You've got to hand it to them. Patty's Eggnest in Northgate is the first business with a chance to sustain itself in the previously cursed Seattle Crab Co. building in more than a while. After stints as the now forgotten La Bera and The Fine Diner, both lasting a matter of months, the restaurant on the corner of Northgate Way and Roosevelt changed hands so often it became painful to glace at when driving by. But with the addition of the latest Patty's location last October, the corner now holds an often full parking lot and loyal clientele. The quick popularity of the family-run local chain's latest outpost makes sense, since Patty's already operates a number of successful siblings outside of the city and on Holman Road.
Is Patty's Eggnest a good place for kids? Sure. It's a good place for patrons from the womb to the tomb, with the latter out in full force on most mornings. It's totally unpretentious, in a pocket of the city plagued with a few chain restaurants at the mall and even fewer authentic eateries. Patty's could easily thrive in any Midwestern town, with a smattering of tables situated under paintings likely picked from the neighboring T.J. Maxx.The oversized menu and portions fit the bill as well, with three egg omelets scooting off the plate next to butterball biscuits and heaps of toasted hash browns. My eggs included what must have been a half-pound of mushrooms and half a block of Swiss. The coffee resting next to a bowl of non-dairy creamer is bottomless and as good as just about any other diner brew.
Patty's wait staff is peppy and friendly, eagerly delivering drinks and crayons to kids upon being seated. The kitchen is efficient, maybe too efficient for its own good. My son's bear face pancake arrived with a crooked whipped cream smile, one ear, two off-centered eyes, and a soggy piece of melon for a nose. It's cute-sad, sort of like the rest of the place.
The basics of any American diner--generous portions, greasy bacon, and OJ from concentrate--abound at Patty's. But in spite of breakfast fare that scratches the itch and cheery servers, there's something off-putting about the place. It might be the schmancy floral arrangements by the door or the crown molding suggesting a formality that's never going to happen. But really, I think it comes down to cost. If I'm going to spend more than ten dollars on breakfast, I'll pick Skillet or The Dish any day. Because for most of us, eating out is a small luxury, and atmosphere is as important as anything.