Sunday, March 29, 2015

Traditional California Fare

Greg and I ate at a lot of places in California. This week I am taking you to NorCal where we grabbed steak sandwiches at a roadside, classic Hollywood-themed diner called Josie's Star Cafe on our drive from the Oakland airport to Eureka, dined on vegan Mexican fare at Gracis Madre in the Mission in San Francisco, grabbed morning coffee and tea from the Blue Danube Coffee House in Alameda, chowed down on some delicious Japanese food (I got nikudon!) enjoyed a nice pre-flight "Original" chai blended, and so much more.

But I am going to focus on the Samoa Cookhouse located in Humboldt County. (For those keeping track, that's one county away from the Oregon border, so it's up there. This also means Greg and I spanned almost the entire length of the state of California in our 9 days of travel. And it wasn't enough.) 

The Samoa Cookhouse is possibly the last remaining "lumber style" cookhouse still operating. It dates to 1890! There is also a museum to the logging history of the area, which reminded me a little of our visit to the Hartwick Pines State Park last September. This may make me a dork, but I found it really interesting to contrast these two very different regions, so far apart, still sharing so much history. 

At the Samoa Cookhouse, you do not pick your meal from a list of varied options. If you want to pick your food, check the menu posted on their Facebook page and find a night whose menu sounds good to you. It changes and all diners are served the same delicious dishes family style. Here is what the website says:

Breakfast, served family style, can include eggs, french toast, pancakes, sausages, biscuits & gravy, hash browns, coffee and orange juice. Lunch and Dinner, served family style, include entrée, soup, salad, bread, vegetable, potato, coffee, tea and dessert.

My friend and former roommate from San Francisco days, Sherelle, works there now (and was our guide to True NorCal). The three of us went to the Cookhouse for breakfast and enjoyed biscuits and gravy (my favorite road food), scrambled eggs, French toast, bacon, orange juice, coffee... It was awesome. If you do not leave satisfied, you were clearly doing it wrong.

Humboldt maybe isn't the biggest destination in California, but it is absolutely gorgeous. Mountains, redwoods, the shoreline... It's also a vibrant place! And the Samoa Cookhouse is a unique spot that I'd frequent if I lived in the area. On the one hand, it's too bad there aren't more places like it. On the other, I like that it's special. :)

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