Within a cozy 1915 Victorian home, Tulip Tea Room and Gifts makes a pleasant destination for ladies who lunch. Reservations are strongly encouraged, to the point that walk-ins might feel slighted in favor of customers who’ve called ahead. When we dropped in, the hostess seemed altogether flustered, worrying about finding seats and food to accommodate us. A slightly cluttered selection of antiques, jewelry and knickknacks for sale greets guests as soon as they walk through the door. Not a great start.
First impressions aside, our lunch was good. Whipped lemonade and fruity iced teas ($3.50 each) proved refreshing on a hot summer day, and all meals start with a pickle wrapped in dried beef with Gouda cheese. Menu offerings change regularly but always include quiche, salads and sandwiches (all entrees $9.50). The chicken salad with sugared walnuts and grapes was delicious, as was a side cup of fresh gazpacho. Chicken asparagus quiche with Havarti cheese and a small side salad laced with hot bacon dressing were tasty, too.
Most guests cap off their meals with cheesecake, but we favor the summer rhubarb pie, sweetened just enough to preserve the tart flavor of the fruit ($4). We’d come back to Tulip Tea Room again, but we'd be sure to make reservations next time.