There is a new restaurant in the sunlit corner that has been the transient home to a variety of restaurants and coffee shops in the last many years, most recently to the ill fated Susan's Bistro.
The new place is called Saffron, and was opened by the same folks who own the "both polished and neighborly" Dulce Latin Bistro in Madrona. Saffron seems to be created from a similar mold. They've changed around the inside of the restaurant a bit, and now use white table clothes and stemmed glasses for water. The menu is of a Latin persuasion too.
After a recent feat of athleticism, some hungry dining companions and I settled in to the outside tables in the small Saffron veranda for brunch.
The menu had a nice handful of brunch options, many of which are suitable for a vegetarian who likes eggs. For the vegetarian who doesn't like eggs, there are sweeter options, oatmeal topped with fruits and nuts, french toast with fruit compote, etc, and the possibility of modifying the Pueblo Pancakes to exclude the fried eggs.
The Pueblo Pancakes ($8) are listed as spicy cornmeal pancakes made with green chilies and black olives, then topped with a couple fried eggs and sour cream and fresh salsa. I asked to substitute the eggs with black beans (which I noticed as present on the brunch menu with a different item), which was no problem.
I was pretty excited about the idea of spicy corn pancakes. I don't tend to like the sugar overload that comes with regular pancakes in the morning, but I love cornmeal and peppers and so these sounded spectacular.
The meal came and the first thing I noticed, perhaps because of the afore mentioned feat of athleticism, was the fancy-restaurant portions and ratios. The pancakes were on the small side, and the salsa was more of a garnish than the slather I'd envisioned. I piled the beans and smeared the sour cream and rationed the salsa between bites and it was quite delicious, though not quite as corn-y or as spicy or copious as I would have preferred.
The tasty meal disappeared quickly, and I was left a bit on the hungry side still. I realize that the dish would have been made heartier if it had two eggs on top, but I had hoped that the beans would adequately supplement. I believe the portion sizes were the main gripe of our hungry table.
I feel a little bit weird writing this review... like maybe it isn't fair to walk into a fancy place fantasizing about Denny's style portions, then complain about the quantity. But still.
I wonder if Seward Park can sustain the "polish" that Madrona can. It will be interesting to see.
On the bright side: wonderful idea with the Pueblo Pancakes. Just make them twice as: spicy, cornmeal-y, salsa-y, bean-y, large, and I'll be a happy diner.
5100 S. Dawson St.
Seattle, WA 98118