Sunday, August 29, 2010

Red Dot Pork

Cousin Jan and I had a play day recently. We drove to Santa Rosa to tour Luther Burbank's house and garden and to get all the inside gossip about his mother and his wives from the docent who obviously relished the human side of an icon. We took a lot of photos of beautiful flowers, learned what pawpaws look like, enjoyed a day of absolutely perfect weather, and had lunch at the Santa Rosa Junior College Culinary Café.

At the Café, all the cooks, prep cooks, bakers and servers, except three instructors, are students. They have a bakery case at the front of the store with temptations from the students who are learning to bake breads, cakes, cookies, etc., but you can also sit down to eat lunch there.

The front room is lively, with a view of the kitchen and lots of coming and going. We were ushered into the much quieter back dining room and seated by the window. The menu contained several tempting offerings as well as the welcome note at the bottom that Senior Citizens enjoy a 15% discount on their meals, a little reward for getting so darn old.

I ordered a pulled pork sandwich and Cousin Jan ordered a pizza. The student waiters were charming, with lots of smiles and earnest effort. Two days into the semester, service was a little ragged but I expect they will both earn A's by the end of the term. They brought lemon-scented water and iced tea to drink, were prompt about refilling our glasses, checked back with us to make sure everything was good, and generally did as good a job as many professional waiters do.

Here's the plate they brought me - overflowing, as you can see, and served open-faced with twice as much pulled pork as I could eat on a very soft bun, with hand cut shoestring potatoes and cole slaw made with a curly cabbage. The pulled pork had a pot of mango barbecue sauce on the side, just in case I needed more. It tasted simply sweet at first, so I asked for some hot sauce and our waiter brought out not one, not two, but three brands for me to choose from. I chose the sriracha; those are the little red dots you see decorating the sandwich.

If you're looking for an inexpensive outing for lunch, I'd recommend the Café. Almost all the heads in our dining room were gray - it's clearly a place where Senior Citizens gather, a sure sign of value for the buck. Even their steak is only $9.50 and that's before they apply the 15% discount for us old birds. Plus, it makes me feel young when almost everyone else in the room is older than I.

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Blogger Greg said...

I have always wanted to check them out. I took night classes there years ago but never had a weekday off to try them.Add that to my list.

Sunday, August 29, 2010  
Blogger namastenancy said...

What a lovely post! When I went to City College, I learned about their culinary arts program. They make the food for the cafeteria on campus and also, run a down town restaurant which is one of my favorite places for R&R after a stressful day of looking at art (and thinking of intelligent, witty, insightful...cough, cough) things to say.

Sunday, August 29, 2010  
Blogger Chilebrown said...

Have not heard about Luther Burbanks wives but we did see his pimp mobile at the fair.

Sunday, August 29, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, it's a student endeavor so it's not perfect, but quite, quite good.

Nancy, where is it? I'd love to visit sometime when I'm in town.

Chilebrown, huh? That's a new one - the docent didn't tell us about that.

Monday, August 30, 2010  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

I'm going to have to come over again, I didn't try pulled pork last time. I also forgot to eat a Twinkie!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Ms Mouse, yes, you simply must come over again. Not sure you'll truly benefit from the Twinkie but the pulled pork alone will be worth the trip.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010  

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