The first time I went, it was a rainy Sunday just after noon. The place was packed. We had to wait almost half an hour for a seat. The second time, it was a warmer than usual Sunday in December, and arriving just before noon, there were several available tables. What a difference 20 minutes can make.
Wish You Were Here has all the vestiges of an older home minimally converted into a young indie hang out. You get the sense that everything is as organic as it can be, and if there were a modern day Woodstock-of-the-60s concert happening, the folks who work and patronize the restaurant would spontaneously jump into a VW Vanagan and head out.
Ah, to be that young and free again, but frankly, as long as they let me in for their delicious and hearty Swedish Oatmeal pancakes, I’m content to be the middle aged crasher. See, ever since I realized that my waistline would, indeed, bust a move if I continued to eat anything I wanted to eat, I scaled back on things like pancakes made with refined flour and sugar. So when I found that these pancakes had oatmeal in them, and that Wish You Were Here is all about whole-grain cooking, well, that’s all the permission I needed! I ordered three “Swedes” ($5.95). Okay, yes, I could have gotten a measly Swede or two, but hey, these are made with organic Swedish oats!
The Swedes were quite a generous portion. They were topped with sliced bananas and served with applesauce on the side and real maple syrup. I love these pancakes. They were moist, light, and fluffy, just as all great pancakes are. But then the oats gave them substance and a hearty bite that was unique and satisfying. Just a gentle drizzle of the maple syrup lends enough sweetness. The applesauce could do the same, I suppose, but it’s not the same as the syrup. In fact, after my first bite of combining the applesauce, banana, and sweetened pancake together, I wasn’t sure why it was there.
We also got one of their “Famous Three Egg Omelettes.” Being the adventurous sort he is, my husband ordered the Indian Omelette ($7.50). I have to admit, I raised an eyebrow when that was the one he chose. Spicy chili relish with cheddar, onions, and eggs? I’m sticking with my Swedes, thank you. And yet, I am drawn to trying anything that passes by my mouth, so I had to give it a go. And it was wonderful. The spicy relish had hints of curry and cumin, spices that are the foundation of that magnificently piquant Indian cuisine. The omelette didn’t drip of the chili relish. Instead, it was truly used as an accent to what was otherwise your run-of-the-mill egg dish. It’s a great choice for something that will titillate your taste buds without taking you way out on the wild side. On a very recent visit, I added spinach and mushrooms. Even better.
I also must mention the Square One coffee they serve ($1.65 for bottomless cup). It’s strong, it’s bold, it’s good. And lastly, a note on the servers. They’re friendly, thoughtful, and pleasantly quirky. And you know, after writing this article, I do wish I were there.