In one word, what food item makes Seattle famous? You guessed it... salmon. Salmon is caught locally, unloaded fresh at local docks, and is delicious prepared any way you can think of. Don't get me wrong, as I absolutely adore salmon, but to me, when I think of Seattle cuisine, Beth's Cafe comes immediately to my mind, as it's home to the 12-egg omelet, and the most famous, greasy spoon diner cuisine the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: I was dazzled and amazed on this Friday morning, August 18, 2017, that the few on-street parking spaces in front of Beth's weren't jammed full of parked cars, and there wasn't a line of hungry diners waiting on the sidewalk for their turn at a table. (I have read many Yelp reviews about this restaurant.) At first I thought the restaurant was closed - how could that be for a restaurant that has been open 24/7/365 for over 60 years? - until I saw the neon-lit "open" sign in the window that reassured me, and beckoned me inside. Parking is limited and tight on Aurora Blvd. and the surrounding neighborhood, but I managed to park in an alley, a short block what you say. At 0730 on this Friday morning, the neighborhood was just fine, but after dark, from what I saw and what I've read, the neighborhood is "sketchy" at best.
Photo: As I walked in the front door, the first thing I noticed was the open kitchen - which is something that I truly adore - and the "Please Wait to be Seated" sign. One of the two servers on duty, Janelle, as seated at the small counter, working on a crossword puzzle - I assume she was an all-night hostess, as she looked tired - looked up at me, and said that I could seat myself anywhere I wanted to site. That was an easy choice for me, as I sat on a stool at the counter, so I could take in all of the action, and watch the chef at work.
The main dining room is to your left, which you might miss, as you stare at the pots of coffee and the seven flats of eggs "on deck," and ready to go.
You just have to love the little poem that greets you - in the upper left of the photo - that reads...
I pledge allegiance to the omelette
Photo: I took a seat at the counter, near where Janelle was working on her crossword puzzle. Beth's
Photo: I'm standing in the main dining room, looking towards the entrance of the restaurant. Oddly enough on this Friday morning, there were only a couple of booths seated, and a couple of gentlemen at the counter. My timing was perfect, as I've read how crowded this small restaurant can get, especially on weekends.
Note the pictures, drawn by customers, which decorate the walls, backs of booths, and just about everywhere in the dining room. This is quite unique, and adds a lot of character to this one-of-a-kind Seattle diner.
Photo: Another photo of the dining room, looking toward the window that looks out to busy Aurora Avenue.
Photo: Beth's omelettes come in two sizes: 6 or 12 eggs. This is the omelette portion of the menu, but the menu includes all of your favorite breakfast, lunch and diner cuisine. Since Beth's is open 24/7, anything on the menu is available at any time, but while chatting with my friendly server, Liz, she told me that about 75% of the restaurant's business comes from the breakfast menu.
I really wanted to go with a 12-egg omelette, but I just couldn't... If Adam Richman, of Man v. Food fame couldn't finish a 12-egg omelette, I wouldn't stand the chance of a snowball in Hades attempting the omelette challenge... So, I "wimped-out" and went with a 6-egg "Southwestern Exposure" omelette.
Photo: Everything about this greasy spoon diner is "old school," including the order wheel, which didn't seem to be in use today, as business was very slow. I really don't think anything about this restaurant has been updated since it opened, back in 1954.
Photo: The crossword puzzle, along with her drink, at the end of the counter, that Janelle had been working on. As I mentioned earlier, she appeared to be a night-shift worker, nearing the end of her shift, and taking a much-needed break, after serving omelettes all night long to drunks, stoners, and others who just can't sleep, and crave a great helping of "comfort food." Actually, Beth's
Photo: This view, taken from my seat at the counter, gives a good idea of one of the two cashier stations, the collection of newspapers for customers to read, and another view of pictures drawn by customers, and the many photos of customers that are taped to the walls. In addition to the restaurant not being modernized since 1954, I seriously doubt the restaurant has been cleaned since then, as shown in the photo. Who cares? I love it like this, as this restaurant has CHARACTER!
Photo: The kitchen is open, so you get to see the chef at work. Actually, the kitchen isn't very big, so I can just imagine it must be a real bottleneck when the small restaurant is packed with hungry diners, particularly on weekends. Note the exposed plumbing and wiring... I don't believe this kitchen has had an update since 1954! However, it works, and the food is delicious, so why tinker with a good thing?
Photo: Meet Liz, my friendly server, who brought my 6-egg omelette to me, as I sat at the counter. She and I enjoyed quite a conversation about greasy spoon diner-fare, such is the variety of cuisine enjoyed at Beth's. She asked if I'd seen Adam Richman attempt to eat a 12-egg omelette on Travel Channel's Man v. Food, and the feature done of the Food Network. Yes, I have seen the segments on television, and I've also read many Yelp reviews, and since I was in the greater Seattle area, today's visit to Beth's
Photo: Thanks, Liz, for snapping my photo, as I get ready dig into my 6-egg omelette.
Photo: I really, really wanted to order a 12-egg omelette, if nothing else, for bragging rights, just to "give it a go." But, maybe I'm getting too old, or too sensible for those kind of antics. I figured if Adam Richman, the man with the voracious appetite, couldn't finish the omelette, than I didn't have a prayer. So, I went for the smaller, 6-egg version, which is still a massive, 2-1/2 pound breakfast behemoth.
I ordered the "Southwestern Exposure" omelette, which includes Cheddar cheese, salsa, sour cream and brisket chili. It's served on a large platter, and sits on top of a large helping of all-you-can-eat hash brown potatoes - as if you could eat anything else, lol - with a couple of thick slices of toast on the side.
My omelette was cooked perfectly and was delicious. Every bite tasted a little different, I suppose due to the distribution of the cheese, salsa, sour cream chili. The hash browns were some of the best I have ever enjoyed, and the toast was good too. I really wish I could have ordered a second helping of hash browns, but by the time I finished this monster breakfast, I was stuffed. If you're really hungry, and you enjoy a superior breakfast, this is your restaurant.
Beth's is a Seattle iconic restaurant, a legend, and is a magnet to all "foodies," as it attracts lovers of over-the-top omelets and lovers of fine food, like me, who crave legendary greasy spoon diner cuisine. Your dining experience in Seattle just isn't complete until you've enjoyed breakfast at Beth's Cafe.
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