Diners face a tough choice when they come to Mill Creek’s Rusty Pelican Cafe: Should we choose breakfast or lunch?
Adding to the indecision is a menu that’s expansive. For breakfast there’s waffles, pancakes, French toast, crepes, egg scrambles, eggs benedict and specialty omelettes.
For lunch, there are 14 choices of salads alone, 13 sandwich offerings, four types of burgers, four chicken dishes, gyros and wraps, and soup and salad combos.
So even after I was comfortably into my first cup of coffee, I was still pondering: What should I get?
To do a good job on my assigned task — giving you an idea of the food here — I wanted to test a mix of offerings from the breakfast and lunch menus to answer the question: Can they really do all this well?
Three people joined me for brunch. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to divvy up who got to choose from the breakfast or lunch menus. By the time our server arrived to take our orders, they magically divided into two groups — two breakfasts and two lunches.
There was one order for the lemon supreme ricotta pancakes, topped with lemon curd, fresh blueberries and whipped cream ($14.95 for the full stack).
The other breakfast selection was the Dungeness crab meat benedict, two poached eggs on an English muffin with crab meat and hollandaise sauce ($18.25).
The lunch selections were a salmon burger with lettuce, tomato, sliced onion on a bun with tartar sauce and a pickle ($15.95) and the chicken salad with grapes, celery and pecans tossed in honey mustard dressing, and ringed by a selection of mixed fresh fruit ($14.95).
We were there at noon on a recent Sunday, prime time for diners at this restaurant.
I was told the wait for seating would be about 15 minutes and Presto! It was.
We all enjoyed the variety of food we were able to sample and the relative speed with which it was delivered from the kitchen.
“I really liked the ricotta taste,” my brother said of his pancakes. “It was really light and went well with the blueberries and whipped cream.”
Pancakes can be heavy and dense, he said. “The ricotta was a great idea. I’ve never had anything like it.”
My nephew said the Dungeness crab meat with two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce was “exactly what you’d imagine it to be. The crab meat goes well with the hollandaise.”
My sister-in-law noted that the chicken salad was served in avocado shells. “If you like pecans, you’d love it,” she said. The salad had a lot of fruit. “I didn’t expect that,” she said.
The salmon burger was served in a basket lined with kitchen paper with a design to look like the front page of a newspaper. It even had a crossword puzzle. But no time for that.
I immediately dug in. I liked that the tartar sauce complemented but didn’t dominate the taste of the generous portion of salmon.
Speaking of portions, all the portions of the food we ordered were generous. Go hungry to clean your plate.
We ordered a pumpkin roll ($7.75) to divide among us for dessert. There are no specialty coffee drinks, but the drip coffee was unusually good.
We ate at the Mill Creek Rusty Pelican. There’s another in Edmonds, at 107 Fifth Ave. N., which opened in 2012. The Mill Creek restaurant opened a year later.
Now a word about our server, “Kat.” Like all the servers there, she was hopping between multiple tables at very busy time. We were all impressed by her service — attentive without being obtrusive.
That’s a hard thing to do when you’re pedal-to-the-metal busy, but she accomplished it, with a smile. Our rating: Unusually good service that deserved a shout out from us.
My brother later summed up how all of us felt about our visit to Rusty Pelican. “I’d like to go back there again,” he said.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: Rusty Pelican Cafe
Where: 15704 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek
When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily
More: 425-585-0525 or rustypelicancafe.com