton offer a series of Dinner in the Park evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. on the first and third Fridays of the month. Have supper there tonight, but call first to reserve a spot. Currently the dinner menu includes main dishes such as Moroccan-spiced lamb for $26, prawns and pumpkin risotto for $24, beet bolognese with squash pasta for $22 and winter vegetable hash for $18.

I first met the crew from Cama Beach Cafe this past summer when they catered a wine pairings dinner hosted by Kristoferson Farm. I tried the mushroom soup that evening and was so wowed that I vowed right then to visit the cafe.

The cafe also is serving Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 4 p.m. on Nov. 24. Reservations are required. Cost is $40 for teens and adults, $18 for children, and free for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Along with turkey, entrees include smoked ham with apple cider glaze and maple-glazed salmon. Also on the menu are a bunch of great-sounding side dishes and desserts.

And then after your meal, take a walk about the Camano Island State Park to walk off those luscious calories. Remember your Discover Pass for parking.

Cama Beach Cafe

The Lodge at Cama Beach State Park

1880 S. West Camano Drive, Camano Island; 360-387-3266; www.camabeachcafe.com.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Dinner on first and third Fridays is 5 to 8 p.m.

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