ariety, balance and knowing your customers can
create a winning menu for the lunchtime crowd.
From salads to burgers and brisket to soup, as well
as such treats as truffled macaroni and cheese and ruby
trout with pancetta, diners find a cornucopia of lunch items
on menus around the country.
PHOTO CREDIT: Opposite, Photography by Josh Merideth; top left, The Chilean Blueberry Committee; right, Estes Public Relations
At Fresh by Lisa Hemenway in Santa Rosa, gourmet food
court meets French marketplace, and you can eat in or take
out. The kitchen staff has 7,800 square feet of ingredients to
choose from, including a huge selection of fresh local produce.
Hemenway’s chicken/almond salad is one of the most popular
offerings. It’s sold as a sandwich for $11.95 and as a salad in
two sizes for $12.95 and $15.95.
To prepare the salad, chicken is baked with salt and pepper
and a little olive oil. Then it’s cubed and combined with
celery, green onion and red onion. Dried cranberries, raisins
or currants, toasted almonds and, sometimes, blueberries
garnish the salad. It’s served over romaine and topped with
Mendocino mustard folded into housemade mayonnaise.
Not far away, in Napa, Todd Humphries is executive
chef/partner at Kitchen Door in the Oxbow Public Market.
Flatbreads from the wood-burning oven, rice and noodle
dishes, and sandwiches are among the lunchtime offerings.
Humphries’ signature cream of mushroom soup, priced at
$7.25, is a popular item.
Another bestseller is an unusual shaved celery salad. On
the menu for $7.95, it’s prepared from celery that’s sliced
extremely thin, then dressed with a creamy white vinaigrette
made by folding soft whipped cream into white balsamic
vinegar, olive oil, honey and Dijon mustard. The salad is
topped with pecans candied with a little cayenne, dates and
In Louisville, at Doc Crow’s
Southern Smokehouse &
Raw Bar, beef brisket is the
hands-down bestseller at
lunch. The restaurant buys
about 600 pounds of brisket a
week. On the all-day menu,
it’s available as a sandwich
with white onion and pickle
on a toasted brioche bun,
“The secret to the brisket’s success is the quality of the
meat,” says chef Admilson Cassemiro. The meat is enhanced
by marinating it in Doc’s famous rub, which includes healthy
doses of paprika, salt and sugar, plus dry mustard, cayenne,
onion powder, garlic, black pepper and chili powder. Once the
marinade has had a chance to do its work, the brisket is smoked
for 12 to 14 hours. Then it’s allowed to rest before serving.
OPPOSITE: At Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar, beef brisket is the
LEFT: This chicken/almond salad, one of the most popular choices at Fresh by Lisa
Hemenway, is garnished with blueberries.
RIGHT: The beef brisket taco at Doc Crow’s.