I guess I wrote my review a bit too late and they were lacking the mojo to beat the tough competitions. Black Cat Cafe CLOSED its doors on June 30, so DON"T GO. The space has been sold to another party who will open "Bombay Bistro" in late July :-(
…and they are made with all real ingredients, not powder! Well, I haven’t been to McDonald’s in years so I don’t know how much Egg McMuffins are now, but Black Cat Café’s breakfast sandwiches are $1.95. (This could be a weekend menu item.)
Franked between Zoka and Tully’s Coffee in the triangle area just north of University Village with two Starbucks’s, Black Cat Café faces some stiff competition. Unlike other coffee shops, this is a full-service, European style café – and the décor matches that, with mustard and deep red paint colors, black moldings and wrought iron (finish) fixtures, fireplaces and some stuffed chairs. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, but the wait staff is usually wearing a white shirt and a tie with an apron. They have the wi-fi area off to the side for patrons who want to linger more, with bar-height table and chairs. Other seating area consists of regular bistro tables and chairs.
With all the talks that went back and forth recently on JB about the sad state of customer service/service industry in Seattle, Black Cat Café is a breath of fresh air – here the owners actually care about how you are eating, and they are going around the restaurant constantly – pouring water, wiping tables, asking you how your meal is. And it’s not even a nice Tom Douglas restaurant! The wait staff is equally polite and attentive. Our favorite waitperson, Jana, has such a happy, polite disposition, even if you’re having a bad day you would feel like smiling back at her. If you’re having tea, she’ll ask you first if you want more hot water without having to ask for it.
They usually have fun drink specials, in cold weather things like caramel apple cider steamer or Mexican hot chocolate, and in warmer weather smoothies and frappes. I venture to guess most of their drinks are cheaper than Starbucks drinks, and you get much more service. Their brunch menu on weekend is equally well-priced – with the breakfast sandwiches (simple egg with ham, bacon or sausage, on your choice of bread) starting at $1.95, egg scrambles at $6-7.95, and they usually have other items on the menu like seasonal French toast. The French toast with mixed berry compote I had at my last visit was $4.95. Everything is made from scratch.
The food and drinks are not extraordinary – they are usually pretty simple and straightforward – but what makes them special is their care and service. I might suggest not using so much Windex (or similar smelling cleaner) in the dining area right before patrons sit down, but other than that, Black Cat Café is easily one of our favorite neighborhood cafés.