Our little Sunday morning group was looking for some place new to try out for breakfast. As we all piled into the van, we began considering. We finally chose Tibbitts@FernHill, mostly because our friend Larry Gaffney had suggested in months ago. Located about a hundred feet from Little Jerry's in the Fern Hill area on South Park we parked right outside the door slightly before nine in the morning.
As the six of us walked into the restaurant and neared the tabled in the center of the room that had six tables, the owner asked if we had reservations. The table was not reserved and the owner had to have known there were no reservations made, but he felt we should know that it was easier for him to prepare for customers when reservations are made. That's obvious, but we hadn't decided until only fifteen minutes before entering the restaurant, and that's how many people are. If there had been no room at the inn, we would have moved on to choice #2.
We were served water in little Mason jars with a slice of cucumber and lemon included. A nice touch, I thought. The seventy-two year old waitress was a caution, and I kind of enjoyed her humor. One of our group didn't like his water sullied by the vegetable and fruit, however. It's tough to make everyone happy. The grandmother took our orders and a granddaughter carefully gave us each napkins and flatware.
The first food up was the Toasted Coconut and Banana French Toast with toasted coconut, banana, caramel, whipped cream, "bread pudding style" and vanilla bean ice cream. It was a huge tower of food topped by a sliced strawberry. Everyone had a bite. Everyone enjoyed it.
Second dish up was mine, it was the Gravy and Meat Bomb. A "crisp" sourdough bread bowl with herbed sausage gravy, hash brown casserole, scrambled eggs, candied bacon strips, and farmed greens. It looked better than it tasted. A bread bowl takes up a lot of room on a plate, but but very little of it gets eaten. The gravy contained little squares of sausage. To me this means rather than starting gravy with bulk sausage and then adding flour, milk and seasoning to the sausage and grease, it could well be a mix with a little sausage added. This creates a healthier gravy, but one missing flavor. The scrambled eggs looked like they were from a restaurant carton of liquid eggs which result in scrambled eggs "quite uniform in color and texture," however Sean is so proud of the fact that he uses farm fresh local eggs. It would be nice to simply order bacon and eggs at Tibbitts. The hash brown casserole had nothing "brown" about it. The candied bacon strips were tasty. The farmed greens were several leaves of something good placed on top.
The Sausage and Bacon Omelet seemed fine with the two people who shared it. A pile of white hash browns accompanied it.
The Caramelized Mushroom Omelet received Peg's approval, but she noted that the hash browns were only okay in the one little strip of crisp brown she had. The omelet she enjoyed.
The bite I had of Peg's omelet was exceedingly hot, which usually means it was microwaved. I think most of the food was prepared prior to opening and then warmed or finished off when ordered. I could be wrong, but that would certainly explain my misgivings. I left all of my bread bowl except one little wedge, almost all of my scrambled eggs, and the bulk of my hash browns, which were really, really hot.
The lunch menu shows a clam chowder in a bread bowl, a baked sandwich, and possible one more item in a bread bowl. All of which seem like more opportunity for warming up. Since, I could be wrong, I would probably return for lunch. The prices are fair and less than what I usually pay for breakfast. We enjoyed ourselves . . . and we learned that the summit of Fern Hill is 389 feet!
The owner/chef Sean followed us out to our car and thanked us all for dining at Tibbitts. He was proud of the fact that Tibbitts is rated in the top twenty restuarants in Tacoma. Yelp shows them an #10 for breakfast and brunch. They have mostly five star reviews.