Soak It Up: Books and Eggs at Library Cafe


The spread, including the Crown Hill omelet, inside a nook at the Library Cafe.

Apothecary: Library Café, 850 N.W. 85th St., 789-5682, PHINNEY.

Time of entry: Sunday, 1:30 p.m.

Level of hangover (1–10 scale, with 10 being a paralyzing head-thumper): I woke up around 12:30 p.m. That’s enough right there to make your head pound. Even on the drive up there, I still felt like I was sleeping. But was I still drunk? No, and alcohol wasn’t the only reason there was a chimpanzee banging cymbals in my head. Two (for waking up so late) plus two (for the beverages) equals four, right?

Level of waitstaff hangover: I walked in the door and this pretty gal was right there standing in the middle of the room waiting to seat me. The waitstaff was energetic and polite. I couldn’t imagine them taking body shots or swigging down PBR the night before, so I’d say they were at a big fat 0. My companion, however, would like me to note they were very slow on refilling our sorely needed waters.

Prescriptions: Whether the food at Library Café is good or not didn’t matter tons, because the atmosphere was enough to make me smile. We were seated in a nook that I believe at one point may have been a giant fireplace hearth. While there was little room in all directions, and the table pressing against my beer belly felt like a dull object threatening to pop a balloon, the novelty of it all made me forgiving. Besides, where else could you pick a book off of a shelf behind you and enjoy a full breakfast and Moby Dick in an environment that reminds you of your grandma’s place? Not many places, besides your grandma’s place.

Speaking of grandmas, mine at least makes better food than the Library served. I ordered the Crown Hill omelet, which was a tiny “three egg” omelet with sausage, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions, and garlic ($9.95). It was tasty, but certainly didn’t blow me into the brick wall. I have a sneaking suspicion that the potatoes that accompanied it were sitting out for a while.

My companion had the Jill’s Special, a scramble with various vegetables and Parmesan ($8.95). Also on the menu are Scotch eggs, a variety of sandwiches and burgers, and quite a selection of teas. (But afternoon tea is by reservation only, no joke.)

Hair of the dog: A rather tasty, non-alcoholic grapefruit juice. I know, this can't truly be a hair of the dog. Forgive me.

Success of the soak: At first I was a little indignant at the smaller portions of food, even as I began writing. But I recall being thoroughly full when I left, without the dreadful beer-AND-too-much-breakfast belly. So it was successful, while quaint and simple at the same time.


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