THE JOY OF EATING - At Willow Rest


You know that feeling you have when you get a dinner invitation from a friend who can really cook?  You’re psyched because not only will you get to eat awesome food, you will also enjoy the homey ease of being in a familiar spot. Well this is exactly what a trip to Willow Rest is like - except you don’t need an invitation.  (And, well, it costs money, which, I promise you will gladly hand over to ensure that Melissa and Glen never-ever stop cooking.)

On any given day a steady stream of locals and regulars are gregariously greeted by Melissa - most by their first names.  On this particular morning I ordered the Willows Bennie.  To my delight the dish was not soaked in a hollandaise that I knew would stop me four bites in with the feeling that I might never eat again. This sauce was merely an addition to the dish.  

The hero of the Bennie, in fact, was the English muffin with its buttery toasted edges surrounding the lovely grilled red onions and salty spinach with two perfectly poached eggs on top and finished with the delicate sauce. This is what I think shines at Willow Rest. Each and every bit of each and every dish is, by itself, insanely tasty. And they know how to put this collection of scrumptiousness together - perfectly.

I added to my order one buttermilk pancake.  I have never really liked buttermilk pancakes. However, in writing this I would have felt remiss in not trying one as the menu literally states, “best buttermilk pancakes ever”.  Fine.  So first of all, it is huge. I ordered one and it was the size of my head.  Snuggled next to it was a container of real maple syrup that even my fourteen-year-old son would have been happy with.  Once again, they get it.  Rich and buttermilky with trace amounts of cornmeal giving it just the slightest texture and totally taking away any doughiness. Heaven.

So go.  Go for the breakfast burrito or the daily breakfast frittata. Go for lunch and have one of the sixteen sandwich options (the Under the Bridge: crab-cake, bacon, greens, tomato and spicy mayo is marvelous), a lovely salad or a gorgeously topped focaccia for two.  And make sure to grab an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie when you check out (did I mention the homemade pastries?).  And yes, expect to be greeted warmly and definitely, definitely, expect great food.

tara maclay, awesome food, buttermilky, willow rest, restaurant