Dishing It Up: The White House Café

Spring is finally here and signs of life are sprouting on the trees and up from the ground, and although we get to enjoy lots of sunshine here in the Yakima Valley, we do get our share of rainy and gray days. It’s on those days that we want a little warmth and a cheery place to enjoy a meal. Nothing fits that bill like the White House Café.

I have been there a few times for brunch, usually when friends are visiting and we want a charming spot to have a last meal together before they hit the road for home. I had not tried lunch there. But on a recent drizzly, gray-sky day, I remembered that I wanted to try their lunch and off I went.

I found the parking lot packed. “Oh no,” I thought. “I might not get in!” Indeed the place was filled with other diners and a few larger groups enjoying a lovely lunch together. Luckily they found a table for me in one of their three dining rooms right by a window. The table was set with a fresh bunch of daffodils and the light and bright room made the day feel almost sunny.

I ordered the special that day, a half sandwich and their soup du jour. The sandwich was an upscale twist on a ham and cheese, but this one had a sweet kick from a little strawberry-chipotle jam and an extra fresh crunch from lettuce and sunflower sprouts. It was only a half sandwich, but it was a large half! It came with a cup of their creamy and velvety corn chowder. The consistency was more like a stew with lots of sweet corn and veggies and it came piping hot – just the ticket on a chilly afternoon.

If you have not eaten at the White House Café, you will be in for a treat just looking at how they present their food. Every plate is like a little celebration, sprinkled with powdered sugar and herbs and a few fresh and juicy berries to feast your eyes on.

While enjoying my lunch I heard cheers and happy giggles from a few tables enjoying birthday lunches with friends. Looking around the dining rooms, filled with light colored antiques and kitchen collectables, I realized what makes the place so unique. It’s comfortable and cozy and each table offers fun views of décor from days gone by, creating a quaint atmosphere inside the historical farmhouse. The separate dining areas make it perfect for groups to have their own semi-private space — something many of you obviously already know.

When my bill came they also presented me with my leftovers in a box, tied with a ribbon, making me feel like I got a little parting gift at the end of my lunch — another nice touch that put a spring in my step as I headed back out into the light falling rain.

White House Café is also a Bed and Breakfast. It offers two beautiful, all-in-white decorated rooms in the historic farmhouse. It’s located at 3602 Kern Road in Yakima. Overnight reservations can be made at 509-910-0961.

Reservations for larger groups and on holidays in the dining room for breakfast, brunch or lunch can be made at 509-469-2644.