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“Still Good But Different” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Howard's Cafe Bakery & Juice Bar

Howard's Cafe Bakery & Juice Bar
3611 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental, CA 95465
707-874-2838
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Ranked #3 of 6 restaurants in Occidental
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: Bakery, European, Café, Organic
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Takeout
Santa Rosa, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Still Good But Different”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

I started going to Howard Station Cafe several years ago because I like the drive to Occidental and the drive on Coleman Valley Road. It makes a great driving loop because you end up on Highway 1 and can go through Bodega Bay on the way back to Santa Rosa.
The first time I took the drive I saw the cafe and decided to stop in and try it since it was breakfast time when I arrived in Occidental.
One of the daily specials, on the chalkboard, was a fried egg sandwich which just so happens to be one of my favorite breakfasts.
The sandwich arrived on grilled sour dough with two fried eggs, avocado, cheese, bacon, tomato and lettuce with their home fried potatoes. It was delicious and I was instantly hooked.
If you've read any of my other reviews you know I'm somewhat a creature of habit and over the years I've gone back to eating establishments for certain things I like and Howard Station fried egg sandwich was no exception.
In February we had one of those exceptional winter days when I could put the top down take the drive and stop at the Station for breakfast.
Since I typically dine solo I'm sensitive to a restaurant's need to make money from full tables and not loose seating for a group from one person taking up a table for more and at Howard I wait for the small table for two by the window. After the table was cleared and cleaned seated myself (it is self seating) and a young lady brought me ice water in an old glass milk jug and my utensils in a napkin and a glass. I said good morning to her but she completely ignored me.
Another young lady brought me a menu and I noticed that the egg sandwich had now become one of their special favorites and since it was also mine I ordered it with coffee and the home fried potatoes.
The coffee at Howard Station is excellent and not your run of the mill cafe coffee.
My egg sandwich arrived after a short wait given the cafe was busy. In the past the sandwich came cut in two and this one was not so I proceeded to cut it and discovered it was tough to get through. I thought it might be the bacon but when I took a bite of the sandwich I discovered they had used the heel of the loaf on the bottom piece. I don't know how you feel about the heel, I like it by itself toasted but not on a sandwich, especially one that has a lot of layers to bite and chew through. A minor complaint but since it was put on the bottom a noteworthy one and an indicator that things have changed. And changed they had, gone was the avocado, tomato and lettuce. The sandwich had lost some of its character and lacked the infusion of the various textures created by the now missing items. Still good but not as.
The potatoes are excellent and were even better than I remembered them.
While I was eating a couple sat at a table next to me and a woman who identified herself as the owner greeted them and chatted them up while they were waiting on their food. The whole time her back was to me and when she was done she walked off. Part of the dining experience is a friendly, helpful staff that makes you feel like your a regular whether you are or not and I thought it was rather indifferent of her to not turn around and say hi and introduce herself. It is a simple gesture that goes a long way to gain popularity by word of mouth. The whole time I was there no one came back to ask me how the food was and that is a departure from the past experience.
To sum up I still like Howard Station as a place to stop for good food reasonably priced but the attitude needs to change because the Union Hotel, right next door, is also a great place for food and their staff is very friendly and helpful.
Bring cash as Howard Cafe does not take credit cards.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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96 reviews from our community

93% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sebastopol, California
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Good food not too friendly to tourists”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2012

Food is okay but not served with a smile. Maybe you have to be a local. Very overpriced.

Visited November 2011
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, FL
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Loved this place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2012

Ok, not gonna lie. When coming from a big city, I was pretty nervous driving into Occidental. They literally have about 3 places to eat-- and 1 row of civilization before you head into the woods. I was nervous, but so pleasantly surprised when i went into Howards Cafe and Juice bar. The quality of food is outstanding, with gluten free, organic options. The staff was nice, and the best part was that the food was terrific. I had a lump crab eggs benedict that was out of this world. Definitely recommend this stop if you're passing through Occidental (to maybe go ziplining?- see my other review for that).

Visited February 2012
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No. Va.
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Good eating at Howard's”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2012

Brunch/lunch at Howard's offers a diner so many options - everything good! Fresh, homemade, and all very tasty. They were out of the best-sounding soup of the day when we got there before noon! Iced tea is served in mason jars, great chicken salad, lovely big salads. Jar pies were visible in the baked goods case. A cute, funky place to eat...and a nice, big, clean bathroom too!

  • Visited February 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Occidental, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“the breakfast of your dreams”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2012

We've eaten breakfast here many times. Food is plentiful and hearty. Lots of choices. They serve many types of delicious french toast. The staff is very friendly.

Visited January 2012
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