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Shambala Bakery & Bistro

I can’t remember when the Shambala Farm first caught my eye but I have been an admirer ever since. Shambala is a permaculture venture offers hosted meal events for weddings and other celebrations but has now expanded to a farm-to-fork bakery and restaurant in the Skagit Valley area.

When I heard they had finally opened their doors to the public, I added it to my long list of must do’s.  Although not truly paleo, they are non-gmo, gluten/soy/peanut free, and vegetarian (Daiya cheese available).  It doesn’t get much closer up in my neck of the woods!

From their website:

“Nancy and Nick’s farm on the bucolic Camano Island grows most of the vegetables used in the bakery and this supplemented by farmer friends regionally. Farm local, eat local, cook local and find your own personal Shambala with the Bakery & Bistro’s robust, interesting, luscious and eclectic fare. The bakery features Shambala’s hand crafted baked goods using their own locally milled blends which feature what are called ancient grains: Organic Millet, Teff, Quinoa, Amaranth, Sorghum and Flax.”

I was in need of a low-level winter (and recovery) solo hike in November and I took it as an excuse to head up north to visit both Little Mountain Park  and the bistro.

After wandering the trails for a few hours, Google directions landed me in downtown Mount Vernon where I found a spot on the street to park (a public parking lot is available close by).  From there, I made my way through a courtyard to find the restaurant. This area of Mount Vernon is currently being revitalized by local businesses and I peered through the windows of art galleries and consignment shops.

When I saw the familiar Shambala logo, I pulled into a door papered with local announcements only to find I was at their bakery instead.  There was a busy baker behind the pastry laden counter who informed me that the eatery itself was just around the corner.  Hmmmm…decisions, decisions.  Dessert first?  She informed me that they had treats next door if I was looking for both a meal and sweets. I’m not sure helped my dilemma.

I left there a few minutes later and made my way literally around the corner to the much more spacious bistro and found a cozy table inside.  The room was filled with an eclectic mix of furniture and art work accented by weathered wooden floors and exposed brick walls. A young barista was making lattes for patient customers lounging at the bar and in comfy 50’s style vinyl couches.

I was greeted quickly and given a large menu to peruse and I must say it took me some time to go over all the delicious sounding offerings!

I know I am in a worthy establishment when breakfast is served ALL DAY.

Meals Ike Shitake & Argula Pho, Wasabi Chive Ranch pizza, Secret Garden Salad Entrée called out to me…

They do serve drinks, so I enjoyed a cider and read through the menu a while longer.

The truth is, though, I knew what I was going to order before I got there because they had posted that week on Facebook about a dish that I just had to try, Wish’n Chips.  I am not vegan, but when they said they had made a version of fish and chips with cauliflower, you know I had to try it. Even if it was just to have something to put tartar sauce on. 

When I asked, they were able to swap out the chips for a side of their kale salad so it was a done deal.  All I had to do was sit back and nibble a bit on the treat I had picked up around the corner.  Just a little, didn’t want to ruin my appetite.

The aroma of the dish set before me was mouthwatering and I didn’t know where to start, the fried “fish” or the salad.

Oh, who are we kidding??  Look at this, does that not look scrumptious? Crispy on the outside, just ready for dipping.

Together with the tartar sauce, this was as good as promised and the only disappointment was that my fiancé had not been able to come with me to enjoy it, too. Fish and chips are his fave…

But he doesn’t have to worry, there are more hikes in the area and I’ll be taking him with me next time.  I’m hoping to talk him into trying the Cha-Cha-Chili Fries and so he can tell me how they are!

For more information about my Little Mountain hike, check out my trip report here.  Another great place to stop in Mount Vernon either before or after a hike is the Skagit Valley Food Coop.  So, next time you are in the area give yourself time to stop by and enjoy some delicious treats!

Monday – Friday 8am to 8pm
Saturday 9am to 8pm
Sunday 10am to 7pm

311 Pine St & 614 1st St
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Update: the bakery has moved into the bistro so everything is all in one location now and they are serving reponsibly caught fish.

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