In November I visited the Poodle Dog for breakfast and a meeting with a client. While I took a middle of the road stance in my review and ensuing comments, their clientele walked down the middle America road.
Some people thought The Poodle Dog was the best thing on four paws, while other past diners thought eating there in Fife gave them pause. Some people even commented back and forth to drive home their points and defending their beliefs. I went ping-ponged agreeing and defending.
So, on a gray December day I returned to meet with my client John Day of the Furnace Doctors. John lives on the Eastside, but has clients from Edmonds down to Tacoma. My clients run from Tacoma to Edmonds and beyond. Fife works for both of us . . . on a good day.
Tuesday was not a good day.
Since we were meeting just before noon, I decided on lunch. I ordered the Rib Eye Steak Dinner. The meal came with tomato basil soup or salad. I opted for the soup.
The soup was like a hippie from the sixties . . . a little high on acid. It worked for me, however. It had a nice tang. I would have liked a few turns of course ground pepper, but I made do with fine ground. There was more than I wanted to eat. The size was somewhere between a cup and a bowl. If the day had been colder and I was a little more hungry, it would have all disappeared. It was good.
With a little cream to make it into a bisque and a little fresh chopped basil, this would have a good meal in itself with toast and crackers. By going local and using Puyallup/Sumner/Fife tomatoes and basil, this would draw praise from chef Gordon Ramsey, himself.
For dessert I had a pumpkin cinnamon roll served with lots of butter. I really, really enjoyed the roll. I love pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin pancakes. It wasn't a huge piece. The wedge was only a fraction of most cinnamon rolls, but the size was perfect.
After the holidays, they will probably take the pumpkin cinnamon roll off the menu, but I would be tempted to have my wife make them for me. Or, excuse me, I think I'll ask my wife to consider making them for us. Our daughter Andrea makes wonderful squash rolls and rag muffins, so really all she would need to do is combine the two recipes and include a little canned pumpkin pie mix. Sounds easy to me.
What wasn't easy was cutting the steak delivered at lunch. The onion rings, the mashed potatoes, the brown gravy, and the green beans with onions and red peppers were good, but I told the waitress as she cleared my plate and asked if I wanted a box for the left-overs, "The steak was terrible."
John was stuck in Seattle, but I had a chance to relax and look over my digital marketing suggestions as I ate every crumb of dessert.
When I was done, the manager approached my booth and apologized for the steak. He said, he took one look at it and could tell it was a bad cut of beef. He comped my entire meal. The apology alone made my day. I think that's what makes Poodle Dog customers loyal and the reason the restaurant continues to operate. The staff and ownership of The Poodle Dog cares about their customers and their customers continue to support this long-standing icon of local diners.