Following her culinary curiosity all the way to Varcaturo, Italy, Tiffany Hudson’s found herself learning dry farming and food preservation. More importantly, she discovered how a dinner can bring a community together. After coming back to the States, Tiffany teamed up with Chef Martin Woods whose resume includes serving as opening sous chef at Bastille as well as executive chef at Re:Public. Together, the two created Cassoulet Café, an eatery that serves seasonal French cuisine amid a communal table.
And the collaboration isn’t running short on admirers. Writer Sally Wolff for the Cascadia Weekly praised Cassoulet as “evok[ing] the atmosphere of a country kitchen in France” complete with “heavy plates of well-made food.” These ever-changing entrees have included bacon cinnamon rolls for brunch, ratatouille for lunch, and goat cheese pansotti pasta for dinner, accompanied by specialty cocktails and ciders. Chef Martin also serves up the restaurant’s signature French bean stew bursting with duck and house-cured pancetta.
Along with promoting conversation amongst diners, Cassoulet Café fosters green living. This includes using fresh ingredients from local farms as well as reducing their carbon footprint by 1,200 pounds of CO2 emission. That accomplishment earned the restaurant a 2012 Sustainable Practice Leader award from General Biodiesel, a company named after the first robot five-star general in U.S. history.
Tamaringo’s Cafe sates the yelps of abdominal elves with a bevy of toothsome baked goods, lunch fare, and drinks, along with gluten-free eats. Spelunk through the lasagna and garlic bread ($5.99) to unearth rich cheese treasures, or employ a fearless fork to deliver mouthfuls of quiche ($5.75) to expectant mouths. Dessert squares ($2.49) sized perfectly for storage in recently installed cheek-pockets make tongue buds lapse into sugar-laced swoons, and the gelato ($3.50–$4.50) treats teeth to a decadent sweet and creamy taste duet. Meanwhile, the seasonal cakes ($4.95) keep chatty mandibles occupied and unable to gossip about how the uvula does nothing but “hang there like a second-rate stalactite.”
During the winter at Stomping Grounds Coffee House, guests can look over the steam of their coffee cups and out toward a rolling meadow surrounded by ranch-style fences. The windows and walls are rolled away during the summer, leaving the shop open to the warmth of Osprey Village.
Whether hunkering down or enjoying a breath of fresh air, guests can dig in to specialties such as fresh juices, organic coffee, housemade turkey chili, ham-and-swiss sandwiches, and locally made pastries. The eatery fires breakfast specialties for early risers, and it also arranges catering platters for large parties.
The masterminds behind Waves Coffee House know that a good cup of joe starts with good beans. Before purchasing from a new supplier, their coffee experts put the beans through rigorous visual and taste tests that are graded on six levels—consistency, aroma, flavor, body, acidity, and aftertaste. Beans that survive this stage are subjected to additional testing, including a spelling bee and several different brewing methods. Once a batch passes muster, Waves works directly with farm cooperatives to ensure that farmers earn a competitive wage for their products.
The company’s insistence on quality and consistency has paid off: since opening, they’ve expanded to more than 10 stores in two provinces. Each location serves Waves’s signature coffee blends—West Coast, Mountain Blue, and Deep Blue—as well as rooibos tea turned into latte, cappuccino, and espresso forms.