This past Sunday, we finally managed to go for breakfast at the Swedish Cultural Center. We had been hearing great things from Seattle locals about their “Pancake Breakfast” which is offered the first Sunday of each month (8:30am-1:30pm). We were hosted by Robin’s friend (co-worker) and her husband, who is 100% Swedish. It was great to attend the event with them, because they are active members of the Cultural Center and we were able to tour the facilities and learn more about Sweden, which we will be visiting this upcoming summer of 2010!
When we arrived there was a very large line comprised of people of all ages. young urbanites, families, and older members. There was a band playing traditional Swedish music on a stage, and several folks dressed in more traditional Swedish clothing were dancing on the ballroom floor. [I'm not sure how they were doing all that bouncing up and down after eating all that food, but I guess that's part of being a Swede]. The tickets for adults cost $8 which gets you 2 full helpings if you have the room.
After waiting a while in line, you arrive at the serving table where you are greeted by Swedish folks who load you up with goodies. You have 1 ticket for the first round, and a different colored ticket for the seconds. Be sure you pay attention to your ticket colors! They start loading the plate with the pancake, made from scratch from a generations old recipe. The Swedish pancake is lighter and spongy, nothing like an American version, but it more robust than a crepe. Then they slather a huge dollop of rich lingonberry sauce on top, followed by an even larger dollop of thick homemade whipped cream. And then you get a slab of salty ham which goes perfectly with all that sugary goodness. You also have the option of milk, juice, or “Swedish coffee” (fairly similar to any other tasty Euro variety you’ve might have had).
Afterwords you navigate the maze of tables to find a spot to sit, careful not to spill or tip your plate among all the little ones running around, or the folks engaged in conversations. We found a table near the window with a beautiful view of Lake Union and the Cascades. The food is traditional, in the best kind of way. It doesn’t challenge you, but it satisfies your morning craving, and feels real. The Lingonberry sauce is worth the trip! We didn’t go back for seconds, because the first round was more the enough, although now that I’ve been, I’d save room for more the next time. All in all, we really enjoyed the event, the company, the music, the food, the family fare…it was all so European in a refreshing way. We left the breakfast and took a tour of the Cultural Center, which I should mention has all kinds of food and other traditional events lined up in the coming days, weeks, and months…including a smörgåsbord meal and St. Lucia celebration.
1920 Dexter Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109