This one is overdue and won’t be the most detailed review I’ve ever written, but I still want to talk about Dakota Cafe.
Dakota Cafe is low-key, local, and a solid choice for lunch in downtown Ellensburg. I know that they offer breakfast and dinner as well, but this place just screams “lunch.”
I have tried a handful of sandwiches, quiches, soups, and pastries from Dakota Cafe and they have all met my expectations. Their food is always fresh and well-crafted and I have never been displeased. However, almost everything seems just slightly underseasoned or lacking a bit of flare that would take the dish from good to craveable.
For example, my brie, ham, and apple chutney panini would have been amazing with a more flavorful chutney. Better yet, replace the chutney with pickled or marinated thinly-sliced apples and add a sweet spicy pepper jelly. There’s nothing wrong with how it is, but it’s just not as good as it could be.
Perhaps it’s a choice and my tastes are not what they are playing to. I still love Dakota Cafe, and the people and environment are truly lovely. When I want a casual but classy sit-down meal in Ellensburg that’s fresh and healthy-ish, then Dakota Cafe is very near the top of my list.