New coffee shop and eatery in East Cle Elum is not just a charging station hangout
Situated at the very east end of Cle Elum and next to the Tesla Supercharger parking lot, Cle Elum Coffee & Eats is much more than just a drive-through coffee shop and a place to hang out and wait while your electric vehicle charges. First opened on November 15, 2019, Cle Elum Coffee & Eats has taken a few months to find its groove, and its recent name change (adding "& Eats") shows that it's settled into its new identity: not just a coffee shop, but a restaurant. And, a good one at that.
Aside from the many amenities (kids section, tons of seating with outlets to work on your laptop, TVs and other modes of entertainment), this coffee shop and restaurant also has an amazing view to drool over while you wait for your food or your car to charge. But, make no mind, this isn't a charging station purgatory - a place relegated to only those forced to wait for their electric vehicle to charge, lest they get trapped on Snoqualmie Pass or Elk Heights with nary an electron in sight. No, indeed, this is worth the trip to the end of town and well worth adding this to your regular rotation of restaurants in the area.
The last time I was in, I wanted to try a few things off their new menu which includes steel cut oatmeal, house waffles, breakfast fajitas, soups, salads and sandwiches. I wasn't really expecting much more than a pre-made food experience, but I was surprised to see that they make most everything to order. In my case, the chef came out and, after a brief discussion of options, catered the food I ordered to my specific dietary needs (I have a few migraine triggered food sensitivities).
My dining partner ordered the House Waffle, which is served with butter and powdered sugar and comes with real Canadian maple syrup. She declared that it was extremely good. Aside from being just a plain waffle, it stood out, albeit was a bit dry.
I ordered the Spicy Blackened Chicken Salad with a fresh ginger vinaigrette. It came with a very spicy chicken breast. I have a high spice tolerance and this just about overran it, so if you are a wimp with the spicy, be mindful when ordering here. The chicken was presented on a bed of spring mix, romaine hearts, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos and avocado and garnished with micro greens. The ginger vinaigrette was absolutely delicious and, even though I generally don't wax poetic over vinaigrettes, I will with this one. I don't know what sort of fresh ginger magic is in there, but it was memorable.
I have to admit that this was probably one of the best darn salads I've eaten in the area. The chicken was cooked to perfection, maintaining a perfect level of moisture. It was a very generous portion and was so good I really powered through to continue eating even though I was getting quite full. No, this isn't a normal thing for me, the chicken was that good. I couldn't stop myself.
Dining at Cle Elum Coffee & Eats wasn't one of those "oh, I'll just try it" experiences with a new restaurant where you don't intend on returning anytime soon. I'm definitely going to be going back and sampling some of the rest of their menu. I have yet to be disappointed in the food. From previous experiences with the coffee shop, I've really enjoyed their baked goods as well. Their double chocolate gluten-free scone crosses my mind way too frequently.
The only caveat? Service is still a bit of a challenge. The flow of the front ordering area is a little confusing, with some food getting delivered to the tables and some food being placed on the counter without announcement. The patrons at the table next to us didn't get all their order and there was some confusion about half the meal they ordered. It got settled out eventually, but they weren't happy about it. I anticipate this to be ironed out soon.
Cle Elum Coffee & Eats
811 WA-970 Cle Elum, Washington 98922