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New restaurant opens, bakery gets makeover
With the opening of Rachael’s at Sound Food, islanders will soon have a new option for breakfast and lunch.
The cafe — now serving coffee and pastries — opened quietly last week. Owner Rachael Gordon says she plans to add a full menu featuring local food next month. The combination will allow commuters to come in and grab something quickly and go, and also allow for leisurely eating — a place for islanders simply to come and be, Gordon said.
As for what she will serve, Gordon calls it nostalgic American cuisine.
“It will be down-home, fill-your-gut comfort food,” she said.
On the breakfast menu, she said, will be items such as smoked brisket hash on top of sweet potatoes and carmelized onions with chimmichurri (Argentinian pesto) and a poached egg on top. For lunch, diners can expect entrees such as a Cuban sandwich on housemade bread. She noted that she will brine the ham and smoke the meat she serves in-house. She will also serve food that will work well for those with special diets, including gluten-free fare and vegetarian choices.
Once the full menu is ready, Gordon will offer about eight pastries a day, both sweet and savory, she said. Indeed, last week, amidst the cupcakes, cookies and muffins was focaccia topped with smoked beef and white cheddar cheese. Focaccia will be a staple, she said, and change daily.
All the food Gordon offers will be as local as possible, she stressed, starting with food grown and raised on Vashon and moving out from there, noting that the meat will come from no farther away than Oregon.
Gordon, trained in France as a butcher and at the Seattle Culinary Academy, worked most recently at The Hardware Store Restaurant, where she was the lead breakfast cook for the past four months. The idea of having her own business, though, is not new.
“I have been thinking of doing something like this for a long time,” she said.
In an unusual arrangement, she is renting the space at Sound Food half-time, sharing it with chef Brandon D’Imperio. D’Imperio had previously partnered with Meat & Noodle, but now hopes to offer a dinner restaurant and possibly other dining opportunities there this summer.
“It’s allowed me to open a restaurant without going $200,000 into debt,” Gordon said.
She will be closed Monday and open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
“I’m stoked,” she said. “I am ready for it to start chugging away and have it be part of my regular life.”
Plenty of baked goods are available in the heart of Vashon town, too, with last week’s re-opening of the former Bob’s Bakery as the Vashon Island Baking Company.
Owners Samantha and Stephen Weigand provided a facelift to the longtime bakery over the past two months, painting the interior, putting in new flooring and adding lighting.
“I want the environment to match the quality of the food we’re serving here,” Samantha said.
The bakery has an espresso machine now, on loan from the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie, and is serving tea from the roasterie as well. Each day, Weigand said, she will offer 25 to 30 food choices, including gluten-free items and savory fare, such as quiche and the popular Bob’s Burgers.
“We’re a new name and a new look,” she said. “But it’s the same tradition that Bob started: good food and community.”