Submitted by Don Doman
“We are a comfort food restaurant located within the historic Bair Drug & Hardware building, in beautiful Steilacoom, WA. First and foremost, we are a living museum. When you walk through our doors, you step back in time. Our walls are lined with relics and photos from the early 1900’s, our shelves hold remedies from the early drugstore and we can still serve you a soda from our original 1908 soda fountain. We focus on preserving our museum, hand-making our food and keeping good conversation. So if you have the time, come on down, kick back and enjoy the view.”
A couple of people in our breakfast club had raved about The Bair Bistro – 1617 Lafayette St, Steilacoom, WA 98388. They liked the concept of eating in a museum and the food that was served. The bistro welcome invites you to enjoy the view, but inside the building there is no view other than the street outside. And even in the covered eating area to the west of the building the view would be minimal.
If I were visiting the local community center or other museum-type buildings in a tour of Steilacoom, or perhaps being in town to hear a Danny Vernon concert at the park, then Bair would be a decent choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Peg had the toasted bagel & cream cheese with lox & capers for $8.28 – the lox was excellent. However, the smoked steelhead of Tacoma’s Pacific Grill featuring local cold-smoked Columbia river steelhead with everything: lavash crackers, red onion, capers and cream cheese for $12.95 leaves the “plain Jane” Bair offering well behind, especially considering Pacific Grill’s all day Happy Hour of 1/2 off pricing.
I ordered the “Biscuits and Gravy from scratch, with love; sliced biscuit with our sausage gravy served with seasoned potatoes & two eggs – $11.29.” There was some crunch on the potatoes, but “seasoned” seemed like a misnomer. I added three butter packs to the potatoes for taste. And added pepper. My first bite of potato was found it to be room temperature. The eggs tasted completely un-seasoned. I never expect much from restaurant biscuits, so I wasn’t really disappointed in the dry and tasteless biscuit. Next time I would substitute buttered toast for the biscuit and ask for plenty of gravy to cover the potatoes. The gravy was excellent. It had lots of sausage and black pepper. I had a bite of sausage from a friend and enjoyed that, also. The bacon looked thick and tasty as well.
Mike and Frank from American Pickers on cable-TV’s History Channel would love to find an abandoned drug store like Bair somewhere in the mid-west. It was wonderful looking around, but the most interesting part of the “museum” was the post office with its post office boxes, and teller cage. The high point of my visual tour, however was obscured by stacks of chairs, cardboard storage boxes, and baby/toddler high chairs in front of the display.
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