MENDOCINO Co., 6/27/23 — Ever on the search for delicious brunch spots in Mendocino County, I finally made the pilgrimage to Ellie’s Mutt Hutt in Ukiah. My friend, Serena Alexi, recently posted about her visit to Ellie’s for brunch on the Mendocino County Foodies Facebook group and I knew I had to add it to my dining to-do list.
On a recent sunny Sunday morning, I sat on the cafe’s patio where I sipped a fresh squeezed orange juice mimosa and indulged in Ellie’s chorizo breakfast tacos. Comprising two corn tortillas piled high with chorizo, salsa, crumbled cotija cheese and avocado, it was a sight to behold that had fellow diners craning their necks and asking “What is that?”. The tacos were not only eye-catching but very tasty. The tangy salty cheese combined with the mild chunky tomato salsa cut through the richness of the chorizo. Avocado slices added a touch of healthy fat to make one feel less guilty of one’s decisions the night before (it is brunch, after all).
And while the tacos may be the colorful star of the plate, it was Ellie’s signature home fried potatoes that truly upped the brunch game. The sliced russet potatoes were fried to perfection, with crispy skins and soft interiors. The potatoes are served perfectly seasoned with salt and pepper — and while I’m usually a ketchup and potato kind of girl, these were so flavorful that no condiment was needed. When the server came to check in on me, I looked lovingly at the potatoes and crooned “These are…simply…the best breakfast potatoes I have ever had. Hands down.” She responded that it wasn’t the first time she’s heard people say that just as the table next to me chimed in, “We concur, these are the best breakfast potatoes ever.”
Ellie’s Mutt Hutt and Vegetarian Cafe is open seven days a week with brunch offered daily, 732 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 468-5376.
MiraMar Mexican Grill opens in Gualala
A new restaurant opened in Gualala this past weekend: MiraMar Mexican Grill. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and beer and wine paired with ocean views. It’s located in the former Bones Roadhouse building, which received an eye-catching white and blue paint job just in time for Miramar’s opening. As of today, only the breakfast menu is available online. Despite being a Mexican restaurant, the breakfast menu is overwhelmingly American with pancakes, waffles, french toast, biscuits & gravy, egg dishes (eggs benedict, omelettes), and healthy fare (quinoa bowls, granola). Huevos rancheros and chilaquiles do make an appearance. A post on Facebook shows guacamole, taco salads and seafood-filled molcajetes. According to social media, the restaurant was so busy over the weekend it had to turn customers away and close on Monday to restock its inventory. Suffice to say, residents of the South Coast are already showing their support for this new business. MiraMar Mexican Grill is open seven days a week 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. 39080 S. Hwy 1, Gualala, (707) 884-9136.
Friends Coffee Shop and Park ‘N Take It sold in Laytonville
Laytonville’s coffee shop and pizzeria, Friends Coffee Shop, and liquor store, Park ‘N Take It, have sold. The Gutierrez family posted on Facebook that they sold the businesses, which are collocated in the same building on Highway 101. “As of July 1 we will have new owners here at Park ‘N Take It and Friends Coffee Shop,” they posted, “You will still see some familiar faces and experience the same great service. We hope that you continue to give them the same amazing support that you have given us.” The family shared that they will be “embarking on a new adventure elsewhere” and expressed deep gratitude for the Laytonville community. “Words cannot describe the joy we’ve experienced serving you and our local communities over the past decades. We have shared many great moments with you all. We are so thankful for your support throughout the years.”
Gowan’s Gravenstein Applewine Cider wins big at world’s largest cider competition
Philo’s Gowan’s Cider has racked up a fourth major title for its popular Gravenstein Applewine Cider this year: best-in-class cider at the prestigious Greater Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition. The competition, which is the largest cider competition in the world, takes place over three days during which judges review hundreds of ciders from around the globe. Gowan’s Gravenstein competed against 78 “modern” sweet ciders and was named third in its class, an important distinction. This is the cider’s fourth big win this year. Earlier this year, it won a Good Foods Award, a gold in the North Coast Wine Challenge and a gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Learn more here.
Café 1 named third Mendocino County Blue Zones Project Approved restaurant
Café 1 in Fort Bragg has been named a Blue Zones Project Approved restaurant. According to the Blue Zones Project Mendocino County, Café 1 earned the designation by serving dishes that are inspired by the Blue Zones Project, which focuses on healthy food choices. Café 1 joins two other restaurants with the national designation: Tastebuds in Ukiah and Dahvi’s Kitchen in Willits. 753 N. Main St., Fort Bragg, (707) 964-3309.
Grants for restaurants impacted by natural disasters available for Mendocino County
Mobile food delivery service DoorDash is accepting applications for its Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund. The company will award grants of $10,000 to select restaurants impacted by natural disasters in the past twelve months. Restaurants in federally declared disaster zones qualify, including Mendocino County due to the atmospheric rivers and storms this past winter. Not all restaurants may apply and there is a list of requirements. COVID-19 damages are not eligible. Learn more here.
Burger King reopens in Willits
Enthusiasts of French Toast Sticks, Whoppers and Chicken Fries (my personal favorite) can rejoice in Willits – Burger King has reopened. In May, the restaurant closed for renovations. The interior and exterior underwent a facelift, bringing the building up to date with Burger King’s branding, decor and design nationwide. 1355 S. Main St., Willits, (707) 456-9175, bk.com.
Yellowstone themed drinks launch at Lucky and FoodMaxx in Ukiah
Fans of the neo-Western television series Yellowstone can now find canned beer and cocktails at Ukiah’s Lucky (504 E. Perkins St.) and FoodMaxx (1235 Airport Park Blvd.) supermarkets. This week, Save Mart Companies, which owns Lucky and FoodMaxx, announced the release of its Grit & Glory beverage line. The drinks are a project of Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan, producer David Glasser and L.A. Libations, an independently owned beverage producer. The Grit & Glory drinks include hazy IPA, pilsner and amber beers, and four types of ranch water (spicy habanero juicy mango, lime, prickly pear margarita and blackberry pomegranate). Ranch water is a lower alcohol cocktail comprising tequila and sparkling water. It’s light, refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day. A six-pack of beer starts at $9.99 and the ranch waters are offered in a 12-can combo pack for $14.99.
Tickets on sale for the World’s Largest Salmon BBQ, July 1
Sponsored by the Salmon Restoration Association, the 52nd annual World’s Largest Salmon BBQ is a great way to kick off the holiday weekend in Fort Bragg and fuel up for a long day of festivities culminating in the fireworks show later that evening. The meal features grilled wild caught salmon, fresh corn on the cob, salad, and local bread from Fort Bragg Bakery. Coffee is provided by Thanksgiving Coffee and ice cream for dessert is available from Cowlicks. A variety of craft brews from North Coast Brewery and a wide selection of wines can also be purchased. There will also be live music. All proceeds benefit the Salmon Restoration Association’s work in Mendocino County. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., $35 for adults, $15 for children under 12, South Noyo Harbor, 19101 S. Harbor Dr., Fort Bragg. Tickets on sale here.
Tickets on sale for Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Department BBQ, July 15
Support Redwood Valley and Calpella’s volunteer fire department by attending a fun evening of barbecue, music, family fun and community. Tickets include a barbecue supper and live music. Kids can enjoy their own play area and fire truck rides. Local beer and wine will be available for purchase. Tickets start at $10 for children ages 6-12, $15 for seniors 65 and older, and $20 for adults. Kids under 6 are free. Buy tickets here.
June register round-up in Ukiah supports cancer resource provider
Shoppers at Ukiah Natural Foods in Ukiah can round-up their purchase at the register to support the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County. 721 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 462-4778, ukiahcoop.com.
Egg carton donations needed at Fort Bragg Food Bank
Fort Bragg Food Bank is seeking donations of dozen-sized egg cartons (no 18 count cartons). The food bank also needs clean paper and plastic bags. Donations can be made at the food bank (910 N. Franklin St.) or at the donation containers at Harvest Market (171 Boatyard Dr.) or Safeway (660 S. Main St.). Contact the food bank for more information at (707) 964-9404, fortbraggfoodbank.org.
Small but equally important updates
Asian Pacific (405 S. Franklin St.) in Fort Bragg is temporarily closed. The owner is expecting a baby and is anticipated to re-open the restaurant in late summer or early fall.
Also in Fort Bragg, the Golden West Saloon (128 E. Redwood Ave.) has extended its hours for summer. The bar is now open seven days a week from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Mariposa Market (500 S. Main St., Willits, (707) 459-9630, mariposamarket.com) has new hours. The store is open Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The deli is open Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Note: Sarah Stierch covers food, beverage, culture, weather and breaking news for The Mendocino Voice. Contact Stierch at [email protected]. The Voice maintains editorial control.