Seaside Stories

The Best Part of Waking Up

April 21, 2013 | by Nate Burke

On a bright Sunday morning, there is no better incentive to rise with the sun than the thought of an impending breakfast cooked with skill. A great breakfast has the ability to set the tone for the whole day, and there’s definitely a kind of treasure-hunting pleasure in discovering fantastic breakfast spots. If you’re venturing forth at the crack of dawn in downtown Seaside, there are plenty of places to get some amazing morning nourishment and fuel a day’s worth of coastal activities.

During a particularly fine Sunday morning, I walked down to the Gilbert District for an omelet and homemade biscuits at the Firehouse Grill. I sat at the counter that runs the perimeter of the open kitchen and watched the owner, Chef Bob, as he prepared hearty, colorful dishes using fresh local ingredients. Located in the same historic building that once housed the Seaside Fire Department in the 1950s, the Firehouse Grill is a dynamic love letter to the venue’s notable roots.  It has a bright, open air feel with a preserved but polished interior. Photos of the old firehouse and Seaside firefighters adorn the walls along with vintage brass and memorabilia. A lively morning crowd fills the open scene with conversation and laughter as they banter with the chef and staff.  The atmosphere is social and breezy, complimented by the ravishing aroma of homemade biscuits on the grill. The eclectic mix of families, couples, locals and visitors, offered a social morning experience where everyone is fresh and poised to start their Sunday adventures. While my breakfast was being expertly prepared before my eyes, I sipped on ginger peach iced tea (the beverage list offers incredible variety with items such as Arnold Palmers, saké bloody marys, and Sleepy Monk coffee). I ate my omelet (mushrooms, organic spinach, tomatoes, scallions, and feta) and biscuits with a mixture of awe and gratitude.

Seaside abounds with breakfast hot spots to enjoy before an active day at the beach. The classic diner, Pig ‘N Pancake, on downtown Broadway is a family favorite (I’ve been enjoying those tall stacks of golden pancakes since I was a kid). Patty’s Wicker Café overlooks the charming Necanicum River and offers some of the best home cooked hash browns in the area. There is also, of course, Mckeown’s celebrated Sunday brunch (a vast, delicious spread: the waffle bar is a personal favorite); Riley’s, which offers an all-American dining experience with huge portions; and Finn’s (where you can get an omelet bursting with crab).  Speaking of crab, you can also dine on Dungeness Crab Frittatas while watching the surf at the Boardwalk Restaurant on the promenade.

I left the Firehouse Grill with a renewed appreciation for the day’s first meal. The sun was climbing higher, birds were singing, and I was ready for a full day of fun at the beach. My only misgiving was that I couldn’t eat breakfast twice. But actually, a lot of these spots offer their breakfast menu through the lunch hour: a replay of the morning meal is definitely something to consider. See you in Seaside!

Editors Note: The Firehouse Grill is open Mon, Thur, Fri, Sat (8am – 3:00pm), Sun (8am – 2pm), and closed on Tues and Wed.  For any questions, you can contact the restaurant at (503) 717-5502.

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