Seattle >Food & Dining > Ravenna Varsity Restaurant
2300 NE 65th St, Seattle, WA | Directions 9811647.675855 -122.303354
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Northeast Seattle, Ravenna
What was that? – Did someone just serve me a frozen TV dinner? This was an incredible dinner experience, NOT. For that matter, why did my eggs taste like pan spray?
friendly staff, delicious food – A friend and I have had lunch here on a fairly regular basis (3 or 4 times a month) for the past five years or so. Every once in a while we go somewhere else just for a change, but we're always happy to come back. We're both especially fond of their Cobb salad and their French fries. The breakfast food is also consistently very good (though they do have a tendency to overcook their breakfast sausages). Delicious clam chowder too. I've also always been very happy with their coffee -- seems like a trivial thing perhaps, but even in Seattle it's becoming a rare experience to have a cup of drip coffee that doesn't taste burnt, sour, weak, or all three.
I was surprised to see such negative reviews here, as this is one of very few restaurants that I am willing to go to on a regular basis. Of course it is crowded and there is a wait on weekend mornings, the place is fantastically busy, but even so it's a shorter wait and a better experience for less money than, say, the Original Pancake House in Ballard... there just don't seem to be very many places to have a nice, casual, GOOD, inexpensive, and unpretentious breakfast in this area.
Come to Ravenna Varsity Inn any time during the week, and you'll discover that it's just about the best sit-and-chat spot in town. It seems that my friend and I are constantly asking for special 'tweaks' to our food, week after week (as in, can I get that burger on unbuttered rye, tartar sauce for my fries, a half-size salad on a full-size plate, bacon cooked nice and dark but not dry, etc), and not only are the servers always happy to go to bat for us, but the kitchen always seems to deliver right on target.
Good food, HORRIBLE service – I've been to this restaurant a few times and have had a few different experiences. There's ALWAYS a pretty long wait to be seated because it's a small place. It's also across the street from an old-folks home so it's CRAWLING with old "regulars". These are the people who are getting the attention from the staff. Once you're seated, you're pretty much ignored for the next half hour. I saw a table actaully get up and leave after about 40 minutes today and NO ONE even noticed. The hostess just thought an open table suddenly appeared and just sat some new people. She didn't even bring new waters. In her defense, she was only about 10 years old. Why is there a 10-year-old working there, you ask? I have no idea. There were about 10 hostesses and bussers and only 2 waitresses. Someone finally came to take our order after I was throwing around the stink-eye for about 10 minutes. That was the last time we saw her. Someone else brought us our food, took our plates and brought us our bill. The 10-year-old rang us up. Sweet girl. :)
The food is pretty good. LOVE good breakfast food and good burgers and sandwiches. It's a good price too.
So if this place can GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER and start providing some good service to us "non-regulars", then I'd reccomend it. However, the service was so over-the-top crappy today, that I wouldn't feel right recommending this place to anyone unless they want to spend about 2 hours in a restaurant, being ignored. :)
Terrible service! – We had horrible service for breakfast on a Saturday morning. Took at least 15-20 minutes to get our food after we ordered, and they messed up 2 of our 8 orders. No one ever came back to refill water and coffee, or to even check on how we were doing. When we had been sitting waiting for our bill for a while, we finally went up and got it ourselves. As we were waiting to pay, one of the other customers went behind the counter and started taking our leftovers off our plates! She was apparently collecting food for her dog, but seems like a health code violation to me. She said the employees let her go behing the counter and around to tables all the time to collect food scraps. Does the manager know about this? It looks very strange to other customers in the restaurant. We won't be going back there ever again. Too bad, it used to be a decent restaurant several years ago.
Dodgy ketchup – This place was waste of my time. Bland food with the unforgiveable : some replica ketchup (maybe watered down) in Heinz bottles ! Never again
Great Omelettes. clean , warm plates. – Amazing Omelettes. I suggest the James. It is not on the menu, but ask a waitress to ask Jose on weekends. It is quite delicious. Good service, young workers, lively atmosphere, very popular, friendly!
I LOVE THIS PLACE!
Terrible service subpar food – The only redeeming quality of this restaurant was the coffee- good Zoka coffee and my cup was never empty. Too bad the same could not have been said for the food or service. By the time I had my food I was starving and so hopped up on caffeine, I was literally shaking. I had the "Wild Caught Salmon" burger which was mushy and tasteless, whereas my sis had the huevos rancheros, which was similarly flavorless. We were seated quickly, but then waited 30 min for our waitress to even ask if we wanted anything to drink. Once we finally got our food 70 minutes later, there were no other patrons that we entered the restaurant with (and trust me, we had a LOT of time to look at everyone). There are many better breakfast/lunch places out there for a similar price (Blue Star cafe is awesome) that are way more pleasing. I'm sorry I wasted a meal at this place.
Bad Service and Terrible Reuben Sandwiches – Got seated and the server asked if we were ready to order. We said we needed five minutes and she came back about 20 minutes later and asked sheepishly, "Did I forget to take your order?" I ordered a Reuben Sandwich. Anyone that's ever eaten a Reuben knows that it's pretty basic. Corned Beef, Kraut and some Thousand Island Dressing. The corned beef at every other place I've ever had it is deli sliced and pink in color. This Reuben, however, was brown roast beef slices. Very disappointing. Also, the wait was really long and considering the waitress forgot about us, it doesn't surprise me.
A disaster – Does anyone care that works here? Can the food be any worse? Years ago this was a great place to go but now - other then the coffee from Zoka - it is a disaster. Stay away!
I loved the old location, and spent many mornings enjoying great food and decent service. I have now gone to the new location about ten times, and been disappointed each time. The service is usually extremely slow and the staff seems disinterested and distracted. As for the food, well it is not even close to what it used to be. The food is often overcooked and something in the order is almost always forgotten. My wife gave up on this place a long time ago, and teased me for holding out hope, but my hope is now gone. Sadly, I will not be returning.
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