Last last weekend, I took the train up to the Seattle area to meet Sweets with friends who were celebrating a birthday. We had decided to split up our journey this way so that I wouldn’t have to endure the back of the bike for so long. It worked out rather well despite poor Amtrak living up to its reputation of delays due to freight being in the way. Those freight trains sure had a lousey upbringing, they don’t share the tracks very well at all.
This ended up also being the weekend for sandwiches, as I learned that bringing a sub with you on the train is a much better and cheaper way to eat than relying on Amtrak’s packaged up foods. Plus, you get to tease your car mates as they smell your tasty eats.
Friday night Sweets and I endured a late meal at the nearby Sherri’s. Walking through those fake wood doors plunged us into a time warp as we realized that we and the staff were practically the only non-teenagers in the place. Grabbing a seat in the lounge/bar, we were able to watch them from a safe distance, much like animals in a zoo. This is what is available for your kids, who want to hang out and do stuff on a weekend night. They cram into a booth, drink sodas, flirt and all share one plate of fries. I remember doing that! One late night in a Sherri’s diner after a Nirvana concert, I tasted my first banana split. On a date-of-sorts, I shared a “Beligian Waffle,” an item foreign to me, even though I had been to Belgium. In these essential kid times of interacting, learning how to be story tellers, the food really is secondary. Not a place for Sweets and I, though it was interesting to visit.
On Saturday we drove around while our hosts ran some errands and decided we would grab lunch and then catch a movie. Being a hungry foodie in a suburbia you don’t know is a bit trying. We felt like we were in the twillight zone, passing mini-mall after mini-mall. Everything we were driving past looked to be two years old at the oldest! The developers are devouring the surrounding woods of the Seattle area, and greasy spoon diners, Mom -n- Pop joints were the main course (the trees and farms being appetizers).
We were starting to get desparate when we saw a sign looming up in the distance that read Caveman Kitchens. Given the plural, I thought maybe they just designed kitchens, bbq’s or something. Sweets’ spidey sense was tingling though and he pulled up to what looked like an empty building. They seemed out of business, but our tummys growled. We noticed a crusty white paper sign on the window, and turned around to find Caveman Kitchens operating in what looks like an old 7-11 store. We looked at each other and grinned. This had the grime of authenticity all over it.
Pushing into the store reveals a counter with a large menu board overhead, and many picnic tables in front for customers to sit at. Our jaws dropped open and hung there for awhile as we tried to take in everything at once and pick out our meal. To the left was a cooler with sodas and pictures taped to the glass. There are customer testimonials posted all over this place. The soda fridge housed an autographed picture of Scully from the X-Files proclaiming their salmon to be the best she’s ever had. Well, I have to admit, the celebrity endorsement sold me. Sweets let me order for us and we got their salmon and bbq beef sandwich with a small side of baked beans.
We parked at a picnic table and our order came up in a big white bag, with their stick figure logo on the side. The sandwiches revealed themselves to be huge! Each was 8 inches long and served on toasted, buttery frenchbread. The salmon sandwich, which turned out to be a dip, was exquisite: buttery bread with a layer of cream cheese on each slice, studded with big chunks of hot smoked salmon served with a delicate fish stock to dip in. This sandwich is genius. Sweets, who can easily overdose on cream cheese dug in. Next we tackled the bbq beef sandwich which was sloppy good. Sweet and tangy, with chips of beef, the bread just the right level of wet from the sauce.
Their menu had a couple other interesting items we didn’t get to… Beatsa Pizza, Bootlegger Pudding…
If you’re ever in need of authentic food in the Auburn, South of Seattle area, check out Caveman Kitchens and report back on what the rest of the menu is like.
Thanks Scully for the recommendation!