Red Rooster Café
Where: 3313 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor, 253.514.8175
Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cuisine: American cafe-style breakfast and lunch: sweet and savory crêpes, French toast, omelets, biscuits and gravy, bagel sandwiches, oatmeal, soup, salad and sandwiches.
Scene: Cute, country house vibe. Lots of rooster art, swirl painted ceiling, great view of the harbor, outdoor deck seating in warm weather. Casual, inexpensive dining. Service can take a while.
Drinks: Espresso and coffee from Utopia, hot chocolate, Italian soda, chai, tea, smoothies, juice, sodas, lemonade.
ANNOUNCER: Since opening in August, Gig Harbor's cute rooster-themed Red Rooster Cafe on the water has seen some changes, and there are more to come. They have applied for a license to serve beer and wine. A cook at the café shares that more crêpes, dinner selections and hours will be added along with additional seating on the large waterfront deck by June. Red Rooster currently offers breakfast and lunch.
JAKE: First impression? Cheerful little place with a great view. Last thought? Definitely not a fan of sitting on a wood chair for almost two hours. Ouch!
JASON: Seriously? The chair? Seriously? Are you even a man? Complain about something worthwhile, like the one and only thin piece of turkey meat on the Red Rooster Sandwich, or how long it took to get our food. Those are things to be disappointed in. The bread was good, a nice Italian herbed focaccia grilled slightly so it was warm, but not a giant crouton. Across the board the ingredients were sparse, excluding the pesto that overwhelmed the entire sandwich. The side Caesar salad with shredded Parmesan and crisp, chopped romaine was of appropriate lunch size. Sadly, the liberally used dressing had a strong mayonnaise taste to it. No thanks.
JAKE: Speaking of croutons, your Caesar had bland, generic ones. Why don't they make their own? I was pleased to learn that the tasty mango basil vinaigrette on the Tropicana salad is made in-house. Large slices of tomato, strawberries and cucumber, and bright mandarin oranges were arranged in different quadrants with ribbons of chicken piled in the middle under whole, shelled pecans. Along with the spring mix I had to chop ingredients up on the side of my plate before I could eat it. The salad has great eye appeal, though I don't think it's practical to serve this way. I was not pleased that our orders didn't arrive together, especially after the length of time it took to get them.
JASON: There you go, Jake, use your "I" words, say how you feel. That communication therapy is really helping. Personally, I was wowed by the clam chowder. Like the vinaigrette, it's apparently made from owner Jamie English Radcliffe's recipe.
JAKE: Yeah, well your idea of communication is a dry cleaning ticket taped to your wife's purse. Like that's subtle. Chowder gets a thumbs up. Rosemary is a delightful addition to the flavor array provided by savory bacon, tender sea-salty clams, yellow onion, chopped potato and celery in a thin, non-creamy broth. Good recipe, Jamie.
JASON: Hurray for non-creamy chowder. Not a fan of crackers, I was stoked to see Red Rooster's menu indicates a roll and butter would accompany chowder. Not so and no bread came with the salad either. Boo. Steamed hot chocolate added a sweet note to that visit.
JAKE: You gave me a hard time over the chair and you're crying about a missing roll? Now who's a man? Crêpes are certainly lighter fare at this café; on another visit we sampled savory and sweet. Creamy goat cheese, roasted red and yellow peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and what tasted like caramelized onions were tucked inside a skimpy, square-folded crêpe. Nice flavor to the vegetarian crêpe, however, I expected more filling for $9. Kiwi, cantaloupe and honeydew melon rode shotgun. Sliced strawberries and excellent whipped cream graced a dessert crêpe.
JASON: The fairly large Tropicana salad seemed priced correctly at $9.50. Otherwise, I agree, Jake. Prices seemed high for what we got - one thin piece of turkey on a sandwich will not get a third visit out of me. Service was sub-par, too. Not one of our dirty plates were removed from the table until after we'd paid on either visit.
[Red Rooster Café, 3313 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor, 253.514.8175]