Dining out guide: Natalia’s Cafe
Hours: 6 a.m. to noon Mondays; 6 a.m to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; lunch is served after 11 a.m.
Contact: 360-844-5968 or on Facebook and Instagram.
Where: 437 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas.
Health score: Natalia’s Cafe received a score of 18 on June 29. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or greater. For information, call 360-397-8428.
Why: Natalia’s Cafe is a longtime establishment in historic downtown Camas. Located on the corner of Northeast Fourth Avenue and Dallas Street, the family cafe serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week. Fresh food is made-to-order and served with a smile.
Atmosphere: The cafe has a European presence about it. Large plate-glass windows overlook the street corner and an open kitchen is visible behind the sit-down counter. Booths and tables accommodate a moderate number of diners. The decor has a black, white and tan foundation that is tastefully accented with an assortment of artistic items. Black and white tiles provide some design elements on the back wall of the kitchen and the front of the counter. The big windows allow a lot of natural light, and there are just a few lighting fixtures to add a warm glow to the space. A bulletin board on the back wall holds “fan mail.”
What I tried: I settled on the corned beef hash with vegetables and over-easy eggs. My dining companions tried the Ideal Breakfast, comprised of two eggs, hash browns, toast and sausage links, and the Bailey’s sandwich, which is made with two scrambled eggs mixed with onions, peppers, spinach and mushrooms tucked between slices of whole wheat bread, with melted cheese to hold it all together. It also comes with fresh fruit, as do many of the selections.
Hands down, the corned beef hash was the best I can remember having at any restaurant. A layer of crispy fried hash browns is topped with fried mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and spinach. A portion of tender, moist, perfectly seasoned corned beef is placed on top. I was told that many diners add gravy, but I would not want to dilute the delicious flavor of the corned beef. The eggs were prepared just as I had requested and were lightly seasoned.
My dining companions thoroughly enjoyed their breakfasts. The Bailey’s sandwich oozed melted cheese with every bite and the fruit was fresh and sweet.
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Strawberry cheese blintzes and crepes are on the menu, as is chicken fried steak. The croissant breakfast sandwich made with two scrambled eggs, bacon or ham, and melted cheese, sounded delicious. The Bavarian French toast is made with battered and fried French toast layered with Bavarian cream and raspberry sauce. Among the lunch options are classic sandwiches such as a Reuben, a patty melt, a grilled ham-and-cheese, a clubhouse and a Monte Cristo. There are a few hamburgers and a garden burger. Salads include a chef salad, crispy chicken salad and Natalia’s Southwest chicken salad made with fresh greens, grilled chicken, diced tomatoes, olives, black beans, corn, shredded cheese, avocado and diced peppers served with chipotle ranch dressing and tortilla strips.
Other observations: Natalia’s Cafe is cozy and homey, the service is friendly and attentive, and the food inspires many return visits.
Cost: Breakfast specialties range from $5.75 to $13.50. Regular breakfast selections cost $7.95 to $12.75. Kids and seniors (under 12 and over 55) can eat for $5.95 at breakfast. Lunch selections are $7.75 to $12.95. Special entrees served after 11 a.m. cost $12.50. Soup is $3.75 for a cup and $4.95 for a bowl. Salads cost $4.75 to $11.75. Beverages are $1.99 to $3.50.