When I’m on the road, there’s nothing better than stumbling into an unfamiliar town (preferably small enough to throw a Frisbee across) and finding a hidden gastronomic gem. I feel as if I’ve miraculously discovered some pirate’s buried treasure … without a map! The only difference is, I can’t wait to share this find with everyone I know. 😉
Hence, the start of a fun new series here on C3: Road Trip Hits. Taking a page from Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, this ongoing series will feature some of those little known paragons of road-trip rations.
I have always avoided Santa Rosa like the plague. All because of a rather large guy named Edd Hoyt … or Jabba The Hoyt, as he was known by some. He was a General Manager at a station I worked at early in my radio career. And, he lived to make most of the station’s employees lives, including mine, a living nightmare. He once confessed to me, as he gleefully walked down the hallway after firing a colleague, that he got a bigger rush out of firing somebody than he did from drugs. Back in those days, he did a lot of both … or, so it seemed.
So you can see why, when Jabba left the radio station to run his own piece of the broadcast industry in quaint little Santa Rosa, I not only breathed a mammoth sigh of relief, I also vowed never to spend one minute in the northern California town. I wouldn’t even stop there for gas!
However, Edd vacated the town several years ago, or so I was told. Even if he hadn’t I think I can take him now. 😉 Regardless, I couldn’t wait to hit the town for a stop at our next Road Trip Hit: Hank’s Creekside Restaurant (2800 4th Street Santa Rosa, CA 95405-4743 707-575-8839). While most of the venues in this series will be found purely by fate, I have to admit that Guy Fieri first previewed Hank’s in his D3 series. For good reason … it rocks!
While waiting outside the short 15 minutes for our table we met a lovely retired couple who, for years, had been frequenting Hank’s several times a week. “You can’t order a bad thing on the menu, ’cause they don’t have one”, the gentleman told us while also exalting the virtues of their coffee – “The best I’ve ever had!” The former was music to my ears, while the latter went in one ear and out the other being that I don’t drink java (that’s a story for another time). But, the Cavewoman was eager with anticipation about the prospects of an incredible cup of coffee, as she has told the Cavekids and me on occasion that she likes her cup of Joe better than she likes us! We soon found out for ourselves that our new acquaintance was dead-on on both accounts.
I was close to ordering the house special, Joe’s Scramble, but the allure of the Crab Cake Eggs Benedict was too much for me to bear. The Cavewoman opted to split some Fresh Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with the Cavegirl while the Caveboy went with a “small” order of French Toast.
I must say, the house special is going to have to be so off-the-hook incredible if it is going to be in the same league as the Benedict. The Dungeness Crab used in the cakes is so fresh and the filling almost non-existent – it’s amazing the cake holds together. Plus, the flavor it brings to the lemony Hollandaise Sauce and poached-to-perfection eggs is such a perfect combination, you’ll have to really force yourself not to exude sighs of gastronomic pleasure. Though, I didn’t have the strength!
I never got a bite of the Caveboy’s dish because he inhaled it before I could stop mewling long enough to even think about it. Though, I did get in on some of the girls’ Blueberry Pancakes. Boy, am I glad I did! That may have been the best pancake I’ve ever tasted. Fluffy, yet dense. Yes, I know that sounds dichotomous like soft, yet hard; easy, yet difficult; or skinny, yet fat. But, that’s exactly how they were, with just the right amount of Blueberries, too.
As we sat and ate our delicious meal, with a great view of the kitchen counter (and the flowing creek outside, too), plate after plate of amazing looking food kept being swept away to the tables around us. I’m surprised the waitpersons didn’t get annoyed when we continuously asked, “What was that?!?”. It certainly was enough to entice us to come back and try more of the inviting creations Hank’s has to offer. Besides, the Cavewoman exclaimed with her first sip of morning brew, “This is the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had!” So, if nothing else, we’ll be coming back for the perk.
©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.