Worth finding

Hideaway Café a convenient downtown lunch site

HARDLY HIDING <br>Paul and Shannon Lavery are the husband-and-wife owners of the Hideaway Café, in the Phoenix Building. They also own Broadway Heights, the former Jasco’s, upstairs in the same site.

Paul and Shannon Lavery are the husband-and-wife owners of the Hideaway Café, in the Phoenix Building. They also own Broadway Heights, the former Jasco’s, upstairs in the same site.

Photo By Tom Angel

To find it: Hideaway Café is located at 300 Broadway; phone 892-9348.

“Indulge yourself,” the menu read. My lunch companions and I had just walked up to the ordering counter at Hideaway Cafà, which opened for business last October. The cafà is located on the first floor of the Phoenix Building, just beyond Sultan’s Bistro, at Broadway and Third streets.

My three friends all quickly decided on the lunch special, which that day was a half Turkey Bacon Cheddar Melt ($6.95) with a choice of soup or salad.

Although the special sounded tasty, I just had to exercise my rugged individualism and order something else. So I hemmed and hawed and perused the menu practically forever, like a 10-year-old at Baskin-Robbins, thinking: Cobb Salad? Spinach Salad? Italian Pesto Sandwich? The choices!

Finally, I ordered the Spinach Salad, thinking rather self-righteously that spinach leaves would comprise much more healthful fare than a lot of ooey-gooey cheddar cheese.

But when my friends’ food arrived, I felt slightly jealous, for their melts looked delicious, and from observing the gusto with which they ate them, those melts must have tasted more than satisfactory.

Unfortunately, I found my spinach salad mildly disappointing, as it consisted of a rather unattractive and modest-sized arrangement of spinach leaves with just a smattering of chopped tomatoes and a few other goodies on top—a bit on the skimpy side. The lemon rosemary dressing, however, delighted me. I have to guess that Hideaway’s other salads offer more pizzazz, as they certainly have others on their menu (the Almond Chicken, the Garden of Eden, the Pesto Pasta) that tempt me to go back and try again.

My friends each got a different side dish with their melts: pasta salad, green salad, and baked-potato soup (very rich and tangy), and all of them proclaimed their side dishes as more than adequate. At that point, I really wished I had followed the crowd and ordered the lunch special. High-fat/high-cholesterol melted cheddar cheese looked pretty good by then.

One of my friends, who’s never one to ignore a potential environmental problem, did point out that all of the side dishes were served in plastic bowls. Although there is limited room at Hideaway for dishwashing operations, we wished the cafà would consider serving side dishes in washable bowls that don’t have to be thrown into a landfill. We all have to find ways to be more ecological, after all.

The counterperson who waited on us, Hillary, recommended the Italian Pesto Sandwich for future luncheons, and I’m sure I’ll go back to try the Hideaway Club (turkey, ham, avocado, bacon, tomato, green leaf, mayo and mustard). All of the lunch sandwiches at Hideaway are made on Italian flat bread, a pleasant novelty, while all of the breakfast sandwiches come on focaccia bread.

Customers can order any item, breakfast or lunch, at any time of the day, and Hideaway is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. It also provides a nice array of coffee drinks, Italian sodas, and fresh pastries (muffins, scones, biscotti, thumbprint cookies, etc.) baked upstairs at Broadway Heights, which has the same owners.

One of the real pluses of Hideaway is its location—it’s convenient for Chico State students and downtown workers alike. Hideaway has recently changed its menu and now offers such alluring treats as the Southwestern Salad and the Southwestern Burrito, in keeping with the current national interest in Southwestern food, as exemplified by the two hot Manhattan eateries, Bolo and Mesa Grill.

I should also note that Hideaway will do takeout orders—even big ones—for people needing food for office meetings or working lunches. Hillary said the Chicken Salad Sandwich is a popular takeout item among downtown workers, and it can be ordered as a salad as well (for those who are counting carbs). Customers wishing to place orders may simply call 892-9349.