I'm re-posting a recommendation for Sunday brunch at Worth Our Weight, 630 Third Street in Santa Rosa, where Swensen's was a million years ago, next to the movie theatre. Phone is 707 544-1200.
WoW is a culinary apprenticeship program for at risk high school kids, run by Evelyn Cheatham, a chef with a commitment to both good food and community. I love this place. The food is very good, the price is right ($15 for the all-you-can-eat brunch buffet), and the kids are great. I love hearing them call Evelyn "Chef." These kids are the real deal and their passion for food comes through in their cooking, their food presentation, and their service.
The restaurant is open for Sunday brunch (I think the hours are 10-1, but call to make sure), dinner on Fridays (serving dosas only), and lunch Tuesday through Friday. WoW also runs a catering company, with a menu that's similar to the restaurant's. Our friends catered a meeting of about 30 people with them and were very pleased.
I wrote about the brunch food here:
You can read an archieved Press Democrat story about Wow here:
From the WoW website, worthourweight.com
"Worth Our Weight supports underserved young people, that is, economically disadvantaged youth who have faced challenges in their lives, including commitment to the foster care system, difficulties with the law, homelessness or significant family disruption. Our vision is to invite these people into the greater world of food, including farming, professional cooking and eating high quality food prepared by chefs and other food service professionals, as well as food they have prepared with their own hands. In this world they find a home for their vocational aspirations and work to create a better life for themselves and their families. By doing so, they are contributing to building healthy communities."
The apprentices participate in a comprehensive culinary program, which teaches food service fundamentals in a supportive, hands-on environment. Through this program, the apprentices will acquire marketable skills in food preparation, professional-level cooking, catering and basic small business management. They will learn teamwork, professionalism, and have the experience of being held to a standard of excellence. Through this work the apprentices gain an appreciation of where food comes from, an understanding often lost in our fast-food society.In addition to their day-to-day activities, apprentices will have the opportunity to take culinary-related field trips to conferences, competitions and culinary educational programs. Our goals for these field trips are to build the apprentices professional skill and to expose them to a world outside their often limited range of experiences."