The morning after our incredible meal at the Willows Inn we got up, showered, dressed, then headed downstairs to the Taproot Cafe for breakfast.
This is a cute little cafe with inside and outside seating. We walked inside to ask about breakfast and the gal at the counter told us they had two options: A fritatta, or the Willows Inn breakfast which included a soft boiled egg, a biscuit, a bowl of sauteed kale, blueberries, and a small charcuterie plate. We ordered two Willows Inn breakfasts. When she asked us if we wanted coffee, we ordered two cappuccinos. She got our room name (Sunrise) and told us to sit anywhere we liked and they'd bring out our coffee.
We chose an outside table for two, where we sat for about 20 minutes before anything happened. We could hear the milk frother going inside…over and over again, but not for us. After the first 20 minutes the same gal came out and asked us if we wanted coffee or anything. Um, yes, we still want coffee. I said "Yes, we ordered two cappuccinos when we first came in." She said she'd get right on that, sorry.
About 15 minutes later (still, no coffee), one breakfast arrived. She was explaining what each thing was on the plate, and I interrupted quietly and said "We ordered two of these…" She said "Yes" and continued with her explanation and then walked away.
We had no silverware or napkins still, and I wasn't sure she'd registered the second breakfast reminder, so when I went inside to get silverware, I clarified… "Just to make sure…we're waiting on one more Willows Inn breakfast, right?" She said, "Yes." Okay then.
About 10 minutes later (and after far more milk frothing sounds than two cappuccinos would ever need…where are all those containers of frothed milk going, anyway??) we got our cappuccinos. Still only one breakfast on the table.
I urged Kevin to start on this breakfast and I'd wait. We both picked a little at the sharable things while he had the egg and the kale, since they were warm. So the first breakfast was completely finished (even though we lagged a lot while we waited for the other one) and 15-20 minutes later, the second breakfast arrived. She said they were sorry for the wait, and that they would be sure to give us a 10% discount. Whoa. A whole two bucks off.
Toward the end of our second round of single breakfast plates, our waitress came over and asked if we wanted more coffee. Kevin said he would like another cappuccino (he was almost done with his first one), and she said she'd check back in about 5 minutes. I guess he needed to have an empty cup in order to get new coffee. At least she didn't completely forget about it, like the first time. About five minutes later she came back to see if he was ready. He said yes, but asked for the coffee to-go. (It still took ten minutes before said to-go coffee arrived.) Crazy.
Part of the deal was how incredible and perfect the service had been the night before for dinner (upstairs, different restaurant, same Willows Inn). It was spot on…friendly, fast, efficient. This was in SUCH stark contrast to that, and so spectacularly bad, that it became comical. (The food was actually quite good though!)
After breakfast we checked out and headed out to the courtyard to work for a bit. Here's a shot of our "office" from our room:
The smokehouse out behind the restaurant:
Down on the Sunset Beach in front of the Willows. Looking left:
After work and a quick walk on the beach, we took off on the bikes and did this ride:
As we were riding along the shore at Legoe Bay (or near it) there were some cute beach houses on the left, driftwood beach on the right, we were again laughing about how bad the service was for breakfast. We came around the corner as I was saying the words "spectacularly bad service" and two ladies on the porch of a beachhouse on the left yelled out "Are you talking about the Taproot Cafe??"
What the heck??? Yes! We slowed and stopped the bikes as they both gave us air "high 10s" and said "we hear ya sister!!" They'd apparently been there this morning too (inside at the counter) and had terrible service (even sitting right there at the counter!) and they'd been talking about their experience all morning, flabbergasted. However, they said the service was always that bad, and that perhaps it's even gotten worse over time. We told them about our experience, and they told us about theirs, and we laughed and shook heads and said "Nice commiserating with you" and headed back to the road. So funny!
We stopped at the Otto Preserve at the Lummi Island Heritage Trust for a short hike and a water refill, and continued on around the island. It was a lovely ride.
We returned to the Willows Inn and back to our patio spot to do some more work, and the concierge said if we wanted any lunch, we could order it from the Taproot and they'd bring it out to us in the courtyard.
And yet, for some reason, in we went. We ordered two dry sodas and two salmon paninis. They brought our food out to us promptly, and the service was lovely this time. The sandwiches (served with a side salad) were delicious.
I'd love to think the service fiasco at breakfast was just a fluke, but as we've heard from the locals — it was not. 🙂