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Beth’s Cafe

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Dave Lewis, cook at Beth’s Cafe, prepares a vegetarian 12-egg omelette.

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Senior Ashleigh Fleischman (center) discusses graduation with seniors Andre Bayard (left) and Jon Price at Beth’s Cafe on Monday.

Beth’s Cafe serves up a true test of gastronomic capacity in its famous 12-egg omelette. Open since 1954, Beth’s offers a wide range of American diner classics, but it is undoubtedly the omelettes that have cemented its reputation as a top stop for gluttony.

In 2004, Beth’s Cafe was featured on a Travel Channel program entitled, “World’s Best Places to Pig Out.” The show featured a countdown of the top 10 restaurants for overeating, in which Beth’s and its 12-egg omelette came in at number four.

The restaurant saw an immediate spike in business and an increased demand for their enormous omelette after the show aired.

“The show helped big,” Beth’s manager Brice Storts said. “We still get people calling from out of town saying they’re going to stop in.”

Storts has been working at Beth’s for 11 years and appeared in the Travel Channel spot on the restaurant.

“[The] best thing about Beth’s is just the overall atmosphere,” Storts said. “It’s laid-back, and you don’t have to kiss anybody’s hiney.”

Atmosphere aside, Beth’s menu is built for the serious eater. Nearly every entrée comes with all-you-can-eat hash browns, which is a tough feature to take advantage of - portions large enough to feed a small family.

Beth’s provides six- and 12-egg omelette options that come with toast and their standard all-you-can-eat helping of hash browns. The omelette options include The Southwestern Exposure, with a hearty helping of chili, salsa, sour cream and cheddar cheese, and The Full House, an omelette stuffed with ham, mushrooms and American cheese. The famous 12-egger is folded over four times and served on a pizza plate atop a pile of hash browns.

Beth’s features a number of other dishes in addition to their omelettes that include scrambles, New York steak and eggs, pancakes and many other diner classics. However, don’t go to Beth’s expecting portion control; the sign makes this very clear, reading, “Diet Schmiet.”

This mission statement has long attracted hungry college students to Beth’s Cafe. Senior communication major Jon Price visits the restaurant regularly. He cites the large portions and reliable hours as reasons for visiting Beth’s.

“When the time calls late at night, when nothing else is open, it’s a good place to feed your hunger,” Price said.

Senior Public Health and Microbiology major Ashleigh Fleischman provided another reason for eating at Beth’s.

“It’s a good cure for a hangover, or for preventing a hangover,” Fleischman said.

A lot of customers come in late at night to top off a night of drinking with a hearty helping of “greasy spoon” cuisine.

The Duck Island Ale House is located right next door to Beth’s. The two establishments are under the same ownership, and some of Beth’s menu items can even be ordered at The Duck Island.

In my own Beth’s Cafe experience, I was able to put down a 12-egg veggie omelette but found the mass of hash browns beyond my stomach’s capacity. If you plan on ordering Beth’s famous 12-egg omelette, make sure you arrive with an appetite, and don’t plan on being hungry for the next few days.

If you’re looking for a place to pig out, you’re in luck — Seattle’s home to one of the world’s best in Beth’s Cafe.

More info

Beth’s Cafe is located a block from Green Lake on Aurora Avenue. Beth’s is open 24 hours a day and attracts customers at all hours for breakfast, lunch, dinner and post-bar indulgences.

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