I’m a firm believer that the hardest thing when you come back from a vacation (especially a trip like I took), isn’t the jet lag. It isn’t the airport and customs (though that’s a close second). It isn’t the laundry or anything like that. It’s the first day back to work. The first day where you have to put everything you just experienced behind you and get right back at it. And for us, we got back on a Sunday, so Monday was an office day. As I was heading into the office, trying to mentally prepare myself, I realized that I just wasn’t quite ready. So rather than making the customer left off the exit in Bothell, I made a right and drove myself to Crystal Creek Cafe. If I was going to head back to the office, I was starting with a nice hearty meal.
The immediate thing that I liked about Crystal Creek is that even though it is basically in a strip mall, as soon as you walk in, you kind of lose that. It has a nice old school diner feel. Overstuffed booths around the outside, a bar to eat at if you want, fresh baked pies in the display at the front. It was exactly the right vibe, ignoring the Kinko’s and Bonefish Grill that you see out the front window.
Once I sat down, it didn’t take me long to figure out what I wanted…the corned beef hash. I can’t tell you why, but it’s probably my favorite breakfast thing, especially when I need something to really get my day going. And the description was enticing as they specifically noted it was made from scratch and not a can. I also got coffee which came out in the little white diner cup. One of these days I’m going to keep one of those just so I can walk around the office with it. Just seems right.
As you would expect with a good diner, it didn’t take long for the food to show up. I cut into my over easy eggs to let the yolk run into the scramble of potatoes, onions, peppers and actual chunks of corned beef and took a bite. It was just what I needed. Excellent flavor from the corned beef combined with nicely carmelized onions and peppers and simple home fries. I ended up adding a little salt, dash of Tobasco, and just powered my way through the plate; every bite giving me the energy to face my first day back.
After I finished and I sat back enjoy my 3rd or 4th cup of coffee, I had an epiphany…I should do this more often! Once a week or so, start my day with a nice filling breakfast from Crystal Creek. It was done really well. Not too greasy, not to heavy, just a well done, and honestly unexpected, breakfast. I had plenty of room to work for a little while, and had it been a little later in the day, I could have gotten a slice of pie (this is going to happen, just not sure when). I hadn’t really found a good breakfast place or bakery near the office (unless you count Frost Donuts, but that’s a special occasion thing), so was stoked that I finally found one, about as close as possible.