The Mt Tomba Inn was originally built in 1924 to serve as a boarding house for employees of a nearby mill. Bootleg whiskey and wine were produced in the cellar. It became a dining establishment in 1934, owned by John Vardanega, who after prohibition, obtained the first liquor license issued by the State Board of Equalization. Until 1969, there was a running spittoon in the trough at the foot of the bar. The building housed legalized gambling including slots and blackjack. Vardanega was born in Italy at the foot of Mt. Tomba; that’s where the name came from.
The Duke himself stands tall in a photo pasted to the wall overlooking the bar. Bright red tablecloths against wooden walls and floors set the backdrop for this quaint old establishment, famous for their hand cut steaks. The place is filled with John Wayne movie memorabilia and is indeed serving up meals that would satisfy even “The Duke.” Two fireplaces provide a warmth only found by a real fire, one in the main dining room and one near those wishing to ‘belly up to the bar.’
Owners Susan Terry and Levi England are both chefs at Mt. Tomba Inn. The Flat Iron Steak featuring the owners’ own spicy Missouri dry rub is named “The Cowboys.” Filet Mignon is “The Quiet Man”, known for it’s tenderness. “Rio Bravo” is lightly breaded, grilled calamari. It seems all the entrees are named after John Wayne movies. A house specialty is Susan’s slow roasted, baby back ribs. She is proud of her recipe. Who wouldn’t be? These sweet, tender ribs have a slight ‘zing’ which greatly enhances the flavor of the spices she uses. These ribs are marinated for five days before they are slow roasted.
The line up of steaks also includes the rib eye, New York and chicken fried steak. Prime Rib is a house specialty and they offer a nice selection of seafood including lobster, and fowl (including pan fried chicken). Each meal comes with some really delicious homemade soup and fresh baked bread with real butter (always my favorite)! Dinners also include a salad with your choice of their fresh, homemade dressings. They all bring raves especially the house creamy garlic which one called a garlic lovers delight. You also get your choice of baked, mashed or fried potatoes or rice, plus coffee and dessert. Wow, no wonder the cowboys love this place. Susan is knows as the Martini Whisperer who shakes up just the perfect martini, every time. They have an excellent wine list and wines are also available by the glass. You can find a smiling Larry Binns behind a full bar with some fun drink specials and Ben Ricks is on hand ensuring you sincerely enjoy your dinner with “The Duke”. http://www.mttombainn.com/