Jazz at the Ajax

I love the Ajax Cafe in Port Hadlock. I've been going there since - well, way back when! Back when a man named Lonny owned it and was the chef. At that time, the place was cramped and dollar bills, women's undies and heaven knows what else was pinned to the ceiling with the restaurant's own cutlery! And the walls held a wild assortment of hats! As Lonny cooked, flames would flare in the kitchen which was open to the restaurant. Today's Ajax is a bit more refined - but not enough to lose its appeal. And the hats sill adorn the walls; from tricorns, to sunhats; from cowboy hats to garden party affairs. No chair matches any other and the menus still appear in LP covers dating back to when music came on large, black plastic disks.

So last night's visit was in honor of my friend Jim whose jazz band was playing. They are going to be playing there on Tuesday nights, from 6-8. Mardelle, Jim's wife and several of her friends, including me, sat at the groupie table! What fun! The restaurant was packed, some wearing silly hats, others just getting silly over drinks!

The menu focuses on local, with grassfed beeffrom Short's Family Farm, wild caught fish and the freshest, local veges from Red Dog Farms and poultry from Spring Rain Farms. I don't think I have ever had a bad meal there. And Ryan, who goes to some very high-end restaurants in Hollywood and LA, loves the place and the food. So high praise indeed!

Last night, I opted for the clam chowder, for the first time. And was blown away! This is not ordinary clam chowder - this is filled with real, whole clams in their shells, not a lot of potato and the most delicious, creamy broth. I think I just found my all-time favorite clam chowder.

Ajax Cafe - 21 Waters Street, Port Hadlock, Wa
(360) 385-3450
Open for Dinner Tuesday through Sunday, at 5pm. Closed Mondays

A Local Adventure of Sorts


Adventures don't necessarily have to be earth shattering or spectacular. They can just be something you don't often do and yesterday evening was just that.

Mardelle sings in the Port Townsend Community Chorus and Susan was given some tickets so we went to support our friend. It was at the Presbyterian Church in town so I got to drive my new car at night for the first time.

The historical organ in the Port Townsend Presbyterian Church

The church is old; built in 1889 and has a beautiful old organ which is recognized as an historical piece. It wasn't used in the concert, but was the backdrop. The concert was all Civil War songs - spirtuals, slavery, war. It was a great selection of music, some poetry thrown in, but what got me was that a lot of the songs were gospel-type songs that came from slavery - and there wasn't a single dark face in the entire group. So somehow they lacked the impact you tend to get - or at least I do - from black gospel. Or in South Africa, the black singers.

Some of the readings were about building the country, rights of all etc., which sadly are the same words being spoken almost 250 years later. I guess evolution takes a long time.