(STORY UPDATED 7:15 PM, SCROLL TO END FOR PHOTO FROM CAFE’S PAST)
Story and photos by Keri DeTore
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
Miranda Krone likes to think of her new restaurant as the next chapter in the longrunning story of a small dining spot. She has rented the former Jade West Café (6032 California SW) from owners Salina and Wah Wong and plans to open Meander’s, a breakfast and lunch café, in late January.
One month ago — nearly a year after a drunk driver hit and seriously injured her husband and son — Salina Wong had told WSB that the family was “looking for a chef capable of carrying on the legacy of Wah’s café,” a homey one-person operation. Looks like they found her.
As Miranda pulls up a short stool to sit on and props her feet onto one of the orange vinyl barstools, it’s clear she already feels at home in this cozy space. “It’s awesome about the kitchen (being a part of the dining area). I can interact with the customers while making food!” This, she says, is perfectly suited to her “tendency to mother people.”
With her 13-year-old daughter Chloe looking on, Miranda explains that this space was a perfect solution in many ways, “I’m in my neighborhood” — she lives four blocks away — “I can do what I love, take care of my daughter, and be with people I like.”
Community connections are important to Miranda, and she wants to carry on the Wongs’ legacy of caring for people in the neighborhood.
Miranda’s passion for food began at age 16 when she started working in restaurants. Since then, she’s owned a restaurant in Olympia, been a pastry chef in Pennsylvania, an Alaskan-bush tent chef, and Executive Chef for the former Susan’s 5100 Bistro in Columbia City.
Her enthusiasm for food extends to TV-watching, and she and Chloe enjoy watching Iron Chef: “We root for it like it’s a hockey game,” says Miranda.
Chloe interjects: “This is Seattle, Mom, we root for it like it’s a soccer game.”
She is planning a menu featuring homemade-style fare featuring fresh ingredients. “Everything will be made from scratch, including the ketchup.” Offerings include what a former co-worker described as “the best biscuits and gravy ever!” She adds, “I have mended broken hearts with these biscuits and gravy.” She will also feature specialty pies and vegetarian options. Coffee will be sourced from Lighthouse Roasters.
The name “Meander’s” is inspired by a longtime family friend who passed away the same day she received confirmation of occupancy. The man, a friend of Miranda’s father, gave her the nickname “Meander” based on her tendency to slowly wander during hikes around Lake Chelan, where she grew up.
“I’m still known by this nickname among friends,” she says, smiling.
While no structural changes will be made to the space, Miranda and Chloe will be spending the next few weeks cleaning, painting, and finding a way to display the various toys they found there (photo above). Local artists will be able to feature their work on the walls, and Miranda plans to find a way to bring the Jade West sign indoors, to preserve that chapter of this restaurant’s story.
POSTSCRIPT, 7:15 PM: After reading this story, Tamsen Spengler shared a bit of the café’s history – a photo from its original incarnation as Nate and Kate’s. She says Nate and Kate were her husband’s aunt and uncle – they’re in the background of the photo: