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Dining in Old Town

Discovering Montamara Kitchen up from waterfront

Montamara makes eggs benedicts in the plural sense. Photo credit: Jake de Paul

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ANNOUNCER: Restaurants have come and gone in Tacoma's Old Town, but relative newcomer Montamara Café has a fair chance at staying in the game with its quality ingredients and close proximity to the water.

JAKE: Open for breakfast and lunch only, Montamara surprisingly offers adult beverages that includes mimosas and bloody marys. Additionally, they've partnered with local Tacoma coffee roaster Valhalla Coffee Co. for all your espresso drink needs.

JASON: The space is quaint with low lighting and dark woods. And, by the sign on their window, apparently weekend traffic is so heavy they don't allow take-outs on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

JAKE: On the breakfast menu, the benedicts, yes plural, are a must-try.  It was a tough decision between the California and the crab cake options, but I went with the California, which stacks toasted English muffins with crispy bacon, fresh sliced avocados, two perfectly poached eggs (I don't like them too runny), and then drenched in hollandaise sauce.  Also served with sweet roma tomatoes on the side, the house potatoes and fresh fruit.

JASON: They serve really tasty bacon.  I also like the fact they have a Ploughman's Platter - you don't see that much outside of Europe and Canada.  Their Ploughman's is filled with cured meats, pickled veggies, fig jam (a plus), foccacia, a hearty ground mustard and almonds.  You must drink beer with this (my rules)!

Montamara’s BLT is a winner on a number of levels. Photo credit: Jake de Paul

JAKE: I came back for lunch because I couldn't get the crab cakes off my mind and ordered the crab and avocado sandwich. A toasted ciabatta bun is filled with a thick Dungeness crab cake, sliced avocados, juicy roma tomatoes, and arugula.  In addition, the bun is moistened with a house made garlic mayo and a spicy Aardvark Sauce.  This offers sweet, spicy and bitter all between crunchy bread.

JASON: The hidden gem here is the bacon weave BLT.  The two elements that set this aside from the many BLTs I've enjoyed in the past are the arugula, which offers more flavor than crunch, and the ingenious idea to weave the bacon into a sheet.  This prevents the bacon from sliding out of the sandwich and ensures bacon in every bite.  I also loved the chewy roll they use for the breading.  A little hard to swallow, however, was the $12 sandwich, which came with some potato chips.

JAKE: On the days they allow it, I think this is a perfect place for a take-out picnic.  Grab some lunch and head down to the waterfront for a stroll along Ruston Way.

Montamara Café, 2208 N. 30th St., Tacoma, 253.314.5892

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