Samoa Cookhouse Eureka Reviews
a restaurant and a mini- museum Jul 09, 2013
I typed in on my cell phone for restaurants we could have dinner in the town of Eureka, and Samoa Cookhouse was the first to appear on my search. We thought it was a restaurant for Samoan cuisine. As we are always open to trying different cuisines, we all agreed to go to Samoan Cookhouse.
The van's GPS helped us get there correctly. The restaurant is in the middle of Woodley Island off the coast of the city of Eureka. It was a foggy and dark afternoon, so the GPS was a big help in finding the place.
The restaurant building is huge! Its facade is a dark shade of red. We thought we might have gone to a wrong place, but the signage confirms it that we were in the right spot. The restaurant looked isolated in the middle of an ample parking lot, but as soon as we stepped inside, a big crowd of boisterous diners was a (pleasant) surprise.
Samoa Cookhouse apparently is a restaurant with a rich history. You can marvel what took place in that building many, many years ago through the mini-museum located adjacent to the main dining hall. It is free to enter into the museum of logging equipment, antique kitchen appliances, different types of office equipment, b/w photos and much more. I wish that the objects have labels, so, we would know exactly, what those pieces of the material are. The hallway to the restroom is a gallery of old photos of employees of the Samoa Logging Company.
Built in 1885, Samoa Cookhouse is the only surviving logging or timber mill cookhouse here in the West. A cookhouse, during that time in the community of loggers, is crucial. If I may put it this way, “the secret of a mill man’s hard work is the abundance of food in the cookhouse."
Imagine a dining hall full of rugged, sweaty and dirty men in their overall uniforms who just rushed in with their starving bellies. Imagine also not just the noises of cluttering plates, utensils, bowls, and cups but also the shouting and yelling of a dozen of kitchen staff of men and women who carried out the onerous task of feeding these lumberjacks! The servers or kitchen staff won’t stop serving until everyone was fully satisfied! In cookhouses, table manners were usually thrown into the backseat. The rowdier it is, the merrier! A cookhouse was not just a place where mill men went for a giant, heartily meal but also a place to exchanged jokes, talking, and (out loud) laughing. It was a place where every mill men and cookhouse workers blended in laughter despite a long day in their respective heavy loads.
The menu was consisting of soup, meat, potatoes with gravy, bread, and plenty of vegetables. The bread baked in the cookhouse kitchen is always fresh. A fruit or a piece of pie or cake was their dessert all the time. The men will only know what the menu was on the same day.
The role of the cooks, waitresses, and other kitchen staffs is very crucial. They worked early and stay up until they accomplished the work. They were usually “stay-in” meaning they live and had rooms in the cookhouse’s dormitory. The waitresses did not only serve food but also they scrub the wooden floors with water and soap.
Today, the working condition of the kitchen staff may differ now, but the way they serve the food on each table is still the same! Even the way the tables were set up with dining plates and utensils are still the same from the former days. The menu is never “broadcast” until the time the restaurant opens for the day.
During our visit, they had “roast pork with gravy” and “chicken parmesan” as meats. Steamed green beans and green salads for veggie selections. Bowls of soup are also on the menu. My family and I loved their vegetable soup; it was fantastic! Their bread is the best bread I’ve ever tried! The roast pork is so tender; that it melts in the mouth. And we also liked the lemon cake with real cream cheese frosting. The cost of per person is $15.00 and a child under the age of 11 is $10.00. A bit pricey but add the fun of eating at a place with such history and tasty foods in huge servings; I think it is worth the try.
The dining style is like an “eat-all-you-can” and a “family dining” at the same time. It is a family dining because the servers will bring the food to the table and the diners will serve themselves. It is also an eat all you can because you ask the waitress to replenish your serving plates, and she keeps refilling until you tell her to stop! So the one thing to remember when you have the chance to dine here is to eat slowly…nibble your food finely…and enjoy the meal! Drinks are not inclusive by the way.
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