In Full Bloom
Lunch at The Gardens Café features our favorites and in season fare.
By Jan Walsh
So much more than a bridal and garden club destination, lunch at The Gardens Cafe, by Kathy G. is always pristine, plentiful, and pleases all.
The Café boasts one of the best hamburgers in town. Kathy G.’s son, Jason Mezrano is executive chef at Kathy G. and Company. So, no wonder the burger rocks! Kev often suggests we lunch here. And it matters not what else is on the menu, I cannot stop Kev from ordering it. And I understand because I also have my go to dishes here, the tomato salad and soup of the day. For me, eating clean comes easy here. Today’s soup is Spiced Green Tomato. Realizing I have never had a green tomato soup, I am eager to try it. Tomato Salad is also in season and on the menu. Chicken or shrimp can be added to any salad, so we select shrimp. The piping soup is finished with a garnish of cilantro lime cream shaped into a G¾Kathy G.’s signature. But it might as well stand for “Gorgeous” because this creamy soup is bursting with fresh, green tomato goodness. The salad is a high rise of juicy, colorful, vine ripe summer tomatoes, layered with fresh mozzarella, and dressed in basil pesto and apple cider vinaigrette. The tomato tower is showered with a corn and field pea salad that rounds out this dish. Both the tomato soup and salad are highly recommended!
For entrees Kev, of course, opts for the 8-ounce Sirloin Burger, and I have the Quiche of the Day. I finally get it… the secret to the burger’s popularity is hiding in plain sight on the menu, in a word, “sirloin.” He raves about it again: the quality of the beef, freshness of the kaiser bun, perfect thickness, cooked medium to medium well, and generously crowned in melted chedda, or Swiss if you prefer. You won’t find better fries anywhere, well salted, golden with the slight crunch on the outside yet white and fluffy on the inside. The comforting and savory quiche is a ham studded, velvety custard, which fulfills rather than fills. It comes with a lovely side salad, generous in size, and finished with a delightful roasted shallot vinaigrette.
Dessert at The Gardens Café is always a must. Vanilla is to Kev, what chocolate is to me. So, we select the Chocolate Torte and Vanilla Crème Brulee. The brulee’s brittle top of caramelized sugar cracks with a tap of the spoon, revealing the classic, chilled, glistening custard inside. Nutty and delicate flavors of vanilla shine through this trinity of cream. We plan to share both desserts. Yet, I admit that I cannot resist more than my share of the flourless torte’s deep, dark, rich, chocolaty fudge cake. It flaunts that perfect sweet spot of dark chocolate¾not bitter, balanced. Both desserts are further enhanced by strawberries and fresh, whipped cream.
If you can’t make it in for lunch, The Gardens Café also offers take out, which is available in larger quantities: whole quiches, quarts or pints of chicken salad, and quarts of both soup and dressing.
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