1621 East Olive Way
Breakfast and brunch is served from 7 am – 3 pm (Monday – Friday) and 12 am – 4 pm (Saturday & Sunday).
More often than not, brunch is only thought about the morning after you’ve spent your entire paycheque on a couple of rounds of tequila shots for everyone at the bar. With the exception of brunch found at those pesky “quality over quantity” brunch haunts, everyone’s favourite mid-morning meal was invented in order to treat hangovers and the ailments that come along with them with portions larger than any one person could ever need. Excessive amounts of starch, protein in the form of various kinds of salted meat and enough butter to give you severe enough heart problems which will make you forget all about your pounding headache and at-the-surface nausea are all important aspects of a morning-after meal that’s going to replenish your body with all the nutrients that you managed to throw up all over the sidewalk last night. Why is it that we have to wait until we’re already in such a sorry state before we indulge in said criteria? As we discovered on our recent trip down south, one of Seattle’s most popular hole-in-the wall hangover hospitals responded with some operating hours cater to embarrassingly drunk brunch fanciers and giving them a non-fast food, non-intestinal distress-inducing and non-Denny’s option for late night alcohol-fueled eats.
For almost 13 years, Glo’s has been serving up large portions of classic breakfast and lunch fair to the Capitol Hill area of Seattle. With an emphasis on large portions whenever it is that you need them and a reputation for having the best eggs benedict in Seattle, it seemed like the best choice for our last brunch stop of the trip. We showed up around noon on a Monday, to a disproportionately lengthy wait considering the day of the week. Along with realizing that the absence of any clearly designated driving lanes made absolutely no sense and quickly discovering that finding parking downtown was just something that wasn’t going to happen, that trip also taught us that the Seattle brunch scene has no rules, tricks or predictability. You bunch of renegades, you.
Although we did face a half an hour or so wait, there were enough teeny tiny shops in the surrounding area to keep us entertained. However, if you’re not into killing time by perusing thrift stores and elbowing thick rimmed glasses-wearing young adults to get your hands on the perfect two dollar plaid flannel, the good people at Glo’s will be more than happy to put your name on the list in advance if you call ahead. Once we were inside, it was clear why there was such a significant wait on such an unpopular day of the week. Glo’s is small. It’s incredibly small. With no more than fifteen tables, it was a tight fit as we were squeezed in the very back corner of the restaurant. I’m sure that “sorry” and “excuse me” have never been muttered as many times in an American diner as they were that morning.
By the time we were seated and ready to order, my brunch companion and I were roughly operating at one hunger level lower than physically gnawing on our own arms, so without shame or common decency, we ordered dessert first. Although we were willing to take responsibility for our irresponsible diet choice, the fact that coffee cake was included on the menu right above where their five different varieties of bennies were, we couldn’t help but feel a little set up. Glo’s sour cream coffee cake was recommended to me both in person and by some incredibly intelligent people on the internet, and even though it was manipulatively placed on the menu, it made for a perfect appetizer of sorts. Far too often I stray away from a sweet option at brunch, because an entire meal’s worth of sweetness is usually too much for a morning stomach to handle. However, the small slice of cake was the perfect amount. Light and fluffy while still managing to be pleasantly heavy and rich, it was easy to see why that little moist and sweet pillow was so talked about and so highly recommended.
Ignoring the voices of our parents and our doctors in the back of our minds and ordering that coffee cake to start ended up being a very wise decision in the long run as our meals took a significant (and seemingly disproportionate to the amount of people in the cafe) amount of time to arrive. Being in the service industry, I make sure that I never set unrealistic expectations for the brunch spots that I patronize, however, a wait of that length in this particular instance didn’t seem to have a reasonable justification. However, the excessive wait for our food was where the negative aspects of Glo’s started and stopped.
It had been an incredibly long time since I had an exceptionally fantastic eggs benedict. Sure, over the previous few months there had been decent bennies, good bennies and even a couple of really good bennies, but I couldn’t remember the last time I had one that actually upset me for the sole reason that I knew I wouldn’t be able to have it at any time and whenever I wanted. However, the benny that I had at Glo’s did just that, and confirmed that long distance benny relationships only ever end in heartbreak. My brunch companion ordered the blackstone benny, while I went with the comfortable and predictable route by opting for the smoked salmon. When our bennies arrived, we noticed the portion size and immediately regretted our dessert-first decision. Glo’s is extremely generous with their serving sizes of not only the hash browns, but also with the benny toppings and (praise the brunch gods) the hollandaise as well. In keeping with my then recent resolution I, by default, ordered a side of hollandaise at the time I ordered my benny to save everyone a lot of time and effort. Thanks to an overly generous portion on my benny at the time that it came out, for the first time in my entire life I immediately regretted that decision.
Everything about the bennies at Glo’s was right. From the perfectly and softly poached egg, to the perfectly toasted english muffin, to the perfectly right and lemony hollandaise, it truly challenged me to see how many times I could use ‘perfect’ in a sentence. The salmon didn’t have that slightly-off fish smell that often comes along with a not-so-fresh benny, and it was incredibly filling without making us feel like we had to have an entire night’s sleep all over again immediately after finishing our meal. Along with the amazing benny I enjoyed a while back at The Blue Fox, I can confidently say that the benny at Glo’s is now tied with that one for being the best eggs benedict I’d ever eaten.
Sometimes it’s unclear as to why you develop such an attachment or fondness towards a certain restaurant or place to eat. Something is always lacking, whether it’s the food quality or portion size, the location or some aspect of the service. Aside from the nearly one hour wait from the time we were seated until the time out food arrived, everything about my visit to Glo’s was perfect, which is a word that doesn’t get thrown out a whole lot when it comes to talking about the service industry. Perhaps it’s partially because, in the future, since I won’t be able to make the trip to Seattle very often to partake in my newly discovered second favourite benny out there that the entire Glo’s experience was romanticized for me, or perhaps it’s just that I did, in fact, enjoy the best benny in Seattle.
Atmosphere & Service:
Next – Visit Dish: Biscuits and gravy – two eggs, buttermilk biscuits, and vegetarian mushroom gravy ($10.25).
Ideal Time to Brunch: After noon on a weekday.