Fairway Cafe – TBS Sandwich, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, French Dip Sandwich, Biscuits and Gravy, Breakfast Special

The Food

Fairway Cafe - breakfast special

Breakfast Special: 2 waffles with apple caramel walnut sauce with 1 egg (over easy) and 1 meat (sausage patty).
Price: $6.50

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

fairway cafe - biscuits and gravy

Biscuits and Gravy 2 buttermilk biscuits smothered in sausage gravy with 1 egg (over easy) and hash browns.
Price: $7.95

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Grilled TBS Sandwich Turkey, bacon and Swiss cheese on thick cut sourdough, served with homemade BBQ sauce and fries.
Price: $8.99

Rating: ★★★★½ 

French Dip Thinly sliced roast beef simmered in au jus on a fresh french roll. With au jus and fries.
Price: $8.99

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

fairway cafe - grilled cheese

Grilled Cheese Sandwich 3 cheeses melted on sourdough with salad.
Price: $6.99

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

The Review

We haven’t been as frequent with our posts as we would like,  but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been hunting for good, cheap eats. The delay in posting means we have had time to visit the Fairway Cafe a few times and review more than one set of meals. In fact, we have been to the Fairway Cafe more times than most places we go to. It’s really good diner/cafe in a quaint little town, and can get very busy on weekends. It seems as if the entire town of Lynden is at the cafe at times! It also happens to be that the Fairway Cafe is right beside another one of our favorite spots, the recently reviewed Doris Jean’s Bakery!

The thing about the Fairway Cafe is not necessarily the quality of the food, although it is good. It isn’t necessarily about the amount of food, although the portions are HUGE. It is about a small cafe, in a small town, where all the locals hang out. It is about  serving consistently good, ol’ fashioned home cooked meals at a reasonable price and with a smile. Even if you have never been to the cafe before, you feel like you are welcome and at home. The decor is simple and the tables and booths may have seen better days, but there is just something that keeps bringing us back.  Like a favorite old sweater or pair of shoes, there is just a comfort in being there.

Most visits to the Fairway Cafe have been for lunch, because as mentioned, it can get very busy there on a weekend, especially at breakfast.

Breakfast

I would say the breakfasts are your typical American fare, nothing too fancy. Just freshly prepared, hot, and wholesome food. The Biscuits and Gravy included baked from scratch biscuits, with a homemade country gravy with sausage crumbles.  I am a sucker for biscuits and gravy. While the previously reviewed Jethro’s Fine Grub’s biscuits and gravy were heavier with a bacon infused gravy, the biscuits at the Fairway Cafe are traditional, very light and fluffy and compliment the thick rich sausage gravy well. I ordered the egg over easy, which there were no complaints, and received a massive load of hash browns. The hashbrowns were a little different than your normal variety. They seemed to be thinner, almost like a flake, rather than a typical shred. Nothing bad with them, in fact they were quite good,  just a little different.

The breakfast special is always changing. On the morning we had our camera, it was 2 waffles with apple caramel walnut sauce with 1 egg and 1 meat. The waffles were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The apple caramel with walnut sauce was not too sweet and perfect for a fall morning. The egg (over easy medium) was cooked to perfection and the breakfast sausage was a typical breakfast sausage though not as greasy as you can get at some diners. At first I thought the portion size seemed small, considering the sizes of other meals we have had here, but after I was done I was full so I guess looks can be deceiving.

Lunch

As mentioned, most trips to the Fairway Cafe find us there at lunch time. Not that I’m complaining as their Grilled TBS is now one of my favorite go-to sandwiches. The Grilled TBS, or Turkey, Bacon, Swiss also comes with a side of fries (or a side salad) and a side of homemade BBQ sauce. The sandwich itself is huge, with several layers of turkey, multiple strips of bacon, and melted Swiss cheese, all on chewy sourdough grilled to toasty perfection.

The sandwich itself is quite dry as there are no sauces on it, which is why there is the side of BBQ sauce for dipping. For me, I prefer my sandwiches to be on the dry side so I reserve my BBQ sauce for dipping the fries in. The large portion of fries are very similar, if not the very same fries that Costco sells in their cafe and they are very good for dipping. Their BBQ sauce, which almost seems like a store bought sauce that they have added their own ingredients to, is very addicting. I am not sure whether or not it is entirely made from scratch as it reminds me of what my mom would have done with a store bought sauce, added her own fixings to make it her own. To me, this just adds to the homey, comfort food feeling. As with most things here, the portions are large and you will definitely be full if you are even able to eat your entire meal!

If there is a french dip (or beef dip) sandwich on the menu, chances are I’ll probably order it. After all that experience, I’ve become very picky at what I want in a french dip sandwich. The sandwich at the Fairway Cafe hits most of the high points. Fresh soft bun, grilled in garlic butter, and a dark, full bodied au jus. The beef is the only stumbling block. While it is flavorful and tender, it is sliced super thin and then grilled. At first glance I thought it was “deli beef” which always kills a french dip for me. Fortunately it was freshly sliced roast, but the thin slicing and grilling tend to dry it out a little. The bun and the au jus save it, making it an above average french dip sandwich.

We have talked about how much we are fans of a grilled cheese sandwich in a previous post. Here at the Fairway Cafe they serve it with three cheeses and a choice of bread. They don’t scrimp on the amount of cheese on this sandwich which is emphasized by the cheese strings with every bite.  There is so much cheese and tasty grilled bread that I prefer to pair it with a salad instead of fries (although if that is your thing, go for it!). The side salads here are fresh with freshly cut up vegetables (radish and tomatoes in the pictured salad), croutons and cheese. A side of baby carrots rounds out the plate.  A very satisfying meal!

From what we’ve heard online, The Fairway Cafe has gone through some bad times a few years ago, but since the current owners have taken over, things have been better. The food is above average in quality, prices are relatively cheap, and the portions are huge. The staff are friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable about the dishes.Both the service and the food is quick, you can usually get in and out in less than an hour…that is if you’re not waiting in line to get in. If there is a line, don’t worry, it moves quickly. The cafe is larger than you think and the quick service helps free up tables quickly.

Reviewers

B – Grilled TBS, Biscuits and Gravy
M –  Breakfast special, French Dip, Grilled Cheese

Fairway Cafe
1726 Front St, Lynden,WA 98264
Tel: (360) 318-1302

Fairway Cafe on Urbanspoon

Doris Jean’s Bakery – Donuts

The Food

Donuts – Various varieties available.
Price: $10.99/dozen or $5.99/half dozen (individual prices vary)

Rating: ★★★★½ 

The Review

We couldn’t leave you hanging for too long, so the first post of the year is about those lovely donuts adorning our New Year’s post. Although we are based in Metro Vancouver, this blog spans the Pacific Northwest on both sides of the border. Being frequent border hoppers, it has become a great money saver to get items shipped to a mailbox south of the border. Conveniently, there is a fantastic bakery (and a café that will be reviewed at a later date) in the same strip mall as our mailbox.

Doris Jean’s Bakery (formally Doris Jean’s Donuts) is a small, friendly, family run Italian bakery in the prominently Dutch community of Lynden, Wa. Their donut selection hits all the favourites: cake donuts, raised donuts, boston creams (Bismarcks), fritters, filled, sugared, powdered…you get the idea. If you are Canadian, please know that these are not the sad, small, prefrozen, donuts Tim Horton’s have been imposing on us across the country (and some of the US) for around the last decade. At Doris Jean’s, the donuts are large, fresh, moist and tender. Filled donuts are heavy and expect to struggle to not to end up with raspberry or cream filling  on your shirt.

Since they switched from a donut shop to an Italian bakery they have expanded to include cannolis, lasagna, subs, and a full line of bakery items. Although they are billed as an Italian bakery, they are still in a Dutch community so they had Oliebollen (dutch doughnuts) available for the Christmas season.

If you are in the Lynden area, stop in for a treat, and let them know where you are coming from, they get a kick out of us Canadians coming down for donuts!

 

Reviewers

B –  Various Donuts
M –  Various Donuts

Doris Jean Bakery
1724 Front Street, Lynden, WA 98264
Tel: 360-318-1200
http://dorisjeansbakery.com/

Dorris Jean's Donuts on Urbanspoon

Lynden Fair (NW Fair)

The Food


Piggly’s – Veggie combo: Onion Rings / Zucchini Sticks
Crispy golden rings and gigantic zucchini sticks. Seasoned with seasoning salt and Hidden Valley Ranch dressing for dipping.
Price: $6.75

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


Poffertjes – Puffertjes
Airy “puffs” that taste like the best french toast. Sprinkled in icing sugar with a side of cinnamon cream cheese icing.
Price: $4.00

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


King’s Homemade Corn Dogs – Corn Dog
Large foot long corn dog. Fresh batter was thin and tasteless.
Price: $5.00

Rating: ★½☆☆☆ 


Sugar N Spice Mini Donuts – Spicy (Jalapeno) Cheese Curds
Looked like they had been dipped in hot sauce before frying. Not overly spicy, just right in fact.
Price: $5.00

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


Teens for Christ – Hand-dipped Cheese cake on a Stick
Pretty much as expected. No better or worse than any other cheese cake on a stick.
Price: $5.00

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


The Whatcom County Dairy Women – Moowich
Homemade chocolate chip cookies with huge blocks of vanilla ice cream in between. Comes in a sandwich bag emphasizing the homemade feel. Cookies were a little on the sweet side.
Price: $3.50

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

The Review

After missing the Lynden (NW) Fair the past few years, we finally made our way there one weekday evening to celebrate their 100th year of the fair.  Our first observation was that there was a lot of selection for places to eat…especially compared to some of the larger fairs in the area (PNE, Puyallup). After first going through a bunch of typical small fair trailer concession stands, we decided we wanted to continue on and look for something a little different. Next we came upon a huge food stand called “Piggly” which served beef sandwiches and all sorts of deep fried veggies, where the deep fried onion rings and zucchini caught our eye. They were fresh, crispy and perfectly salty.

After sitting down to relax while eating the delicious fried goodies, we headed towards the midway and rides, where we were able to make a one-two punch of “not your typical fair food”. While waiting for our jalapeno cheese curds were fried to order, we could stand in a long and growing line for Puffertjes. Taking the commitment of the people in the line as a sign of good things to come, we stayed even after our curds were ready and eaten (tasty, spicy squeaky cheese!). Part of the reason for the wait was the making of the puffertjes takes a bit of time (pouring batter into many small dimples on a hot metal sheet and then combining half circle of dough into full ones when they are almost done). Plus people were ordering multiple plates full at a time! Finally it was our turn to try these simple puffed dough balls with icing sugar and cream cheese icing and they were delicious. It was reminiscent of light French toast with the icing lightly spiced with cinnamon. We then realized why people were buying multiple plates!

There are two things that we cannot pass up. Corn dogs and cheesecake on a stick. This fair trip provided opportunities for both. While there were many options for corndogs, B couldn’t pass on the KINGDOG! While waiting for the dog to fry, a lady passed by and said “Ew! Those corndogs were horrible last year!” Not a good sign. When the dog was finally ready, it was disappointing. The batter was bland and flavorless.
Cheesecake on a stick on the other hand was what was to be expected. A frozen slice of cheesecake, hand dipped in chocolate when ordered. Yum!

After cruising around the fair grounds and taking in the sounds of Weird Al from the bandstand, we ended our night with some Moowich ice cream sandwiches from the popular ice cream stand. The sandwiches came in sandwich bags which emphasized the homemade feel of them. They were large but the cookies were a bit too sweet.

The Lynden Fair was a pleasant surprise with more food opportunities than we could partake in one evening. And although we are posting this after the fair is over, we will be back next year for sure,  just make sure to save us some of our favorite eats!

Reviewers

B –  Corn Dog, Cheese Curds and Moowich.
M –  Onion rings / Zucchini sticks, Puffertjes, Hand-dipped Cheese cake on a Stick, and Moowich.

Lynden Fair (NW Fair)
1775 Front Street, Lynden, WA 98264
Tel: (360) 354-4111
http://www.nwwafair.com