Seaweed Cafe (Bodega Bay) Worth the Trip
Ten good friends journied up and over to Bodega Bay last weekend to celebrate the 60th birthday of a dear friend. Our destination was the Seaweed Cafe, of which there have been mixed reviews. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/412644 (although I seem to remember a Melanie review from several years ago when she and friends were luxuriating on the Sonoma Coast for a long weekend); website: www.seaweedcafe.com Some great (food); some not so great (mostly service). So I sat down to eat with just a bit of mixed feelings, too. Other than the service which was pretty slow but always friendly, I come down on the really great side.
We were seated at a long table in the corner of the two-dining roomed restaurant. Fairly promptly we were given our menus and a Mimosa to begin the celebration. The Brunch Menu has specials which change weekly, as well as some restaruant favorites. This Sunday the tried and trued included a french toast w/ fruit compote, a garden salad w/ goat cheese, a chicken bistro salad and coastal cheese selection. The specials included a duck confit, baked queso fresco w/ egg and veggies, and the breakfast sandwich.
We started out w/ assorted homemade scones, fresh bread w/ herbs and the sweetest butter I have ever tasted. I really didn't need the starches, just give me the butter and a spoon, it was that creamy and good.
The ten guests only ordered three dishes: the french toast; the queso fresco and the ham sandwich. The french toast was made with thick country bread and a wonderdous not too tart, not too sweet berry sauce with maple syrup. The queso fresco came piping hot w/ assorted veggies and a poached egged on top. One of the guests gave it a hmmm because the potatoes tasted off. I ordered the ham sandwich and couldn't have been happier. The bread was crispy toasted; the poached egg nicely runny; the alfalfa-fed ham sweet and thin-sliced; the melted cheese some kind of Jarlsberg. My dish came w/ a side of mixed greens in a perfectly dressed viniagrette. All dishes were under $13.00.
I said earlier that the service was slow, but the waitstaff was very friendly and the dishes were served right off the grill/out of the oven. We were there for over three hours, in part due to the service but also because we were celebrating. We were never encouraged to leave.
The service is meant to be slow - they have 1 chef cooking for the whole restaurant turning out wonderful, heart-food, sooooo wonderful. I go there when I need to SLOW down, so please, if you go, know that the owner is French (the good kind of French) so food lovingly prepared, the way you wished it tasted when you cook it, but give yourself over, don't go there starving and don't go with anything but the very best company, because it is a place to linger, talk, eat, linger.