Dining Out review: Lisa’s Country Kitchen
Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Lunch is served from 11 a.m.
Where: 9324 N.E. 76th St., Vancouver.
Health score: Lisa’s Country Kitchen received a score of 25 on Aug. 24. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.
Why: Lisa’s Country Kitchen started up in 2008 on Mill Plain Boulevard, where the little diner earned itself a loyal following. Lisa’s has relocated to another well-established neighborhood and is in the same strip mall as Lucky’s bar on Northeast 76th Street. Traditional American breakfast and lunch are served daily until 2 p.m.
What I tried: I was going to try the taco omelet until I discovered the biscuits and gravy are made from scratch, so I had biscuits and gravy with an over-easy egg, hash browns and bacon. I also had coffee and orange juice.
The biscuits and gravy were served on a separate plate from the rest of the breakfast items. The buttermilk biscuits were large and dense with a homemade quality that was very appetizing. I found the sausage gravy a bit too salty, and the sausage pieces in the gravy were fairly large bits that were somewhat spongy in texture instead of being pan-fried and crisped. The hash browns were the grated type that are fried to a golden crisp on the outside and soft underneath — similar to those at IHOP and Shari’s. The bacon was meaty and fried to a delicious browned and somewhat chewy finish. The egg was cooked and seasoned just right.
Coffee at Lisa’s is robust and a selection of creamers are available at the table. The orange juice tasted like a concentrated variety.
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: In addition to the taco omelet, there is a Denver omelet, a cheese omelet, a veggie omelet, and a chili and cheddar omelet. All omelets are made with three eggs. The farmer’s scramble combines eggs, ham, bacon, mushrooms, onions and green peppers and is topped with melted cheese. The scramble is served with hash browns and toast. The Belgian waffle may be ordered plain or with strawberries and whipped cream.
Burgers at lunch include a mushroom and Swiss, and a chili burger. I thought the Roadhog, which is a double-patty bacon cheeseburger, sounded delicious. Traditional grilled sandwiches include a grilled cheese, tuna melt and a turkey melt. There is also a prime rib dip sandwich, a BLT and a clubhouse sandwich. Sandwiches are served with fries, potato salad, or cottage cheese. Pie is available for dessert and milkshakes are also on the menu.
Atmosphere: The dining space is separated into two main rooms. Booth seating is upholstered in warm caramel tones, and walls have been painted in a complementary color. Oak wood trim finishes doorways and edges throughout. Diner-style bar seating is available at the counter by the kitchen. Ceiling fans circulate on a low speed. Italian glass pendant fixtures cast a warm glow at each table. A potpourri of items decorate the walls, and greenery accents the inviting space. Pumpkins sit here and there imparting a seasonal vibe. A dry erase board at the entrance displays daily specials.
Other observations: Service was fast, friendly and attentive, and I found the atmosphere very comfortable, homey and warm on the chilly day of my visit.
Cost: Omelets cost $8.95 to $12.95 and come with hash browns and toast. Homemade O’Brien baby reds are $1 extra. Family favorites such as scrambles and biscuits and gravy are $7.95 to $9.95. Traditional breakfasts range from $4.95 to $16.95. Pancakes, French toast and waffles are $2.95 to $7.95. Breakfast sides range from 95 cents to $6.95. Burgers are $7.95 to $11.95 and are served with all-you-can-eat steak fries, cottage cheese or potato salad. For $1.95, you may add soup or a dinner salad. Sandwiches cost $6.95 to $9.95. Salads are $3.95 to $9.95. Soup or chili costs $2.95 for a cup and $4.95 for a bowl. Beverages are $1.95 to $4.95.