By Michael Mettler / Photos by Nick Page
Breakfast cocktails. Enough said.
Nothing gets brunch off on a more delightful note on any given Sunday than one of Michelle Adams’ signature cocktails. Lovingly crafted by hand, with freshly squeezed juices, house-infused liquors and a little bit of love, these beautiful adult libations help set the tone for a delicious time with friends.
(Pro Tip: Do not miss out on the Mac Daddy. This cocktail features pineapple-infused tequila with house-made tempache (a Mexican beverage made of fermented pineapple and flavored with brown sugar and cinnamon) and lime juice, gently shaken and served on the rocks.
Owners Michelle Adams and Michelle Giannunzio (“The Michelles,” as regulars call them) have poured their hearts and souls into this exciting breakfast joint.
After beginning to visit Walla Walla in 2006 for wine-tasting adventures, the pair started to fall in love with the clean air, the big skies, the sun and the four seasons.
Many of their friends and past co-workers from Seattle had already made the jump to this area to set up shop. Many of the faces you might recognize in the food scene in town worked with Giannunzio decades ago at the once-iconic Café Campagne, including Jamie Guerin of Whitehouse-Crawford, Jim German of jimgermanbar, Tom Uberagua (previously the owner of Creek Town Café), and Valerie Mudry and Ross Stevenson of Whoopemup Hollow Café.
When The Michelles moved to Walla Walla a few years ago from Seattle to escape city life, they noticed a glaring lack of breakfast options in town, most especially of fun and adventurous choices.
While the pair loves the standbys such as Mr. Ed’s, Clarette’s and Tommy’s Dutch Lunch, they hoped to do something different, something focused on locally grown produce, artisan breads and tortillas, artisan coffee and, of course, cocktails.
While the two hadn’t come to town with an explicit desire to open a restaurant (Giannunzio really was hoping to open a coffee shop), as they worked in other restaurants in town, they started to develop a concept for something they would love and they hoped others would, as well.
“Michelle (Giannunzio) has been cooking for 25 years — it’s all she has ever done, and she loves to cook,” explained Michelle Adams. “Bacon&Eggs is sort of a compilation of all of her past experiences paired with our proclivity for spicy foods. We also wanted to break down some social stigmas with the restaurant. We have both traveled the world, and in Europe, people have a beer with breakfast on a weekday, and nobody cares. We think that our beer, wine and cocktail selections are perfect to help people ease into their day. We think you should just have fun and do what you want.”
One thing Bacon&Eggs makes a point of is keeping its price points approachable while providing the highest quality food it can. The team wants to make sure it is not alienating segments of the population by charging too much. It loves having college students come for breakfast just as much as it welcomes tourists.
In addition to providing a delicious meal (Have I mentioned the shrimp & grits, yet? I haven’t had anything near this delicious outside of New Orleans), the duo is committed to the community and is proud to be able to support various nonprofits in the Valley. Most notably, The Michelles are advocates for the YWCA Women’s Shelter.
When living in Seattle, they became close friends with Lee Rhodes, the founder of Glassybaby. When going through her third round of a rare form of lung cancer in 1995, Rhodes’ husband, Emery, blew her some glass votives that provided her amazing solace. After beating the cancer, Rhodes founded her company to make similar glass votives, and donates the proceeds to organizations dedicated to healing.
Bacon&Eggs became a natural retailer for the product in Walla Walla and supports the local women’s shelter with its sales.
As Bacon&Eggs moves into its third year of operations, the restaurant has some fun new things on the horizon, including the return of Food Truck Night, rental of its space for private parties, tweaks to its Mexican and Southern-inspired menu, and the addition of dinner service.
Food Truck Night
“When we first moved to Walla Walla, another thing we missed from Seattle was all of the food trucks. Obviously, there were great taco wagons and Andrae’s Kitchen has started up, but we missed the eclectic diversity and street-food fun we had grown accustomed to,” Giannunzio said.
With that in mind, The Michelles launched Food Truck Night last May, and invited the growing cadre of local food trucks to park around the restaurant the first Monday of each month for an evening of revelry.
Guests to Food Truck Night can sample a nosh or three from food trucks of their choice, dine inside or outside, and order drinks from the bar at the restaurant. Each Food Truck Night also features one local winery for the night, serving one white wine and one rosé.
New, this year, will be Mexican street corn and paletas (fruit-laden ice pops) that the Bacon&Eggs team will prepare for guests, as well as a water balloon fight or two.
Returning will be the Dunk-A-Winemaker night in August.
If you go
Food Truck Night runs on the first Monday of each month, May through September, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Bacon&Eggs.
Confirmed attendees for the year include the Titus Creek Café, La Monarca, Why Not Pizza, The Q, the Smokehouse Wenches, West of the Blues BBQ and Walla Walla Bread Company’s pizza wagon.
Michelle vs. Michelle
While The Michelles spend more time at work than anyone should (ah, the life of being a restaurateur …), they occasionally get some free time to dine, play and travel the world.
This writer, for one, was pleasantly surprised to learn more about their adventures and the global influences on their food and drink that they have picked up along the way.
Favorite street food: “My favorite street food would have to be takoyaki in Japan. It is this incredible ball of gooey dough with diced octopus in the middle that is fried in a special pan and then topped with a beautiful salty and sweet sauce and some shaved bonito flakes.
Go-to adult beverage: “Hands down, the Bloody Mary from Broder in Portland! It is a meal in itself. It is made with Aquavit, a legion of house-pickled vegetables and a subtle celery-salt rim. You must try it!”
Best travel experience: “It would have to be a trip Michelle and I took to Mexico years ago. We spent over three weeks traveling much of the country. We traveled by bus, mostly, so we really got to experience the countryside, meet the people and enjoy the culture. We took in the Mayan pyramids, saw Frida Kahlo’s house, really got into the heart of Mexico City, and experienced both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts during the trip.”
Favorite dish at Bacon&Eggs: “My favorite would have to be the huevos con chorizo. We use a spicy chorizo from Blue Valley Meats, which is amazing, and I can’t get enough of the salsa verde.”
Favorite dishes at other restaurants in Walla Walla: “Ugh, that is tough. For sure it would have to be the steak frites at Brasserie Four, and I can never pass up the pork schnitzel at jimgermanbar.”
Your guilty pleasure: “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” — seriously, I can’t get enough of it!”
Favorite street food: “Foufou from Western Africa. It is a sticky dough made of boiled and pounded yams and plantains that is then served alongside stews or soups for dipping.”
Go-to adult beverage: “Honestly, I love a good gin fizz. We make ours here with orange-flower water, freshly squeezed orange and lemon juice, gin, and half-and-half shaken with egg white.”
Best travel experience: “Dogon in Mali. When I was in the Peace Corps, I had a friend I did a lot of traveling around Africa with, and I fell in love with this area. We were traveling through Mali on mules and hiked through the Dogon Country. It is this amazing society that built their communities in sandstone cliffs high above the valley below to allow them to defend themselves from groups trying to convert them to Islam and Catholicism at different periods in time.”
Favorite dish at Bacon&Eggs: “My favorite dish here is the huevos rancheros. It is a great vegetarian option, and I can never get enough of the awesome tortillas we get from La Calandria Tortilleria in Milton-Freewater that come with it.”
Favorite dishes at other restaurants in Walla Walla: “I only get two?! Well I know Saffron changes their menu all the time, but always love the octopus and patatas bravas, regardless of how they are prepared. I also can’t get enough of the nachos at The Green Lantern Tavern.”
Your guilty pleasure: “A really well-bleached load of laundry. Is that weird? I love that slight bleach-y smell when the laundry comes out of the dryer all warm and white. I love it!”