The Place: Tilikum Place Café, 407 Cedar St., 282-4830, BELLTOWN
The Hours: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Uptown, Downtown, or Down-Home: Located on Cedar Street right next door to the Five Point Café and the Chief Seattle statue, things go from downtown to uptown in a mere few steps. The Café claims to have a "West Village feel," but it is actually more "finer dining in Brooklyn."
Bubbles, Bloodies, or Black Coffee: All three. All fancy. TPC offers full-service espresso drinks at prices around those of Starbucks, along with pots of French press (two-cup for $3, four-cup for $5). Bloodies here are Tilikum Marys (housemade Bloody Mary mix with pepper-medley-infused vodka, $8); and the bubbles flow, albeit not freely, as both the Champagne Cocktail (sparkling wine with a sugar cube doused in Angostura bitters, served with a lemon twist) and Buck's Fizz (fresh-squeezed OJ and sparkling wine) come in at $10.
Hungover, Hooked-Up, or Hanging With the Family: This is not the spot for nursing wounds from the night before; you are a heartbeat from the Five Point, after all. This joint is bright and full of (for lack of a better term) "rich folks" and their offspring. This is a place you take your prospective in-laws, not someone from last night whose last name you're still a little fuzzy on. Again, the good old Five Point is right next door for that kind of business.
What's Cooking: Tilikum has received rave reviews from other publications -- Seattle Met called it "a treasure" -- but sadly, my Tilikum Fry Up (egg [as in one], bacon, sausage, beans, tomato, and toast for $14 . . . yes, FOURTEEN dollars) was a sexy letdown. It was beautifully plated and presented, but unfortunately incredibly bland and not so satisfying. If I had a nickel for every time I've encountered undercooked breakfast beans in Seattle, I could probably buy a Tilikum Fry Up and maybe one mimosa. At this price point, and with the attention to detail this spot pays everything else, it's hard to be forgiving. My dining companion fared better with her special-of-the-day Savory Tart ($10), which had a perfectly flaky crust, and we spied a couple of folks around us indulging in the Dutch Baby Baked Pancakes -- which come in two varieties: sweet (with frangipani and toasted almonds, $9) and savory (with pancetta and sautéed chard stems, $9) -- with gleefully satisfied expressions. So it seems if you choose the right dish and have some cash to burn, you too will treasure your experience at Tilikum Place Café.