The Big Breakfast Adventure | Lola & Le Pichet

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

I was up with the lark again this morning, eager to make the most of what was advertised to be another magnificent sunrise here in the Pacific Northwest.  Don’t you just love it when the weather sucks all week long & then the entire weekend is perfect :-)

I started out at Magnolia Bridge to see how the skyline & the Mountain looked from there.  Separately they were beautiful, together they were compositionally blah.  I am (horror of horrors) sans tripod right now, so given that I only have my arms for support, using my beasty Nikkor 70-200 mm VR lens is a bit of an issue during the magic hours.  OK so it’s a lot of an issue…that sucker weighs a ton.

 After checking out (& soaking up) the view from Magnolia Bridge (which turned out to be more of a spiritual experience than a photographic experience) I headed downtown to see what mischief I could get up to there.  Being that it was 6 am, parking 2 feet from Pike Place Market was a breeze  & gave me the perfect starting point for my early morning meanderings.  It’s not only the photographic magic hour you get when you go out early…you also get fantastic {& free} parking downtown!

The infamous Pike Place Market sign

Lola opens at 7:30 am (or so I thought).  I found out when I sidled up at 7:31 that on weekends they open at 7:00, so depending on your point of view I’d either frozen my butt off for an extra 30 minutes or I’d had an extra 30 minutes to experience Seattle slowly stretching & yawning it’s way awake.  I’ll go with the latter.  It was tons of fun watching the vendors arrive & start setting up their stalls in Pike Place Market & it was such a different experience having the streets of downtown Seattle almost to myself.

I liked Lola as soon as I made it through the door, although it is very posh.  I must admit I felt right at home immediately – 80% of the booths were occupied by just one person.  Certainly no “gooseberry” feelings going on here.  The booths are cosy & comforting & intimate.  It’s not a place you’d think to bring kids.  It’s quiet, gentle, refined (complete with elevator music) – the perfect place to hang out & read your paper.  Or write your blog  :-)

Lola's Hot Chocolate

Samie brought me a beautiful-looking cup of hot chocolate.  Unfortunately it was tasteless (think warm skimmed (2%) milk), although it was wet & warm so it did the trick of heating me up.  It didn’t inspire my taste buds any though, which was a disappointment.  I expected any food that Tom Douglas had a hand in to be out of the ordinary.

Lola is billed as having the best Breakfast Appetizer in Seattle.  Who knew you can get appetizers for breakfast?  I didn’t, but I sure am a big fan now!  Samie brought my doughnuts to me in a cute little white lunch bag and merrily shook them table-side before ceremoniously delivering them from the bag to the plate along with a shower of glistening cinnamon sugar.  They were accompanied by two little pots – one bearing rhubarb jam & the other vanilla mascarpone.  It must be rhubarb season…it’s been a very rhubarb-y weekend for my mouth.  Even though there was no tell-tale little white line around the middle of the doughnuts silently declaring “I’m a great doughnut” Lola’s doughnuts were amazingly light & airy.  Lola’s doughnuts aren’t round…they are little puffy rectangles.  They look like little feather pillows & are just as dreamy.  And no palate cling (aka they used great fat in the making not the cheap & nasty stuff).  Huge gold star right there.

Lola’s little pillows of doughnut heaven


$8 is a lot for 6 tiny little doughnuts – you could get a dozen full-size Krispy Kremes for that – but you can’t beat the whole Lola experience, which made it totally worth it.  I sat in Lola feeling strangely self-indulgent – almost like I was having dessert for breakfast before 8 am for the second time in 2 days.  What a {fantastic} weekend!

After the chocolate was drunk & the doughnuts were devoured I figured out why they called them appetizers.  Luckily for me, en route to Lola from Pike Place Market I had walked right passed Le Pichet, the sister café to Café Presse (which if you’ve been paying attention make the best Baked Eggs this side of Pluto).  I remember Seattle magazine describing how the Baked Eggs at Le Pichet & Café Presse inspire cravings.  I am SO there with them on that one.  In my heart I intrinsically knew when I spotted Le Pichet on my jaunt over to Lola that I was in trouble.  Luckily, Lola’s (albeit delicious) doughnut pillows left a not-insignificant gap in my stomach – the perfect-sized-gap, in fact, for Baked Eggs.  Off to Le Pichet!

Le Pichet’s Baked Eggs


I have nothing more to add than when I had Baked Eggs at Café Presse…they just make my mouth utterly happy.

What was impossible for me to understand was why Le Pichet was almost empty & Lola was almost full.  Maybe because the sun reaches into Le Pichet an hour later?  One of life’s little mysteries.  To me there’s something magical about sitting in the window of a little Parisian café watching the sun play with the leaves on the trees lining the pavement (sidewalk).  Especially in the spring & summer & especially in the early morning. 

Le Pichet's sunlit window

 Then, all of a sudden 9 am rolled around & Le Pichet was full.  It must have been the sunlight arriving 1 hour later than at Lola.

One more thing:  the total check for Lola & Le Pichet combined was not as much as my check at Chinooks.  Which is amusing given that Chinooks was billed as having one of the best Breakfast Deals in Seattle.

C’est la vie!


Le Pichet on Urbanspoon

Lola on Urbanspoon

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