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

MOD Pizza – Dillion James Pizza and Ulysses Pizza

The Food

Dillion James Pizza – Mozzarella, asiago, garlic, fresh chopped basil, sliced tomatoes on a thin crust.

Price: $6.28

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Ulysess Pizza – Mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, gorgonzola, garlic, fresh chopped basil, mushrooms on a thin crust.

Price: $6.28

Rating: ★★★★½ 

The Review

Life has found us in Bellevue twice in the past few months and each time we have ended up at MOD Pizza for a quick and delicious dinner. Located across the street from Bellevue Square, the restaurant has a super slick, hip, modern vibe. MOD stands for Made On Demand and that’s exactly what happens. Choose one of their 10 specialty pizzas or create your own. Then it is made right before your eyes and quickly placed in their super hot oven. Less than five minutes later, they are calling your name to pick up your pizza.

The pizzas are slightly larger than a regular personal size pizza and are simply made with fresh ingredients. The crust is thin with a puffy edge that shows blistering and charring from the hot oven. Both pizzas we tried had no tomato sauce and no meat yet were very flavourful with the garlic and basil taking center stage. Every time we leave this restaurant, we lament that there isn’t a place like this closer to home. Maybe it’s a good thing that there isn’t one in our neighbourhood. The quality, service and price would have us here every week.

Reviewers

B –  Ulysess Pizza
M –  Dillion James Pizza

MOD Super Fast Pizza 

317 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA, 98004
(425) 455-0141
www.modpizza.com
 

MOD Pizza on Urbanspoon

Sheridan’s Frozen Custard – Red Velvet Crush Concrete, Grant’s Grasshopper Concrete and Chocolate Kiss Concrete

The Food

Sheridan's-Concrete1

Chocolate Kiss Concrete – Fresh chocolate frozen custard blended with chocolate chips and cookie dough.
Price: $4.58 regular

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Red Velvet Crush Concrete – Fresh vanilla frozen custard blended with a decadent slice of red velvet cake with real cream cheese frosting, raspberries and topped with chocolate sprinkles.
Price: $5.18 regular

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Sheridan's-Concrete2

Red Velvet Crush Concrete – Fresh vanilla frozen custard blended with a decadent slice of red velvet cake with real cream cheese frosting, strawberries and topped with chocolate sprinkles.
Price: $5.18 regular

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Grant’s Grasshopper Concrete – Fresh vanilla frozen custard blended with mint, chocolate chips and Oreos.
Price: $4.59 regular

Rating: ★★★★½ 

The Review

Seeing the bright neon signs of the Sheridan’s Frozen Custard shop on our way to dinner guaranteed that we would be leaving room for dessert on the way back to the hotel. Located in a strip mall parking lot, this walk up/drive through custard shop serves up fresh frozen custard all day. There aren’t too many frozen custard places in the Pacific Northwest. FYI, frozen custard is like ice cream but with a higher ratio of egg  yolks. At Sheridan’s, we always buy their concretes. What the heck is a concrete you ask? Think Dairy Queen Blizzard but, instead of wimpy ice milk, substitute a thick frozen custard. Yum! Most of us had to try the latest concrete specials. We aren’t in Vancouver, WA often, so chances are the next time we’re in town those particular special flavours won’t be available.

We covered both concrete specials (Red Velvet Crush and the Chocolate Kiss) plus a Grant’s Grasshopper concrete for good measure and then hopped into the car to enjoy them because it was too cold outside! Each concrete was blended so that you could still taste each item in the concrete yet enjoy the combined flavours as well. For example, while you could imagine it would be easy to obliterate it when blending, the texture of the cake in the Red Velvet Crush was still there in chunks. The chocolate in the Chocolate kiss was intense. Be sure you are a chocolate lover when you try an one of their chocolate concretes! The grasshopper concrete was what you would expect. Thick and minty with texture from the oreos and the chocolate chips.

Warning: the concretes are rich and filling. On previous visits we have purchased large sized (16 oz) concretes each in the “Go big or Go home” mentality but would end up struggling to finish because of the richness (especially immediately after a dinner). This time we went with regular sizes (12 oz) and were still feeling quite uncomfortable (this time again after a large meal). Next time if it is a post meal dessert, mini concretes for everyone!

Reviewers

B –  Chocolate Kiss Concrete
M –  Red Velvet Crush Concrete
G – Red Velvet Crush Concrete (with strawberries subbed for raspberries)
S – Grant’s Grasshopper Concrete

Sheridan’s Frozen Custard
14389 SE Mill Plain Road Vancouver, WA 98684
Tel: (360) 260-2202 www.sheridansfrozencustard.com

Sheridan's Frozen Custard on Urbanspoon