Brunch and Mimosas at Salish Lodge
It is a well-known fact that brunch is my favourite meal of the day. It's something that my sister and I share in appreciation. So, naturally, to celebrate her 21st birthday, she wanted to indulge in brunch at Salish Lodge & Spa. Their restaurant truly pays respect to this sacred part of my weekend (or any part of the week for that matter) and proves why brunch reigns supreme.
First, let’s talk about the location. A 40-minute drive east of Seattle, the Salish Lodge overlooks the Snoqualmie Falls and river, nestled in a quintessentially Pacific Northwest backdrop. At the lodge, you can take in the views from lookout points and even hike down to the bottom of the falls. Once inside the dining room, expansive windows provide green views, and for some, views of the waterfall. I'd describe the atmosphere as cozy, clean, and classic (alliteration unintentional).
It’s been three years since my first brunch at Salish, and no joke, every time is just as good as the last! From the moment you enter the dining room to paying your bill, the experience is effortless and the food consistently fantastic. The most difficult part is choosing what to eat!
Everyone will find something they like on the menu. While a few items appear based on the season, the menu has stayed mostly the same. Ain't nothin' wrong with that! There's a solid section of the breakfast classics: pancakes, french toast, omelettes -- even a salmon skillet! If you're feeling really (seriously, I mean reeeeally) hungry, there's the "Salish Lodge Country Breakfast" which could feed an entire family or my overindulgent uncle. There are also more "lunch-y" dishes, most notably their fish and chips. More on that below.
I highly recommend making a reservation, and request a window seat if you can! The restaurant never feels packed, like at every Seattle brunch establishment, but that morning seemed particularly empty. It was a Tuesday though because who has brunch on a Tuesday? Oh right, we do.
To start your morning (or afternoon), you must try their special coffee. The coffee itself is dark, rich, and smooth. Good coffee in the Seattle area? Not much to write about. BUT THEN, Salish takes you to new levels with a beautiful spread of decadent additions: white chocolate, demerara sugar, white sugar, whipped cream, and cream (maybe half and half; this is America after all).
Now, black coffee purists may scoff at the thought of adorning their cup of joe with white chocolate shavings and beautiful fresh whipped cream. But before I lose you, let me tell you that I did the same. However, let me assure you that when I added a splash of the cream and some of the whipped cream, the coffee was transformed and so was I -- at least, in the sense of my coffee experience. You can taste the quality of the dairy and see the film of fatty goodness floating on the top. If you want to be extra indulgent, sprinkle some thin white chocolate shavings for the most comforting and luxurious cup of coffee you will not regret.
Oh, did I mention free refills? Yeeeeeaaaahhh.
You can't celebrate a 21st without a little bubbly, right? My sister and I were both drawn to the elderflower and grapefruit mimosa. Being the considerate older sister, I let her get the elderflower and I decided to try the passion fruit. The passion fruit mimosa straight up tasted like there was real passion fruit juice. DE-LISH. But the elderflowerrrr. It's been a long time since food or drink has surprised me in a good way and this was definitely in the good way. The grapefruit doesn't overpower the elderflower, and the combination of flavours was unlike anything I'd ever had but immediately loved. My sister felt the same.
Remember that salmon skillet I mentioned? Here it is! A personal-sized cast iron skillet with a layer of buttery, crusty potatoes topped with wild Alaskan salmon, poached eggs, and an arugula salad. You have to get a biscuit as your side so you can experience their "Honey from Heaven." Keep reading to read/see what I'm talking about!
Now, writing this, I realise that I order the same thing every time: an omelette with all the fillings except for the meat, which comes with a side of potatoes AND a biscuit. Double the carbs, double the fun.. On this visit, the omelette could've been considered on the drier side, but honestly, I can overlook this tiny blemish on their well-documented track record.
Mum opted for the fish and chips, a first for my family, and it was fried perfection. The batter on the fish was light like tempura but a little "thicker," which I preferred. Each piece of fish was large, flaky, and served piping hot… but they taaaaaasted so good! I swear the potato had an actual flavour, something indescribable but definitely more present than the usual "fluffy white carbs" business. Also, if you can't already tell, all of the portions at Salish are massive. They serve you like how I imagine they'd serve a lumberjack in 1865.
My sister chose a more classic brunch. And yes, that's a sausage, American bacon, AND Canadian bacon all atop potatoes.
Okay, so what is this Honey from Heaven business I keep mentioning? It's another element to the Salish brunch experience that makes it special. With every biscuit, guests can have fresh, local honey poured "from Heaven" by their server. It's such a simple thing, but it always puts a smile on our faces! It doesn't hurt that it's also the best honey you'll probably ever taste. If you're impatient to eat your biscuit, you can serve yourself, but where's the fun in that?
Our server (sorry, I forgot his name!), was friendly but laidback. It didn't feel like he was trying too hard. We told him how we were celebrating Ulri's 21st, and at the end of our meal, he brought out this little cake with a lit candle for her. So cute and considerate!
The whole brunch was perfection as usual and well worth the drive out to Snoqualmie!