Soak Spot: Maltby Café, 8809 Maltby Rd Snohomish
Time of Soak: 11:00 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. I woke up, rolled over, and knew exactly what I desired and where to get it. All I needed was an accomplice, and my nocturnal boyfriend was conveniently awake and ready to join me. He beat me to the place and was waiting at the table, daisy in hand, as I strolled in 15 minutes late. Seated around us were suit-wearing regulars, families and senior citizens. I was shocked we got in with out having to wait-- on weekend mornings it's commonplace to send a messenger at least two hours ahead to get your name on the list. We ordered at 11:15 a.m. and secured the last two breakfast orders of the day (lunch goes from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays).
Level of Hangover: I was in search of a nurturing meal after a crazy bachelorette party on a yellow school bus that stopped only for beverage breaks and a late night improv show.
Hair of the Dog: Fresh squeezed orange juice (I'm a fan of the next-day detox method which generally includes guzzling as much Vitamin C as my bladder can hold). It came out a little too sweet for my taste, so I took a few sips, and switched to some superior Maltby H2O (I believe in the unwritten rule that says the closer I get to the mountains the better the water tastes). One thing this gem could change on the beverage menu: ditch the Starbucks espresso for some less corporate local brew such as Zoka Coffee Roaster and Tea Company or Caffe D'arte.
The Soak: Multiple people, including my mom (whose elite taste rivals those of the Duchess of Winsor), suggested the Maltby Bread Fruit French Toast with crème fraîche ($10.95) so I gave it a shot. The food came out fast (9 minutes after we ordered), and after the first bite of my thick French toast covered in a dollop of thick crème fraîche the size of a fist, I couldn't help but smile and shake my head, as I realized the best breakfast I've ever had was found 20 minutes North of Seattle, in a nowheresville plot of land, nestled between Woodinville and Monroe.Marionberries added an extra kick of toothsomeness and tartness that left the maple syrup on my plate untouched. I was fearful of a complete sugar meltdown later in the afternoon, so I switched gears and picked at chunks of salty, lightly fried potato on the plate to my left. Not too greasy but still seasoned well enough to give off that wholesome, savory taste. The portions were generous, and I left completely stuffed. I didn't regret eating as much as I did however, which is a testament to just how great this place is.
Success of the Soak: If you don't mind the drive, and can make it up North on a weekday this place is the best soak you can get for home-down, quick, and not-too pricey food (around $30 for two people). Plus the vintage appeal of the place (the restaurant is housed in an old school house constructed in 1937), and its out-of-town appeal will score you a few hipster points with your friends.