Food

Camber

Doing good things

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Spend half an hour in a restaurant and you can typically tell if its owners know what they’re doing.

At Camber, one of the newest additions to Bellingham’s food and coffee scene, it’s obvious from the get-go that the three partners at its helm are nothing short of brilliant. The food is exceptional, the atmosphere is warm, bright and friendly, the coffee is utterly divine and the space itself is nothing short of wow.

David Yake and his partners Andrew Bowman and Todd Elliott took the former location of the Comics Place at the intersection of Holly and Bay streets and transformed the 1927-era space into an airy, open, modern, inviting, light-filled sanctuary where you can eat a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner while drinking the kind of latte you almost can’t bear to put down (yes, it’s that delicious).

The coffee selection changes daily, but the day we sat down for lunch the menu offered Guatemala Santa Isabel, Congo Kivu decaf, and Ethiopia Borona Korie. Also on offer is a selection of boutique teas, beers you won’t find elsewhere, mimosas, a wine list and even a selection of milkshakes.

“We wanted Camber to be welcoming to different kinds of guests, accommodating business meetings, laptop work, date night or a friendly get-together,” Yake says. “Ours is a funny model because we’re equal parts coffee shop and restaurant. We just want to be known for doing good things and serving delicious food and drink any hour of the day.”

I’m pleased to report that Yake and his team are meeting and exceeding their goal. If the drinks menu doesn’t stun you into submission, the food selections certainly will. At lunchtime we placed a special order of one of the breakfast staples, a Breakfast Salad ($14) comprised of greens, salmon, hardboiled eggs, goat cheese, cucumber ribbons, popped quinoa and a delicate almond-milk dressing.

It was wholesome, healthy, delicious and enduring—as this alone fueled me right through to dinner. We also tried the curried butternut squash soup ($8), a generous bowl of zesty orange decorated with coconut cream, sesame oil and cilantro. It was the kind of soup that warms your soul and offers a perfect solution to days when rain pelts Bellingham relentlessly.

We’d heard the Veggie Sandwich ($13) was remarkable, and it lived up to its reputation. Served on a Bread Farm bun, it delivered roasted yam, garlic chard, herbed chevre, crispy onions and sprouts. The combination of veggies works perfectly. Other tempting items on the lunch and dinner menu include the roasted Brussels sprouts ($7) and the half-roasted chicken ($22), which I plan on going back for. The desserts also looked irresistible—particularly the Salt and Smoke Vahlrona Cremeux ($8) and the Affogato ($6).

Yake explained that while none of the partners originally comes from Bellingham, every member of the trio now resides in the city. Additionally, all three are serious coffee connoisseurs who met while working at Tony’s Coffee.

Yake recalls how Camber began as a wholesale coffee roaster in 2015. “We started sending samples of our roasted coffee out to some of the most well-respected cafes in the country and immediately had a good following on the wholesale side,” he says.

That following continues, and as it does this talented trio has focused on bringing a new coffee shop and eatery to the city that is filled with ambience, light, friendliness and really good food. Step inside and you’ll be smitten.

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