Road tripping to Bainbridge Island: Where I Ate
I did something on Sunday that I need to do more often: get out of town.
I grabbed a friend and ferried over to Bainbridge Island yesterday morning (barely a line!) to just decompress.
Things started out shaky as we arrived starving to the Streamliner Diner for breakfast around 10:30 a.m. The line was a mile long and we needed to eat immediately. I had never been, but I heard this was sort of the place for a hearty breakfast. While in line, some guy came out of the restaurant and shouted, “Worth the wait!” and fist-pumped the air as he left. Good sign, right? Eh, sort of. The place is adorable. It’s got a real down home feel, counter seating, good coffee, fresh baked muffins, families, crying babies, the whole enchilada. What it lacks is pancakes (only waffles and French toast here) and good hash browns. The dishes we ordered (sautéed veggies over poached eggs and hash browns and a fried egg sandwich) were just okay. Once fed, we headed down the block to Café Nola to sit in their bar and order cocktails. Both the Greyhound and Bellini hit the spot. I’d consider this for my next breakfast destination (the place could not be cuter) on Bainbridge, but good lord is it pricey: $16 for an egg white omelette with tomatoes, pesto, goat cheese and arugula. That seems spendy to me.
Next, we drove to the other end of the island to hike through Bloedel Reserve, a 90-minute walk that takes you through lush greenery, swamps, a reflection pool, a Japanese garden and all sorts of pretty scenery. The only thing missing from this public garden was a picnic and a bottle of wine, both of which are apparently not allowed on grounds. There are, however, lots of beautiful hiding spots to be found along the trails.
After our hike, we headed back into town and beelined to the Harbour Public House to sit on their view-filled patio and have a couple of beers: Chuckanut Pilsner and a Rainy Day IPA. On an incredibly crowded sunny Sunday afternoon, I’m guessing the food was a little rushed. Our fish and chips (great fish, gummy chips) arrived room temp, the clam chowder semi-coagulated and the farro salad thrown onto a plate somewhat haphazardly. With that said, it was all pretty good! The long menu was impressive and somewhat overwhelming. I'm certain there really is something for everyone on this massive list. The best part was sitting outside underneath a monstrous umbrella and just gawking at the marina and Seattle skyline. This might be my second favorite spot on Bainbridge behind Hitchcock, where we ended up at the bar for several glasses of wine and a couple of small plates: pâté de Campagne with mustard, cucumber (lacto-fermented) and a pickled shallot; duck confit torchon with spicy green benas, aioli; and some blasted Tani Creek broccoli with bagna cauda.
Next time I head to Bainbridge for a day trip, what should I not miss?