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“Great food, nice atmosphere and service - a winner!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rhododendron Cafe

Rhododendron Cafe
Ranked #6 of 23 Restaurants in Bow
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Brunch, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Camano Island, Washington
Level Contributor
76 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great food, nice atmosphere and service - a winner!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2014 via mobile

My husband and I stopped at the Rhododendron for lunch on Valentine's Day. This was our first visit since Chef Jim Kowalski took over. We both had the oyster po'boy, and both thought it was great. Served on a perfect baguette, the oysters were very fresh and tasty. A good aioli finished the sandwich. Side salad was nice. Both the sandwich and the salad were lightly dressed, which is a nice change from some restaurant's treatment!
The oyster po'boy was a daily special, so we'll probably have to try something else next time! The menu isn't extensive, but we understand it will change with the seasonal ingredients available.
We picked up a lime-soaked polenta cake at the bakery next door, to take home, and we're hooked on it! It's also on the restaurant menu, and we'll probably have it with a meal there next time.
Service was friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere is homey. We'll go back!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Kathy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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91 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    57
    25
    7
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
37 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Next time we'll stop”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2014

My wife and I like to bicycle ride in the Skagit Valley - Edison area, and we've passed this place a number of times. It looks quaint and interesting so we usually agree we'll stop someday. A couple days ago we were driving in the area, were hungry and had the time so we decided to stop. We were not disappointed. My wife had the Penn Cove mussels and found them to be meatier and more flavorful than ones she's been served in Coupville. I had the peanut soup, which was delightfully spicy and full of complex flavors. The wait staff was friendly and prompt. The only negative is that the food is a bit pricey, but not out of line in our view.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank twocranks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sedro Wooley, WA, USA
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“New Owners - Overpriced”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2014

I've been eating at the Rhododendron for years. I was somewhat hopeful when I heard who the new owners were, that it'd still be a great restaurant. Perhaps it is, but I won't find out. They've boosted the prices way up. The restaurant used to offer a variety of food, from fresh local ingredients - at a value, but I couldn't find any value-for-dollar on their menu. I got the impression that they're trying to cash in on the popularity that the previous owners had. The Rhody used to be very good food at a good value. The food may still be good, but they're over-priced for a small country restaurant. Some of the same items were on the menu, (oysters), but were about 30% more expensive. I'm a local, and an ex-regular. I wish the new owners luck, but I won't be back. It's a shame to lose this restaurant from my repertoire. It was my favorite.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank John T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Townsend WA
Level Contributor
68 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“On it's way with new owners!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2014

This is a restaurant to watch. It has been taken over by the owners of the beloved Farm to Market Bakery in nearby Edison which are planning to re-open this week right next to the Rhododendron Cafe. The new owners are a young couple and the husband is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in NY. We had a simple but well executed meal, both choosing the oyster dinner with a caesar salad and polenta. We were tempted by the chicken saltimbocca which would have been a better test of the kitchen, but just couldn't pass up the oysters - so good! Dessert was the lime soaked polenta cake - executed perfectly just as we had come to expect at the Farm to Market Bakery.

Atmosphere has a certain old-time charm with wainscoating and Victorian-style wallpaper, but lighting at night is full-on bright, no flowers or candles on the tables, lots of hard surfaces. For me, these additions would have made the experience more romantic and pleasant, but overall I'm not complaining.

We are eager to return in a few months to experience more of the direction in which these new owners will be taking this old standby restaurant.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank WanderingP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
634 reviews
387 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
“Sublime in Bow”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2014 via mobile

This place has just been taken over by the owners of the Farm to Market Bakery which has been relocated from Edison to the building just adjacent to the restaurant. When all is up and running, the bakery will serve lunch type items, as well as baked goods, and the restaurant will focus on more upscale fare. We had the fried oyster special which included eight perfectly sautéed oysters, grilled polenta, and a small portion of Caesar salad. We shared the signature lime polenta cake for desert. Service was perfect. The atmosphere is quaint but adequate. We will come back.

Helpful?
Thank AngusDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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