Urban Solace

The great thing about taking an evening flight is that you can take your sweet time all day to pack and get to the airport. This was especially true since we were flying out of SeaTac. Woke up late, did some last minute packing, had lunch and did the leisurely drive down I-5. We even had time to head to Target for some shopping and dinner at Miyabi. Sounds all good right? Except when you have kids. Near the end of the flight, they were getting whiny and exhausted. By the time we landed, it was already past 11:30pm. Another problem was that my rental car reservation was for 11:30pm and the rental place closes at midnight. Once out the plane, I let Viv handle the kids and baggage claim while I hightailed it out to find the shuttle. As I exited the airport, I spotted the rental car shuttle across the street; but behind a steel fence. Taking a quick scan of the situation, it looked like the only way across was to get up to the 2nd floor skywalk and back down to the street. As I was running across the skywalk, I noticed the driver of the shuttle checking for last minute customers and was about to leave! I put on my afterburners with 3 bags in hand and made it as he was closing the door. Talk about cutting it close! This was the last shuttle of the day for that rental car company!

So our late night got even later with a visit to In-N-Out and we didn't get into bed until past 2:00am. Hence our next day got started real late. Our first meal of the day wasn't until 12:30pm at a place which came highly recommended - Urban Solace. Serving up contemporary American fare, this quaint place has a nice outdoor seating area which we took full advantage of (light for pictures!). For me, there were a couple of things that caught my attention, starting with their Warm Cheddar & Chive Biscuits. These freshly baked treats were really good. Beneath the slightly sugary crisp exterior was soft, warm, buttery and cheesy goodness. There was this sweet & savory thing going on that was further accentuated by the orange-honey butter. With 5 of these to share amongst us, there was little room for me to have a full order of anything, so I got the side portion of the Duckaroni. Consisting of duck confit, blue cheese, arugula, scallions and roasted garlic, this was a super rich mac 'n cheese. After the initial crunchy top and moist duck confit, this was a little hard to finish. Hey, not that it wasn't good. Actually, I really liked it. C'mon, duck confit and blue cheese, I love them both. With the addition of arugula which added some brightness to an otherwise rich concoction, it was somewhat bearable. However, in the end, I was very glad to have not ordered the full version. My heart and stomach probably couldn't take much more despite its tastiness.

We also shared an appie to start in the Fried Green Tomatoes. These were pretty darn good with a classic cornmeal coating fried to perfection. The tomatoes were still structurally sound (hence the use of green tomatoes) and were nicely topped by a blend of goat cheese and crème fraiche. The only thing that we would've liked was more of it. There were only 2 slices and that was hardly enough for the price. For her main, Viv had the soup and sandwich combo consisting of the Roasted Chicken Salad tossed with grapes and pecans on grilled egg bread and a cup of Potato and Leek Soup. The sandwich was a nice take on a standard chicken salad with the addition of sweet grapes that popped in our mouths. The pecans added another layer of texture while the egg bread was soft and made it easy to eat the sandwich. We really loved the soup, it was full of flavour with light richness. It felt like it was salty; but it really wasn't (best way we could describe it).

For the kiddies, we got them the Mac 'n Cheese and for a kid's meal, it was huge. Much like my Duckaroni, the pasta was perfect and the sauce was rich and creamy. It was mild and not salty. Overall, we were quite pleased with our meal here. We also loved the outdoor dining space as well as the attentive service. I wouldn't say we were necessarily blown away, it was a solid meal nonetheless.

The Good:
- Lovely outdoor dining area
- Food made with care
- Friendly staff

The Bad:
- Although food was good, it won't blow-you-away (probably a victim of too many glowing reviews)
- Not expensive, but not cheap either

Urban Solace on Urbanspoon

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