Hearty, Healthy and Homemade Meals at Hobcaw
Verona restaurant Hobcaw Café makes customers really feel at home
When you prepare most of your meals at home, sometimes it’s stressful dining out because you never know for sure what you’re going to get. But at Hobcaw Café, you don’t have to worry one bit. All meals are made fresh, from scratch, every day. Foods are seasonal and local as possible. Only sea salt and kosher salts are used. Meats, poultry and seafood are natural. And they never use artificial trans-fats or preservatives. They also have vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Hobcaw Café, 20 Grove Ave., Verona, opened about nine months ago and is run by Natural Gourmet Institute, Manhattan graduates, Nancy McArthur and Clare Wilson, as well as James and Chip McArthur, who are Nancy’s sons.
According to James, the name “Hobcaw” was taken from a favorite family vacation spot, a natural preserve in North Carolina. “Hobcaw” is a Native American word meaning “between the waters” which signifies the eatery’s savory and sweet offerings.
With a country-like atmosphere and soft music, dining at Hobcaw gives the impression of sitting on a front porch, relaxing and enjoying the day with a great meal. Nothing is rushed about the place, which is nice when you compare it to a more hustle and bustle fast-paced eatery.
Outstanding personalities enhance the dining experience. Every staff member really went out of their way to add that personal touch and customers were known on a first name basis.
James recommended the water-based corn chowder soup as a starter. It was absolutely amazing. As my main course, I choose the Bella Portabella, a vegan dish that came with homemade hummus, red onion and avocado. It also had mixed baby greens. I ordered roasted winter vegetables (squash, peppers, carrots and onions) as a side. Everything was so delicious and filling. The meals are well-proportioned, so make sure you leave room for dessert!
My fiancé, Dennis, ordered the braised short rib sandwich (moist, tender short ribs, boned and pulled) which he described as “hearty.” He said, “With one bite, the sandwich melted in your mouth. It’s definitely a barbeque dream sandwich.”
The organic coffee was so gratifying, I enjoyed it black. But it was nice to know that Hobcaw had soymilk as an option. They also had a large selection of organic teas, including green, white and herbal. It was just one of those places that had it all.
Although Nancy said Hobcaw’s mission is to get people to eat more vegetables, they do draw the line when it comes to desserts. “We’re not saints in here,” said Nancy. “Once you get in our dessert section, you’re on your own.” The artisan dessert menu is made up of a large variety of pies, breads, cakes and custards. They even have the old-fashioned “Whoopie” pies. I was good though, and split a moist, rich carrot cake with Dennis.
“It’s been a nice community for us,” Nancy said. And in the spirit of giving back to the community, Hobcaw would be willing to donate merchandise and gift cards to non-profit organizations.
Hobcaw offers free delivery and family meals, including a “football food” menu which can be delivered on Sunday if scheduled in advance. A Valentine’s Day Dinner is available for Friday, Feb. 11, Saturday, Feb. 12 and Monday, Feb. 14.
For more information, go to: www.hobcawcafe.com
Contact Mary Anne Christiano at: MaryAnneChristiano@Gmail.com