The Palace Cafe in Ellensburg, WA: Where the Prime Rib Lives Up to its Name

The Palace Café

323 N Main St, Ellensburg, WA 98926

Adults: 3.5/5 Kids: 4/5   $$$/$$$$$

Since 1892, The Palace Café in Ellensburg, WA has proudly served the surrounding community.  There are many restaurants that don’t last 124 days, let alone that many years. After trying it out, we understand clearly how it has stood the test of time.

Our family was passing through the Ellensburg area over Easter weekend, on our way to visit family, when we decided to pull into this quiet little city and eat some dinner.  In honesty, three of the four of us had eaten lunch at The Palace before, which was okay, but thought we’d try our luck and see how their evening service was.

We don’t know that any of us held out much hope of finding an actually ‘great’ meal when we decided to stop. After all, the surface of Ellensburg, with it’s western themed art,  flat, dry open fields and feel, can leave you wanting to pass it by.

We intentionally chose The Palace as we knew the food there was serviceable from our previous lunch and figured we could get in and out without much trouble.  It turns out it was one of our happiest ‘side trips’ while passing through some place that we’ve taken.

The Palace has adorable, unique, hand-made décor featuring fishing boats, planes, and automobiles which some how works well with the pressed-tin ceiling and antique feel of the building.  We were greeted by it’s friendly staff and waited on by our adorable, ultra-friendly waitress.

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The girls both ordered the regular cod and chips basket.  They reported that the fish was crispy of the outside and moist in the center and that the fries were the same. Both the fish and the fries are house-made by the chefs at The Palace.  The slaw that came with the basket was surprisingly flavorful, and actually did not need the sprinkling of salt that most places leave out of theirs.  The girls were very excited about how tasty their whole meal was.

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We both ordered the 12 oz Prime Ribs (which actually looked more like 16 oz ones–there was no way I was going to be able to finish it), and I ordered mine with the coconut prawns.  The prime ribs were DELISCIOUS!  They were huge, thick cut portions, seasoned very well with a great crust and cooked perfectly to the medium rare we requested.  The horseradish (which we had the option of fresh grated or deli style–we chose the fresh) was exceptional.

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The baked potatoes came with ‘everything’ butter, that was super yummy!

Our only disappointment was the frozen mixed veggies that arrived with the steaks.  They were, as you can imagine, wilted, limp and soggy.  And the Au Jus was passable.

The coconut prawns were good, but nothing beyond what you would expect from anywhere else, and the sauce they came with was sweet, tangy and most likely from a bottle.

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For dessert we ordered a piece of their Tower of Power Cheesecake (that boasts that it is so large it needs its own zip code).  It was a great tasting piece of average size cheesecake.  We are cheesecake lovers and we would definitely order this one again.  It was a good size to split between two adults and two children, but if you have more in your party you may want to order more than one dessert.

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The creamsicle  martini I had was delicious too!  Made of orange vodka, orange juice and cream it delivered that reminiscent taste of a hot summer day and those orange sherbet over vanilla ice cream bars the ice cream man would deliver.  YUMMMMMMMYYYYY!

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The Palace serves Pioneer Coffee out of Cle Elem, which was pretty good actually.  It had a nice rich coffee flavor without being weak and noncommittal.

If you are ever in the area, and need a little something to tie you over, try The Palace, it’s a great little gem in the rodeo queen’s crown known as Ellensburg.