Here’s a mouthful: Grounds with Sounds Artisan’s Community Entertainment Café.
The self-described coffee house, which landed in downtown Olympia in April, serves a mouthful of gourmet food, coffees, teas and desserts. Sure, salad, sandwich and soup sound simple enough, but attention to detail in preparation and presentation set Artisan’s Café menu above par.
It’s all about Ingredients: fresh, crisp, juicy and lovely.
It’s also all about making friends: meat eater (self-explanatory), vegetarian (does not eat flesh, not chicken, beef, pork, or sea creatures; and vegan (does not eat any product containing ingredients derived from animals or sea creatures; no cheese, dairy, eggs, or natural butter — now that’s hardcore, and probably doesn’t own a leather coat.
Salads are entrée size ($7.50), filled with ruby red tomatoes, crisp romaine lettuce, cucumber wheels, roasted and sweet red peppers before you visit the individual toppings that make each salad unique: Greek, Mediterranean, Meat Lovers.
Sandwiches ($6.85) are basically salads stuffed between tasty slices of the Bread Peddler’s wares with small dishes of sweet vinegar Italian four-bean salad. There’s a tie for meatiest mouthful between the roast beef, provolone and avocado and the salami, ham, provolone and pesto pepperccini sandwiches. Vibrato Veggie is a meatless wonder overflowing with garden fresh produce.
Split pea with ham is my favorite soup du jour ($3). Creamy green pea, soft bits of carrots and little smoky ham pieces folded together nicely in a mildly salted comfort concoction served with wedges of foccocia bread. Lighter fare of Tim’s potato chips or side salad ($1.50) or a plate of fresh veggies, whipped hummus and slices of pita bread ($6) are offered.
I highly recommend the Hummingbird Cake ($4.50), blending bananas, pecans and pineapple with cream cheese. Desserts aren’t oily or fake flavor sweet; they’re the real deal and moist.
Check this, not one coffee drink is priced over $5. Starbucks are you listening? The most spendy one is a 20-ounce K.C. Breve — a kahlua cream luscious coffee beverage served either hot or cold for $4.95. — Jennifer Johnson
[Grounds with Sounds Artisan’s Community Entertainment Café, 109 N. Capitol Way, Olympia, 360.570.2202, www.theartisanscafe.com]