Seattle deserves to see a Grand Slam -- in or out of Safeco. If our baseball team won't deliver one, we will. Our>"/>
Seattle deserves to see a Grand Slam -- in or out of Safeco. If our baseball team won't deliver one, we will. Our challengers both have jersey numbers (5 and 219), a couple of great pitchers (of syrup) and a home plate (of food). But, when it comes to this breakfast staple of pancakes, eggs and bacon, who will deliver a home run?
1502 Queen Anne Ave. N., 285-7768
Kathryn's Grand Slam ($9.50) consists of buttermilk pancakes, two strips of bacon and two eggs cooked to order. It's named after Seattle Weekly alum Kathryn Robinson who, in the words of 5 Spot owner Peter Levy, "fucking skewered & roasted us" back in 2001.
"I won't bore you with the content of the review," say Levy, "but my initial response was to take the ferry over to Vashon and smoke dope all day."
Specifically, Kathryn compared the 5 Spot to Denny's.
"I thought it would be fitting to have a menu item with the classic ingredient list from Denny's original Grand Slam breakfast in honor to K.R.'s grand slam of our joint, only with delicious cakes and real maple syrup (which, right about now, is more expensive than a shot of J.W. Red Label). It was meant to happen and the item lives on."
Denny's has nothing on the 5 Spot Gand Slam. Our over-easy eggs, velvety pancakes and crispy bacon were a deeply-agreeable combination of sweet and savory. We aren't huge pancake fans, but there's something about these ones that, excuse the pun, totally hit the spot.
Ginger Spice would probably love this, too.
219 Broadway Ave. E., 328-4604
The Seattle Slam ($9.50) is a lot like Kathryn's Slam, but the pancakes change flavor every day, and you get a choice of Bavarian Meats bacon or chicken sausage. The day we went, they were out of bacon, so we were left veering from consistency and ordering the chicken sausage. We're glad we did. The links were juicy, filled with spices, and cooked to perfection. It reminded us of biting into a really great hot dog, fresh off the grill. The eggs were also good, but the pancakes are the real story here. We were expecting the buttermilk variety, but were served ginger pancakes with spiced butter instead. The cakes were light and fluffy and delicately flavored. They were quite a bit smaller than the pancakes at the 5 Spot, but when you also have two eggs and two links of sausage staring up at you from the plate, size doesn't matter so much.
Most of the time, we create a mental picture of what we are going to eat way before we place our order. We whet our appetite imagining what our food is going to look and taste like when we're finally served. When those expectations are not met, we are disappointed. That was the case with Table 219. We were expecting regular pancakes to go with our traditional breakfast Grand Slam, but instead, were given cakes with a spicy flair. The ginger pancakes were great; we'd totally order them again on their own. As a Grand Slam side, they did not mesh. In our opinion, the spice from the sausage and the heaviness of the egg yolks called for a pancake with more of a neutral flavor. The 5 Spot Grand Slam hit a homer on this challenge.
As a side note, the manager of the 5 Spot recently unearthed a ton of old menus, postcards, and other paraphernalia, including Kathryn's review, and hung it on the walls of the back dining room. The review is posted alongside Levy's response via a quarter-page ad in the following week's edition of the Weekly.