DuckTales Kitchen tastes like home

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Why: DuckTales is a welcoming neighborhood restaurant serving homestyle comfort food made from scratch. The family-style establishment offers a quaint dining experience outside the bustle of city streets lined with various consumer attractions. The menu options range from classics to signature dishes with something for everyone.

What I tried: I settled on Steve’s Homemade Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and a salad. My dining companion had the sandwich special of the evening, which was a French dip. He opted for Cajun tots to accompany the sandwich.

The meatloaf is made using beef only and served atop a slurry of delicious brown sauce and drizzled with a sun-dried tomato aioli. It was easy to tell the meatloaf was all beef. Thanks to the seasoning, shape and texture, it did not come across as merely a beef patty. I thought it was a pleasant departure from everyday meatloaf.

The mashed potatoes were slightly chunky and dense, and paired well with the meat. Completing the meal were lightly buttered green beans that retained their snap.

The green salad contained dark greens and romaine lettuce with chopped tomatoes and croutons. It was the freshest salad I have had at a restaurant lately. Though it had few ingredients, it was so flavorful I opted to forgo any dressing and thoroughly enjoyed it.

My dining companion said his French dip sandwich was somewhat bland. He noted that the roll was fresh, and the portion of meat was generous, though he would have preferred it to be leaner.

For dessert, I took home a generous slice of housemade orange layer cake. It was divine.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Appetizers include spinach artichoke dip, shrimp cocktail, nachos, Dungeness crab cakes and chicken bites. Pasta entrees include a DuckTales Homemade Macaroni and Cheese made with three cheeses and diced ham, topped with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, as well as DuckTales Southwest Pasta which combines grilled chicken, tomatoes, black olives and black beans with pasta shells in a cheddar chipotle cream sauce. Dinner entrees include wild-caught salmon served pan-seared with a lemon caper dill sauce, a French-cut pork chop, country fried steak, chicken Cordon Bleu, and a 10-ounce hand-cut ribeye topped with sauteed mushrooms and bearnaise sauce.

Atmosphere: The decor is unchanged since my last visit a few years ago. It is no less clean or worn than it was then. The vibe of DuckTales is friendly, more like a cafe than a diner. Two main dining areas are located at either end of a tall counter at the open kitchen.

Other observations: It was fairly busy on the evening of my weekday visit, but the restaurant was adequately staffed with competent and attentive servers. Our server was very knowledgable about menu items and was attentive without being intrusive. DuckTales offers professional catering, as well.

Cost: Breakfast dishes are $6 to $14.50 with sides priced at $2 to $4. At lunch, soup is $4 for a cup and $6 for a bowl. Salads cost $9.50 to $12.75. Burger baskets are $10 to $13.50. Sandwiches are available in half and whole sizes for $7.50 to $12. For dinner, appetizers range from $7 to $13. Pasta entrees are $13 to $16.50. Other dinner entrees served after 4 p.m. cost $16.75 to $21.

Dining out guide: DuckTales Kitchen

Where: 612 N. Devine Road, Vancouver.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Contact: 360-735-9732 or ducktailskitchen.com

Health score: DuckTales received a score of 23 on March 18. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.



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