One day last week, my husband and I had a meal that still has us talking about it, a week later. We were running errands in Alpine and decided to try out the new restaurant, Creekside, after hearing rave reviews.
While we were there, owner Andrea Barr and the smiling staff were busy running food to packed tables and making sure customers’ needs were met. Her husband, Rob Cook, is the skilled chef who creates the food that he and Andrea like to eat, and that they like to share with patrons.
They opened Creekside in April of this year, and after 20 or so years away from Alpine, are excited to be back. I’m excited they’re here, too.
At Creekside, the focus is on fresh, approachable food that is creative and still recognizable. While the menu is set, the “Blue Plate Special” changes daily, as do the Soups of the Day. Andrea says the Blue Plate Specials and soups are created with locals in mind, so that they can have more variety in their choices at Creekside.
In addition to the terrific menu of salads and sandwiches, the Blue Plate Special when we visited was French Cut Herb Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus. The soups were Duck and Sausage Gumbo, and Asparagus and Roasted Fennel. You can add avocado, grilled Wild Caught salmon, grilled shrimp, grilled chicken or chicken salad to just about any salad.
The attention to detail stood out before we even got our food. Those details were things that we personally enjoy in our own kitchen and on our own table at home. One sip of the filtered water we were served, while soft jazzy music played in the background, and I knew we were in for a treat.
On the tables, the lovely glass salt and pepper shakers were nearly filled, and the salt was Pink Himalayan salt – the very same kind I cook with at home. I used to carry a little metal Himalayan salt container in my purse (a souvenir I picked up at foodie Alton Brown’s live show years ago), until one day, it spilled in my purse and I decided I just wouldn’t use extra salt on restaurant food.
The silverware was nice quality and just the right weight, and the paper napkins were heavy and thick. All appreciated details so far.
Mr. Johns ordered the Creekside Burger – a juicy burger topped with Texas cheddar, greens, tomato, grilled onion jam and grain mustard aioli. I ordered the Lemon Thyme Chicken Salad sandwich, served on a big toasted bun with greens, tomato and herb aioli. My mouth just watered thinking about that chicken salad. All sandwiches are served with roasted Yukon Gold Potato Wedges and pickled vegetables.
Our lunches were served on a metal tray that was the plate – and were picture-perfect. Everything was prepared to perfection, seasoned just right, and the pickled veggies were a wonderful compliment to the expertly roasted potatoes and delightfully crafted sandwiches.
Can you tell I really, really enjoyed it? We both did. The burger, it turns out, was ground in-house and the hand-formed patty was a mixture of chuck, short rib and brisket. Does it get much better than that? It probably does, and it’s probably coming from the kitchen at Creekside. I’m quite excited for our next visit.
Creekside serves food, beer and wine, and has a cozy and inviting outdoor patio with umbrella-covered tables. Located at 501 W. Holland Avenue (across from Railroad Blues), they’re open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Check out their menu and website at www.creeksidealpinetx.com
1/2 small head of cauliflower
12 small sweet peppers
2 Serrano peppers (optional)
6 cloves garlic
16 sprigs fresh dill
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons peppercorns
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 ⅓ cup white vinegar
2 cups water
Wash two quart-size mason jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinse and let air dry.
Thinly slice the cucumbers and carrots. Cut the cauliflower into florets. If using small bell peppers, cut them into strips.
Tightly pack the cut vegetables into the two mason jars along with the following ingredients divided between the two jars: 2 whole Serrano peppers (optional), 6 whole garlic cloves, fresh dill, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, and 2 tablespoons peppercorns.
In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons kosher salt, 1-⅓ cup white vinegar, and 2 cups water.
Once boiling, pour the brine mixture into the jars. Tap the jars on the counter to release any air bubbles and top off the jar with extra water if any vegetables are exposed.
Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings until they are tight. Leave the jars in the refrigerator for 24 hours before tasting. The pickled vegetables last up to one month refrigerated.
Printed with the permission of the Alpine Avalanche