The food gods wouldn’t let me give up the chorizo crawl without trying a designer chorizo.
I stopped by Hidden City Sunday for coffee and a pastry for my drive up to Santa Rosa to buy a Crane melon. Sitting at the front counter waiting my order I found two things ...
1. I forgot how good the food is at Hidden City. Some drool-inducing dishes were whisked out of the kitchen.
2. They have a back room. I’ve been going two years and never realized there was a room in back to the right of the three-seat counter.
So waiting for my take-out order, I’m looking over the brunch menu and thinking lamb hash sounds good. Also they seem to have a Mexican thing going this week with the carnitas ... and there it is ... Hobb’s chorizo as this week’s special. Sigh.
Ok, I did want to try an upscale chorizo to end my chorizo crawl. What are the chances that Hobb’s chorizo and I would be in the same place and at same time?
They were very nice and let me just order the chorizo as a side. When I ordered the cake I said that I needed something to munch on while driving.
“You can’t drive and eat chorizo:”
“I know”, I said, probably with a mad glint in my eye, “But I have this chorizo thing going lately and ...”
They gave me the chorizo.
This is a whole different class of chorizo that has no resemblance to its humbler Mexican cousins. This is not a chorizo meant to be crumbled and scrambled in eggs, but grilled and served like sausage aside the eggs or in a nice bun.
The casing is not incidental. It is part of the whole with a lovely snap.
The solid chorizo is meaty with amazing, subtle spicing. At first I thought there was none. I’m not sure how they do this but the heat is very background so that even those who don’t like heat would not be offended. But it has a floral, habenero quality to it so that spice lovers would be happy.
When I had the rest cold for dinner, like some Mexican chorizos I noticed a little vinegar taste. It’s a sausage symphony with the spicing contributing to the whole flavor composition, not at all flashy. As burnt out on chorizo as I am, I could eat a couple of these easy.
The pound cake at Hidden City was rich and moist. Assuming I would pull over to eat the chorizo (ha ... have fork, have cut sausage, can drive) they added a container of whipped cream and fresh peaches which is normally served with the cake. Yeah, that was lovely too ... especially the whipped cream.
They have some really friendly and nice servers at the restaurant which is a change from my first visit where the service was slightly cold.
Hidden City, run by a former Chez Panisse chef, is a pretty, casual, cafe in a charming, sleepy town ... and there are some great beaches and picnic areas nearby with sweeping views of SF, the bridges and Marin. The perfect place to finish reading the Sunday paper and take a nice stroll.
Hidden City Cafe
109 Park Place
PHONE: (510) 232-9738
Tuesday-Friday: Breakfast 7:30-11:15 a.m.Lunch 11:30a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: Brunch 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.