Row House Reinventions of Classic Brunch Foods

We all know that Saturday and Sunday brunch in Seattle is a frenzied city-wide food fest. Throes of weekend revelers seek out new brunch spots that offer a new spin on American classics, but as you all know, after awhile it starts to feel a little same o ‘ same o ‘.  At Row House Café in South Lake Union, we like to mix it up every weekend with original chef’s specials featuring the season’s best ingredients in dishes inspired by country kitchens from around the world. And for those of you who are nostalgic about the classic American Brunch… not to worry, we’ve got you covered too! Have a look at a few of our favorite dishes that offer a new twist on some of the old classics:

French Toast—> 1000 Layer French Toast with Brie and Berries

Everyone loves French Toast. Traditionally a way of making use of stale bread, today it’s a sweet breakfast menu staple. At Row House Cafe, we take the concept of traditional French Toast and dolled it up—instead of bread, we use a big flakey butter croissant dipped in egg, for a peel-apart multi-layered glorious experience. And when you stuff it with brie and top it with seasonal berries, Ou la la, you’ll think you’ve landed in gay Paris! The decadent combination of savory french brie and the bright sweetness of fresh berries makes for a much more nuanced taste sensation.

Eggs and Bacon —> Eggs and Bacon Salad

Eggs and bacon have got to be the most classic American breakfast combo of all time. Unfortunately, they aren’t a particularly healthy duo on their own, and what these cholesterol-rich foods offer in flavor they lack in fiber. So we’ve modified this breakfast to be not only healthier, but to taste better and fresher. We poach our eggs, not fry them, meaning both less grease and a softer, subtler texture, and combine our applewood bacon with marinated veggies. We put that on a bed of mixed greens and douse it with a balsamic vinaigrette, giving a tangy flavor that compliments the saltiness of the bacon. This is a delicious, filling, savory breakfast that will leave you feeling satisfied and ready for your next yoga class.

Eggs Benedict—> Prosciutto Benedict or Eggs Sardou

American brunch lore has it that Lemuel Benedict, a retired Wall Street stock broker, wandered into New York’s Waldorf Hotel in the late 1800’s looking to find a hangover cure, so he ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of Hollandaise”.  And on that day, the American classic Eggs Benedict was born.  With all due respect to Mr. Benedict, we think our twist on his dish is one for the Waldorf cookbooks. We took his classic dish, swapped out the ham for a pile of prosciutto di parma and paired it with a serving of hollandaise drizzled country roasted potatoes. And then we took it a step further for our vegetarian friends, leveraging the classic Louisianan Creole dish called Eggs Sardou and substituted the meat with a hearty baby portobello mushroom and artichoke hearts, dressed it with traditional hollandaise and served it up on a bed of cheesy grits.  Sweet Home Alabama!……eh, N’awlins!

Row House Café……it’s just good food!

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Labor Day Brunch


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South Lake Union Art Walk Friday August 1st

South Lake Union Art Walk
Friday August 1st 6:00 – 9:00PM

Join us for an artist’s opening featuring a photographic tribute to the Center for Wooden Boats & Seattle Maritime History.

Row House Cafe is excited to present a combined show featuring Seattle maritime images from photographers Abby Inpanbutr and Paula Heath for the August 1st South Lake Union Art Walk.

We hope to see you here for this exciting event!


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Memorial Day Brunch and BBQ May 24-26

Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner! Bring down your friends and family to the Row House Cafe, we are having a Memorial Day Brunch and BBQ for this weekend! Take a look at our Memorial Day menu. Hope to see you here!

Memorial Day Menu For Web

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SLU Art Walk – Bronwen Houck’s photography May 2nd

Row House Cafe is excited to feature Bronwen Houck’s photography from her recent sabbatical in South and Central America. The format of many of her prints are not only physically enormous, but emotionally riveting as well. Her vast and ethereal landscapes are awe-inspiring and as a result of the sheer breadth and depth of the images, they appear to morph into abstraction. Houck’s images possess the ability to seemingly alter the architectural dynamics of the space in which they are shown.

You can view her website at, the event will be held on Friday, May 2nd we hope to see you here for this exciting event!

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Chris Maynard’s Feather Art featured in the Smithsonian

Check out this great article about Chris Maynard and his Feather Art in the Smithsonian!

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Jesse Level Art Exhibit


Opening Exhibit: Thursday May 24, 2012: 6:00PM

Artist in attendance; Refreshments will be served

Show Duration: May 24 through July 23, 2012

Location: Row House Cafe / 1170 Republican St, Seattle, WA 98109

Historic Cascade Neighborhood • South Lake Union • Seattle

“Cross Culture”

Row House Cafe is pleased to present “Cross Culture” an exhibition from artist Jess Level.

Level’s show will be in two parts. His opening show will feature his work that was inspired by his life in Spain: “Cross Culture: Across the Sea.” The second phase of his show will feature work that is more locally inspired: “Cross Culture: Bringing it Home.” The body of work he intends to show will contain both oil on canvas and pen and ink drawings.

Location, location, location

Level draws his inspiration from where he lives and the spaces in which he occupies. His work is a commentary on the local customs, events and life subjects – or livestock – that inhabit the perimeters of his vision. Whether on the coast of Spain or the coast of Washington, Level’s work captures the light and levity of societies and their history. For Level, it’s all up for interpretation.

Cross Culture

Art, in its multitude of forms, has always been one of society’s greatest escapes. Level’s work has an embedded levity, which celebrates life and light and is a welcome respite from the political turbulence of our time. On the surface, Level’s work is whimsical; yet with further study, social, political and economic dysfunction is found cloaked in abstraction. Things are not always what they seem.

A common theme throughout Level’s work is “paintings within paintings.” These multiple layers cause the viewer to dig deeper into the work, yet the deeper you dig, the murkier the waters become. We all are painfully aware of reality and what lurks beneath the surface, yet Level always focuses on the light.

In most of Level’s paintings, there are multiple stories being told in the same space. The paintings often feel like a frozen moment shared by multiple living stories. The mixing of mythologies (and other stories, like the history of modern art in Spain, the story of selling a painting, the story of building a canvas) creates a dialog of divergent planes. It’s conspicuous that it’s Level who gets to decide which ones belong together in this particular moment. The painting becomes an archival annotation of the birth of the new iteration of international or cross-cultural mythology.

When the stapled edges, canvas texture and crossbars of the canvases are exaggerated, it draws attention to the purposeful act of a painting’s construction. Art becomes an object to be handled, evaluated, thrown out the window, making the narrative message conspicuous and unavoidable.

It seems that any of the elements, whether it’s a human figure, an animal, or any object of a portrait, might be just an idea in the moment, remembered from a different time, or headed to a different place than the others. As some elements are grounded, others might run screaming off in different directions or slide from the edge of the painting. Perpetual motion.

Level’s mentor Julian Gomez praised his paintings as “rich and well painted reflections by a different sort of Amerikan whose vision of my country is just and flattering.” His color palates are a story in and of themselves and add to his play on light. As you fall into the paintings within Level’s paintings, it is hard to pull yourself back out with the same understanding at the beginning of your venture. There are worlds within Level’s work, when once you get lost in them, you forget about the larger reality. Level does not paint using source materials rather his work is stream of conscience based on experience and raw emotion. It is joyous, albeit haunting at times. Ultimately, Jess’s work is about space, light and reflection.

Artist bio

It was a long road that led Jess Level back to the Pacific Northwest, where he currently resides “in exile…more or less.” After crashing classes at The Savannah College of Art and Design and The New York School of Art, Jess landed a teaching position at a private college in Arizona. It was in that desert land where he was first introduced to the lovely Pilar, and it wasn’t long before she lured him to Spain in the fall of 1996. “A new life. New language. New rules. The freak show begins.”

“She led him there to paint, and after suffering all the consequences from that choice he became a poor, but famed artist in that weird and beautifully complicated land.” No longer crashing art classes, Jess studied personally with Spanish artists Julian Gomez and Antonio Marquez in Cáceres, from 1997 until 1999. It was during this period when his unique style was fleshed out and he began “painting things as they should be, not as they are.” Level’s name quickly spread across Spain, along with his art, after being commissioned for several murals throughout the region. Tragedy struck in 2006 when 86 of Level’s pieces were stolen from his studio in Oviedo, Spain. Things got worse when after discovering the identity of the perpetrator, Level’s immigrant status rendered him helpless in the foreign courts and a long battle ensued. He left Spain in 2009, without his stolen work, “after many battles with both love and state. From consequences that fell together from choices made, and the loss of many paintings…”

Jess Level can be reached at 206‐369‐7688 or You can also visit his website at  *Quotations above were taken from the artist

About Row House Café:

Row House Café is a neighborhood euro-bistro in South Lake Union, whose focus is featuring all the arts – culinary, visual and performing. A nod to the 19th century salon. Originally built in 1904 as work force housing, the cottages were rehabilitated and converted into a neighborhood café that opened in September 2010. For more information on Row House Café, please visit


Erin Maher


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The World We Live In

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The Stranger: Search a Tiny House for Art in South Lake Union

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Genius Loci: Resurrecting the Spirit of a Place

Genius Loci: Resurrecting the Spirit of a Place

Opening Exhibit: Thursday March 15th, 6-9PM
Artist in attendance; Refreshments will be served
Show Duration: March 15 to April 14, 2012
Extended thru May 14th due to popular demand!
Location: Row House Cafe / 1170 Republican St, Seattle, WA 98109
Historic Cascade Neighborhood • South Lake Union • Seattle

As part of this month’s ARTcade, Row House Cafe is pleased to announce Genius Loci: Resurrecting the Spirit of a Place.

With the arrival of and other corporations, South Lake Union’s Cascade neighborhood is emerging as a burgeoning center of industry once again. The neighborhood has an illustrious history of labor and production from the early twentieth century—one of the few remaining vestiges of this past is Row House Cafe.

Built in 1904 as three row houses for immigrant workers, Row House Cafe has undergone many different incarnations. In the course of a century, it has evolved from workforce lodging to student housing to temporary offices for a construction company.

When Row House Cafe partner Erin Maher began work on the derelict space in 2010, it was “lifeless and abandoned.” The architectural integrity of the cottages had been denigrated and the buildings were in near ruin. Maher recalls, “I came to realize that these row houses were some of the last remaining relics of a neighborhood built by and for immigrant workers, and the buildings harbored a connection between the past and the future.” As she removed the rubble, the original structure began presenting itself. Maher says, “These buildings wanted to survive; they were begging to be reclaimed.”

Within a few weeks of Row House Cafe opening, artist Yoona Lee stopped in and was instantly attracted to the space for its visual poetry. Lee explains, “Rather than colonize Row House with preexisting paintings, I wanted to create work about and around the space itself, as a tribute to its genius loci and previous residents.” Using the ambience and dense history of the space as a point of departure, she produced a body of work, which includes tight figurative drawings, neo–Abstract Expressionist paintings, and a text-based installation that takes advantage of a small room of vintage mirrors. Several of Lee’s pieces utilize materials found on the Row House property, including tiles and a vintage folding chair found in the basement. The title of the show, Genius Loci, refers to the rehabilitation of the original spirit of the place.

Lee observes, “At Row House, the present is suffused with the past in a singular way that new development just won’t have.” And this history appears in unexpected ways, as evidenced by the fact that Maher recently moved residence and discovered her new landlord’s parents had been residents of the original row houses during the 1920s.

Row House Cafe partner Maher concludes, “I was meant to release the history within these walls and Yoona was meant to capture it. What I see in this body of work is the toil of life, the respite of home and a glimpse of a passage.”

The work in Genius Loci evokes a sense of familiarity laced with the uncanny, creating a conceptual déjà vu that links a labor-rich past to an industrial present. In all of the show’s pieces, the presence of the building’s original occupants can be experienced in ways that are concrete and beguilingly intangible.

Genius Loci
In this mixed-media show, artist Yoona Lee explores the history of the Row House Cafe, a community space created from early-twentieth-century workforce housing. To investigate ideas of permanency, transience, and placemaking, Lee uses varying modes of representation that include tight figurative drawing, neo–Abstract Expressionist painting, and text-based installation. By incorporating materials found on the housing site, she addresses the physicality and emotional energy of the original space. Through reminders both concrete and intangible, the lingering presence of the row houses’ past inhabitants, as well as a restored genius loci (or spirit of the place), emerges. In this way, Lee’s work evokes a sense of familiarity laced with the uncanny.

Artist bio
Yoona Lee is a Seattle-based visual artist and writer. She received her bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in Fine Arts, at the University of Pennsylvania. Yoona’s artwork has appeared in The Stranger’s Slog, a Seattle-based blog of news and culture, and in various literary magazines, including Mosaic and Voyage Out. She presented her writing and drawings at a 2010 University of Washington academic conference on “Cultural Work in the Racial Present.” Most recently, Yoona designed a cover illustration for Seattle Journal for Social Justice. Yoona Lee can be reached at 206-225-9768 or

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