The Silverdale Cafe and the Navy Cook offer another “choice” of fast food

Michael C. Moore

Choice Guess, owner of Choice's Cafe on Ridgetop in Silverdale, is a Navy CS 2 on active duty at Naval Station Kitsap/Bangor.  He's cooking a bacon and cheese burger for a guest.

SILVERDALE — When Choice Guess joined the Navy, he said all recruits received the same advice.

“They said to make sure we were ready to do something else when we got out,” he said.

Thus, Guess takes a step ahead. In addition to working as a cook (Culinary Specialist 2) at the Trident Inn Galley at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, he opened a shop at the back of Sam Lee’s Union 76 Gas Station and Convenience Store at the corner of Ridgetop Boulevard and NW Tahoe Lane. Choice’s Cafe serves fast food fare for lunch and dinner on days it is not on active duty.

“If you want something different, you can keep coming here,” he said of Choice’s, a one-man business that expands the burger, sandwich and taco niche of most food establishments. franchise type fast.

“I wanted to do fast food,” Guess said. “But I didn’t want to be like most places where you can only have a burger or chicken or a taco. I don’t just focus on one thing.”

Fried side dishes at Choice's Cafe in Silverdale.

That’s good for customers, who can place multiple orders at the same counter (and the five stools that make up Choice’s entire dining capacity) and never get the same type of food twice.

It complicates things. Guess must have fresh ingredients on hand for everything from traditionals like the Philly cheesesteak sandwich and bacon cheeseburger to makin’s for street tacos, quesadillas, gyoza, salad, mac and cheese and pickles fried.

“It’s a bit difficult to have it all here, but it’s worth it,” Guess said. “I think customers appreciate it.”

Currently, the menu contains a dozen items and almost as many sides. Entrees can be ordered a la carte or in a combo with two sides or one side and a drink. No entry goes over $8.99 and combos cap out at $10.99.

Navy sailor Marc White from Bangor waits for his order outside Choice's Cafe in Silverdale.

With his eyes on his future after his release, Guess said he investigated buying a franchise, with little luck.

“I was trying to buy a Chick-Fil-A, then a Subway, but it never worked out,” he said. “So I decided to go ahead and open my own place.”

He saw the small vacant kitchen in the back of Lee’s store while walking through his Ridgetop neighborhood, where he lives with his wife and baby daughter. It struck a deal with Lee and opened its doors last August. He cooks either on the base or on the Ridgetop, except on Sundays.

The key ingredient to enjoying Choice’s cuisine might be the location’s phone number. Customers are urged to call ahead – first, to ensure that Guess is indeed open at that time, and second, to place orders in advance. The phone rings at the store checkout and calls are forwarded to the kitchen.

Choice's Cafe on Ridgetop in Silverdale is busy during lunchtime.  Owner is a Navy CS 2 on active duty at Kitsap/Bangor Naval Base.

“It works pretty well,” he said of his work schedule. “You work five days and you take two, but then you work two days and you take five. So I can be here for a bit.”

Guess, who is originally from Southern California, said he couldn’t help but notice empty eating places around Kitsap, where he said he might be inclined to stay once his days in the Navy completed.

“I like it here,” he said. “I’m from Los Angeles, and people seem friendlier here.”

Guess said her unusual first name came from her mother, who “always wanted me to have a choice in life…even if it was just my name.”

Currently, he is also ensuring that Kitsap fast food customers have a choice.

CONTINUED:The Battlegrounds Cafe is open for trading, battles and card flipping in Poulsbo


Or: 1195 NW Tahoe Ln., Silverdale

Open: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday to Saturday (orders by phone recommended)

Contact: 360-613-0300,

Comments are closed.