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10 Questions With ... Jason Camarata, chef at Waffles Caffe

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Chef Jason Camarata prepares meals during his shift at Waffles Caffe on North First Street in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

YAKIMA, Wash. -- They run our favorite restaurants, prepare and serve the food and drinks we love and know what coffee we want before we say a single word.

Restaurant owners and managers, servers, chefs, cooks, bartenders and baristas throughout the Yakima Valley help us start and end our days and make life that much better in all the hours between. So we’re highlighting them in SCENE with 10 Questions With..., a feature where we can help introduce them to the community.

Nominate your favorite food service and coffee industry folks by emailing scene@yakimaherald.com with the words “10 Questions With” in the subject line.

The North First Street location of Waffles Caffe opened in 1998.

In addition to helping open a West Valley location about six years ago and helping open a location in Spokane, Jason Camarata prepares breakfast and lunch for devoted regulars and new customers alike.

Camarata, 39, is the married father of three and a Selah native who said he loves to cook alongside a staff that feels just like family. The Waffles Caffe menu is a breakfast-lover’s dream with virtually every possible waffle imaginable, crepes, country breakfasts, omelets and more. There’s also a variety of burgers, sandwiches and lunch plates served with french fries and a choice of soup, salad or potato salad.

Waffles Caffe has two locations — one at 1510 N. First St. and the other in Meadowbrook Mall at 7200 W. Nob Hill Blvd. Both are open from 6 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. And the soups of the day are as consistent as the cafes’ hours: bean on Monday, broccoli on Tuesday, tomato on Wednesday, potato on Thursday and clam on Friday.

And don’t miss February’s waffle of the month — the chocolate strawberry “Sweetheart Waffle.”

Hometown? Selah. He graduated from Selah High School in 1998.

Favorite dish? The ultimate omelet. It’s four eggs, sausage, ham, bacon, Polish sausage, taco meat, onions and peppers.

Favorite restaurant? Yakima Steak Company, 221 W. Yakima Ave.

If you weren’t working here, what job would you do? “I’d probably be a welder or something.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Camping and hiking.” Jason also enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.

Most unusual request? “There’s been a few. Probably a sausage waffle with chocolate and strawberries and pecans.”

Best-kept secret? “Our staff. ... I’m a little biased because I’m the owner’s son.”

Most popular offering? The Meat Lovers Skillet or the country fried steak.

Most devoted regulars? “Oh, we have a bunch.” The servers are just as familiar with one man named Richard, as well as their other regular, Dick Pingrey.

Why would you recommend Waffles Caffe? “The staff is great, and the food is great, and we’re all friendly — kind of a family.”

Desk phone: (509) 759-7853

moliver@yakimaherald.com

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