A few weeks ago, I ventured up to Cloverdale's Hamburger Ranch and Pasta Farm and was surprised to see the changes. The place had been spruced up with fresh paint and a new, brighter face on things. I think there's a new restroom. Amazingly, the postcards from all over the world were saved and have been tacked up back on the walls. New country has replaced the muzak, though I still miss the down and dirty blues. I asked one of the waitresses what had happened. She said that there was no change in ownership, however, the current owner had brought back the old menu and the original owner was consulting in the kitchen to make the food the same way it used to be. It was sounding promising.
On that first lunch visit after a long absence, I had a half order of penne with Ray's housesmoked salmon, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes in cream sauce. It tasted much the way I remembered, though the pasta had not been drained enough and watered down the sauce. Not bad.
What brought me back was the breakfast special on the board, Ray's homemade corned beef hash, $7.50. On Saturday I gave this a try. It was a clear morning and already warm enough to dine outside on the shaded patio. The hash had fresh cooked potatoes and onions mixed in with the finely chopped corned beef. Minced up too much for me and served too wet, but it did have good flavor with a strong bay leaf note. The housemade hot sauce was great with it. The eggs were over easy as ordered, if a little rubbery along the edges of the whites. The cake-like slice in the photo below is a "biscuit". This stick-to-the-ribs breakfast stayed with me until my 9pm dinner. I would order it again, but would ask for the hash to be browned on the griddle.
Hamburger Ranch and Pasta Farm
31195 N. Redwood Hwy