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The Stone House Café

We wondered about this interesting structure of water-washed rocks whenever we headed down to Renton to visit Ikea or the nurseries at Fred Meyer and McClendon’s. It looked as though it had once been a gas station and indeed, once we stopped, there was an antique gas pump!

Then a few years ago, we saw it had opened as a bakery but we didn’t stop until recently when we saw that it was a Café serving breakfast and lunch. We were hungry after some heavy-duty Ikea shopping (and navigating all those arrows from one department to another). Ikea’s food service had about a 45-minute line so we headed home, but came to a quick decision as we neared the Stone House.

Although the downstairs eating area looks a little small, they can seat many people and the upstairs seems to be used for overflow although it’s billed as a private rental space. Service is quick despite the crowded room.

Two of us decided on lunch: a fried chicken sandwich ($13) and a Salmon BLT without the “B” ($16). Both sandwiches came with a choice of soup, salad or fries. We both ordered salads. The other person in our party ordered the Brioche French toast. Both sandwiches were on toasted sourdough with lettuce, tomato and avocado spread.

The salads are very generous, served in a bowl instead of next to the sandwich on the plate. The French toast consisted of thick slices of brioche bread served with mixed berry compote. Servings are generous; I took half my sandwich and half my salad home where my husband devoured my half sandwich and pronounced it good.

This former gas station called Collier’s was an institution in the past; it opened in the 1920’s and closed in the 60’s. The décor is interesting; we were seated under a painting of a VW beetle on wood which made it feel homey having owned both the Beetle and the VW Camper (also pictured on the website) in years past. The VW business must have come late in the life of Collier’s. We did not see any Model T’s. Some chairs seemed to be fashioned out of oil drums; they are comfortable but hard to move.

Lake Washington is just across Rainier Ave from the Café. There is a patio, which would be delightful in warmer weather. The upper story also has a deck, which looks across Lake Washington without the annoying cars going by.

The Café serves delicious looking baked goods (displayed in an old-fashioned case by the door) and they make their own doughnuts on the weekend. But unless you come specifically for the bakery goodies, you won’t have room for more food!

The Stone House Café

9701 Rainier Ave. S, 206-397-4102

Tue–Thu, 8am-3pm; Fri–Sat, 8am–6pm; Sun 8am–3pm; closed Mon

~Diane Snell

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