What’s new at restaurants?
So many Sonoma residents lament that our restaurants never change, lack creativity and don’t care because tourists will always come. Many Sonomans venture out to Petaluma, Napa, Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Calistoga and even San Rafael for variety or just something new to them.
So this writer set out to find out what new and exciting items our restaurants are putting on their menus to perk things up. Here are a few examples from those who responded.
Breakaway Café, which will soon become Mint & Liberty diner, now offers the “Impossible Burger,” which they say is “a plant-based burger which looks and tastes like a meat burger but is indeed made with all plants.”
Impossible Burgers are trending, even here. According to impossiblefoods.com, the folks who invented these meatless burgers, say the burgers contain: “all-natural ingredients such as wheat, coconut oil, and potatoes.”
According to the Impossible Foods site, “impossible burgers” are made with heme, an iron compound found in hemoglobin, which gives blood its red pigment. According to Impossible Foods, it “is a basic building block of life on Earth, including plants, but it’s uniquely abundant in meat.” They say heme is what makes meat “smell, sizzle, bleed and taste gloriously meaty. Consider it the ‘magic ingredient’ that makes our burger a carnivore’s dream.”
Food scientists and designers have come up with this “burger” that appears to be able to bleed without blood. In such burgers, synthesized soy-root heme is often added to veggie- burger patties.
Melissa Cameron, a partner in the Breakaway Cafe, says they now also offer a pork chop sandwich with spring onion dip served with potato chips and are making their own pasta, currently rapini and rigatoni with agridolce onions, chili flakes and white wine. Tuesday is pasta night featuring the weekly pasta.
At its bakeshop, formerly known as Crisp and soon to be renamed Honey & Moon, the Hahn team is making its own English muffins daily and working on fresh cinnamon rolls, saying “We will soon be using all organic flours and sugars.’ 19101 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma. 996-5949.
Cochon Volant BBQ Smokehouse owner and chef Rob Larman came out with a new WTF Burger, as he calls it, almost in contrast to all those Impossible Burgers. His is one-third pound beef topped with caramelized onion and cheddar cheese, topped with barbecued pork shoulder and 14-hour smoked brisket, his Sonoma BBQ Sauce, then topped again with his new house cured maple bacon, all on a potato bun from the Basque Boulangerie, and topped once more with a chipotle pork cake. Try to get your mouth around that! He is moving his Pork Friday discounts to the first Thursday from now on. 15350 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma. 509-5480. Cochonvolantbbq.com.
El Molino Central has added a huge seafood cocktail of shrimp, scallops, octopus and avocado, accompanied by housemade chips, as well as a local halibut ceviche with avocado and chips, ahi poke tostadas with chipotle, mayo and avocado, and a potato, cheese and greens tamale with creamy green sauce to its “Early Spring No. 2 Menu.” 11 Central Ave., Boyes Hot Springs. 939-1010. Elmolinocentral.com.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn’s poolside Water Tower Bar offers the Impossible Burger with Bibb lettuce, tomato, Dijon mayo on brioche bun and a taco salad, a falafel wrap, a salmon BLT with basil aioli on rosemary focaccia, as well as a new cocktail list. 100 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma. 938-9000.