Backdoor Kitchen to Tasty Food

The hiking in the San Juan Islands was wonderful. Here's an owl we saw on the trail.The Backdoor Kitchen is difficult to find, tucked in the rear of an industrial cul-de-sac away from the water in the town of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, but it is worth making the effort to find it. Situated in a repurposed tree nursery, the inside and outside dining spaces are comfortable and the staff is friendly and efficient. We were told that reservations were required, but we found the restaurant only half-full on a Sunday evening in May.

Backdoor Kitchen

Address: 400 A St, Friday Harbor WA 98250— Get directions
Telephone: (360) 378-9540
Get more info....
Rostra rating: 3.5

Scallops in a beure blanc sauce

Scallops in a beure blanc sauce were perfectly cooked while the accompanying rice cakes acted like sponges for the sauce. Unfortnately the scallops were not properly cleaned. Each one of us had grit in our scallops, which is inexcusable.

Asian-style pork meatballs were soft and flavorful. The masa dish turned out to be Mexican polenta. The melted cheese and aioli extended the dish’s flavor profile while unusual pickles provided heat and acid—a very nice starter.

Soy sesame glazed cod

Soy sesame glazed cod was the best piece of fish I have eaten in a long time. The pan-fried fish reminded me how versatile and succulent cod can be when properly cooked. The accompanying bok choy, broccoli rabe,and shiitake mushrooms were excellent. The sushi rice, however, was superfluous. Why serve sushi rice with anything but sushi? Another rice prep would have been better, maybe seafood fried rice?

The universally acclaimed coconut cream pie did not quite live up to its reputation. The custard was light but rich, however, Patti declared the graham cracker crust a “provocation”.

Bottom Line: Backdoor Kitchen is the best restaurant we tried on San Juan Island, but still flawed. We may be pampered by Portland, but the San Juan Islands in general seem to suffer from the “diners are dollars-on-legs syndrome” common to many seasonal destinations. Customers are basically one-time sales so why raise standards above a universal level of mediocrity that is nonetheless highly profitable?

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Morgan Hart was launched in 2011 as a website and virtual storefront to showcase Patti's software and Morgan's content. Dedicated to slow travel, culinary excess, and ripping good yarns, MagoGuide is the digital scriptoria for the Mago Scrolls, Morgan's historical fiction series about the Punic Wars in general and one Mago of Syracuse in particular. Although Morgan has written a great deal of non-fiction over the years in the form of specialized journal articles, book reviews, op-ed pieces, and (his personal favorite) the most unpopular coffee table book in the history of the planet, he always viewed himself as a happily frustrated novelist. Get more information about Morgan's novel and travel writing at our Products page.

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