Bank on Great Food at Grove Café

The new Grove Café restaurant in Sonoma County seems to be cutting out the middle man. Positioned inside a bank, you can enjoy your cozy American meal, then pay right on the spot. Oh wait, you can pay on the spot at any restaurant, but still… it’s cool that you’re dining in the middle of a Redwood Credit Union headquarters building in industrial Santa Rosa.

The idea comes from the Compass Group/Eurest Cafés, a national company that operates cafes and food services for businesses, schools, and hospitals, and now banks. But worry not, the food is good, fast with touchscreen/counter service (even faster with advance online ordering), and very reasonably priced. Dare I say it, you can enjoy a nice meal without breaking the bank.

The only caveat? Hours are limited to basic work times, and weekdays.

The menu is surprisingly long, covering sandwiches, pizzas, salads, breakfast dishes, soups, and an impressive array of daily specials that change week-to-week. From the main breakfast menu, you can get a custom five-ingredient omelet (Swiss, mushroom, jalapeno, sausage and spinach, perhaps, $5.50), or a three-stack of pancakes ($5). From the main lunch menu, you might want a Sonoma sammy of chicken salad with grapes, poppy seeds and celery on a croissant ($7), or a just-baked Mediterranean pizza topped in artichokes, olives, peppers, onions, and fennel ($6.50).

Asian pork and lettuce at Grove Cafe in Sonoma County

But check out the specials, too. Each day offers a different “flame” (grill), “kitchen & co.” (fancier entrée), “flour & fork” (pizza), soup, and “world” grill dish. A recent Thursday, for example, brought a flame of panini pressed cubano sandwich ($7.50), a kitchen & co of a loaded baked potato with cheddar cheese, sour cream, garlic butter, green onions and bacon ($7) and a flour & fork of pesto artichoke pizza ($7.25). That day’s soup was chicken gumbo ($3.50 for 12oz./ $4.50 for 16oz.), while the world grill was mango and habanero spiced chicken skewers with quinoa salad ($8).

Daily breakfast specials for the same week included Tuesday’s huevos rancheros, and Friday’s linguica with eggs and rice (both $5.75), while lunch sandwiches included Monday’s ham and brie with spinach on rosemary focaccia served hot or cold ($7), and Thursday’s vegan Bahn mi ($9).

pork tenderloin at Grove Cafe in Sonoma County

You can self-serve grab and go prepared foods from 7 to 8:30 a.m. or 2 to 7 p.m., and enjoy custom prepared, dine-in meals from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays.

Details: 3033 Cleveland Avenue, Santa Rosa  Phone: (707) 545-4000

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