(Quick note: this is a first impression review because I’m doing it from memory, but I still have a lot to say about The Yellow Church Cafe.)
This was the first place we ate in Ellensburg and it was a warm welcome, to say the least. After getting to know the town and some of the restaurants I have no reservations saying that Yellow Church Cafe has some of the best food in town. I think the prices are higher than what people expect in Ellensburg, but the ingredients really are superior and I have no problem paying a few bucks more for really good burger (mmmmm… bison burger…).
After enjoying a few lunches at Yellow Church (I haven’t been back for lunch in several months so I’m going to focus this review on my recent experiences), we decided to try their weekend breakfast. There are some dishes that, if on the menu, I will always order when I go to a restaurant for the first time. I think of them as the canary in the coalmine because if it’s good, then the rest of the menu is likely well-executed, but an unsuccessful dish spells trouble. Eggs benedict is my breakfast canary. It’s a simple dish that can go wrong in a multitude of ways so it’s a good indicator.
At this point I had eaten breakfast at a handful of other Ellensburg restaurants and had yet to find a decent eggs benedict. Enter Yellow Church Cafe. The first good sign was that the plate was not a sticky pond of Hollandaise sauce (eh hem, Palace Cafe with your so called “best eggs benedict ever.” But I’ll save that for another day). I tasted the sauce with my finger because I’m weird and that’s what I do and it was light and balanced and pretty much perfect. With hope in my heart I cut into the first poached egg, expecting the molten yolk to pour out and enrich the Hollandaise with it’s eggy goodness. Nope. The egg was overcooked and its yolk stayed put, enriching nothing but my disappointment. The second egg was better, but not great, and an otherwise really good dish suffered for this one “small” error. I was also a bit mystified that for a place that’s so proud of its house-baked goods that they appear to use a store-bought english muffin. It’s not traditional, but I would have much rather had a fluffy biscuit under my eggs. For all my nitpicking, I would still rate the eggs benedict a solid B and the best I’ve had in town thus far.
Speaking of biscuits, on our next outing to Yellow Church Cafe for breakfast I ordered the biscuits and gravy, which was unexpectedly light yet satisfying. It also comes with two eggs and although I wasn’t asked how I would like them cooked, there’s no universe in which that implies I would like one hard and one runny. Eggs aren’t that hard, people!
This Ellensburg Food Critic thinks that The Yellow Church Cafe is a definite GO!, and if they get their egg act together it will be a can’t miss.
Yellow Church Cafe 111 S Pearl Street. Ellensburg, WA 98226. 509-933-2233.