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Dec 7, 2013 08:52 PM

Cassoulet is closing

It is not too surprising, given the location, prices and atmosphere of the restaurant, but I will be sad to see it go.

It appears that it will be open until the end of this year.

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  1. Too bad. I've not been there.

    Hope they have another endeavor in mind, maybe closer to town.

    1. Sad. We're going for a farewell brunch tomorrow. Wish they could have been located in a better place. It was an easy enough drive to get out there, but it had issues. Last time we went, it was so cold that we all had to leave our coats on for the entire meal. Didn't exactly add to the dining experience.

      7 Replies
      1. re: laurachow

        Hey - we're coming down tomorrow. Will try to hit either Jecykl & Hyde (JH Deli), Dashi, or the new Soy House downtown (repeat visit).

        1. re: LotusRapper

          If you ended up at Dashi, I'll be very interested in your opinion. We were quite unimpressed with the noodles, but don't know if it was just an off day.

          1. re: L.Nightshade

            They were closed :-/

            We had to pick up some items at Target at Bellis Fair enroute to Fairhaven, and wouldn't ya know it it was just before 11am and we were hungry. Without giving away where we actually ended up eating, let's just say for some strange reasons, we were happy with our meal, given the timeless comfort and immed. readiness of the foods, and the low low prices :-)

            1. re: LotusRapper

              I won't inquire further. Sometimes that just works out to be exactly what you need!

          2. re: LotusRapper

            Aw, you could have gone across the street to the original Soy House! But, I know how that hunger things goes. Sometimes you need food FAST! Or, there is a Mexican place at the second roundabout north on Cordata that people like, and I'm sure they need the business. California Tacos, it used to be a popular food cart. It is in the same strip mall as Goji Fusion Bistro. Then, of course, there is the CO-OP!!! We have good food!! Next time you're in the neighborhood!

            PS: If you go to Dashi and they still have the smoked tempeh special, you can skip it. It wasn't so great.

            1. re: laurachow

              Thanks LC. Yes, hunger does not promote rational thinking. We ate at "OCB". But FWIW it was a relaxing brunch, and by the end of meal time when I got to the soft serve machine and getting my sprinkles topping, I felt like a giddy 8 yr-old :-)

              California Tacos .... must have replaced that short-lived Indian place run by the father/daughter team.

              1. re: LotusRapper

                Exactly. Still miss the Indian place. Hope CA Tacos can survive. My daughter hit OCB with her friend's family. She liked it, probably for the same reason!

        2. We had our farewell brunch at Cassoulet on Sunday. It was sort of sad. The pastry case was empty. The waitress seemed pretty sad. It was very quiet. But, we enjoyed our food and enjoyed eating there one last time. :(

          19 Replies
          1. re: laurachow

            They must have appreciated your patronage.

            Did they indicate any future plans ?

            1. re: LotusRapper

              I wish Tiffany the best. I'm sure her heart is broken--she's a single mom with three kids, can't be easy.

                1. re: laurachow

                  They coulda benefited from a cashmob thingey like Mi Casa :-/

                  1. re: LotusRapper

                    IDK--They sort of participated in the Hannegan Farm and Home cash mob, but it didn't save either biz. Now Mi Casa is once again asking for support.

                    1. re: laurachow

                      Sorry I'm not familiar with the cash mob thing, I'm guessing it's a social media blitz to generate awareness and patronage to a business. Good idea, but I wonder if a business "cash mob'd" 2, 3, or more times that in the long run the concept would be of a disservice in the long run. A rhetorical question.

                      1. re: LotusRapper

                        I think that a cash mob might be able to generate a bit of publicity or buzz (not to mention a quick infusion of needed cash) but it won't save a restaurant that is failing because people don't want to regularly eat there.

                        I liked the food at cassoulet but it failed for good reasons. I didn't choose to eat there but a few times. The food was not good enough to overcome the negatives. I suspect I am not the only "good food loving chowhound" that had similar reasons for eating elsewhere more often. I don't think a cash mob fixes anything unless enough buzz gets generated so that it creates regular customers, that will choose to eat there over the many other options around.

                        1. re: sedimental

                          I can't speak for Cassoulet since I've not been there. But yes that's exactly what I was implying, that *if* a restaurant has some chronic issues then cash mobs isn't the solution. Sort of like welfare cheques to folks who for a variety of reasons aren't able to become self-sufficient/reliant in the long run. Sad but it's a reality.

                          1. re: LotusRapper

                            Yup. When I look at my choices last year, for choosing a very northwest, casual environment restaurant with what I want to eat, wood tables and chairs, good food drink pairing options...from very high brow to very low brow...negatives to positives...cassoulet lost out.

                            The Willows won my business, even with the negatives of price, location inconvenience , set menu and time for dinner, two week advance reservation, etc. the Willows is still a good "value" to me.

                            The other one, low brow, is Boundary Bay. Mediocre bar food for most of the menu, can be crowded and noisy, sometimes spotty service, but I really think they have the mac and cheese and thai vegetarian wrap nailed! Those are the only things I order, but really like them. Great variety of
                            food and beer pairings. So, It is a good "value" to me.

                            Cassoulet had 30 dollar beans and meat as their "star" dish. It was VERY good cassoulet though. You had to go to a Lynden strip mall, eat in a pole building atmosphere, dine elbow to elbow with people not of your choosing, terrible food and drink pairings on offer, very expensive apps and "extras". This lead my check to be over 200 dollars. Not a good value to me.

                            I would have continued to go for brunch had they stayed open, but dinner probably wouldn't have happened much. Sadly, I would choose to continue be a regular or more frequent customer at both the Willows and Boundary Bay (given all the negatives) over Cassoulet. Admittedly, that is a strange concept, but true. Being a restaurant owner and trying to figure out your demographics and customer base, has got to make ones nerves wiggle. It is not all about the food.

                            1. re: LotusRapper

                              My comparison would be keeping someone in total organ failure on lifesupport, but yeah, we're thinking about it in the same way. It's doomed, and for reasons very fundamental.

                              Sedimental, did you get a Willows rez without staying over? I live like ten minutes from the ferry and can't reconcile myself to spending $300 on a hotel room I don't need just to eat there. Everytime we call and try to get a table, we're turned away.

                              1. re: Neecies

                                I ate at the willows twice in 2013. Both times, I stayed in the cottages.
                                I ate there a few times in 2012 , I did not stay the night for one of those dinners, I stayed at friends house on the island. I made the reservation about 2 or 3 weeks in advance.

                                My spouse is telling me to make a reservation now for sometime in February or March. To stay the night again ( we like the cottage room with the spa steam room/shower). I called tonight to do that, but no one answered. The inn might
                                be closed for the winter (for a few months). I think I remember that it does that.
                                Now might be a good time to call and see if you can get reservations easily without spending the night.

                                1. re: sedimental

                                  We've tried a dozen times or so and been turned down every time. They say call two weeks in advance--they will not reserve you without a room in any other time frame. I have no idea at what point during that two week period they give up on getting a room-filler and accept a dull old local, but we haven't hit the magic spot yet. I think what I should do instead is start calling the French Laundry. They book six weeks out. :)

                                  1. re: Neecies

                                    And French Laundry is "only" 14 hrs direct drive from where you are ;-)

                                    1. re: LotusRapper

                                      I know you are kidding, but you can easily fly there from bellingham for the weekend. Vegas, Napa valley and Frisco are easy weekend serious foodie trips! I go to one of those cities every other month, primarily to eat and relax. You can be there in time for lunch :)

                                      Gotta love our little "international"airport!

                                      1. re: sedimental

                                        Hey, I was serious! And yes it's an easy flight. I have a zillion miles stacked up on Alaska Airlines so no problem. I also have a small Mercedes RV ready to go which wouldn't be a bad way to go--room for a wine haul!

                                        1. re: Neecies

                                          Do it.
                                          I love living in the ' ham. Good food, stones throw to Seattle or Vancouver, 5 hours to Portland, wine country all around, and direct flights to the major food cities on the west lunch. Who could ask for more?

                                          1. re: sedimental

                                            .... how about better Asian foods in 'ham :-)

                                          2. re: Neecies

                                            Interstate wine haul ...... so you're Bandit, who'll be Smokey ? ;-)

                2. NEWS: A friend drove over there yesterday and talked to Tiffany. The owner of the building raised the rent to a number she couldn't afford to pay--in part to get her out of there, as he has a Mexican restaurant waiting to take over the space. Nice, eh?

                  She's looking for another space.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Neecies

                    I hope she gets a nice space in town. The current location is pretty odd.

                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                      It is/was, that's for sure. On the other hand, some 'odd' locations work almost just because they're odd. Like the Rhododendron Café. Cassoulet was at least bookended by two significant populations. Not that Lyndenites eat out much.