If you look closely, you’ll find hidden cafes in the most unlikely of spots: Office parks. It’s a growing trend, and one that goes against conventional wisdom of high foot-traffic, easy-to-find eateries open beyond 4p.m. But we think it’s kind of a brilliant idea to service the breakfast and lunch needs of office workers trapped in food deserts.
Take, for example, Chloe’s French Cafe (3883 Airway Dr., #415, Santa Rosa) which opened in 2008 and has become something of an institution for French pastries and casual lunches despite being at the back of a rather hidden medical building. Following suit, Chef John Franchetti’s namesake Franchetti’s Kitchen (1229 N. Dutton, Santa Rosa), Sondra Bernstein’s Suite D which features ramen pop-up dinners and other schwanky dining events, Bella Rosa Cafe (5491 Skyline Blvd. Suite 140, Santa Rosa), The Pharmacy Cafe (990 Sonoma Ave., #1, Santa Rosa), and now Starting from Scratch Cafe (404 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa in the Ag Credit building).
These aren’t food carts or industrial kitchens pouring out bland processed food, but wildly creative chefs bringing excellent restaurant food to hidden spots inside office buildings.
Starting From Scratch, which opened this week inside the luxe new Ag Credit complex near the Sonoma County Airport, is both cafe and catering kitchen for longtime caterers Greg and Tammy Long. You may remember them from their days as custom omelet and breakfast burrito makers at the Wells Fargo Center farm market, but their new venture ventures into killer burgers, salads, sandwiches, and pastries.
From the breakfast menu: Scratch biscuits and gravy; daily quiche, breakfast burritos, and cinnamon Challah bread French toast for breakfast. For lunch, a massive Cobb salad ($15). For lunch, try the grilled chicken breast with Brie bacon and caramelized onions ($14), BBQ pulled pork with homemade sauce and coleslaw ($13 with salad) or the upscale **Patty Melt** with John Ford grass fed beef, bacon, avocado, caramelized onions, Havarti cheese and sriracha aioli ($16 with salad).
The portions are truly massive, and like most caterers, Greg and Tammy let the food do the talking rather than their egos, making for truly delicious, uncomplicated dishes.
Though the couple are still in start-up mode, they’re offering evening parties and custom menus for events, along with daily specials like Tammy’s “lasagna soup”, or **pumpkin maple cheesecake** — light, fluffy and not-to-sweet.
If it’s ever on the menu, don’t miss Tammy’s cheesecake inside a cake, which sounds so ungodly spectacular we can hardly imagine the decadence. Meaning we’re hoping she’ll make us one for our birthday. Which happens to be, um, whenever she makes one next.
Definitely worth a stop if you’re in the area. Open 7a.m. to 3p.m. week days. 404 Aviation Blvd., Santa Rosa in the Ag Credit building, (707) 843-3829, startingfromscratch.biz.