Tag Archives: Olympia

The Martin Way Diner – Olympia, WA

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This article appeared in the February 2014 edition of the online JBLM Spouse Magazine *

Some days, you are just in the mood to go out for a meal that has that comforting, home cooked feel to it. Do yourself a favor and bypass all the big name chain restaurants and make your way to The Martin Way Diner in Olympia. This restaurant has a distinct vintage feel to it that lets you know it has been around since the 1950’s, which is a good thing. On one side, there is a wrap around counter where you can sit to enjoy some house made apple or peach crisp along with some hot coffee. Perhaps you are in the mood to be nostalgic and while sitting at the counter, you might decide to order a root beer float, milk shake, or ice cream sundae.

Almost all the seating at The Martin Way diner features the good old fashion spacious booths with all the condiments that you need at your fingertips. Familiar oldies music will play as you read through the menu deciding whether you want breakfast, which is served all day, or perhaps an old fashioned burger. If you’re looking for a hearty breakfast, the Mega Chicken Fried Steak is a delicious choice. Even a half order of this meal would be more than enough to fill you up. Along with a large portion of chicken fried steak cooked to perfection and smothered in a generous scoop of country gravy, you also get hash browns, two eggs, and a side of toast ($9.59).

Chicken Fried Steak Breakfast Plate at The Martin Way Diner in Olympia, WA

Chicken Fried Steak Breakfast Plate at The Martin Way Diner in Olympia, WA

The fun thing about The Martin Way Diner is that this is the type of place where all the guests seem to know one another and are familiar with the staff. If they don’t know you, they sure want to get to know you. The staff and guests are so friendly, you will feel as though you are one of the family right off the bat and have been going to the diner for years. Some members of the staff have worked at The Martin Way Diner for 25 years and clearly know their regular guest’s orders by heart. As soon as they see the familiar face of a regular guest come in, they have their order already cooking and bring them their favorite beverages.

With their newly expanded seating area, The Martin Way Diner is now capable of serving more guests and welcome larger parties. The diner features flat screen televisions so that guests can watch their favorite sports games, too. With a full service bar and selection of alcoholic beverages, The Martin Way Diner can offer guests just about anything they may be in the mood to eat or drink. With the items on their menu being served at any time during the day, it makes the perfect place to stop whether you’re craving breakfast food at night or a hearty dinner style meal early in the morning. Whatever it is that you want, you can rest assured that the great food, fun atmosphere, and friendly service will leave you will a smile on your face.

The Martin Way Diner is located at:
2423 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA 98506.
If you have any questions, please call: (360) 705-1438.

 

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Lattin’s Country Cider Mill – Olympia, WA

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In our hometown in Illinois, there is this great apple orchard and it is tradition to go there every Fall for their hot, fresh donuts, fresh out of the oven apple pie, and cider. Each and every year that we have been here in Washington, we find ourselves missing that particular apple orchard. This year, we decided to see if there was anything similar nearby. We found Lattin’s Country Cider Mill was about 10 minutes from where we live. In the three years we have lived in WA (and in the two years we have been in this home), we had never been there. We decided to change that!

On Friday, October 7, our son was off school and my husband did not work. It was the perfect day for a family outing … minus the brief morning drizzle and overcast skies. Nonetheless, we were very excited! We arrived to Lattin’s in no time around 11am.

It was not busy, so there was not a lot of hustle and bustle. We roamed around looking at their adorable farm animals and taking pictures of our kids enjoying themselves. One thing kind of stood out to me: no one had greeted us or welcomed us to the cider mill. Do they have employees? If I passed them, I probably mistook them for other guests. Other than the animals, there was no “attraction”. Maybe it was too early in the day but there were no giant bins of apples out to purchase. Instead, all we saw were corn stalks for purchase and a selection of small pumpkins (they also have a pumpkin patch in the premises).

Farmer's Market and organic veggies

Inside the red barn at Lattin's Country Cider Mill

Inside the big red barn, you can find different organic vegetables, honey, and pies … in a refrigerator case. I was impressed with their cider selection. Besides the original apple cider, they also had flavors like strawberry cider, which my two kids chose to take home with them. We walked up to the bakery case to see their selection of donuts. There were plenty to choose from! Plain, sugar, powdered sugar, cream filled, and pumpkin. We chose to try 6 donuts: 2 plain, 2 powdered sugar, and 2 cream filled. Much to our dismay, none of the donuts had that excitingly “fresh”, just-out-of-the-oven taste. Honestly, they were a little bland. We also assumed the cream filled donuts would be cider donuts with cream … they are not. They are regular donuts with cream. The same kind of donut you can find at the Walmart bakery. Disappointing.

The donuts we chose: plain, powdered sugar, and cream filled

I think the most disappointing was when we actually interacted with an employee (when purchasing our donuts), I can’t honestly say she was overly friendly. Since we had never been there before, I asked if the donuts were made there. She replied with an irritated, “Yes”. I understand she may get asked that 1,000 times a day but I guess if it were me, I’d be a little more jolly and enthusiastic about the product I was selling. Maybe even throw out a smile or two. Maybe a thank you?

As we were deciding to leave, we couldn’t help but notice that Lattin’s was finally bringing out large crates of apples for purchase. If you’re wondering around the barn area, please be aware of the forklifts bringing out the apples. We saw two elderly women have to quickly (as quickly as elderly folks move…) move out of the way from a forklift in reverse with an operator who didn’t seem to care she was moving her forklift right into the path of visitors … and right in front of the door of the barn (where the main traffic is?!). Yikes!

We walked back through the farm back to our car, again, never seeing or interacted with another employee other than the girl who sold us donuts. The employee who seemed like she was either having a bad day or disliked her job. When we got loaded into the car, we couldn’t help but feel disappointed. What a let down. It didn’t seem like a “happy” place that we’d jump at the chance at taking our kids to again. Maybe it was just a slow day, maybe it was just an “off day” – but first impressions can be everything. Sorry, Lattin’s Cider Mill, you made a really bad first impression.

Good thing: The cider was delicious! Both the original and the strawberry. No wonder it is award winning cider!

Side note: If you go on the weekend, be aware that you need to pay to park your car. Is it just me or is that a bit ridiculous? This isn’t Seattle. It’s a cider mill that is open year round. I don’t think you’ll find me paying $3 to park my car in a muddy field just to go into a place that I’m expected to spend more money.

We went with high expectations of finding a fun, Fall themed place to take our kids and perhaps start a new Fall family tradition. Instead, we walked away disappointed.

If you’d like to check it out for yourself, you can find them at:

9402 Rich Road Southeast
Olympia, WA 98501-9558

(360) 491-7328