March Foodie Madness: Best Power Lunch, Cafe Press

Photo: Kiera Scholten
Photo: Kiera Scholten

WHERE: Café Presse | 1117 12th Avenue, Seattle | (206) 709-7674

THE BUZZ: You need to impress a client, your boss, or that coworker you’re dying to befriend. A quick trip to France would be perfect — but alas, it’s not in the budget. Next best thing: lunch at a café that can temporarily transport you there.

Café Presse could easily be in Paris, complete with an outdoor deck right on the sidewalk perfect for those rare sunny Seattle days. The front room is filled with cozy tables for close conversation, but there’s also a back room that’s spacious enough to accommodate larger groups. While its Capitol Hill location might not come to mind as a destination for a power lunch, it’s easily accessible from downtown — just head up the hill!

You can hardly go wrong with anything on the menu, but don’t plan on calorie counting — the French don’t shy away from butter or cheese. If you skipped breakfast, enjoy it for lunch with a savory Omelette au choix or Pain au chocolat for your sweet tooth. The generous serving of Soupe à l’oignon gratinée is sure to warm on a cold day. Show off your cultural competence by ordering the Croque Monsieur, a baked ham, gruyere and béchamel sandwich (commenting on how it compares to the Paris version is an added bonus).

Affordable prices make it easy to treat. With wines by the glass for less than $4, there should be no hesitation in offering another to your companion. That’s sure to impress.

FAST FACT: A newsstand at the entrance to Café Presse offers dozens of magazines and newspapers for sale. There’s reading material suitable for everyone from the solo diner to those in on an industry meeting.