I live in a predominantly farming community. People raise cattle, chickens, corn, pumpkins, and various other cool climate crops. Some commercially, some for themselves. It only makes sense that in a community of farmers, there should be several establishments that offer a farmers breakfast. What is a farmers breakfast you ask? The short answer is what I call a gut bomb breakfast. The term originated in the farming community way back in the day. Since farmers have such laborious jobs, it has always been critical for them to have a large breakfast that could fuel them through a long, strenuous morning.
Nowadays, it’s more of a luxury than a necessity for many. However there seems to be a rich tradition in my area when it comes to breakfast. People come from near and far to enjoy a huge plate of biscuits, or steak, or even trout, with eggs, bacon, and a mountain of hashbrowns. If you are a farmers breakfast fan, I recommend driving out to the nearest podunk town and find the nearest breakfast house. You won’t be disappointed. Just come hungry.
What makes the small town ones so special, well a couple of things:
1. Little to no wait. Seriously, have you seen that Portlandia episode about brunch where there is a mile long line? It really happens, ALL THE TIME, in the big cities. It’s the worst disappointment to daydream about a delicious weekend sit down breakfast with a rumbling tummy only to get there and have to wait for an hour. I mean seriously!
2. The history. Many of these places have been around for decades and have a rich history and tradition of how they do things. The menu, the building, and even the people are eager to share a world reminiscent of a simpler time.
3. The ambiance. Oh man the decor of these places is amazing, appalling, and adorable all at the same time. I will take a moment to share a bit more on each individually.
4. The people. The people who work and own these establishments treat you like friends and family. You are welcomed with a smile and tone that is always genuine and elated. They never seemed flustered even with a full house. They seem to glide through the tables with grace and ease that make me want to work there.
I would like to share some of my favorites from my neck of the woods. They truly capture the heart of what it is to live in a small town:
When you walk into the Kitchen, it feels like walking into a close friends home. Amy and Sherry are always there to great you with a smile and a hot pot of coffee. It’s small and casual enough you may just get a shout across the restaurant to go ahead and sit where ever you like. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or your fiftieth, they treat everyone with a warmth that makes you want to come back again and again.
It’s hard not to notice the they like their 50’s memorabilia…
And their coca cola memorabilia is impressive to say the least! They have several unopened bottles that must be over 40 years old! I’m not kidding! Look up on the window sill over the door!
This is silly but I love that they have a variety of store-bought coffee creamers. It just makes it feel that much more down home.
When it comes to farmers breakfasts, I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur. I always go for the richest, biggest, cheesiest, covered in gravy thing I can find on the menu. At The Kitchen, that would be the country benedict. A mountain of hashbrowns, topped with biscuits, sausage patties, and scrambled egg. Then smothered in country gravy and cheese. This can easily become my breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the day!
Charlies is located at the base of a popular route to Mt. Rainier National Park and Crystal Mountain Ski Resort. This makes it the perfect pit stop for many travelers. With hearty plates and an extremely friendly staff, it’s no wonder they’ve been around for years and years. It’s one of MM’s family’s favorite go to places since they work at Crystal Mountain Resort.
When you walk in you are often greeted with this glorious site:
I love that they have personalized coffee cups for their regulars.
Super 12’s! Go Hawks 🙂
And, of course my monster plate: The Redneck Benedict. biscuits topped with ham steak and poached eggs smothered in sausage gravy with my favorite homemade hash browns!
The Krain corner is located on just on the outskirts of Enumclaw (our neighboring town). Once upon a time it was the town of Krain but now practically all that’s left is this wonderful restaurant/antique shop/ once town dance hall /once tavern/ once candy shop, seriously! This place has been so many things! Check out the story on the menu:
They are really into stuff. All kinds of stuff. Everywhere. There is not an inch of wall space that isn’t adorned with stuff!
And they love sharing the town and building history. The bottom left and bottom right are pictures of the building from way back in the day.
Interestingly, on this trip, I found myself sitting in the old ice shed.
They also have little antique shop inside the restaurant with more stuff!
Every coffee cup in the place is different. Apparently today was a Boeing day for us.
If the conversation ever dies, there’s always old Trivial Pursuit cards to pass the time….
Oh the food! Fun fact: biscuits and gravy is offered as a choice for your bread. “And for your side? White, wheat, english muffin or biscuits and gravy?” Do you even need to ask???
As for me, I’ll have the classic eggs benedict which is perfectly made every time.
When I found out we were getting one of these in our neck of the woods, I was so excited. There is one down a few towns but I never was interested in going and waiting in line for an hour just to get seated. The building the owner bought up near us is HUGE and can take on quite a lot of people before overflowing. Yay!
So what’s the big deal right? Well, let me tell ya. First the portions are HUGE. Like scary huge. Like a wall of food coming at you huge! Then there’s the baked goods. Before your meal comes out, you are greeted with a massive slab of the best cornbread you’ve ever tasted. This is one of those times when you tell yourself “I’ll just have a bite.” And then it gone and your full as they set down your actual meal!
I particularly love the fact that they have an entire page dedicated to different kinds of bennedict-esqe meals. I love hollandaise sauce and love those who exploit it for all it’s worth! Of all the choices, the Kim Kardashian is my favorite… as the menu says: “For those who like a little more meat in their seat”
Help! I lost my fork! This was insanely good! I can’t even, no words!
The moral of the story? Want a good breakfast? Go out to the sticks, ideally in the middle of a farming community, and find the nearest breakfast diner. The staff will be amazing, the service will be fantastic, and the food will blow your mind!