On A Scale of 1 to 10

I have not been this excited about a new breakfast joint in quite a while.  I have an entire dashboard of other posts that really ought to get written before this one.  This one only joined the queue yesterday, but in my sheer excitement to share it with you, I am giddily letting this particular post jump the queue.  What I really wanted to type then was JUMP THE QUEUE!!!

It was already a terribly exciting day, because I was having breakfast with Bea, and Bea was alive.  What I mean is BEA IS ALIVE!!!  Bea has just recently had her thyroid whipped out, after some naughty cancer decided to move in & get all cozy.  Out, damn spot!  And so, our dear Bea is now in recovery mode & gearing up to head back to work.  Thank heavens for swift surgeons & company medical insurance.  What Bea really needed today was a plate of fancy pants food & a little adventure, to get her warmed up for life back in the fast lane.

I picked out a nifty-sounding spot on Pike & Melrose, almost right under the freeway and just a few blocks from downtown.  Terra Plata has been open a matter of months, and the reviews have already been a-raving.  Bea deserved some raving food.  We got there half-an-hour too early – not that we were excited or anything – and on wandering up the street looking for coffee & hot chocolate, we stumbled upon Victrola.  We now wish we hadn’t stumbled, because although the place was beautiful, bustling, & brimming with both a case full of inspiring sandwiches plus a whole slew of people slouched over their laptops, books & kindles, my take on the hot chocolate was summed up in 3 words: pretty, lukewarm, tasteless.  On our way back to Terra Plata for our appointed reservation time of 10 am, Bea’s coffee mainly ended up (literally) in the gutter.  Not the cup, you understand – we threw that away in the trash can.  We’re responsible people, you know.  It was a shame about the coffee.

Unless you know, for sure, that a place is not going to be packed the second they open their doors, it’s always best to make a reservation, if they do such a thing.  Standing on cold street corners is not at the top of my list of fun things to do.  Even so, having a reservation & then showing up at an empty joint can feel a little silly.  The upside – because there is *always* an upside – is that you get to pick the best seat in the house.  I like that.
The space that Terra Plata fills is glorious.  I want to eat here every single warm, balmy night we have in Seattle this next summer.  Every single one.  If I don’t answer my email, that’s where you’ll find me.  Warm woods, miles of windows on the two long sides of the triangle, & lines & curves to make an a architect weep.  Hey, who was the architect on this?  I’d like them to come do my house, thanks.
 
Bubbly servers who couldn’t care less about my brandishing my camera all over, or lying on the bench to get the right angle for all those gorgeous lines.  (Not a thing I’d ever do if there were other diners there, of course).  The lovely Katrina just dodged around me.  She was wearing beautiful, large, blue & green discs for earrings.  They suited her.
The menu was mad.  Bea settled on the Oatmeal Pancakes with Caramelized Apples & Fruit Butter.  To say she liked her fancy pants breakfast would almost be a lie.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d estimate, from her squeals of delight, Bea would have this as an 11.  The pancakes were crispy on the edges & the apples had an intense flavor along with their not-quite-firm-not-quite-soft flesh.  Add a dab of cinnamon & some fruit butter and heaven help your taste-buds for the rest of the week.
I chose the Roasted Pulled Pork & Vegetable Hash.  The bright red, I-was-just plucked-from-the-vine-today tomato sauce was a wee bit spicy for me, but the pork was ridiculous.  Slightly crusted on the outside – think Chinese Crispy Duck – & fall-apart tender in the middle.  The eggs were perfectly cooked.  The veggies were the bomb.
Since one plate of hash was never destined to fill me up, I headed straight for the Churros with Chocolate Chili dipping sauce.  Like you do when you’re a girl on a Saturday morning with a free reign on a menu.  Yowza.
Super crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle.  What all good churros dreams are made of.  The chili is very slight – even I could have done with a bit more to transform the sauce from chocolate to chocolate chili.
Other members of the Saturday Morning Brunch Bunch started drifting in soon after we did, and by the time we were ready to leave we had been treated to watching a long line of dishes headed to other peoples tables, most all of which we wanted to eat.
We talked a lot about Bea’s last 6 months, and how she got to where she is today.  The {most} important part is that she got to tell her tale; and got to eat a fabulous plate of Oatmeal Pancakes.  Take THAT, cancer.
They have done an outstanding job on Terra Plata.  Please go.  I mean, PLEASE GO!!!  I think you’ll love it.
After all that eating & celebrating life, I drove us over to Alki Beach.  Although it was cold, it’s still a special place to go and just be.  We walked along the beach until we’d all but exhausted Bea’s energy.  I love Alki.  It’s where I go when I need to think.  Where I go when I’m sad.  When I need reviving.  When I just need some space.  It was beautiful walking there with Bea today.  I think she felt it too.
After plopping herself back into the passenger seat, I took Bea on one last adventure.  If there was ever a girl who had earned the best pastry this side of Paris, it was her.  Honore, here we come.
Today was the first time IN MY LIFE that there was no line outside Honore when I rolled up.  For 10 whole minutes, there was no line.  We gathered up Hot Chocolate, a Caramel Chocolate Tart & a Lemon Meringue Tart & headed for the little courtyard out back.  It was chilly, but the seats inside were taken, & anyway, we had our fluffy jackets.  We could smell the heady aroma of wood-fired smoke drifting over the back fence from Delancey.  I have to go eat pizza there, one of these days.
I was reminded of how good Honore Hot Chocolate is.  I was reminded how good Honore Lemon Meringue Tart is.  Bea revelled in her Caramel Chocolate Tart with the slightly over-cooked pastry.  She mentioned when we sat down that she didn’t think she could eat it all.  It all went down.
I hadn’t planned to be gone all day.  I had a ginormous list of to-do’s.  Turns out none of it mattered.  Celebrating Bea was so much more important than anything I had to do.  Saturday = perfect girlfriend time.  Especially when there’s great grub, a walk on the beach & pastries involved.

Victrola Coffee on Urbanspoon Terra Plata on Urbanspoon Honore Artisan Bakery on Urbanspoon

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