Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Theme Day -- A Typical Breakfast

The Spar, Fourth Avenue
Where to find a typical breakfast in Olympia, historical edition

The Spar is legendary. Recently reopened in a new incarnation by McMenamins, this tile-fronted cafe has operated seven days a week since the year dot. It's served more breakfasts to hard-working, up-and-coming or down-and-out lumbermen, secretaries, legislators, lobbyists, lawyers, students and just plain folks than you could hope to shake a stick at.

There was a bar and a card room in the back with a discreet light over the after-hours entrance off the alley. (And the light, at least, is still there.) It had an open-flame cigar lighter, toast made from homemade bread, and waitresses resembling your grandma (if your grandma had red hair and a tattoo) who were famous for never writing down an order and never screwing one up, either. Breakfast here was not for the dieter or the faint of heart: Gallons of caffeinated coffee, eggs any style, waffles or pancakes, bacon or ham, biscuits and gravy, Joe's Special, crab omelet, eggs Benedict, you name it. If it was a heart attack on a plate, the Spar served it up with a flourish but very little style.

If you came back for lunch you could have a burger and a milkshake made with real ice cream, served in a glass full to the brim. Right beside it, the waitress plonked down the metal mixing container holding the cold, delicious rest of your shake. You might get a tummy ache if you finished the whole thing, but why not? It's not like you had one every day.

Bless McMenamins for keeping a bit of history alive, but sad to say, it's not the same.

There are currently 100 blogs participating in this theme day:

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Jilly said...

You made this come alive with your commentary. I'm sorry it's not the same but perhaps too many people were dying young from overeating!

Lavenderlady said...

McMenimuns is an awesome company. I really like what they do with little bis of history.

GMG said...

I would resist almost everything you mentioned as edible at the Spar, except the crab omelette; but that would be poison my cholesterol… Quite interesting post.
Thanks for your comments at Blogtrotter

Anonymous said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. I like places like the one you photographed. We have one here but not nearly so old. It is ajust a good place to eat and the food is reasonable.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

jelvistar said...

Great photo, and I love your description.

Port Angeles Daily Photo

Sunkyoung said...

It is always good to have this kind of place with lots of stories and an old style. I'd love to have a typical American breakfast at the Spar.

Kate said...

Every town should have a place like this, cholestrol or not! I'm a little late commenting on some theme day photos because I had planned to look at more this evening, but the bridge collapse took all of my attention. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Anu said...

Seems like an interesting place to eat. I love burgers and milkshakes.
Nice photo and description. I can visualise it all.

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