We arrived just after opening with the glaring August Sunday morning sun blinding me. Once inside McMenamins I was blinded by the opulence. Almost everywhere you look in each room, were interesting fixtures, furniture, paintings, and object d’art. This renovated icon of downtown Tacoma took years to complete, but it was certainly worth the wait. McMenamins is well known for its updating older buildings into fantastic destinations. If the city of Lakewood builds a new library, perhaps McMenamins could convert the Tenzler Library into the McMenamins Lakewood Pub and Towne Inn.
My friend ordered eggs Benedict, but since the potatoes were cold, the whole plate was taken back. I didn’t hear if he ordered crispy potatoes, but they were, which he enjoyed when they were returned. With the second delivery they also had nice looking fried onions. He enjoyed the eggs, except they were several minutes past perfect from the delay.
My wife, Peg tried the scrambled eggs with mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese. It was excellent. The fruit was a little dry, but good. The raspberry jam was exceptional. She would love to have this again.
I went for a half-order of biscuits and sausage gravy. The gravy was very tasty, but tepid. I didn’t want to wait, so I ate the luke-warm gravy. I love bacon, but wasn’t thrilled with the pieces of bacon on top of the gravy. Why ruin sausage gravy with a competing flavor? However, I did eat it all. I would have preferred a biscuit cut in half (upper and lower) and then smothered in gravy. The un-gravyed half was slightly dry. I would have liked it with butter and jam. Although portions were generous, I felt that McMenamins was slightly stingy with butter.
I was thrilled with my side order of cheesy-jalapeño grits. I asked for butter and was brought a small metal bowl with one scoop. I thought there should have been at least one to go with my biscuit as well. The pieces of toast looked a little dry, but I think the succulent jam made up for it. Next time around, I’ll ask for grits again, along with an order of hash browns, “burnt, burnt, burnt” with an onion cut up in them . . . and a cup of sausage gravy (not on the menu).
We sat at a table just inside from a tiny balcony facing Commencement Bay. The balcony is just large enough for a small table and two chairs. With the bright sun, my friend and I sat with our backs to the very, very nice view, so our wives could enjoy the view of us . . . and the waterfront.
As we left and stepped out the door to Broadway, I was stunned to see tables and chairs set up for a sidewalk café. This would have been a perfect morning to sit and drink coffee for hours. We were very pleased with McMenamins Elks Temple for breakfast. We’ll have to book a return visit for breakfast . . . then lunch . . . and then dinner. – mcmenamins.com/elks-temple/restaurant-bars/eat-drink