The disclaimer at the bottom of the menu at Beth’s Cafe says it all!
Please note that eating any raw and/or undercooked foods, playing in traffic, or running with scissors can make you not feel very good.
Part greasy spoon, part freak magnet, and part family fridge, Beth’s inspired a new tag on my blog: “funky places to eat.” Their claim to fame, as their menu announces, is the 12-egg omelette … and they fall into a category that makes my husband and I very, very happy: 24-hour restaurants!
Logistically, they sit just north of Greenlake on Aurora Avenue, but if you need the actual address, it’s:
We found Beth’s about a year ago now. I honestly don’t know how we missed it all that time, but it could be in-part that they just don’t make a lot of noise about themselves. They may advertise, but I’ve never seen an ad anywhere for them. They sit between two pubs, right near an auto mechanic and a motorcycle shop. Thanks to the lane dividers in the road out front, it’s difficult to get there unless you’re heading south. Parking sucks. Sure, there’s a parking lot out back … but the spaces are small and the usual parkers are … shall we say … often creative. Plus, there’s just a little sign above the non-descript front door that says “Beth’s ” … so unless someone clues you in … or you, like us, decide to search for 24-hour restaurants … again … you might not have found it either. However, we’re awful glad we did
I was especially glad this time! We walked in that night. It was a weekday–and early still–so we grabbed a booth … and there on the table was an ad that said “Amish Friendship Bread.”
I waved the waitress right over
OMG! It was awesome! And what a treat to find in a restaurant! I’ve made Amish Friendship Bread plenty of times in the past. It was forever going around whatever office I worked in back in the day, and–I loved it–so I was always a pushover when someone had starters they were trying to give away. I’d take it home and make it a few times … often just using up the giveaways baking additional loaves for myself once I’d pestered all of my own friends long enough. It wasn’t a problem: they freeze beautifully!
It’s been a while since I made one myself, and I’d honestly forgotten just how amazingly good that stuff is! The loaves come out dense and sweet, with a rich cinnamon smoothness to the cake-like texture … but it also has that fermented bite to it–like a good sourdough bread–that keeps it from getting anywhere near too sweet. If you’ve never tried to make Amish Friendship Bread yourself, I’d suggest you either a) stop turning your friends down when they try to give you a starter … and TRY IT!!! … or b) just cut to the chase … and learn to make your own starter
We each snagged a bite of the bread as we waited for our food, but saved the bulk of it for later that evening … at home … with a cup of coffee … where it belonged
My husband–usually the consummate burger-hound–decided he wanted something different this evening. He ended up trying the pepper steak with fries.
I wasn’t craving a burger this evening, but that’s what I ended up eating. Why? Because the first two things I ordered–the baked potato and I don’t remember what the second one was–I was told, “OOops, sorry … we’re out of that.” I ended up picking the burger because I knew they’d at least have that, and I decided I wanted it simple: mayo, pickle, and tomato. I also ordered my favorite treat at Beth’s to go with it: brown, crunchy, yummy TATER TOTS!
While we waited for our food, we checked out the walls around us. We love the artwork at Beth’s. Just tell your waitperson you want to be creative … and they’ll bring you paper … and crayons! Then–once you’re done–they’ll display your artwork right there!
Some of them are quite creative. I’ve seen a few that were a bit of a stretch for Free Speech!
However, the different drawings are always interesting … and some of them are quite artistic as well
Our food wasn’t quite as artistic, but–as always–it was hot and filling. That’s the way it is at Beth’s. Just like our other favorite 24-hour greasy spoon–the infamous Hurricane Cafe–the food isn’t anything to write home about (Amish Friendship Bread aside) … but you won’t break the bank eating there, and you won’t walk away hungry either … unless, of course, you give away all the food on your plate.
As far as our food goes … my husband said his Cheesesteak was worth having again, and my burger was a little gristly and average, the only interesting bit being the slice of hard/cold/basically tasteless Winter/hothouse tomato … but those tater tots were just awe-inspiring! They really understand how you should cook them there, and they were crunchy & meaty as always … perfect with just a tiny dip of mayo
Final score: I can’t quite give Beth’s the same score as the Hurricane … because–tater tots and Amish Friendship bread not withstanding–their food just isn’t quite as good overall. I feel like I’m forever being disappointed, since what I pick first and really want … they always seem to be out of it. Plus, the Hurricane has a parking lot that ALWAYS has a space or three available. That gives comfort points in my book, regardless … when Beth’s isn’t so easy to approach/enter. The bread was a great surprise, however, and gave them extra bonus points … which gives them a B overall.