$13 Worth of the Jitters

Coffee and toast at Nervous Nellie’s.

Where? Nervous Nellie's Espresso Co., 1556 N.W. 56th St., 706-1095. BALLARDWhat does $13 get you? Swedish toast with butter and Kalles Kaviar ($2.65); Swedish toast with butter, cheese, and jam ($3.15); a tall Americano ($2.05); a tall decaf vanilla latte ($2.95 plus $0.25 for the shot of vanilla); plus tax and 90 cents to toss in the tip jar.Official tasting notes: At least once a week, Nervous Nellie's is my shelter from the storm on the way to catch my morning bus.The menu is pretty straightforward, as the sign outside indicates: coffee and toast. I think Nellie's lattes are by far among the best in the city, but I know many a coffee shop lays claim to that title. The toast, in all of its thick Swedish glory, is made with bread baked fresh by the Great Harvest Bread Company, and I'd be happy just eating a loaf sans toppings. But the toppings are where it's at. My dining companion opted for the adventurous butter and Kalles Kaviar (yes, with a K) combo. Swedish kaviar is codfish roe made into a paste and shoved into a tube, which the kind folks at Nervous Nellie's squeeze out into fishy, salty goodness (it's also great with sliced hard-boiled eggs, another toast topping). I got the butter, Scandinavian cheese, and strawberry jam. The mildness of the cheese combined with the sweetness of the strawberries—it was a little taste of heaven.Speaking of the great beyond, Nellie's also has a "put it on my tab" option—in a pinch, let me stress—for those who find themselves a little short on cash, which is the only accepted form of payment. The tab is a little notebook called Hell—for a reason. Sure, you can write down an IOU, complete with your name, phone number, and what you owe. But if you don't pay it back in a timely manner, they'll be calling you. At 6 a.m. on Christmas Day if necessary. But selling your soul for Swedish toast topped with Nutella, peanut butter, or apple butter? I'd say it's worth it. JEN HARPERTo read a new 13 Dollars every week, check out Voracious, the Weekly's food blog: www.seattleweekly.com/voracious.

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