The Big Breakfast Adventure | Tilikum Place Cafe

It was a particularly beautiful Sunday back in March when I kidnapped Alisen off her front door step and sped away towards the early morning delights of downtown Seattle for a Big Breakfast Adventure.  The sky was clear except for a rim of puffy white clouds resting on the horizon.  It was remarkably busy as we ambled down the freeway at 7:30 am.  Apart from one driver who clearly either had a death wish or a desire to hand over wads of cash to a policeman, it was a peaceful, happy drive.  We nattered away furiously as we scooted along in the sunshine.  Before we knew it, although not before a few moments of panic when we realized the I-5 was under construction and we’d have to find an alternate route, we were cruising down 4th Avenue towards the Space Needle.  Our destination was the Tilikum Place Café – positioned at a very confusing intersection where Denny Way & 5th collide and the monorail zooms overhead.

It was a few minutes past the hour when we wandered in after parking karma elicited us a spot a few strides from the door.  Tilikum is a popular place on a Sunday, but we snagged a cozy little table before the stampede started.  Tilikum is most famed for it’s Dutch Babies – so *inSANE a dish that just the thought of one makes my arteries tense.  For the uninitiated, a Dutch Baby is a very dense and eggy pancake.  They are huge, thick, and puffy – which is exactly how I felt 4 years ago when I first ate one.

There was *SANEity staring at us from all over the menu, but it was the specials board that caught my eye – more specifically the Pork Schnitzel.  I was in the mood for something decidedly different, and schnitzel for breakfast had different written all over it.  It came with a cucumber and arugula salad, a citrus vinaigrette, and a pile of red potatoes.   Hmm.  Time to see if Tilikum were up for a spot of subbing.

Carrie: “I don’t eat potatoes.  Would it…”

Server: “I’ll bring you some fresh greens then.  Would you like a poached egg on top, too?  I had it for lunch yesterday and it was delicious.”

Carrie: “That would be awesome!  Thank you!”

Clearly they’ve had that request more than a few times.  Certainly up here in this little corner of the world I have never met a place that wasn’t willing to tweak a dish to make it *SANE for me.  Things are a changin’!  Big Breakfast Adventure  |  Carrie Brown

If you know what schnitzel is, or you’re looking closely at the picture, you might well be sitting there thinking, “Wait a minute.  There’s breadcrumbs coating that piece of pork!  WT…!!”  And you would be right.  But really, in the grand scheme of things, that tablespoon of breadcrumbs was so tiny compared to the mass of meat, the egg, and the colossal amount of greenery, I wasn’t going to let it bother me.  I doubt my body even noticed it amongst all the other brilliant *SANE stuff that went winging its way down my gullet.  Maybe ‘winging’ isn’t exactly the right word though, because man that was a lot of food on that plate.  You can’t see it in this shot but that piece of pork was enormous.  And then there was the fresh greens on the side that I didn’t grab a shot of.  It may have been a monster breakfast, but this dish was exactly what I needed to drag me from the eggs-for-breakfast doldrums.  Winning!

Truth be told, I had to stop and take a break several times before I got through it all.  Thank goodness Alisen was there to help fritter away the time while my stomach was resting.  We talked mostly about how our bodies are changing in response to our eccentric workouts, and compared notes on increasing machine weights and shrinking body parts.  Alisen did 55lbs on the chest press (!!!).  55lbs and I am still only at 40.  I think it’s because she has a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old to lug around.  Well, that’s my theory, anyway.  We also played “Where does it hurt most?”  I can’t believe I am saying this but I actually like the way my body feels the day after my workout.  I don’t even know who I am any more. Daffodils  |  Carrie Brown

It was such a beautiful day that we decided a stroll around the Space Needle was in order.  They do an outstanding job of planting stuff at the Seattle Center so our walk involved lots of oooohing and ahhhing over the daffodils gently bobbing in the breeze, and the trees heavy with pink and white blossoms.  Despite all the sunshiny goodness there was a little nip in the air so we stopped off at Starbucks for a fancy-pants coffee.  I love that they have all those sugar-free syrups to choose from.  Lattes in hand we ambled around the park until it was time to get Alisen to her 11 o’clock rendezvous.

It was a most fantastic start to a Sunday: favorite girl, amazing food, sunshine, daffodils, laughter, hot coffee, and uplifting conversation.  These Big Breakfast Adventures are good for the soul.

Whatever makes you feel good – do more of that.

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