Pilots are a funny bunch. As best the average non-pilot can tell, the general pilot attitude seems to hinge on the fact that they make a living doing things that millennia worth of humanity swore couldn't be done. Life is about shrugging at things that others may perceive as risky, because they know better. In the case of all the pilots I've ever met, there is a tendency to be obnoxiously uptight about even the tiniest aspects of anything making their craft functional, and then to be obnoxiously relaxed about anything and everything else. The rest is no big deal.
In Georgetown, near Boeing field, sits The Hangar Cafe. It may not be run by pilots, but it deals with them on a daily basis, and has settled right into the milieu of such a clientele. The cafe is small and clean, with a well-developed menu, high-quality food, attention to detail in all of the decor, and great, impressively efficient service. You'll get plenty of attention, and be able to rest assured that they scored well on their health inspections. In exchange, the likelihood of a backward-baseball-cap-wearing guy walking over and sitting down at your table while he takes your order is considerably greater than at most other establishments. On Tuesday morning, when I warned the server that I was going to be a high-maintenance breakfast order, he grabbed a notepad and pen, pulled up a chair, settled in, and said, "OK! Whatcha got?"
He seemed disappointed when I just said I needed something gluten-free and without eggs. The Hangar Cafe is known for award-winning crêpes, and I thought I was being complicated. But apparently he'd heard that one before. "Oh. Is that all?" was the response I got. I almost felt bad that I couldn't think of any additional challenges to add. "We'll just make you the inside of a crêpe, like a scramble but without the eggs."
Yes. Yes, it is that simple. But rarely does anyone understand that it's that simple. Receiving such an uncluttered assessment of the situation, followed by a quick and easily implemented solution, without having to break anything down piece-by-piece for anyone made ordering breakfast actually enjoyable for a change. His continuing commentary--covering the fact that they wanted to offer buckwheat crêpes, but currently couldn't because they lacked room for a dedicated grill--alleviated any concerns about cross-contamination. So with that, I ordered a crêpe, asked for orange juice, and sat back with my coffee to see what would happen.
"Orange juice," he said, pausing for a second. "You said you wanted champagne in that, right?" In fact, I'd said no such thing, and proceeded to point out that it was a Tuesday morning. That didn't seem to impress anyone.
"It is Tuesday. So?" I couldn't very well argue with that.
Thus, the next thing I knew, I was served a mimosa in a pint mason jar, along with a truly delicious, egg-free scramble of roasted red potatoes, roast beef, tomatoes, red onions, and spinach. I left breakfast considerably less stressed and better fed than I'd arrived, and suffered absolutely no symptoms that could suggest cross-contamination.
I know that Wheaties has always claimed to be the Breakfast of Champions, but it turns out it's been lying to us. Breakfast at The Hangar Cafe is a fantastic idea, whether you have food allergies or not. Either way, they can handle it.
You'll find The Hangar at 6261 13th Ave. S., open between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. Saturdays and Sundays, they open at 8 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.