While on our way back from the conference in Washington State, my colleagues and I stopped by Vintage Cafe in Everett for late lunch/early dinner. Why did we pick the spot? Well, here’s a little back story (please skip ahead to the pictures if you’re uninterested). You see, there were 7 of us that went to the conference, so we ended up traveling in two cars. I went with another graduate student and a post-doc in The Boss’s car while another graduate student went with two other post-docs in a second car. However, because the latter two post-docs had to leave the conference early, the other graduate student travelled with us on the return drive back to Canada. Now, we were looking for somewhere to eat (The Boss initially wanted to go to this European bistro, but apparently it was closed on Sundays), and the graduate student suggested that we go to this restaurant that he had visited on his way down here. He told us that the place in Everett, but after entering the town and searching in futile for the street that the restaurant was supposed to be located (we later learned that it was actually in Bellingham), we gave up and parked the car at a street that had a few eateries, and walked into the first decent-looking place that we could find, which happened to be Vintage Cafe.
So now that you’ve had the background story, here’s the food. It was Happy Hour when we arrived and they had a lot of appetizers available for $5, as well as 3-course meal specials for $9.99. We ordered a poutine and calamari to share, and I had their $9.99 meatloaf meal, which included a choice between soup/salad and ice cream for dessert.
Poutine ($5 during Happy Hour):
I have to acknowledge the irony of us ordering poutine in America when we are just about 1-2 hours away from the Canadian border. This is not “authentic” as in they used mozzarella cheese instead of cheese curds, but I actually didn’t mind as I personally don’t really like cheese curds. What I didn’t like about the poutine was that the fries weren’t very crispy at all, but were rather soft and soggy. It was also pretty flavourless and bland, as was the gravy.
Calamari ($5 during Happy Hour):
I only had one piece, so I can’t really rate this. It wasn’t bad from what I remember.
Meatloaf ($9.99 during Happy Hour):
This came with salad/soup, a side of either mashed/country/fried potatoes, glazed carrots, a piece of garlic toast, and a scoop of ice cream (choice between vanilla, salted caramel, and chocolate) for dessert. I picked the soup, which was Mulligatawny and served with crackers. It was pretty good. The meatloaf was a pretty good portion, consisting of 2 modest slices. It was quite tender, but unfortunately underseasoned and bland, even with the gravy. The glazed carrots were alright; tender and quite sweet. The country potatoes (which I picked as my side) were bland and a bit too burnt. The garlic toast was probably my favourite part of the dish: it was perfectly toasted, being crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the interior. The ice cream was also quite good; I got a salted caramel as well as an additional scoop of chocolate, thanks to my colleague who wanted to forgo his (SCORE!), and both were very tasty.
Even though the food wasn’t the best, I did still enjoy it, and I thought that it was quite a good deal for the price and portion. The service was not the friendliest, but efficient. Although I doubt that any of my colleagues will want to return if we were to attend the conference next year, I’d still recommend the place to anyone who happen to mistake Everett for Bellingham while looking for a place to eat.