SnoCo’s Hidden Gem

Maltby, WA

You don’t have to drive far to escape from city life in Snohomish County. Mountains and adventure are within an hours drive and small communities can be found all around you, even some without a single national chain. Shocking I know.

One such community lies just south of Snohomish along Highway 9. You have to go a bit off the beaten path to find Maltby, but it is there, a little corner and a bit beyond packed with locally owned business and locally made products. Yep, my kind of place.

Why discover it now? Well, this Gal is guessing that cold and snow will soon be taking over the go to escapes like Darrington, Granite Falls, Gold Bar, and Index. I’m also guessing that you some of you aren’t too big on being cold or don’t have cars capable of traversing snow.

All of this makes Maltby a perfect alternative for getting away from it all without going to far, getting cold or getting stuck in a ditch. Sounds good right? I’m hoping you said yes there. If not, don’t worry, I have more to entice you with. So join me in exploring Maltby and all of its local goodness …

The Award Winning Maltby Cafe

 

The Maltby Cafe is known far and wide. It holds the title for longest running win in the Best of Western Washington Awards (25+years). The Cafe also just happens to be a two time winner of our Best of SnoCo Awards in the same category, Best Breakfast, so I had to give it a try.

That is a thing easier said then done considering the Cafe is busy just about any hour any day. Not to worry though, you won’t have to wait long. That goes for a table and for your food. I went on a fairly busy Friday morning, was seated almost instantly, and had a plate of food in front of me within ten minutes of ordering.

Unbelievable I know, but it’s true, and quite impressive. My job involves eating at more restaurants than most, and I would say the Cafe provided the fastest service I’ve had to date by far. With that speed came concerns though. Would the speed at which plates were being sent out affect the quality of the food? While the Cafe’s many awards would suggest that it does not, my own experience was about 50/50.

The red potatoes were slightly under cooked, but still good and well seasoned. Considering I’m more of a hashbrown gal, that is saying a lot. As for the Whole Hog Omelette (ham, sausage, and bacon), it was true to its name and overflowing with meat. It could have done with a bit more cheese (P.S. I love cheese), but overall it was one of the best omelette’s I’ve had. The quality and quantity of the meat more than distracted me from the cheese.

Before moving on to the true test of Maltby Cafe’s food, I have to note that the Maltby Toast is a must try. I usually skip the toast in favor of pancakes, but it looked so soft, fluffy, and homemade that I had to try it. I’m so glad I did too, because it is beyond amazing. I digress though, on to the matter at hand, the ever important pancakes which, consistent with most local joints, were a plateful. I have no idea how anyone eats a whole short stack.

The taste of the pancakes themselves was average. What transformed them into something amazing was the buttery syrup served with them. That shouldn’t be the case though. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed in the pancakes considering the Cafe makes famous cinnamon rolls. I expected more, especially in the flavor department. Then again, I have my own recipe that is hard to beat, and I rarely make simple pancakes. There is always a little something added. So, maybe I’m a bit biased when it comes to them.

Overall, I enjoyed the food and service. I can definitely see why folks love it so much. My whole meal, an omelette plate and side of one pancake was $22, so their prices are pretty good as well. It is definitely worth a try.

Maltby Pizza & Pasta

Adjacent to the Maltby Cafe you will find Maltby Pizza & Pasta. While I did not have the pleasure of sampling their cuisine, I heard nothing but good things from those working the shops there. The restaurant serves, you guessed it, pizza and pasta, but they also are known for their steaks and other rotisserie fare. Beyond the food, I was also told they are a bit of taphouse and often have brewer nights. This is definitely a spot I would like to try my next time in the area. If you’ve been, drop me a message letting me know what I should try.

Shopping Local in Maltby

During my visit to Maltby I was surprised to find that there are numerous locally owned businesses and product makers located in the building across from the Cafe. I took the time to stop in each one, and even picked up some goodies while I was there. Here’s the breakdown:
Val’s Surroundings Gifts & Maltby Honey Shop: After this shop caught my attention on Facebook, I had to make a trip out the community. You all know I put honey on everything, and I never pass up a chance to discover local products.

Val’s has its very own honey line, with more flavors than any other local brand. Not only that, it offers educational opportunities for creating your own hive. There is more to this shop than honey though. You will also find local food and other products from loads of Pacific Northwest Makers.

I had a fun time exploring the shelves of the shop and The SnoCo Kid and I are looking forward to potentially adding a hive to our backyard garden, if we actually get around to finishing it this Spring that is. It is definitely worth a stop by, and Val is more than happy to share with you info about the community and businesses in it.

Running Wild Spirit: November must have been my lucky month. I stumbled on not one, but three, storefronts owned by local bath & body makers in Snohomish County. It’s got me thinking maybe I’m in the wrong business.

Running Wild Spirit features the traditional products like soap and lotion, but they have more to offer, including some products I have been searching far and wide for.

In my quest to use more and more local products, shampoo has been a big item on my to find list. I am happy to report that Running Wild Spirit has it as a shampoo/shower gel combo. My choice was a Gardenia scent that is quite pleasant and does the job. My hair requires conditioner as well, which I either didn’t find or overlooked there, so still looking for that.

Other products you can find in the shop are essential oils for all kinds of uses, candles, cleaning products, body oil and scrubs, skin care products, lip balm and more. They really do have a bit of everything.

You can check out their soap in this months Getting Sudsy with Holiday Soaps feature HERE and see all their products in shop or online at:
www.runningwildspirit.com

Maltby Produce Market: This market may be a bit down the road from the rest of the Maltby action, but it is worth a visit for a lot of reasons, the first of which has to do with what the market is.

The Maltby Produce Market is a cooperative of local farms located right in the community of Maltby. Together they work to grow the fruits, vegetables, and herbs that fill its shelves and bins. That means the produce you are buying could have been out in a field within walking distance just hours before. How amazing is that? The bigger question just might be, could a market possibly have a smaller carbon footprint?

I took advantage of the bounty that was laid out before me, picking up produce for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. This is where another of the reasons comes in. I was able to buy potatoes, parsnips, radishes, onions, and celery, all for under $10. Yes, you read right, under $10. I don’t think you can find produce that cheap, let alone that fresh, anywhere.

While at the market, you will also find a lot of locally made products and gifts as well. Like honey from Timberline Bees of Granite Falls. I can’t say it enough, I love local businesses supporting other local businesses. So, if you happen to find yourself in the Maltby area, be sure to stop by and check it out.

Snoqualmie Ice Cream: I’m guessing you have probably run across pints of Snoqualmie Ice Cream at grocery stores in your neck of the woods before. If you have, I bet you didn’t know that it is made right here in Snohomish County. That’s right, all of its creamy goodness is made right here in the community of Maltby.

I did not have the opportunity to stop in at their ice cream shop since it is closed for the winter, but I did make sure to stop by the grocery store for some. I found several flavors there, as well as organic options. Both of which were creamy and delicious. As if I’d expect anything less from a local product.

If you have not tried Snoqualmie Ice Cream, I highly recommend it. Not just because it is yet another opportunity to shop local, but because it truly is amazing ice cream. It wouldn’t be found in national chain grocery stores if it wasn’t. You can find out more, including where you can by near you at:
www.snoqualmieicecream.com

Let us know what you think! Share your comments and experiences below and don’t forget to spread the love on social media at the bottom of the page.

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