Sunday, May 18, 2008

Salish Lodge

Salish Lodge, Snoqualmie Falls, WA
Upscale dining at a fancy lodge overlooking a thundering waterfall

You can't really beat the view as you approach Salish Lodge. Overlooking Snoqualmie Falls in western Washington, it's got trees, a river gorge, and of course, the steady roar of thousands of gallons of water pouring over a rocky cliff every second. Waterfalls are strange things, constantly in motion yet so stable that they almost seem to become static, a fixed roar that might almost be a snapshot. They are mesmerizing and awe-inspiring, and form great backgrounds for a pleasant meal.

The Salish Lodge's brunch came recommended to us, and once we saw the location we were pretty excited at the prospect of eating there. Perhaps a little too excited: as it turned out, the food was good but not amazing, and our expectations weren't quite met. You could argue that they were too high to begin with, and there might be merit to that. You could also argue that dinner there is a different experience (and the menu would seem to bear that out). Brunch seemed more focused on delivering quantity of food, as evidenced by their four-course "country breakfast" (pastries, oatmeal, pancakes, and eggs, any one of which we would have happily shared between two of us).

The interior is about what you'd expect from a lodge: nice wood trim, well lit, big picture windows. On our linen napkins, river stones were placed, as well as a nice flower. Though we didn't have a view of the falls, we did have a black and white picture of them at our table.

We settled on the wild mushroom frittata and the cinnamon French toast. The fresh-squeezed orange juice was delicious and quite fresh, and the biscuit that came with the frittata was an exemplary biscuit, with a nice theatrical drizzle of honey over top of it from our server. But the frittata wasn't all that mushroomy, and the French toast wasn't very cinnamony. They were both good, but there wasn't anything really special about either of them. The bacon that came with the French toast, again, had a nice crunch and a good salty bacon flavor, but wasn't as distinctive as bacon we've had elsewhere; the potatoes that came with the frittata were good as well but also standard.

Our server was very friendly and willing to make recommendations. We felt well attended throughout the whole meal. There were some gaps in knowledge, though; when we asked what kind of honey was being drizzled over our biscuit, and whether it was local, she said it was "SYSCO Organic Honey," which is not really what you want to hear from an expensive lodge's brunch.

We'd definitely go back, at least for the location, and perhaps with tempered expectations this time. If we brought two more friends, we could order the country breakfast.


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