If you’re zipping between Vancouver and Seattle, I’d strongly recommend a little detour off the 1-5 (south of Bellingham, Washington) and into the artsy seaside village of Edison. Along a very short stretch of Cains Court is the excellent Breadfarm bakery (try the black olive baguette or the miche, Samish River potato or Chuckanut multigrain breads) and, next door, the Slough Food grocery, where you can pick up picnic supplies or enjoy a grilled cheese on the back patio. A minute’s walk away at The Edison Inn, order pan-fried oysters as good as any you might find on the Washington coast, and wash them down with a pint. Not far away, Farm to Market Bakery serves good soups and, get this, lime-soaked polenta cakes. It’s apparently moving soon into the Rhododendron Café site at 5521 Chuckanut Drive in nearby and also tiny Bow.
But the real Edison jewel, for me, is *Tweet’s Artisan Cafe & Eatery, with its rustic, beautifully curated design touches, perhaps not surprising considering there’s a contemporary gallery attached. Chef David Blakesley’s art is on display there, but it’s not the only place where he reigns creative.
The $10 salads are arranged masterpieces, adorned with a huge radish. My lowly breakfast sandwich is magically transformed here, with a mini salad on top and an accompanying slab of orange melon bursting with as much flavour as the eggs, ham and home-baked biscuit.
But the real star of the short breakfast and lunch menu is a towering torta rustica, with layer upon layer of Italian meats, cheeses and puff pastry. The prices might initially seem a little high, but you’re getting culinary creativity and first-rate ingredients for much less than you’d pay in the big city. And there’s no replicating the charm. Note: Owner Charles Atkinson tells me they’re opening a taqueria next door soon.
5800 Cains Court, Edison, Washington
Friday to Sunday 9 am-6 pm. Cash only