Sometimes the most telling thing about a restaurant is when there is prolonged silence among the diners after the entree is served.
Not for a few seconds, or even a minute, but several minutes, as they swear off conversation for the simple pleasure of just enjoying every bite.
So it was at Kindred Kitchen, a new addition to dining on Broadway in Everett.
It’s a program of the nonprofit Housing Hope, an organization that provides housing, shelter and other services to low-income families.
In addition to serving breakfast and lunch, Kindred Kitchen is gearing up to train young people with commercial food-preparation skills.
Kindred Kitchen’s grand opening was last month. Since then, its reputation has spread, largely by word-of-mouth recommendations from customers.
Its menu includes all-day breakfast, soups and salads, toasted sandwiches and two specials for kids — a cheese melt ($5.50) and simple turkey ($6.50).
Coworker Janice Podsada came with me to try out the cafe.
She ordered the sesame ginger chicken salad ($10), which was served within five minutes of ordering, arriving in a large, kitchen-size stainless steel bowl.
“I had skipped breakfast,” she said. “I was hungry and ready to dig in.”
The salad, a mix of baby spinach, arugula, green onions and shredded carrots, “wore a perfect coat of tangy ginger dressing — not too much and not too little. The dressing tasted just right, too — not too sweet, and there was flavor in every bite,” Podsada said.
She said the slivered almonds and chow mein noodles gave it the perfect amount of crunch. Slices of roasted chicken topped off the greens.
I ordered the Jetty sandwich ($9): smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumbers, avocado, tomato, pickled red onion and arugula on toasted cider whole-wheat bread.
The serving size was so generous that I opted to eat it as an open face-style sandwich so as to not wreck the artfully layered ingredients. I so loved the tasty surprise addition of arugula.
Sandwich add-ons include avocado ($1), cheese (50 cents), meat ($2.75) and a schmear of cream cheese ($1.50).
There are vegetarian, vegan and wheat-free options on the menu.
Kristen Kosidowski directs food services for Kindred Kitchen, as well as its catering and other Housing Hope-related meals programs.
The cafe initially wanted to “start small,” she said, focusing on offering all-day breakfast and lunch weekdays, with hours from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Though there are plans to offer more food choices and services.
Since opening, the restaurant has already added to its grab-and-go offerings. Those items, including drinks and salads, sandwiches, pastries and snacks, are meant for customers who want a quick lunch, either to take off site or enjoy at the cafe.
One idea for the future is to include special pop-up service or brunches on the weekend, perhaps once a month, she said.
The cafe wants to use locally sourced products when possible. Among their choices is selling (and brewing) Kirkland-based Thruline Coffee.
It’s working with Everett and Seattle-based bakers and hopes to bring in more locally based produce over time.
The cafe’s 14-week internship program seeks out youth 16 to 24 years old connected with Housing Hope and Cocoon House, which serves homeless and at-risk youth.
The first two interns are scheduled to start training at the cafe later this month.
The cafe worked with a consultant to pick out the items to include on its menu.
“We knew we wanted to do something that was really kind of comforting and familiar and classic in some ways, but also really tasty, bright and fresh, with bursts of flavor that might be surprising in a delightful way,” Kosidowski said.
She said the early contenders for the menu’s most popular items are the roast beef sandwich — “people come back asking for it over and over again” — and, from the breakfast menu, steel-cut oatmeal and the breakfast sandwich.
“We’ve tried to meet and welcome folks with a wide range of dietary preferences,” she said.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
Kindred Kitchen, 3315 Broadway, Everett, is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 425-512-0343 or go to www.kindredkitchen.com for more information.