Restaurant Review

If you ever watched the Northern Exposure TV show, you’re familiar with the Roslyn Café – the iconic mural on the side of the building is in the opening credits.  In the show, Roslyn Washington stands in for the fictional town of Cicely Alaska.  And if you’re in the town of Roslyn, the Roslyn Cafe (201 W Pennsylvania Ave, Roslyn, WA 98941 - ) is worth a stop. They do breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I’ve never had anything but breakfast there.  The biscuits and gravy alone are worth the two hour drive.  They use a locally produced sausage, and the biscuits are spot on.  Pretty much everything is made from scratch with fresh ingredients, and it shows.  I’m also a fan of their logger omelet – and their home fries are totally worth eating.  Their fusion huevos rancheros/chilaquiles is a little unorthodox, but if you are a fan of either dish, worth ordering.  They have quite a few vegetarian options, but the menu caters to the tastes of a coal mining town.  Well, ex-coal mining town – thankfully our nations appetite for coal has been diminishing, and the mines in Roslyn closed down in the 60’s.  After Northern Exposure came out, tourism injected some life into the decaying town.  But, after that frenzy, the town slowed down again.  However, things seem to be humming now, probably a byproduct of the appetites of visitors to the continually growing Suncadia resort a few miles out of town.  The café is pretty small – maybe a dozen tables – so if you are there at a busy time, you might end up waiting a bit.  If you’re dying to know more about Roslyn, the museum next door will give you a walk through the history.  The vast majority of my Roslyn Cafe meals have been post-backpacking.  Just follow the Salmon La Sac road out of Roslyn to some of the best hiking in Washington.  If you’re feeling ambitious, Spectacle Lake lives up to its name – although the 10 mile hike to the lake is a doozy, with most of the elevation in the last few miles.  But, you get an amazing alpine lake that isn’t typically inundated with hikers (although it is gaining popularity I hear).  Thorp Lake is a genuinely underappreciated gem – just over 5 miles round trip – and if you meet more than a few other hikers I’d be surprised. Both lakes offer great swimming – with Spectacle being a more bracing experience (last time I swam there my arms went numb), and Thorp being nearly perfect.  Not into hardcore hiking? - then pop up for the Roslyn Farmers Market – every Sunday from 10am-2pm during the summer.  In the winter, there are quite a few sno-parks in the area – so you can fuel up at the Roslyn café before heading out to watch the woods fill up with snow.       

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