When it comes to local versions of cultish hybrid food, I’m partial to the doughsant, a marriage of a croissant and a doughnut baked at all Legendary Doughnut locations. (Get the salted caramel. Go now, get it.)
Defiant Goldfish in Ruston has a Taco Tuesday special that makes me happy whenever I see a picture of it on my Facebook feed, which is often. It’s a pizzaco, a pizza-taco hybrid built with pizza toppings tucked into tortillas.
Soon, Tacomans will have another hybrid, and I like the sound of it.
The owners of Red Elm Cafe don’t quite know what they’re calling it yet, and there is a bit of competition between the sisters who co-own the cafe over which name will win.
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Will it be Sarah Joslyn’s moniker, a womelet, or will Jennifer Richardson’s title, waffled omelet, win? Customers will decide after the Hilltop cafe and espresso destination opens the last week of February, if all goes as planned.
It’s not truly a hybrid food because there’s no actual waffle batter in the omelet and the ingredients mirror a traditional omelet. The name is more about the look of the dish and its cooking method. Pressed with a small kitchen outfitted only with waffle irons and panini grills (because fancy kitchen equipment is too expensive for tiny cafes), they had a quandary.
A panini press is not suitable to cook an omelet, of course. So the waffle iron it was.
“Our omelets are more scrambles. They come out looking like a waffle depending on what goes in them,” said Sarah Joslyn.
They’ll make two. One with bacon, ham and cheddar. The other with mushroom, feta and spinach.
She’s the youngest of the three sisters who will operate the cafe. Adina Joslyn is the middle. Richardson is the oldest. They’re actually siblingsone, three and five in a family of six kids.
The younger siblings spent their formative years in Bonney Lake, and the older siblings grew up in the Milton area. Richardson was the first to take up residence in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, more than a decade ago. Next was Adina, then Sarah. They live close to the cafe. The name Red Elm is a nod to the roots they’ve put down in the Hilltop. If you look closely at the logo, you’ll find the faces of all three sisters hidden in it.
Sarah described the cafe as serving simple breakfast and lunch dishes. Beyond the waffled omelets (or womelets), there will be actual waffles. One is served sweet with syrup and jam, another is savory, with bacon and cheese. “You just toss the ingredients in the batter before putting it on the griddle. The cheese gets so crispy. It’s really good,” said Sarah.
They’ll also serve three kinds of breakfast sandwiches. At lunch, there will be a daily soup and a sandwich menu with a caprese, chicken avocado, grilled cheese and grilled ham and cheese.
They’ll have an espresso menu with coffee from Caravan, an Oregon roaster.
The style of service will be order-at-the-counter. Seating can accommodate 40, with a separate space that can double as a meeting area for at least a dozen diners. There is a children’s play area and lounge areas with couches and chairs. They intend to be open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Sundays.
Red Elm Cafe
Address: 1114 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma; 253-327-1791; facebook.com/redelmcafe.