Courthouse Cafe in Salinas
This small storefront kitty-corner from City Hall has been home to several restaurants over the years. Some wonderful, others not so much. When the last occupant, Bahama Grille (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705344 ) shut its doors, I waited awhile before trying the new kids on the block, tired of becoming attached to only have to say farewell. Today Mom and I dropped into Courthouse Café late morning expecting to grab some breakfast grub. Nope, with only a breakfast sandwich or breakfast burrito that didn’t appeal on the menu, we shifted to the other offerings. One orders, pays and picks up at the counter.
I ordered lunch fare: half a tuna salad sandwich with the corn chowder soup of the day, $6.95. The corn chowder had some bacon among the corn niblets and was lightly thickened by the potatoes. Unmucked up by flour paste, the clean and direct flavors shined through. Mom approved of the soup, finishing off the last drops. The tuna salad, made with albacore, celery, pickle relish and black olives, was fine though I’m not a fan of too much relish and olives and probably wouldn’t order it again. What was particularly special was the wonderfully moist and hearty-flavored seeded whole grain bread from Sumanos Bakery (http://www.sumanosbakery.com/HealthyGrainLoaf.html ) in Watsonville
Mom went for the individual sized lemon meringue tart, $3.95. When I reached for my knife to cut it in two, one of the ladies rushed over to advise me to dip my knife in my glass of water first. Voila! A very clean cut. With a very light crust, the lemon filling seemed a bit stiffer than usual, and the meringue was plentiful and quite moist.
The pastry case is full of other housebaked goodies. I’m sure we’ll be back to try more of them.
42 W Gabilan St
Salinas, CA 93901
M-F, 8:30am to 2:30pm