The Big Breakfast Adventure | Volterra

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

This morning’s Big Breakfast Adventure started WAY early, over by Ray’s Boat House, with a photography lesson.  T was there, on time as always & eager to learn a bunch of stuff about making great images.  Or, as a starting point, about making images that weren’t blurry.  We’d get to the making great images later.  It was cold, it was dark, but we were still excited.  We talked about F-stops & depth-of-field & focusing.  We talked about exposure & lighting.  We took lots of photographs of crazy things that you would never normally photograph…but that’s part of the joy of digital.  Shoot, learn, delete – and without wasting a dime.  After a while I gave T an assignment to make a compelling image of this bench that we came across overlooking Shilshole Bay Marina.  That T is a fast learner & did a great job.  now it’s just practice & play, practice & play.

Once we’d frozen our butts off (it’s August, what is up with this weather??) & filled T’s head with enough info for one day, we headed over to Ballard for a Big Breakfast Adventure.  This had been a long time coming.  We had planned this lesson / breakfast for months but T got stuck in Hawaii so we had to re-schedule & then I got stuck in New York so we had to re-schedule.  But today was the day:  The Best Non-traditional Pancakes in Seattle.  I was excited.  Volterra has the reputation of being Rachael Ray’s favorite place to eat in the world, & whether or not you like Rachael Ray, her show or her cooking, there surely had to be something about Volterra that was special considering the number of food places this chick has eaten at in her life.

You regulars will know that {American} pancakes are not my favorite food, but I was mesmerized {& excited} by Seattle magazine’s write-up of these particular panckaes & I was secretly hoping that I may be about to discover pancakes that rocked my world.

Incredible Chestnut & Buckwheat Pancakes at Volterra

 They did.  These pancakes are awesome.  Awesome.  Light, fluffy, interesting texture &  flavor & the sauteed apples with the chestnut-flavored mascarpone…fantastic.  I have no recollection of what T had to eat.  I didn’t care.  My mouth was in heaven.  I ordered sausage on the side – you know me, gotta have that protein alongside the plate of carbs – but our entirely adorable server (who I think took a bit of a shine to me) suggested that I had half sausage & half bacon since I really was on the fence about which to go with.  What an outstanding suggestion.  What you said, lovely server.

Sausage & {great} bacon on the side

Volterra is much larger than the exterior suggests & we got to sit out back in the spacious & incredibly bright & airy dining room.  The tables were far enough apart to feel like you were in your own little part of the world, the service was brilliant & the food was wonderful.  I may not remember what T ate, but I know for a sure thing that it was received very warmly.

As is often the case, there were a bunch of things on the menu that I wanted to eat & I will definitely be going back there to get some of them.  I mean, get this:

Wild Mushroom and Truffle Cheese Scramble
Local Harvested wild mushrooms, organic eggs, baby arugula, truffle cheese; served with Volterra hash browns and toast.

Duck and Yukon Gold Potato Hash
Duck leg confit tossed with rosemary crispy potatoes, roasted red peppers, sauteed spinach, and topped with two fried eggs.

Egg White and Sun Dried Tomato Frittata
Whipped egg whites, ricotta salata, scallions and sun dried tomato oil served with Volterra hash browns and toast.

I am SO there when I’ve got through the last of the 55 Best Breakfasts in Seattle.  SO there.  I understand why there is a line outside before the door opens.  I understand why Rachael Ray loves to eat here.  I understand why they were awarded the Best Non-traditional Pancakes in Seattle.

Volterra, you rock.

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