A friend and I met a mutual friend who lives in Loomis at the High-Hand Nursery Café (High-Hand Café) for lunch on a recent Sunday. The High-Hand Café is on the grounds of the High-Hand Nursery in Loomis, which is approximately 24 miles from Sacramento.
High-Hand Nursery is what I call a “destination”. Not only does the High-Hand Nursery carry a wide array of what you would expect to find at a top-notch nursery – but the complex is also home to the High-Hand Café, a variety of shops, and the High-Hand Art Gallery.
The two of us arrived a bit early and we took advantage of the time to take a brief tour of the various shops in the complex. I had never been there before, while it had been years since my friend had last been there.
See related post: High-Hand Nursery Shops and Art Gallery
After taking our tour of the shops we walked through the nursery towards the café while admiring the large variety of trees, plants and garden art. A musician set up on the small stage next to the koi pond provided added ambiance. A very nice touch!
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High-Hand Café is very popular, particularly on the weekend, so the friend we were visiting made reservations at the café in advance. We were glad she did as we were getting hungry and therefore appreciated being immediately seated.
The setting of the High-Hand Café is very attractive, with lots of greenery. It was a warm day, but the ceiling fans in the section in which we were seated kept the air circulating.
It was after 1:00 p.m. so we decided to order drinks with our lunch. The Bloody Mary ($11) appealed to one friend, while another opted for a glass of sparkling wine – the Roederer Estate Brut ($12). I ordered the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc ($8) as I reasoned that it was likely to go well with whatever I ordered for lunch.
The High-Hand Café menu offers a nice variety of specialty beverages, sparkling and rose wines, red and white wines, and handcrafted beers and ciders along with a variety of (nonalcoholic) hot and cold drinks.
At the suggestion of our friend from Loomis we ordered the house-made potato chips (served with lemon artichoke dip) ($10) to start.
It was very difficult to choose what to order for lunch – numerous items on the menu appealed. I was also torn between brunch and lunch.
We sipped our drinks and enjoyed the chips and dip as we chatted and worked our way through the possibilities.
One friend was in the mood for pizza. She ordered the Garlic Kale (with Brussel sprouts, pine nuts and mozzarella) ($18). The other friend opted for the ½ Rotisserie tri-tip sandwich (with house-made blue cheese dressing and fresh avocado) ($8). Although I had been eyeing the brunch offerings and salads I ordered the ½ Apple cider marinated chicken breast sandwich (with apple-walnut butter and California brie) ($8). The sandwiches were served with either potato salad or Maple Rock vegetable salad. My friend ordered the potato salad, and I ordered the vegetable salad.
The pizza looked great – and was declared to be delicious. My friend really enjoyed it, and as it was a good sized pizza she had leftovers to take home. No doubt her husband was grateful.
As to the sandwiches – my friend and I were really glad that we had selected the ½ sandwich. We both agreed that we could not have finished a “full-sized” sandwich.
The tri-tip sandwich received high marks. The meat was tender and flavorful, and the blue-cheese dressing and avocado were complementary. As my friend remarked – she would never have thought to add blue-cheese dressing and avocado to a tri-tip sandwich – but it worked. Afterwards, she added that it had been the best tri-tip sandwich she had ever had!
My chicken breast sandwich was delicious – although it was a bit messy. I enjoyed every bite as a combination of apple-walnut butter and melted brie ran down my hand. We asked for additional napkins from a passing server and all was good.
The potato salad and vegetable salad, on the other hand, did not impress. Both were judged rather bland and in need of seasoning.
After lunch we lingered and chatted for a bit before we headed out to wander around the nursery and shops. As we sat there it was hard not to notice and admire several of the desserts being delivered to nearby tables. Maybe another time.
I look forward to returning to High-Hand Café and trying some of their other offerings.
Do you have a favorite dish at the High-Hand Café? Any other comments or observations to share?
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