Writer Bruce Taylor was holding a table for comics classic Roberta Gregory and me at Seattle's Hot Spot.
On the way to meet Bruce, we passed a little restaurant that was nearly empty - but a waitress was delivering two big breakfast plates that looked and smelled divine.
It was Mother's Day, and the Hot Spot was slammed. Bruce was still waiting. So I suggested we head back and check out the other café.
Plenty of room in a big, roomy hall, with both outside walls mostly window. Now, let's just have the facts:
Café Soleil, Ethiopian Restaurant. Devoted to the organic and real.
Big, tasty, American-style breakfasts, served fast (haven't had a chance to try the Ethiopian dishes, but the dinner menu looked yummy). Fried potatoes tender and crisp, eggs tender, goat cheese, sausage and veggies scrumptious. No, it's not all vegetarian, but they have plenty of veggie choices.
Very reasonable prices, right in the Cheap Eats class.
Fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Bottomless cup of STRONG coffee.
Almond milk or soy for the lactose intolerant.
Attention to special needs and sensitivities, such as gluten-free upon request.
Cheerful, out-going wait-staff and cooks.
Bathroom (I always check, for a key to overall restaurant cleanliness): Let us say - old-time post office building needs floor help, but clean and charming. And organic: even the odor spray was nothing but orange oils, with no propellants.
Where: Seattle's Madrona neighborhood, 1400 34th Avenue, Seattle, WA 206- 325-1120. Lots of neighborhood parking.
We didn't mean to bleed off the line of people standing in front of the Hot Spot, and fill up the Soleil - but those poor people were backed up for days, and neither place is huge. And two good restaurants attract more overall customers than one.
Now we'll have to go back for dinner!