Let’s face it, the only reason you go to brunch is for the Bennys, luscious, rich, seductive Eggs Benedict… Gently break into those perfectly poached eggs, drool as the yolk oozes out, slipping into the crispy cracks of a toasted English muffin, over grilled Canadian bacon and spinach, and landing in a come-hither puddle at your beck and call.
Brunchers are obsessed with finding the best Bennys. A great many go on actual Benny Crawls every weekend, no lie.
Happily, Edmonds has you covered. In light, lemony hollandaise sauce.
Several restaurant chefs in this seaside town have transformed the making of the humble Benny into an art form.
Kelnero may serve the coolest cocktails this side of I-5, but their Brunch Bennys are equally worth the drive over. Seasonal, farm-to-table sourcing — where each ingredient matters — informs every dish, from the Victuals (Delicata Autumn Salad, The Cottage Toast, Crusted Duck Wings, Burrata & Fruit) to the Weekend Brunch pièce de résistance, Le Eggs Benedict, done reverently. Kris and Kali Kelnero offer a choice of the Classic or the Pacific Northwest with Lummi Island Wild smoked sockeye salmon and…is that our spritely friend, arugula?...dripping in gold happiness.
“I think it starts with Chef John Perez's house-made hollandaise, which has a silky texture and just enough citrus,” co-owner Kali describes. “We also source our protein options from some of the best local purveyors: you can either choose a Capicola ham steak from Olympia Provisions or wild-caught smoked sockeye salmon from Lummi Island Wild. The salmon is my favorite.”
Brunch is served. All day long, every weekend, open at noon.
Kelnero recently hired a new chef, Carlton Madsen, who continues the rich tradition of Benedicts worth traveling long distances for. Welcome!
545 Main St., 425-967-5687
Gently break into those perfectly poached eggs, drool as the yolk oozes out, slipping into the crispy cracks of a toasted English muffin, over grilled Canadian bacon and spinach, and landing in a come-hither puddle at your beck and call.
The jewel in the crown at Salt & Iron’s brunch is King Benedict, served with smashed potatoes. So good they make several versions, including one with marinated flat iron steak (of course) and avocado & tomato, with a hint of red chili flake, for purists.
Back in May 2020, Salt & Iron conducted an online poll for a new favorite to add to the brunch menu. Fried chicken with Sriracha maple hollandaise beat out pulled pork with cornbread and barbecue hollandaise as the People’s Choice. (Can’t we have both?!)
Ask them to bring back the fried oyster Benny, as well; that was fabulous, with a kick of jalapeño in the hollandaise. Too lazy to come on down? Order brunch in bed, aka pickup/delivery, when you order online. Brunch, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Reservations are a must, because Benedict time.
321 Main St., 425-361-1112
Rusty Pelican Café is a mainstay in Edmonds, usually packed to the gills on the weekends. With COVID, those crowds are limited to parties of five and require a little patience while you wait for your socially distanced table (no reservations). But their vast (eight options!) Benny menu is worth the wait: Dungeness crab, smoked salmon, Florentine, California tomato & avocado, sausage patty, and a crowd favorite, Farmhouse Benedict, on a buttermilk biscuit instead of English muffin, and served with sausage gravy. Shudder. Open 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
107 5th Ave. N., 425-582-8250
Chanterelle makes settling on one Benny impossible (they have four choices), not to mention major distraction from the breakfast bowls, sweets (lemon ricotta pancakes, oh!), and burritos loaded with veggies and black beans. But, stick to your mission! Classic, salmon, veggie, and Dungeness crab await. Add an Elder Flower Mimosa or Chanterelle Bloody Mary, and call it a day. Open for breakfast Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-11:55 a.m., Sun., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
316 Main St., 425-774-0650
Best-kept Benny secret: Red Twig Café & Bakery. Best to arrive early, brunch closes at 1 p.m. Almost everything here is locally-, organically-, and responsibly-sourced, and tastes like it. Red Twig's essentially a café with a café kitchen; be prepared to cool your jets a tiny bit. Patience, grasshopper. You’ll be glad you hung in there for one of the best, and most gorgeous Eggs Benedicts you’ve ever put in your mouth — poached or scrambled with smoked salmon, pulled pork, or the classic ham. Open Mon.-Sat. at 7 a.m., Sun., 8 a.m.
Corner of 5th & Dayton, 425-771-1200
Honorable mention: Bistro 76 and Demetris Woodstone Taverna.
When you’re out and about, searching for that perfect Benny, be sure to take plenty of food photos on your smartphone (other foodies will totally understand), and then tag your favorite restaurant when you post them on social media. They appreciate the gesture, and they genuinely want to know how much you enjoyed their food!
Feature photo by Carol Banks Weber.
Photography Courtesy Kelnero, Salt & Iron, Chanterelle, Red Twig IGs.