Tag Archives: Seafood

Nanci and Jimella’s Market Cafe – Ocean Park, WA

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Before I write anything, I must say how ashamed I am that this has taken so long to post. I drafted it and never completed it because well, life sometimes gets hectic. Which is no real good excuse at all. So, please accept my apologies.

After driving up the beach highway and sight seeing through some neighborhoods full of lovely beach houses, we made our way down Pacific Highway in Ocean Park. When we pulled into the parking lot of Nanci and Jimella’s Market Cafe, I took notice that it looked just as I almost expected it to: a small market store. We walked in the front door and immediately on our left are rustic shelves of tempting foods to purchase and bring home. There is a cooler full of local cheese, pasta, and seafood. What really caught my eye was the very large wine selection. Beautifully showcased in a large wood shelving unit that was probably custom made. It was Father’s Day and we were there to relax a bit and enjoy some brunch before we set off on more adventures for the day.

The impressive wine selection

Nice selection of cheese, pasta, and local seafood

Lots of goodies offered at Nanci and Jimella’s

We arrived before the restaurant was officially open on that Sunday but a very pleasant waitress showed us to our seats and told us about the daily specials they were about to make. I ordered a seafood dish that included chorizo. The chorizo is what caught my interest because it is one of my favorite meats. It is spicy and you don’t need much of it to make a great meal. I probably didn’t hear much passed the waitress mentioning that the dish had chorizo in it because I was surprised when my piping hot plate was brought out and I saw … clams. I have nothing against clams. I love clams. I love seafood. I especially love fresh seafood. But as some of you may remember, I had a horrible experience in Astoria a few months ago in which eating clams made me severely ill for about four days. That food poisoning was probably the worst and most painful experience of my life. So, I could not help but be a little cautious, if not scared, about eating clams again. Once I took a spoonful of the chorizo with the tasty, yet simple broth – I was hooked. It was so delicious. The clams were fresh and had just a hint of the chorizo’s spiciness cooked in it. Everything just worked so well in the Skillet Clams dish to create this amazing one of a kind taste. The dish is cooked with Willapa Bay littleneck clams, leeks, tomatoes, and garlic. It didn’t take long for this dish to get me beyond my hesitation about eating clams again. This was not the kind of dish I envisioned having for brunch but boy, it was above and beyond any expectations.

Delicious!

While we were eating, both Nanci and Jimella came to our table to introduce themselves. What an honor! Nanci’s bubbly personality is so refreshing and inviting, it mixes well with Jimella’s more quiet demeanor. Before owning Nanci and Jimella’s Market Cafe, the chefs were the proud owners of The Ark Restaurant for 25 years! Their comfortable little market has what you’d need to bring home some delicious groceries after grabbing an excellent bite to eat. There is a bottle of wine to pair with probably any dish you’d be making yourself or enjoying at Nanci and Jimell’as Market Cafe. The Market Cafe has a wonderful bistro feel to it that I think makes it feel inviting.There is a wall near the restroom that is home to newspaper articles that have featured their cafe over the years. It was nice to see that their community has given them recognition for their accomplishments. Nanci and Jimella are also responsible for having created the Long Beach Garlic Fest. Nanci told us that she was heading over to the festival to sell their famous garlic ice cream and invited us to go see her. After we finished our brunch, we headed over to the garlic fest to try the famous ice cream. And now we know why it is so famous: it is delicious! Who knew that garlic would make such a fantastic flavor for ice cream? If you haven’t tried Nanci and Jimella’s garlic ice cream, please try it. You will quickly understand why I say it is so delicious.

At the Garlic Fest enjoying Nanci and Jimella’s garlic ice cream!

Before we left the market, we purchased some of the very chorizo that was featured in my brunch dish. We also purchased some crackers and truffles. Nanci and Jimella’s Market Cafe is definitely a place that I wish was closer to where I live. I could imagine myself visiting the market cafe quite regularly for food, wine, and excellent company. There is just something that I love about locally owned establishments. I think the fact that the owners are accessible, friendly, and loving with all that they do that really speaks volumes. I think it is all of these qualities that has made Nanci and Jimella successful with all their endeavors.

Shortly after visiting with Nanci and Jimella, I found out that Jimella is currently going through chemotherapy and radiation for cancer of the esophagus. I just wanted to say we are thinking of you and wish you the best of luck as you continue your treatment.

Nanci and Jimella’s Market Cafe
Ocean Park, WA

Please stop in and visit Nanci and Jimella’s Market Cafe:
21742 Pacific Way
Ocean Park, WA 98640

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The Depot Restaurant – Seaview, WA

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I had passed The Depot Restaurant while out on my bicycle tour with Jim Sayce during the morning of Saturday, June 16. So when my family and I set out from our hotel for dinner that evening, I knew exactly where I was going.

The Depot Restaurant
Seaview, WA

As soon as we arrived, we could see that it must be a popular little place. There was no available parking nearby. We eventually found a spot when another Depot Restaurant guest left. Once inside the restaurant, I could feel that this was some place special. We were immediately greeted owner Nancy Gorshe. She was just as sweet as could be with a twinkle in her eye as she welcomed us into the restaurant. She brought us to a table that had one of those fancy “Reserved” signs on it. My goodness, I felt like someone incredibly special to have my family arriving at a table that had been reserved just for us.

Our waitress immediately took our beverage order and told us about the specials of the day. The Garlic Festival was also going on the same weekend we were in Long Beach, so many of the specials featured fresh garlic. While reading through the menu, there was an appetizer (or Small Bites dish as it is referred to on their menu) that kept catching my eye: Peruvian Mango Sea Scallops. Even though I had fried scallops for lunch earlier in the day, I couldn’t resist and so we ordered the scallops to try. When the scallops arrived – this is going to sound cheesy – but they were so beautiful, I almost was afraid to eat it. The presentation was just gorgeous. Three giant pan seared Atlantic sea scallops sat on a rectangle dish bathing in a spicy mango salsa and topped with pickled red onion. After drooling over them through the camera lens, my husband and I finally decided to take a bit (the kids were not feeling adventurous that day, so they did not try it). The scallop was like butter. It had an incredibly smooth texture and not an overwhelming taste of “sea food”. The mango salsa was fresh and sweet with a right amount of spice. With each fork full of scallop both my husband and I would drench our bite of scallop in the mango salsa. It was just incredible. Want to know just how incredible? My husband put his pride aside and politely asked for another side of bread so he could finish the leftover mango salsa. When the bread came, the kids finally tried the mango salsa … and loved it. It was really just that amazing.

Peruvian Mango Sea Scallops

For my meal, I ordered the pan searched King Salmon with garlic pesto butter, garlic mashers, and vegetables, which was one of the daily specials. I am not sure that I can correctly put into words just how delicious the meal was. Every aspect of it was just perfect. The salmon was perfectly cooked and the garlic pesto butter added a wonderful burst of flavor to the salmon. The garlic mashers had the perfect amount of garlic flavor, nothing too overpowering. The vegetables were cooked but still retained a slight crispness to them – which I love and prefer.

Pan seared King Salmon
with garlic mashers & vegetables

While enjoying our meal, I couldn’t help but look around and take in the restaurant itself. It is a small place but I almost couldn’t see it as anything bigger. The Depot Restaurant sits in a former train depot built in 1905. The depot discontinued operation in 1930. It wasn’t until 2001 when the ¬†former train depot was transformed into The Depot Restaurant by Chef Michael Lalewicz and wife, Nancy Gorshe. Chef Lalewicz is a classically trained chef who brings his experience as an international traveler and chef to the table. His food preparation and presentation takes front and center in the area, if you ask me. I had no idea walking into the small Depot Restaurant that this was the place that houses such an award winning chef and his amazing creations. Nancy mentioned that most of the food they cook with and serve is purchased locally or imported from Portland (where Chef Lalewicz developed and opened the Greek Kitchen at Jimmy Mak’s).

The Depot Restaurant is adorned with old, historic photos of the former depot. Inside the restaurant is a little on the dark side but I think it suits the ambience just fine. Maybe it brings you in a little closer to share a conversation or to share a meal. But I think it creates a cozy, warm atmosphere. No matter what table you are at in the restaurant, you can see into the kitchen and see Chef Lalewicz creating his magic. I would occasionally see him look out into his restaurant with a big smile on his face and that same familiar twinkle in his eye that Nancy has. Don’t be fooled by the high quality food and assume that it isn’t a place you wouldn’t take your young children. That is not the case here! The Depot Restaurant is family friendly and our waitress did an amazing job making our children feel welcome and important. She put together a special dessert for our daughter and even gave both of my kids hugs goodbye while thanking them for coming to the restaurant. Truly exceptional!

Nancy lovingly told us that all the food they serve is, “handled with love and care” – and it clearly shows. Each plate that was brought out, whether it was the house salad or our main meal, was brought out as a presentation not of just any food but as a presentation of pure artistic ability. Years of experience can create good things but years of experience combined with love and appreciation creates unforgettable experiences that can be shared with everyone … and that is exactly what we had thanks to The Depot Restaurant.

 

If you find yourself in the Seaview/Long Beach area, please stop by The Depot Restaurant:
1208 38th Place
Seaview, WA 98644