Brie, a manager at the new Newk’s Express Café, was looking for a new apartment when she happened to meet my colleague Paul Orr. She invited him to get a free meal on staff training day at the restaurant. While he was recording her with his digital video camera, Brie extended the invitation to me too. Brie’s co-worker Robert sent an invitation to Tearsa Smith via Twitter.
The cash registers were stocked with play money and plastic coins so the cashiers could practice ringing up sales and making change. We were instructed to dump our fake change into a bowl so it could be reused. After placing my order, I made a beeline for the Seattle Drip Coffee station.
The condiment roundtable is the centerpiece of the restaurant. They made a point of telling me that everything on it was free, although I didn’t try any of it on this visit. On training day, the restaurant offered about a dozen menu items, including the spicy chicken pizza, which looked pretty good.
The salads, including the black & bleu, had a generous amount of dressing. It might be better to ask for it on the side. They use the same slanted salad bowls as Trio Café on Market Square. I found it easier to position the bowl counter-intuitively, with the higher side closer to me. It caught some of the drips that might have landed on my clothes.
Normally the brownies and “big krispy” marshmallow treats are sold at the cash register. For the preview, the staff sliced the large servings in half and served them to the diners. The dessert menu on their website promises banana cake, which guarantees I will be back when the full menu is available.