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Point Reyes -- Station House Cafe and Bovine Bakery

nja | Oct 20, 200306:50 PM

Had lunch and dessert, respectively, at these two places on Friday...

Station House Cafe

Summary: we were not impressed.

Large restaurant with a beautiful garden. We were warned about bees in the garden, so we chose to eat inside. The menu was not unlike the one in the link above, though each item is now $2 to $3 more expensive.

Things started well when I asked the waiter what the specialties were ("the meatloaf is good, we're famous for the burger, the pumpkin ravioli was just added back to the menu and is always a hit...") but he proceeded to recommend about 75% of the menu. We selected the burger, chicken quesadilla, a half dozen Hog Island oysters, and a glass of Trefethen Dry Riesling.

The oysters were rather poor. Fishy tasting and drained of their juices.

The flour tortilla on the quesadilla was soft, as though baked in the oven rather than cooked on a griddle. The chicken, black beans, corn, and cheese weren't very flavorful. The pico de gallo was mildly spicy and had nice fresh tomatoes. I was especially annoyed when we were charged $1.25 for the extra salsa we requested when what came with the quesadilla ran out.

The small yet fat burger was cooked medium rare as requested and came on a whole wheat bun with Jarlsburg cheese. The Niman Ranch meat was plenty juicy but it really didn't have much flavor -- it needed more salt and beefiness. Provided as garnish for self-assembly were: tomatoes (good, fresh), pickles (sweet, canned variety), and lettuce (one large leaf of romaine, not terribly fresh). The potato chips were perhaps the highlight of the meal. They were homemade, thick, and fresh out of the fryer. In one sense they were undercooked: many of them were still soft and starchy in the middle rather than crispy. But I really liked them that way; the range of textures and flavors was excellent.

Total bill was about $50. Not worth it.

Bovine Bakery

Summary: very good

Mexican wedding cookies were not available, so we instead indulged on some of the seasonal offerings: a pumpkin muffin and pumpkin cheesecake square.

The muffin was not billed as low fat, but I suspect it was due to its light breadiness and because it left no oil stain on the bag it sat in for several hours. The muffin itself had mild pumpkin flavor, intense spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc., the usual pumpkin spices), and, I suspect, obtained all of its minimal sweetness from the pumpkin and raisins with little or no added sugar. It was very good and was devoured in short order.

The pumpkin cheesecake square was reduction of pumpkin pie with whipped cream -- about a quarter of a whole pie shrunk into a 3"x3"x1/2" block. A flaky, buttery, tasty crust (~4mm) was topped by a very thin (~2mm) layer of sweetened cream cheese, and that topped with a thick (~6mm) layer of dark pumpkin pie filling. While sweeter than the muffin, it was not overly sweet. Very good, very rich, satisfying morsel. The bag for the square was mostly translucent by the time the square was eaten.

$5 for both ($2 on muffin, $3 on square, I think). Well worth it.


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