The second (or maybe the third) incarnation of a restaurant in the Meadowpark Shopping center at the corner of 74th Street and Lakewood Drive is an interesting caf?© operated by a fourth generation restaurateur.
Caf?© Chagall claims it is “where eating is an experience, not perfunctory, and not fast food.” Owner Deb Josephson says her great grandma Sarah baked Russian delicacies from home in Portland, her grandparents continued the tradition in Longview and Long Beach, featuring homemade chowder and seafood and her mother opened The Experience Restaurant on the Oregon coast, also specializing in seafood.
This small caf?©, seating for probably 30 folks on comfortable chairs, features high quality, fresh organic whole food ingredients as much as possible. Breads and bagels come from local bakers and Vashon Island Roasterie is served exclusively. As you might expect, you won’t find any trans-fat oils in the kitchen.
My wife, son and I had lunch there the other day and ran into two friends who were also dining at Caf?© Chagall for the first time.
Mary Lou ordered a Grilled Cheddar Panini on rye bread with cole slaw.
Ben’s choice was the Italian Panini – Coppocolla, mortadella, salami and provolone cheese on organic sour dough. He requested potato salad to go with it.
My order was for the Corned Beef – The New York deli classic–piled high on organic rye with Russian dressing. Unfortunately, the waitress came back after a couple minutes and told me they were fresh out of the corned beef. I accepted her suggestion of the barbecue beef on a bun as a replacement, together with coleslaw.
One of the friends we caught in the caf?©, Janet Lordahl, ordered the New York Bagel with cream cheese, Lox, capers, red onions, tomatoes, and English cucumbers.
Joining Janet was Sheri Fulton who reported ordering the Vegetarian Cowboy. Served open face on organic multigrain bread with caramelized mushrooms and onions draped in melted cheddar cheese. “It was different from any previous veggie sandwich I’ve eaten,” she said with the English cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado. “The bread was especially good and there was plenty of everything on it.”
Each of the sandwiches was $11 or $12 except Mary Lou’s, which was only $8.
I didn’t taste her grilled cheese panini but it was certainly ample in size since she had a tough time cleaning her plate. It was hot and she said tasty. She was especially pleased with the taste of the cole slaw, something with which I agreed. It had a pleasant tang without being too sharp.
Neither Ben nor I had any idea what coppocolla and mortadella were and the waitress’ explanation didn’t do a lot to help other then to make us understand they were more Italian-style meats. His sandwich on sourdough was a healthy portion filled with adequate portions of all three meats and cheese. Bread was very fresh and tasty as were the meats.
My barbecue beef was sharp and hot, served open faced on a French roll. With a pickle spear the plate looked a little bare but it was certainly adequate for lunch and tickled the taste buds. I’m not sure what I would have put on the bun to dress things up, but it just seemed naked!
Mrs. Lordahl commented that she was very pleased with her lunch. The bagel was tasty, fresh and soft. The lox was plentiful as were the capers. “I think I would have put the tomato on the plate as a garnish instead of in the sandwich, to make it easier to eat,” she said. There was enough lox that she ended up taking part of the sandwich home.
The caf?© offers a healthy wine list (I wonder if the location next door to a wine store has anything to do with that) although we didn’t sample any during lunch.
Caf?© Chagall, named for artist Marc Chagall whose pictures adorn the walls, is bright and clean. It’s a welcome addition to the Lakewood eatery scene.
You can check out the caf?©’s menu online and also get the hours and other background at: cafechagall.com