The Big Breakfast Adventure | Olivar

(In case you missed how the Big Breakfast Adventure got started, you can read it  here:  How it all began)

I was SO excited to finally get to go to Olivar to eat the {reputedly} Best Croque Monsieur in Seattle.  I had pencilled in this particular breakfast treat about 4 times & each time it had got shuffled to a new spot on the calendar, but now the day had finally arrived:  Olivar here I come!  To make things even better, one of my very favorite accomplices was meeting me there to join in the celebration of one of France’s finest sandwiches.

Sadly, all did not go well on Capital Hill today.

  1. There was no line – I’ve kind of come to expect a line on weekends outside any restaurant serving a great brunch.  Was this a sign of things to come?
  2. We waited until a few minutes past 10 am, assuming that someone would come & announce that brunch would now be served.  They didn’t.  Finally we just walked in.  The servers at the counter looked up at us as if we were a rather annoying inconvenience to them. Good Morning Olivar!
  3. They don’t serve hot chocolate.  They only have ONE type of herbal tea.  So, if you don’t drink coffee or black tea…you’re screwed.  I was screwed.
  4. The atmosphere was a little chilly, and no, I don’t mean the temperature.  It just was not warm & welcoming & the servers seemed to be there under duress.  Was I really still asleep & having a nightmare about being back in England?
  5. We ordered our Croque Monsieurs.  Our drinks arrived, post haste,  & barely had my accomplice poured the cream in the coffee when the sandwiches flew in under our noses.  Was I really in McDonald’s having a fast-food experience instead of a leisurely Sunday brunch?

Olivar's Croque Monsieur

 6.   The sandwiches were small & we knew just by looking at them that we were either going to leave hungry or have to order dessert.  It was tasty enough, but it wasn’t a proper Croque Monsieur.  Dude!  Where’s the bechamel??  Seattle Magazine specifically mentions the bechamel.  I want my bechamel!  There was no bechamel & the cheese inside was barely melted, even though parts of the bread were overdone.  It was cooked in butter though & so the fried bread was delicious.

7.   We had dessert.  It was supposed to be Brioche French Toast.  It was blah.  Brioche is one of life’s great masterpieces for your mouth, so blah was a really bad thing.  It did come with strawberries & cream though, which will make just about anything better.

Brioche French Toast

8.   My coffee-drinking accomplice tells me that the coffee was, well, bad.  I believe it.  Those taste buds know coffee.

9.   The service throughout was, well, rather like the brioche:  blah.  They did their job, they were not rude, they just had no life in them.  We felt like a number & we didn’t feel welcome.  We blame the management.

10.   It was expensive for what we got.

So there you have it.  We {very sadly} didn’t like much about Olivar.  Which was really disappointing because we really wanted to like Olivar.  When I read a bunch of other reviews 89% of people liked it, so maybe we just caught Olivar on a bad day.  A really bad day.

We did like…the tables, the water bottle, the vase of flowers & the location.   Oh & the cute little cups.

Photog:  “Accomplice, you were the best part of this whole breakfast.”

Accomplice:  “The best part for me was the very handsome chef.”

Olivar on Urbanspoon

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