John and I enjoyed a few days exploring “The Other Vancouver”, which is Vancouver, Washington. Located about two hours south of Seattle along the I-5, this Vancouver sits along the Columbia River and was incorporated in 1857, 29 years before Vancouver, BC.
On a bright late spring morning we made our way down Evergreen Boulevard and stopped in for breakfast at The Grant House at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. This grand residence on Officers Row is named after Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States. While he never lived in this house he was stationed at Fort Vancouver, arriving in 1852. Simply walking between the car and the house, we must have passed half a dozen plaques, monuments, and dedications, which emphasized the national and historical importance of this area (which I’ll share in my upcoming post about Fort Vancouver).
The Grant House itself is on the National Register of Historic Places, originally built of logs in 1850, serving as the Commander’s Quarters until 1886. Today, it’s a restaurant with dining room, lounge, sunroom, and garden patio.
Breakfast menu items included a Waffle Benedict, Chicken and Waffles, Chef’s Choice Quiche, Oatmeal, The Grant House Breakfast (two eggs, country red potatoes, bacon, ham or sausage, and choice of toast), Scrambles, or Omelettes (you choose the ingredients from a list of 15 items).
I went with an omelette ($9) and picked out my four ingredients (mushroom, tomato, spinach, and cheddar) and my toast. John also did a custom omelette (mushroom, sausage, spinach, swiss) but he opted for a biscuit. Both the toast and biscuits came with deliciously sweet apple butter.
We made our way through the very generous portions (that included a healthy heap of seasoned country red potatoes) and slowed down to savour our apple buttered goods with our coffees. Easy listening classics from the 1960s and earlier added a soundtrack to our morning meal as sunshine broke through the clouds and warmed the dining room.
John and I have also been to Galena, Illinois where Ulysses S. Grant also lived, after his time in Vancouver. As someone who loves Pacific Northwest history (and a hearty breakfast) this was such a great experience. If we had more time we would have returned in the evening to enjoy a refreshing beverage on the porch as the wind rushed through the field across the road and made the house’s flags dance.
The Grant House is open Monday to Saturday and they host live music (bluegrass, jazz) from Tuesday to Saturday. It’s worth a visit for breakfast, lunch, or dinner especially if you’re out and about experiencing Fort Vancouver.