Review: Wildflower Cafe, Mason
Three times in one week. I suppose that if I was trying to be a professional restaurant reviewer, every restaurant I’d go to would be visited a minimum of twice before I wrote about it. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t, but three four times is unprecedented. It was entirely worth it. (Ed note– had lunch here last Friday too. Four times. Sheesh!)
My coworker, Brian, invited me to lunch a couple of weeks ago. “You have to try Wildflower Cafe. It’s awesome. I can’t believe I’m giving YOU a restaurant tip.”
What can I say? I don’t look around Mason too much for innovative, organic cuisine. I guess I’m blinded by Chainville. I am, in a word, chastened. I won’t be so close-minded next time, I promise.
He sold me on the idea by telling me about their burger. “World’s Best”, they call it– on a pretzel bun, even! Then, he mentioned that it’s in a quaint little house, and very into organics and locally sourced food.
And I liked it so much, I went back with two girlfriends in the same week, on separate occasions. The waitress now knows me, and looked at me funny on the third visit in just a few days. “Hey, I like the burger!”
So I only got the burger twice; I picked something else the second time (burger bookends, I guess). The burger might not be the world’s best, but it is certainly incredibly good. First, a grass-fed beef patty: it is not cooked to your specifications, however even at what was probably medium-well, it was very juicy and well seasoned. It’s on a pretzel bun, which is just the right balance of chewiness and softness to both hold up to the juicy burger, but not be so chewy and dense as to be difficult to chew. You can choose a cheese– both times, I got creamy, sharp gorgonzola– and the burger is rounded out by peppadews (a sweet pepper that looks a bit like a cherry tomato), fresh organic greens, fresh tomatoes, double smoked bacon, herbed mayonnaise and caramelized onions. Whew! It’s a mouthful, but it exceptionally good and filling. It’s one of those burgers where you try to only eat half, but fail miserably. It’s served with homemade kettle chips (which are also addictive).
I had that same burger twice. Two other times I went, I had the salad trio, which is a great, lighter alternative. Three salads– curried chicken salad, minted cucumber salad, and homemade hummus, served with fruit and crackers. It’s incredibly filling, though the portions aren’t overwhelmingly huge (I consider this is as a positive). I love the fresh, light flavor of the not-too-vinegar-laden cucumber salad, and the lightly curried chicken salad, which has just the right amount of mayonnaise. The hummus could use a few more moments in the food processor and a bit more oil– it’s a bit grainy; hummus shouldn’t hold its shape when scooped. The flavor, however, is good. It’s a nice, light lunch.
For lunch beverages, they have water, IBC Root Beer, and iced tea– no other soda, so if you’re a soda fiend, be warned. The iced tea is delicious and slightly minty, and naturally sweet. I’ve become an addict.
Wildflower Cafe also serves dinner, with ethically-sourced fish, grass-fed beef, shrimp, and pastas. The menu is very vegetarian-friendly, as well. You can also buy “local” wines– I use quotation marks because Burnet Ridge is a local winery, but the grapes are not local. I’d like to see them carry some wines from truly local vineyards (like Kinkead Ridge, Elk Creek, Harmony Hills and others) instead of wine from California-sourced grapes.
They also have a coffee room– but avoid it at lunch and dinner time. You won’t get a seat. Try it out while the weather is still nice– their porch and yard dining would be great in the early Fall.