I saw this place on Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives", and knew that the next time we were passing through Santa Rosa, we'd be stopping here for sure. What an amazing concept and a great place to eat. We arrived shortly after NOON on the Saturday of July 4th weekend, expecting the place to be packed. NOT! We walked right in and got a booth.
Our server immediately brought us a small plate of freshly prepared scones and muffins, along with a separate plate of various fruits. The pastries were delightful and the fruit was fresh.
This is not your typical restaurant. The mission of Worth Our Weight is to provide an environment for disenfranchised youths to become culinary experts through this apprentice program. Meals are on a donation basis, meaning there are no prices on the menu. You simply pay what you feel is a fair price for the meal you enjoy. A payment box is located on the front counter, or you can leave your payment on a tray provided at your table after your meal.
I ordered the cornmeal pancakes with eggs florentne and a side of chicken apple sausage. The pancakes were divine. They arrived to the table hot, and stayed hot throughout the meal. The plate included 5 thin pancakes that were each about 5" in diameter. Quite possibly the best pancakes I've ever eaten. The eggs were well prepare with fresh spinach and jarlberg cheese. EXCELLENT! And the chicken apple sausage was a fine addition. A generous portion with thick, flavorful slices.
My partner had the Huevos Rancheros and was amazed the the portion and the flavor of this dish. It featured black beans, a corn tortilla and some of the best pulled-pork you'll ever have. This was a big plate and he sometimes get full on the appetizers. He finished every bite and even managed to save two for me, in exchange for a sampling from my order.
The service here was surprisingly good. The kids who helped us were friendly and attentive. If you forget where you are, you could wind-up confused when you ask for the difference between the cream scone and the dried fruit scone, and you are told "one has dried fruit and the other doesn't". Some people will get offended by this response. We took it in stride, recognizing that these people are not professional servers. They are students, who have been dealt a tough hand in life and are getting a second chance.
We chose to pay $40 for our meal, which was probably $10 to $15 more than we would have paid at a traditional restaurant. This meal was worth every penny. We will definitely return to Worth Our Weight (W.O.W.) again in the future. Great food, great mission, great cause.
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