Gypsy Grub

A fine food enthusiast travels the world, and her own backyard in search of the best eats.

Month: November, 2012

It Started With an Itch

Some people are born nomads. Maybe I was predisposed to be hungry for travel, or maybe it started very young when my parents would pack our bags, and head off to Costa Rica for a week-long hike. I suppose it all comes down to the life long dispute of nature or nurture. Nonetheless, I am here and I am moving. As soon as I settle in after a vacation elsewhere I feel the need to move again, to get out. And that is exactly what happened. After returning from a long and blissful trek through Ireland, Scotland, and England I came home only to hop on a plane bound to New Orleans. But that wasnt good enough, after returning for just five months I began to feel suffocated and started looking desperately for another opportunity to get back to traveling. Maybe its the feel of Orange County, or maybe its just me. I think it’s a little of both.

And now I am proud to say, at the end of December I will be moving to France. Yes, France. It will be for a minimum of six months, and a maximum of four years (or more?) And there I will be in a food writers dream. Surrounded by seductive pastries and world renown chefs, I will flourish.

And so, before I go I will pay my last tributes to the food and eateries of America, because I must admit I don’t think I will miss them much.

Ramos House Cafe

Have you ever walked into a place and immediately felt at home, at ease even when you had never been there before? The first time I set foot in Ramos House Cafe I was a young and naive gourmand. This is a transformative place for all types of people from foodies to garden enthusiasts. The staff are attentive and kind, and the owner is unique and skilled. The places that leave an impact in our hearts are the places that are different, and yet somehow very familiar. Every time I return to this small whole in the wall Cafe in the center of San Juan Capistrano I have a new and exciting experience. There is a grey cat that often greets guests and parades around, and once I even saw the owners pet piglet who escaped from the house. If you are smart enough to grab a bite here you will be drawn in again and again by its magic and charm.

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  Ramos House Cafe has the most spectacular brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. I started mine with the Black Truffle and Fava Bean Treat as they call it. It was a very refreshing dish, and the greens mixed in made it especially light and fresh.zdf 

Weekend brunch is a very popular occasion at the Cafe. Locals and travelers alike come here to enjoy the warm service and beautiful ambience. For the quality of food it is a terrific value. It is $35 per person with a selection from a beverage, small plate, and big plate.

Here is another small plate; the Apple Cinnamon Beignets. They are my favorite of any beignets I have tasted – and one of my favorite dish in the restaurant. They are full of flavor and clearly just pulled out of the fryer. They are soft, warm and not greasy in the least.

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Here is another from the options of small plate dishes; the Fresh Baked Huckleberry Coffee Cake. It was very light like a Genoise cake. The fresh berries baked in were the perfect surprises in every bite.

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Here the Cafe’s grey cat welcomes all newcomers with an adorable face, and loving purr.

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After we had all ordered the small plates, our waitress was back to take the order for our main course. The small plates are perfectly filling so that your initial ravenous hunger is quenched, but you are not fully satisfied.

The first large plate was the Fried Chicken Scramble with Warm Apple Sauce and Cornbread. I am not a fried food enthusiast but appreciated the apple sauce and cornbread. It was all delicious and very home grown.

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My absolute favorite thing I have eaten at this Cafe are the biscuits. Better than Europe, better than any other biscuit I have had anywhere! They are perfectly buttery and soft and fresh out of the oven every couple minutes. If you get anything here, make it be these biscuits.

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San Juan Capistrano is an enchanting place to me. It is filled with old time intrigue, and of course is home to the beautiful San Juan Capistrano Mission. Whenever I am there, I roam the streets, and appreciate the beauty.

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For my main I ordered the Wild Mushroom Scramble with Anson Mills Grits and Brown Butter. All of the vegetables were very fresh, you could taste their farm to table values. The grits were perfectly creamy and rich. And were a suited counter to the light scramble.

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This was my favorite of the afternoon; the Crab Hash with Bacon Scrambled Eggs and Citrus Cream. There are so many complex flavors, and diverse textures and feelings one experiences when eating this dish. The bed of greens, and Citrus Cream are perfectly fresh in comparison to the hearty scramble. This dish makes a person feel very comfortable, and comforted no matter what has happened or what lies ahead. mm

 

To finish there were the Home Turned Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches. The ice cream was fresh and the cookies were crunchy. Despite everything tasting very rich in this dish I found it lacked a little of the complexity the other dishes demonstrated so perfectly.

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If you decide to visit the Ramos House Cafe (which I highly recommend you do) you can visit them at:

31752 Los Rios Street, San Juan Capistrano, CA

(949) 443-1342

Or go online to: http://www.ramoshouse.com/