After a long absence, we finally have breakfast and lunch (other than hot dogs - more on that below) that I can walk to! After Cafe Les Jumelles moved to Guerneville (and sadly, subsequently closed) the space at the corner of Hwy 116 and Beohmian Hwy was empty, then for a while held a sort of community swap meet, then was empty. But finally, over Memorial Day weekend, Holey Cow opened, and they are going strong. We ate there a week ago. My husband had eggs benedict and loved them, with house made Hollandaise sauce. I thought it looked like they were a little short on the Hollandaise, and I noticed another patron ordered them and asked for lots of sauce. The home fries that came with them were great: nice and carmelized outside and tender and soft inside, just enough onion to make it interesting but you could really taste potatoes. I had a half order of biscuits and gravy that was just perfect. The biscuits were tender and light and the gravy was creamy, savory and filled with lots of good sausage. I also had a fruit cup, and it was extra good because there were lots of really flavorful blueberries included. I was impressed that the fruit was all perfectly ripe, in season, and fresh. Everything is made in house and nothing except the benedicts are over $10. They are serving breakfast and lunch every day except Tuesday.
The new concession at the beach in Monte Rio is La Mixteca. They have hot dogs, hamburgers and tacos along with soft drinks and ice cream. We ate there on Saturday. We started off with a chicken taco and a pork taco each. They are small and come with lots of meat, salsa that packs a good kick, cilantro and onions. Both were delicious, just the right level of greasy, and very flavorful. The tortillas were especially good. They tasted homemade, I didn't think to ask. We were both still hungry after two (they are only $1.25 each) so I had another pork taco (just as good as the first one) and my husband had a hot dog. He said the hot dog was fine, but not as good as the tacos. Don's Dogs is right around the corner (across the street from Holey Cow) with really excellent hot dogs, so I'll probably stick to the tacos at La Mixteca. But they are very good tacos, and for $3.75 (plus a soda) I had a really good lunch and ate it in the shade at the picnic tables while watching the river roll by.
Village Inn never went away, but they only serve lunch during the summer. The weekend munch is back. I haven't been yet, but I've seen the menu and I know their food quite well. They are still serving Casa La Belle breads, so I know that the burger and sandwiches will be on great bread. And those incredible addicitve breadsticks should still come with the soup. (You can also buy them at the Occidental Farmers Market now!) I've mentioned before that Casa La Belle is two of my friends, but I wouldn't let that influence how I feel about the bread. The Village Inn does burgers very well, and they make perfect, yes I do mean perfect, fries. The salads are all delicious, super fresh, and dressed just right. I thought the sandwiches could use a bit more in the way of garnish or condiments, but the basics were very good. They excel at soups, and the crab cakes are not stellar but are very good. You absolutely can't beat the setting, on a balcony right over the river. The service is always very efficient and friendly, and the cocktails are excellent.
Occidental Farmers Market
Occidental, CA 95465, USA, Occidental, CA 95465
20822 River Boulevard, Monte Rio, CA 95462
Don's Dog Cafe
20396 Bohemian Hwy, Monte Rio, CA 95462