While eating breakfast at Central Food this morning, I realized something: Serving food really is an art.
For example, everything about Central Food has a feel of quality. The furnishings are a blend of modern cool and practical function. The ambience, which opens to the south overlooking the Spokane River, offers a breathtaking view of downtown Spokane. And certainly the food, which comes — fast, by the way — and is served in white platter-bowls (shown above) that are as pleasing to the eye as they are utilitarian.
I had the diner breakfast: eggs (scrambled), one piece each bacon and sausage, potatoes, toast. My friend Jim: the egg sandwich.
Even the ordering process was quick and cheerful, with our young server proving helpful and courteous. And when the food came — did I mention it arrived quickly? — it was hot and tasty. And the overall price for two didn't begin to break the bank.
Still, I had a couple of complaints. One, the coffee. Now, for many people, coffee might not be an issue. For me, though, coffee IS breakfast. And when you're served some off-tasting Ethopian blend — without warning — you get thrown off your game. I first thought the half-and-half was bad. But when I asked, I was told about the blend, which — so the explanation went — tasted like berries or something. But not coffee. I opted for the decaf, which had no caffeine but at least tasted like … coffee.
The second complaint was far more minor: When you serve coffee with cream, you need to also provide a spoon. For stirring. I did, eventually, ask for one, and it came quickly enough. But not before I'd already stirred with the handle of my fork.
So, will I return to Central Food? Sure. The pluses far outweigh my baby gripes. And there's always that view to consider. Next time, though, I'll first ask what blend of coffee they're serving. And if it's something made out of Ethiopian berries, no problem.
Coeur Coffeehouse, which serves Stumptown, is just a two-minute drive down the street.