mecca1.jpg

The Place: The Mecca, 526 Queen Anne Ave., 285-9728, QUEEN ANNE.

Hours: 7am-2am Sunday-Thursday, 7am-4am Friday and Saturday.

Uptown, Downtown or Down Home: Historically Downtown.

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Brunch at the Mecca's Not Worth a Pilgrimage

mecca1.jpg

The Place:The Mecca, 526 Queen Anne Ave., 285-9728, QUEEN ANNE.

Hours: 7am-2am Sunday-Thursday, 7am-4am Friday and Saturday.

Uptown, Downtown or Down Home: Historically Downtown. The Mecca has been serving Seattle since the Hoover administration. One of the few diner-style options in lower Queen Anne, my Monday mid-morning visit saw the café portion of the Mecca packed with a mix of Seattle Center tourists and folks who appeared to be regulars.

Bubbles, Bloodies or Black Coffee: All three. The Coffee is Caffe Vita and perfectly fine. The house bubbles are courtesy of Cooks, so if you're not picky about the quality of your mimosa, go for it. The Bloody Marys, if the woman in the booth behind me is to believed, are strong "but not spicy enough."

Hungover, Hooked-Up or Hanging with the Family: With a separated bar and dining area, you can choose what kind of vibe you are going for. Solo seating is available on either side of the Mecca and the WiFi is fast. Kids are welcome in the café. It's a good spot to take a hook-up you suspect of being secretly pretentious, because as far as pretension goes, the Mecca has absolutely none.

What's Cooking: Whereas the 5-Point is the spot for people watching, the Mecca is a great spot for eavesdropping. The colorful clientele are generally loud, opinionated and a little loopy. Along with the regulars, there are many things to love about the Mecca, as it is a no-nonsense Seattle institution rich in divey goodness, but unfortunately their Salmon Benedict with 'browns (two poached eggs and wild Alaskan salmon with capers, dill, garlic, and red onions served on an English muffin and topped with Hollandaise sauce- $13.29) was not one of them. It came out looking lovely, but one bite in I discovered what had to be at least half of an eight ounce jar of capers dumped between my egg and English muffin. There were so many, it was impossible to taste anything else and the dish was barely edible. The hash browns, sadly, weren't much better: overdone on the outside and a little raw in the middle, and had me wondering after my first bite if I was actually being punked.

The Mecca could take a couple of lessons from their friends at the 5-Point and pay more attention to the food and general ambiance. The unchanging stale cigarette vibe works in the bar, but they could stand to freshen up the dining area (and bathrooms). The Mecca now seems a bit of a faded older sister compared to the Point's plucky charm; not even the glorious sounds of Prince pumping out of the house speakers could make my dining experience any better. And that, friends, is saying a mouthful.

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