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New Moon in the morning

Breakfast served from morning till afternoon at New Moon Cafe ... and the coffee's good too

New Moon Cafe: Owner Dylan Elkhart serves up a Big Mama plate with a Halo sandwich. Photography by J.M. Simpson

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New Moon Cafe

Where: 113 Fourth Ave. W., Olympia, 360.356.3452

Hours: 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., happy hour 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Cuisine: Local breakfast and café

Scene: Everyone from families to the office crowd

Drinkies: Coffees and sodas

Prices: $5-$10

I really love New Moon Cafe. The hours are limited and the space is small, but man is the coffee good.

The restaurant uses Olympia Coffee Roasters Batdorf and Bronson's Guatamalla Blend, and it is a fine cup of joe.

Not only that, the food is good! It most reminds me of Sage's on Rogers - high-quality, earthy, local ingredients you feel good about eating. It's a place where you just want to go in, sit with your cup of coffee and read your paper. Because the space is so small it's not the best restaurant for a large group, but for a small family or a couple of people it's a great place to go. Not only that, but the restaurant plays great music - on the last visit we listened to National Public Radio.

But there's more to New Moon Cafe than the coffee and music - the service also holds its own. On a recent stop into the Oly breakfast joint, we arrived and my son said he wanted trucks.

"No problem, let me see what I can do," said the waitress.

"Cool," we said.

Even cooler, she arrived back at the table with a bucket full of trucks, animals and figurines. Now that's really neat.

Breakfast is served all day at New Moon. I've never tried the lunch menu, although the restaurant does have salads, sandwiches and burgers. Sandwiches are $5-$8, burgers are $6-$8 and salads $7-$10. Intriguing journals sit at the tables, and patrons fill them with drawings and comments, which is an  enjoyable occupation as you wait for you food. Additionally, each table has blackberry jam, in which I always find something to dip.

The atmosphere is cozy and a little bit dark. It's planned that way, we figure, with the walls painted a light color while the ceiling is painted dark.

We ordered the buttermilk pancakes for my son, which were a very reasonable $2.50.  Man, were they good! I thought the pancakes were sourdough, but the waitress (there for us once again) informed me of their buttermilk genesis. And what fine buttermilk pancakes they are - perfectly crisp on the outside and with a fluffy center. I'm seriously going to order these every time I come from now on.

On a previous visit I had the medallion Benedict, which is flavored rice with the traditional Benedict items on top. You can get any Benedict with rice medallions. This place is definitely vegetarian friendly. These particular medallions were good, but not my all-time favorite. That said, I'm sure a vegetarian would consider them heavenly. The benedicts at New Moon are a good price at about $10. Omelets and scrambles are about $8. I've also had the Elkheart scramble which is very tasty and filled with veggies.

On this visit I had the salmon Benedict which is quite delicious: spinach, smoked salmon, tomatoes, a poached egg and butter hollandaise. It's quite a lovely dish, and the waitress was perfectly accommodating when I asked for hash browns instead of the regular diced potatoes. My husband dived into the biscuits and gravy, calling the dish yummy - different from his favorite biscuits and gravy at Cicada, but still quite wonderful.

When all you're looking for is a quality breakfast joint, the list of necessities isn't long, but it is important. At New Moon Cafe, the service is prompt and there is always coffee in your cup. The portions are so generous we actually didn't finish them all. 

We were full and happy - which is about all you can ask for.

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