Fluffy drop biscuits. A silky cream-based country gravy. Good poached eggs.
I’ve found a new breakfast destination with potential — Montamara Kitchen.
The Old Town neighborhood breakfast, lunch and brunch cafe opened in early April in the former home of the Hawthorn Tea Room.
The restaurant is named after a slice of Tacoma history, the early 20th century mountain-to-sea festival called Montamara Festo. The small, seat-yourself cafe is operated by business partners PJ Rutledge and Amie Budelmann. The menu is casual cafe fare for breakfast and lunch, and more complicated fare for the seated weekend brunch.
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Inexpensive, and fast, breakfast offerings were ideal for a get-out-quick breakfast. A wedge of herbed frittata ($4) took just a few minutes for the kitchen to heat. A sunrise sandwich ($6.50) was a pressed sandwich layered with eggs and thinly-sliced ham. Espresso was made with beans from Tacoma’s Valhalla Coffee.
Flash forward to a weekend brunch when we feasted on a plate of biscuits and gravy ($9.75), the cream-based country gravy tasted heavy on sausage. Flecked with pepper and fresh herbs, the generous portion of gravy spilled over tall, fluffy biscuits (made in house) and pooled around the side of roasted red potatoes with roasted garlic cloves.
Those same great potatoes also were an accompaniment for crab cakes Benedict ($15.50). The cakes tasted of too much filler and not enough crab for the price tag, but the eggs were sublime — poached perfectly, spilling golden rivers of yolk. The hollandaise was buttery and light on lemon.
A small quibble if ordering drip coffee, also made with beans from Valhalla. The cups were small, which meant having to wave down a server for refills more times than I wanted. Service was spot on, though, and rarely took long to get a second (and third and fourth) refill on the coffee.