Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Eating like a lumberjack

August 18, 2013
Garden Vegetable Soup
Garden Salad
Roast Beef with Jus
Fried Chicken
Baked Potato
White Bread
Spice Cake

We spent five days camping at beautiful (albeit slightly damp) Patrick's Point State Park on California's Redwood Coast where we enjoyed visiting our daughter, Caryn, who attends nearby Humboldt State University, and her boyfriend, Alex. Most evenings we ate in camp enjoying typical camp food. On Sunday, though, the four of us attended a really excellent production of Shrek, The Musical and dined at the Samoa Cookhouse.

According to a plaque near the entrance, "This is the last lumber camp style cookhouse in operation in North America. Meals have been served here continuously for over 105 years ..." Diane and I have known about this spot for many years, having seen the signs on US 101 when driving through Eureka, but we had never eaten here. When Caryn first came to nearby Arcata for college three years ago she was a vegetarian so we never considered eating here. Now Caryn is no longer a vegetarian. Plus, she and Diane found a list of "25 great things to see and do in Humboldt County". Caryn has done something like 19 of them in her three years, but she had not eaten at the Cookhouse, which was included on the list of 25.  Combing these factors, they decided we had to try it.

Food is served family style and you don't order from a menu. The entre├ęs change from day to day but the kitchen prepares the same thing for everyone. It's all-you-can eat and the prices for dinner and lunch are reasonable, though we thought the breakfast price seemed high. We arrived relatively early for dinner and they seated us at one end of a long table. The meal started with soup and salad served with thick slices of homemade white bread. Following this they brought out bowls with beef, baked potatoes, fried chicken, and peas. They did a very good job estimating how much we would eat as we finished it all and no one asked for seconds. Dessert was spice cake, though we had originally been told it would be a peach cake but I guess they ran out.

Overall, the food was good. There was nothing fancy about the home-
style meal but everything tasted good and the service was prompt and friendly. The beef was braised and reasonably tender, served in a jus. The fried chicken was tender and juicy with a thick crunchy coating that was perhaps a tad too salty. The cake was nice and tender with just the right amount of frosting.

I would certainly be happy to eat here again should the opportunity present itself. Maybe for graduation next May.

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