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Eating breakfast with Elmer

Plus French in Steilacoom

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Breakfast hug

Since I’m always undercover, servers don’t know when I’m eating and reviewing.  This lets me see the staff’s true personality.  I was won over at Elmer’s Pancake and Steakhouse, a chain store of all places, with the servers’ good-natured sassing and gentle shoulder pats.  I was also won over by the large German pancake.  It was as big as a hubcap, but thin like a crepe.  The pancake had an egg flavor, and the accompanying condiments — a sprinkling of powdered sugar, lemon wedges and a scoop of butter — were a perfect, light combination.  Grab a side order of biscuits and gravy.  They arrived looking like twin Devil’s Towers buried under a white blanket.  The skyscraper biscuits were bready, sweet and fresh. — Jason de Paul

[Elmer’s, 7427 South Hosmer, Tacoma, 253.473.0855]

Crème Brûlée

Lafayette Street in Steilacoom has a decidedly French air about it. Crème Brûlée, in the former town grocery store, arrives compliments of Monsieur Bertrand Young — chef and owner of the French bistro.

Dinner selections for the prix fixe include homemade ravioli stuffed with shrimp and shitake mushrooms served in a wine crème sauce or crab soup; followed by either a tender breast of chicken, also in a wine sauce, served with polenta and ratatouille (a vegetable medley), or a pepper steak served with potatoes Lyonnaise. The night I dined there dessert included a choice of strawberry summer pudding or the bistro’s signature crème brûlée.

Crème Brûlée accommodates up to 60 guests in a space that’s decorated with an assortment of French photos and mirrors. Tables are draped in red and white checkered cloths.

 Young — his father was English, he explains, with a pronounced accent — is from Fountainbleu, France. He and his wife recently relocated to this area. Madame Young is stationed at Fort Lewis’ Garrison Command.

Young said he was seeking a place to open for business when he visited the area and fortuitously found the Lafayette Street site was available. After four months of work — voila! — JDP

[Crème Brûlée, 1604 Lafayette, St., Steilacoom, 253.589.3001]

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