Page 6 The Ferndale (California) Enterprise

Looking for a healthier alternative? Just head to Lost Coast Cafe & Bakery for casual vegetarian dining
Those looking for a casual vegetarian dining option in Ferndale need to look no further than the Lost Coast Cafe & Bakery. Located behind the wrought iron gates at 486 Main Street, the restaurant offers the freshest ingredients, using mostly fresh, local, organic produce, and a welcoming atmosphere that will make your visit to Ferndale complete. Right behind the wrought iron and alongside a giant mural, patrons can enjoy a sunny patio with a calming water feature. Owner Mario Lorenzo caters to every customer’s needs. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, Lorenzo will make sure your breakfast or lunch is prepared to your liking. If you're in town on a Wednesday night, and you're lucky enough to find a seat, enjoy a friendly community dinner party starting at 6 pm. Lost Coast Cafe & Bakery opens its doors to host a fixed price fourcourse meal that draws in a core group of regulars each week. Lorenzo said he thought of the idea one winter when business had been slow for his normal breakfast and lunch hours. “Maybe by Wednesday they’d want to come out to eat,” Lorenzo said, thinking of families and couples cooking dinner at home. “It started to be this big family-type thing,” local artist Jack Mays explained. At first, the Wednesday night dinners had just a handful of customers, according to Mays, but through “word of mouth” the number of regulars grew, to a rough average of 15 people each week. “We’re like family now,” he said. Recently, Mays continued, there were so many people at Lorenzo’s dinner that all the regulars were pitching in to help. “We were all helping to wait tables and wash dishes,” he said. When there just aren’t enough people to cover the customers, Mays said, the regulars don’t mind stepping up to help out in serving the dishes. “It’s more of a supper club than a restaurant,” Ferndale’s Stephen Avis said, due to a “core group” of people always represented on Wednesday night. “It’s fun and unpredictable,” he said, of both the people and the food. “He’s a chef that thinks outside the box,” Mays said of Lorenzo. Every week is somewhat of a surprise for the regulars. Lorenzo informs his guests what the meal and courses will be shortly before serving. One week, for example, the course began with hot broccoli bisque made from scratch, followed by a salad with roasted eggplant, crepes with asparagus and apricots and an apple crisp for dessert. “You come down for the whole evening,” said Donna Mays, Jack’s wife. “It ends up being a lot of socialization for locals,” regular Jim Stretch said of the weekly gathering, where “we fill the void with laughter and conversation.” Combined with the people, food and atmosphere, “the dinner flows right,” Stretch said. Lorenzo, who “just kind of got off the highway” four years ago and set up shop with his veg-

The Gazebo w good, smell go

Enterprise staff photo

The Lost Coast Cafe & Bakery owner Mario Lorenzo.
etarian restaurant in Ferndale, said he thinks that the best part of the Wednesday night dinner is the “community,” and seeing people “hang out and talk…It seems like people don’t do that anymore,” he said. “People say it’s like eating at my house for dinner,” Lorenzo said proudly. The Lost Coast Café and Bakery is open Thursday though Monday, 10 am to 3:30 pm. It serves breakfast on Sundays until noon and dinner on Wednesday from 6 pm – 9 pm (reservations requested).

L O S T CO A S T CA F E & BAKERY 468 Main Street Tel. 707/786-5330

No Brand Burger Stand:
Where you’ll find the best burger on the North Coast
A visit to Ferndale isn’t complete without a stop at the No Brand Burger Stand, where even the hungriest appetite will be satisfied by one look at its mouth-watering menu. A favorite of both locals and tourists from around the world, the No Brand Burgers and uses only the freshest ingredients, including grass-fed beef for its burgers, chopped daily lettuce, tomatoes and onions and one-hundred percent real ice cream made with whole milk for its milkshakes. Owner Ronan Rodoni began the stand more than 20 years ago. Since then, the stand has become a family affair with help from husband Mike Angelini, sons Kelly O’Day, 18, and Cade Angelini, seven. “I’ve been cooking my whole life,” said Ronan. “This is not so much a business, but a way of life.” Ronan pays attention to every burger she cooks. “Lots of energy goes into each burger,” she explained. “We use an old cast iron grill. A top-ofthe-line one that is seasoned, just like your grandma’s fry pan.” The Lonely Planet Northern California travel guide calls the stand a “hole-in-the-wall” that “turns out a juicy jalapeno double cheeseburger that ranks easily as the North Coast’s best burger. “The shakes — so thick your cheeks hurt from pulling on the straw,” states the guide, a description that has enticed visitors to the stand from all over the world. Ronan says the stand’s cajun bacon cheeseburger is probably the most popular menu choice, followed by the blue bacon cheeseburger. Of course, your order wouldn’t be complete without an order of french fries or onion rings! The stand is open from 11-4 six days a week (banking hours, says Ronan). It’s closed on Sundays.

Enterprise staff photo

NO BRAND BURGER STAND 1400 Main Street. Tel. 707/786-9474

No Brand Burger Stand is a family affair. From the left, Ronan Rodoni, Cade Angelini, Mike Angelini and Kelly O’Day. When the family isn’t cooking their world-famous burgers, they are busy on the rodeo circuit. Ronan is a barrel racer and roper; Mike ropes and is an outrider on the county fair circuit; O’Day is a steerwrestler and roper and seven-year-old Cade rides sheep in mutton busting competitions.

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