On my trip to Seattle, my friend was kind enough to be my guide. He took me to one of his favourite diners, Voula’s Offshore Cafe. It is a nice diner that is located under the I-5 highway near the University of Washington. It is not a hole in the wall but I would say it is hard to find if you didn’t know it was there. Voula’s is, simply put, a friendly diner that is very welcoming to everyone. I was, at first, put off by the entrance. The entrance is nothing more than a solid steel blue door which made me think it was the emergency exit rather than the main entrance. Once I got inside, it was a great place. There is a mural on the back wall of the kitchen area and a very open kitchen where you can watch the chefs cooking up meals for everyone. It is a very typical layout for a diner where you would want to either be at the window or at the counter. There was an overflow dining room area that was nice looking but I never ventured into that area.
The main reason I wanted to go to Voula’s was for breakfast. It had been 2 years since I was last in North America and there would be no better chance to have a good breakfast than to go to a good diner in Seattle. America is well known for their diners, and Canada is somewhat known for them too. It does feel more American to go to a diner for breakfast, even though we were eating around noon. Some things are quintessential for breakfast: eggs, bacon, toast, hashed browns, and pancakes. Sometimes sausage is substituted for the bacon or even added on top of it all for a gut busting breakfast. For my visit to Voula’s I decided to go simple, yet big. I started off with a chocolate shake. For me, this is another typical item that must be had when visiting a diner. I always remember watching “Back to the Future” and seeing Marty McFly going back in time and seeing them drink sodas and shakes. For my meal, I ordered a simple breakfast of 2 eggs over-easy, country style sausage, toast, and hashed browns. It was a delicious meal that was more than satisfying. The shake itself was large enough for 2 glasses of chocolate goodness. For dessert I had to order a blueberry pancake which I shared with a buddy of mine. It was a necessary evil that I only partially regretted.
In Japan, there is the phrase “kuidaore” which can simply be translated into “eat till you drop” or “gluttony” if we are looking at the movie “se7en”. Going to this diner was very much that way for me. If I was a local and could visit that diner more often, I would more than happily go there and eat moderately. A simple breakfast plate and water would be more than enough for me. However when visiting North America for the first time in two years, and due to the short time I had, I had to be a bit of a glutton. I don’t regret it at all and it was a great meal. While I do find it hard to tell the difference between a good and great diner, I found the meal to be very good either way. I do recommend going there for breakfast if you are in Seattle. The people in Voula’s are very friendly and I never once felt like an outsider. I’m sure they get a lot of people coming in and like most restaurants they treat their regulars with a little extra hospitality. I never felt like their hospitality was poor and it was great to see my friendly waitress with a friendly smile almost all of the time. You could tell she really enjoyed working there which made my trip more enjoyable.