A Different Kind of Restaurant
By Teresa Ambord
“Real Food, Real People, Real Community.” That’s the tagline for a very special – very different – place to eat in Redding. It’s called the Savory Spoon, and it’s the brainchild of owner, Ann Webber. They describe the real food as comfort food with a healthy twist — organic, locally produced — plus they offer gluten-free and vegan options. The real people, that’s you. And as for real community, Webber has that well covered.
Investing in People
At the Savory Spoon they recognize the importance of supporting local commerce by buying from area farms, ranches, vineyards, and a long list of other area producers. Even the coffee is local. Not only does that boost our economy, but it helps ensure the freshest ingredients.
The last Monday of every month is “Community Monday,” when everyone is welcome to come and dine for whatever they can pay. That’s Webber’s way of making sure anyone can have a hearty meal. The menu for Community Monday isn’t always known in advance since it depends on what they have on hand. But whatever it is, it’ll be good.
Most days, the restaurant resembles a comfortable home dining room. But on Community Mondays the place is packed, so they do away with some of the frills to make room for as many people as possible.
Veteran’s Day is another chance for Webber to show what she and her staff value. To thank the men and women who sacrificed to keep us free, the Savory Spoon invites them to eat… free.
How is Webber able to do all this? The restaurant is a not-for-profit endeavor. Throughout the month, customers who want to share in these outreaches donate money that helps defray the cost, which can be prohibitive.
Now… about the Food
After all I’d heard about it, I had to find out for myself. Yes, it was a tasty job, but someone had to do it, so I rose to the occasion and took myself to Sunday brunch. Even though the place was pretty full, the service was efficient and friendly.
One sip of their coffee and I was hooked. My waitress was busy, yet she took a moment to explain it was Strawhouse organic coffee, and was produced in nearby Trinity County.
I’m always searching for the perfect biscuits and gravy, and I believe I found it at last, at Savory Spoon. A large, soft biscuit, very fresh, made with whole wheat flour and topped with creamy – not lumpy – nicely seasoned sausage gravy. They also offer a vegetarian gravy… but
that day I wasn’t in the mood for low fat… as you’ll see. A half-size order, with an egg on top and served with some fruit pieces, was plenty. But that didn’t stop me from taking home a piece of their cookies-and- cream cheesecake for Sunday evening. I couldn’t resist. It was creamy and light, not overly sweet, just what this sugar-fiend ordered.
Overall the price might’ve been a little more than you’d expect to pay at a chain restaurant. But a commitment to supporting local vendors and serving fresh ingredients does cost more. From the sizable crowds I saw there, customers must agree.
A couple of days later I stopped in and enjoyed listening to Sugar Pine Station, a local bluegrass/folk group of talented young people that play Tuesday evenings, from 6 to 9. On Thursday evenings, the Jazzmos are featured. They also have weekly beer and wine specials, which you can find on Facebook.
From all appearances, the future of Savory Spoon includes a continued bustling business. But also, Webber is increasing her focus on the catering side of the business in response to rising demand. “It’s hard to find a catering menu that includes gluten-free and vegan dishes like we offer,” and so, she said “that’s where we’re headed.”
The Savory Spoon really is a different kind of restaurant… a very good kind. Visit them online at http://savoryspoon.org/