Even November is beautiful here in Pierce County. We took a nice drive from Tacoma’s to the Puyallup Valley with our cousin Jim. We drove along Pioneer and enjoyed the views of wetlands, farmland, sheep, and fall colors. We stopped at Watson’s Nursery to see their plants and holiday decorations and dine at Anton’s Café.
The odds were about forty or fifty to four. Anton’s Café inside Watson’s Nursery on Pioneer in Puyallup had almost every chair filled with women enjoying lunch. It was easier to count the number of men: four. Anton’s Café is tucked into a corner under the glassed in walls and roof of Watson’s amongst flowers, shrubs, art, and decorations. I had to wear blinders to lead me through the rows and rows of napkins, candles, water fountains, and more without stopping to buy.
There’s no door to the Café, you simply enter under a trellis. A four-top had just been vacated. We slid in. We arrived late. Jim had the 1/2 sandwich special. But several daily specials were unavailable, like their salmon chowder. Darnit. I had to settle for the butternut squash soup with a grilled baguette. If you can call that settling. The soup was excellent. Sweet, smooth and the color of a golden sun just before turning red and disappearing behind the Olympic Mountains. It was the perfect vegetable soup for the bountiful Puyallup Valley. The bread was perfect: chewy with just enough olive oil to keep it moist while I ate. Yes. I dunked.
The quiche was also sold out. Next time we’ll arrive earlier. My wife Peggy ordered the turkey BLT croissant. It was fresh and crisp as a croissant should be. The service was exceptional. I’ve seen restaurants with fewer customers take longer to take orders and deliver the food than we found at Anton’s. A lady stopped and joked with me as she left. It turned out she was the owner. Super nice people, and excellent food.
I had a Reuben. The bread was toasted perfectly. The sauerkraut had a little bit (just enough) of melted cheese under it. The corned beef was excellent. I put mustard on one half only and ate it there, washed down with raspberry lemonade. The other Reuben half came home with me, but kept calling and enticing me from the refrigerator. I put it out of its misery right after the first call.
Dessert was cakes (Jim preferred a chocolate chip cookie). Beautiful cakes. Peg and I both ordered the pear & rum cake (special). After we ordered Peg mentioned that she had been considering the lavender cake when she looked inside their dessert glass cabinet. I switched my order. We shared. If I had been at home, I would have stuffed my entire portion into a large glass and then poured milk all over it and eaten it with a spoon . . . Missouri-Style. Peg brought a large portion of her pear rum cake home. Both cakes used the same general vanilla icing, which was wonderful, but the pear rum included an additional layer of flavor.
We had planned to walk a little bit through the grounds and walk-ways of Watson, but it was a little too brisk for the clothes we were wearing. It was beautiful and there were so many pieces of yard art and flowers to enjoy. Maybe next time we’ll do the walk first and then retreat for nice soup and sandwich after noon . . . and CAKE!
For more information about Anton’s, please visit their Facebook page – facebook.com/antonscafepuyallup/