Seattle >Food & Dining > Citizen
A hopping neighborhood hot spot, this is more than a coffeehouse. It's a community gathering place that serves a wide range of homey fare. There are sweet and savory crepes, sandwiches, big breakfast combos. The atmosphere is warm and clubby and the staff is friendly. During warm weather months, the outdoor patio is a big plus. And, there's actually a few off-street parking spots.
I have had a similar experience a few
times at Citizen and have tried to ignore it because they are a block from my house and the food is really truly good. But after the way I was treated today I have a hard time justifying giving them my hard-earned money.
I walked in this morning around 8:45 to a place that was half empty. I went in because I received a sudden phone call from work and had to join a conference call right away and needed a place to duck into. I went upstairs and sat at one of the 4-top tables because the 2-tops were occupied and I needed to log onto my computer to reference some notes. I'm pretty sure it was the owner or at least manager who approached me (she's always there and has been consistently the one treating me this way). I felt bad that I was clearly on the phone so I apologetically said, "Sorry, I'm on a conference call but I'll get a non-fat latte." I wasn't intending on using their space without paying for something. She literally rolled her eyes and walked away. In the meantime a couple sat down at the other 4-top table. She brought my latte and said, "Just so you know if I get a bigger party I'm going to have to take this table." and walked away. Nothing nice or kind or anything about it, just "You're one and if I can make more money by displacing you, I have no problem bitch." After she walked away I motioned to her that I had a question. She AGAIN, ROLLS her eyes and approaches the couple at the other 4-top to politely and sweetly take their order. She finally comes over to me wearing the sour-pussiest face I've ever seen. I said, not rudely, genuinely curious, "If a larger party comes in, will you also take their table?" indicating the couple at the 4-top. She looked lost for an answer and tried to explain to me that they had limited seating (at this point I noted that there were in fact 6 chairs up against the back wall of the room with a bench as a table, hm) and needed to try and seat everyone. I told her honestly that it was a pretty terrible experience, as a paying customer, to be immediately made to feel unwelcome, an inconvenience, and someone who's just taking up space. She clearly didn't care and left.
What a way to make a person feel just because they happen to be alone. Thanks for making me feel even more of a jackass for not having 3 friends with me at all times or a boyfriend to share the table with. As a paying customer, I think it's terrible to make a person feel so unwelcome, such a burden, and essentially told they are not worth as much as other paying customers. Again, this is the way I've been treated nearly every time I've been to Citizen alone. Like I wasn't having a hard enough time with that fact. The food is good, but not when you consider the price of not being able to relax and enjoy a cafe because I'm constantly aware of them assessing how much longer I'll take. Again, the place was half empty! If she had approached me during a super busy time when there actually WAS a larger party waiting, I'd have been more than happy to give up my table for a single chair at the back of the room. Her approach was beyond rude and made me feel horribly uncomfortable. Smart move for a repeat customer who lives right around the corner and, not that she believes this, has a lot of friends in the area who are gigantic fans of boozy Saturday and Sunday brunches. I'm not giving them another dime.
This place rocks!. Citizen coffee is the best coffee shop in Seattle, hands down. The employees are super friendly and the service is great, plus their coffee is unbelievable. The menu is simple but the food is good - just what you might want on a Sunday afternoon for brunch or on a weeknight for dinner. Props to the owner for having been so enterpreneurial as to buy this little property from the car repair shop that used to own and renovate it into a chilled-out space good for eating with friends, grabbing a glass of wine on the outdoor porch, or even surfing the net for a quick sec (there's free wireless). The only question is, where is the next Citizen going to be?
Quirky Queen Anne Coffee Spot... with crepes!. This newly opened Queen Anne gem features Fremont's own Lighthouse coffee and a penchant for creative crepes. Breakfast menu features both sweet and savory crepes as well as other creative breakfast fare - for example, the "Cowboy Casserole" combines eggs, sausage, roasted peppers in sort of a savory bread pudding topped w/ creme fraiche (quite good!). Service was friendly but a bit slow, I think mostly due to the awkward layout. Breakfast entrees are $5-$7 and there plenty of vegetarian options. There are very few tables so be prepared to grab a coffee and wait a bit during busy times. Craving crepes? This is your place.
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