“You never know until you get it in your mouth.” This was on Morsel’s wall as I walked into the small biscuit and latte shop on University Ave. or, “the Ave” as people call it. I was greeted by a white plastic cat waving hello and three totally cool workers. I was meeting with Gerald, the chef/manager/go-to man for an interview. I was blown away by how much he knew about his business and how much energy he added to Morsel. If Morsel could be embodied by a person, it would be Gerald. He seems very down-to-earth and laid-back, yet he has a go-getter personality. Within about 30 seconds I could tell that running Morsel and cooking were great passions of his.
He told me that the thing that sets Morsel apart from any other location is the staff. They are creative, friendly, and care about what they do. Each week, they get to make input into what the shop serves for the next week. They have complete freedom to express themselves, and this is something that I wish other businesses would embrace. The vibe inside Morsel was something that is hard to put a finger on, yet one that is very welcoming and come-as-you-are. Kanye West was playing on the speakers, tattoos were everywhere, and for some reason, I felt like I was on an island- a good one like Fiji. There were succulents dangling from the ceiling over the booths and really great views of The Ave.
Gerald goes to the Farmer’s Market each weekend and shops for produce to use in the next week’s menu. He gets the freshest ingredients and pairs them to his imagination. He also does crazy things such as not putting any alcohol in syrups, and uses natural ingredients instead. There are many vegan-friendly options of flavoring their lattes and butters. I had no idea biscuits were so popular, and then I had one with honey butter. I literally never want another donut again! Morsel has gained a lot of respect and attention around town, and last year they opened a location in Ballard. They are planning on expanding into a bigger building or opening a totally new location in the near future.
The best part is that Morsel shares their ever-changing menu on Instagram and Facebook so that their customers can stay up-to-date on what is happening. These locations are so popular, that you will see lines forming around the block on the weekends. Gerald and I both believe it is because the idea behind the restaurant is excellent, the staff seems happy, and the menu is newsworthy. Gerald adds a special panache all his own. He has experience working at Steelhead Diner at Pike’s Place and he was a sous-chef at Canlis. Between the staff’s energy, the local and fresh produce used, and the idea of eating biscuits- this place is a home run!