Lauri Sturdivant is interested in how our friends and families gather around a table sharing meals and telling stories. In this column she shares recipes and stories from people in Siskiyou County, and restaurant reviews from her travels. Read full interviews, find recipes and reviews at TheBillPlate.com
Nature’s Kitchen’s motto is a quote from Virginia Wolf, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Nature’s Kitchen is a happy place to eat locally sourced food in a colorful environment. Owners Flannery, Cliff and Patty have been feeding travelers and locals some of the best wholesome food in the county for over 20 years in Yreka. The café, bakery, vitamin store and gift shop are located in the old brick works building at 412 S. Main St. in Yreka. I had my first meal there in the early 2000s and have been eating there ever since. I can honestly say I have enjoyed every visit.
Flannery told me she had worked in the food industry before they purchased Nature’s Kitchen and she knew she wanted to create an environment that was happy place for her and her staff to work and a pleasant environment for guests to dine. She achieves this with colorful decorations, plants and a cheerful attitude. Brightly colored Mexican oil cloth adorn the tables and the ceiling sprouts plants interspersed with charming socks in a rainbow of colors, design and sizes. There are stained glass charms in the windows and more plants strategically placed throughout the dining room. Whimsical gift shop items, candles and clothing flows into the café. It does make for a fun atmosphere.
Attention is paid to every detail on their menu so they can serve the healthiest sustainable food they can. They source as much local non-GMO local and organic products as possible. They are probably the first in the county to offer paper straws to their customers and have bio-gradable to-go containers. Their sandwiches are served on house baked with locally grown, stone-grounded organic whole wheat flour.
I had a slice of their signature French style asparagus quiche and a green salad with non-fat raspberry walnut vinaigrette. Cliff apprenticed at a French bakery while going to university in northern France. His quiches are light airy egg filling with buttery flaky crusts. Be warned: they will spoil you against the dense doughy quiches you might get anywhere else.
My daughter ordered the tuna melt, a sandwich made with dolphin-safe, solid white albacore tuna and natural Jack cheese. She added jalapeno jelly for $1. The tuna was piled high and the cheese beautifully melted between the fresh grilled whole wheat home baked bread. The jalapeno jam added a sweet heat to the sandwich that sent it over the top delicious for me. She selected corn chip from the choice of sides of soup, green salad, or corn chips.
Seemingly randomly musicians can be heard play live music during the lunch rush. Rusty Miller was there on the day we went playing acoustic Grateful Dead tunes. Live music adds to the relaxed Nature’s Kitchen dining experience, making us feel like we really went somewhere special for lunch.
Do check out the selection of sweet treats including cookies and my favorite lemon bars. Refer to the Special’s Board for their daily quiches, specials and house made cheese cakes that are rich, smooth and creamy. They have vegetarian and vegan options.
The café is open for lunch 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, the grill shuts down weekdays at 2:30 p.m. and Saturday, but all soups, chili, salads and cold sandwiches are served until 4 p.m. The bakery is open for espresso and baked goods Monday thru Saturday 9 a.m.-4p.m. The gift shop and vitamin store are open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday.
Eat in or order take out and there is a dog friendly table outside. https://natureskitchen.business.site/ 530.842.1136
Check out thebillplate.com to read the interview with Flannery.