We all have them… specific places, sounds, smells, foods and drinks that draw us back to a different time. Flying Star Café has been important to me a lot longer than it’s been Flying Star. Back in the days of only two locations, of coffee before we should have been drinking coffee, long before Satellite Coffee or wireless hotspots, there was Double Rainbow.
I don’t remember exactly when their name changed. I remember being bothered by it. Flying Star seemed like a silly name at the time, but we adapted. My entire Senior year, one of my closest high school friends, KM, and I spent most of our weekday mornings there having a pain au chocolat and an Aranciata San Pellegrino. Those were the days when I could eat pain au chocolat every morning and stay under 100 lbs. Those were the days.
Long after the days of butter filled breakfasts, there were lunches, coffee dates with friends, dinner or just dessert. It’s where we went. It remained where I went until I moved away five years ago. Now, on my rare trips home, it’s still a place that rates high on my must-visit list. Tuesday, after a shopping trip with my mom (that cleared up any confusion about where I get my shoe addiction), we stopped in to the Academy Hills Flying Star.
This location opened awhile after I moved, but they’re all pretty similar. My order is always similar as well. Chicken Salad sandwich, side salad, key lime pie and a glass of the Red Stuff. I don’t actually know what’s in the Red Stuff. Definitely cranberry and Hibiscus, but I have no idea what else. It’s amazingly delicious, though. I suppose I don’t really want to know what’s in it. The chicken salad has always been a massive portion, so we shared our order and had plenty of food to spare.
Everything was as good as I remember it. I know the chicken salad doesn’t look like much, but it’s so, so good. I think it’s the dill… and love. They still have the best ranch dressing ever. The chunks of chicken are generous and full of flavor with bread that gives just the right amount when you bite into it. No chafed roof of the mouth with this sandwich. And then there’s the pie…They’re known for their desserts more than anything and they didn’t disappoint. The key lime is a perfect balance of tart and sweet with little slivers of almond around the edge of the crust.
I couldn’t be more grateful for all the awesome food options Seattle has to offer. The incredible choices really are overwhelming. There’s something to be said, though, for history and familiarity… and, of course, super fantastic ranch dressing.