To me, one of the hardest food niches to fill is the ’tweener — not fast food, but not an hour-long (or more) sit-down meal, either.
I’m running those after-work or Saturday errands and just want a quick place to sit, have some good food, gather my energy and be on my way again.
So I was delighted to add to my shortlist of such places the Newsroom in Mill Creek.
It’s tucked into a shopping strip off 164th Street SE next to Elliott Bay Pizza.
Adding to the fun for me is it was recommended by two shoppers who said they liked to find and try out independent coffee shops.
“Me too!” I said. “Oh, go to the Newsroom,” one of them recommended.
OK, so now I have to admit to something. It shouldn’t surprise you that the very name of the shop elicited my interest at once, a veteran of the news business for more decades than I really want to think about at the moment.
So, yes, I drove off immediately to find the place and was greeted by a business unabashedly decorated in news memorabilia — from the framed front page of the Chicago Tribune in 2016 with the headline “At Last” to announce the Chicago Cubs’ first World Series championship in 107 years to a poster on the demise of the print edition of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer with its headline: “You’ve meant the world to us.”
So sure, the interior brought a smile to my face as I lingered over other decorations, like an old, trusty cassette tape recorder used back in the day by many reporters of all types of media.
But I was here to eat — and, really, I’m sure that’s all you care about. So let me tell you about that.
I had a cheese and spinach pie wrapped decoratively in filo dough ($4.75). The feather-light wrapping of the dough around the spinach and feta cheese was filling and yummy. I ordered a 12-ounce cappuccino to top off my lunch ($3.70).
There are sandwiches available, too, as well gelato, soft drinks, wine and beer.
Phillip Yin, a former reporter for Bloomberg and CNBC, is the chief investor in the coffee house, which also has two sister locations in Yakima with the same name.
A room to one side of the Mill Creek coffee house can seat up to 10 people. It’s designed as a meet-up spot for local groups of all ages.
“It’s about community,” Yin said. “If a group of students want to meet in a semi-private location, that’s a perfect place for them.”
That sense of a comfortable place to hang out was something I noticed within minutes of walking in. Yin said he wanted the shop to be a family-friendly place.
I knew I couldn’t go back the newsroom without some treats to share with coworkers. Let me give you fair warning: Bringing outside food into the newsroom is a little akin to feeding time at the Seattle Aquarium shark tank. Woosh! And it’s gone.
Reporters and editors also aren’t shy about sharing their opinions of whatever eatable comes in the door that anyone’s willing to share.
So after the quick gathering around around a plate of food, you always have a bit of a raised-eyebrows anticipation as you wait for their reactions.
The offerings were Russian tea cakes (small cookies finished with confectioners’ sugar) a mixed berry oat bar and raspberry cheesecake, with a total tab of $16.43.
We liked all of them, but I think the most enthusiastic thumbs up went to the cheesecake.
“I liked the crunch of the raspberries paired with the layer of sweet cream cheese and the melt-in-your mouth crust,” business reporter Janice Podsada said. “The fresh raspberries made the difference here — this cheese cake was yummy!”
Features writer Evan Thompson said the cheesecake “took the cake” of the three-way dessert competition. “I happened to enjoy how much the jam powered the treat,” he said.
“Divine,” was how features editor Sara Bruestle summed up her take on the cheesecake. She said her only wish was for more cheesecake in the cake-to-crust ratio.
(I respectfully disagreed!)
We both also really enjoyed the tea cakes, which were both delicious and offered a momentary break from interviews and emails.
Sara said all the baked goods were “just like Mom” or “just like Grandma” makes.
What better recommendation could you have?
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; email@example.com.
If you go
The Newsroom in Mill Creek is at 800 164th SE, Suite N. It’s open 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Call 425-361-1949 or go to newsroomgelato.com/millcreek for more information.