The Parish Cafe, Healdsburg

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Nawlins comes to Healdsburg at The Parish Cafe

“The first time  you walk in, we want you to feel like you’ve been here a hundred times,” says Bradley Blanchard, setting down a half pound Muffaletta sandwich on my table with a wink. Despite looking easily half my age, he’s called me “Baby” at least three times, with the same kind of boyish Southern charm as his cousin, Parish Cafe owner Rob Lippincott. I can’t say I mind being fawned over. Nor will you.

With all of the easy of The Big Easy, Lippincott’s New Orleans cafe draws you in with homey charm, Southern comfort and a menu that’s pure French Quarter. Open for breakfast and lunch Wednesday through Sunday, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more authentic Louisiana cooking this side of the mighty Miss.

Breakfast includes a crawfish and Andouille omelet;($11) Egg St. Charles (poached egg with fried trout, $14); Shrimp Grits with Creole tomato sauce ($12), Pain Perdu (French toast with bananas and Bourbon sauce, $9) and Lippincott’s signature Beignets (three for $5), which he’s sold for several years at local farm markets. You’re required, at least by me, to eat those beignets — lightly fried pastries with a dusting of powdered sugar — with Cafe au Lait ($3.50), a heavenly mix of half-and-half and chicory coffee often associated with the famous Cafe Du Monde.

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Lunch is a hearty affair with ten different Po-Boys — the signature sandwich of New Orleans served on a light and fluffy French baguette. Lippincott’s in-laws (who own nearby Costeaux French Bakery) make the loaves specially for the restaurant, which are stuffed with fried shrimp, fried oysters (go for the half-and-half, with a mix of both oysters and shrimp), catfish or fried green tomatoes (half or King-sized, $7-$15). Several come with “debris” gravy, pronounced day-bray, a salty, meaty roast beef au jus (which I ordered on the side to dip my fries). The Muffaletta (another NOLA staple) is round of focaccia piled with ham, salami, mortadella, provolone, mozzarella and house made olive spread ($12-18).

What you’re absolutely here for, however, is the gumbo, made with chicken and Andouille in authentic Southern style with okra, tomatoes, green peppers and served over white rice ($6). Order a side of feather-light hush puppies ($4) and fried okra (which is breaded fresh, so there’s no slime, $3).

You’ll pull away from the table full, no matter what you order. It’s Lippincott and Blanchard’s mission to send you away happy.

“This could easily become a habit,” says a customer waddling out the door. But not before Lippincott hollers after him, “Come back soon, ya’ll.” 60A Mill St., Healdsburg, 431-8474.

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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  1. Delicious but scanty. A remoulade shrimp salad consisting of three (3) medium size shrimp, one hard boiled agg and enough remoulade source for a dozen shrimp on a bed of three huge lettuce leaves would be better described as an appetizer, not a salad.

    The gumbo was delicious but a bowl was a very small portion.

    The beignets were fabulous.

    Looking at other diners portions it seems a “po boy sandwich” is the way to go if you don’t want to feel hungry after the meal.

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  2. The WHO DATS are coming, can’t wait for NO food! See you next week. Your menu & resturant looks fantastic.

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  3. We had our first meal here last month, and we won’t be going back. For the price, the sandwiches were skimpy on meat. my friend ordered a catfish sandwich and there was so little fish that she couldn’t taste the fish.
    The sides are also skimpy and over priced. The hush puppies were almost tasteless and were dry rather than moist such as the the ones I’ve had in the South. I’ll be going to Sweat Tea in the future for this kind of food. They know how to make hush puppies!

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    • You must have eaten sour grapes this day. I have eaten there seven times and nothing you said is true. This custom food is certainly not overpriced by CA standards. The catfish poboy has a generous portion of fish. The hush puppies are moist & delicious. I urge you to try The Parish Cafe again. Try the fried okra with remoulade sauce, $4, a unique & tasty dish. At breakfast try the Pain Pardeu (French Toast) or the shrp & grits.

    • Sweat tea? Sounds horrible!

  4. Their hours are 9-4 pm, Wednesday-Sunday. This place is INCREDIBLE. Far from pretentious and has a good “down home” feel. Best po-boys this side of the Mississippi!!

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  5. Horrible hours Wed-Sun 9:00am-3:00pm
    They refused to take a “to-go” order.
    Gives off the snobby to good for this or that vibe which is infecting Healdsburg.

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  6. I went there today. Ordered the hush puppies and cup of gumbo. The food was very good and priced well. EVERYTHING that came out of the kitchen looked greatt! I arrived at 1:15.

    The wait staff really needs pratice. I sat myself at the bar. No one brought me water or a menu. I finally got up and got my own menu. Decided what I wanted then had to look around for someone to take my order. Finally caught someones eye. Then my hush puppies were put on the ready to deliver table area. They took my hush puppies to someone elses table, someone told the server “NO, they go to the lady at the bar. So she went back to the table she left them on, told the party there “Oh sorry, these aren’t yours” and put them in front of me. I hope no one at that table sneezed or coughed on my hush puppies. Barley warm but ok. Will I go back? YOU BETCHA!

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    • And one more thing….THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for a simple menu without pages and pages to have to look through. Offer a few simple things done well and people will be happy.

  7. Muffaletta “sandwich”… as opposed to what? The Muffaletta pork chop? Perhaps the Muffaletta casserole? Or maybe the always popular Muffaletta latte? A Muffaletta is, by definition, a “sandwich.” As with all redundancies, this one is unnecessary (of course, to give credit where it’s due, you managed to avoid a similar gaffe with po’boy). All that said, having filled myself silly on Lippincott’s beignets at the Original Certified Santa Rosa Farmer’s Market, I can’t wait to get back up to He’burg and check this place out.

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    • Hey, not everyone grew up in the Big Easy. Sometimes we gots to explain a little. Though a Muffaletta latte could be quite interesting.

    • Heather, you should put a “like” option next to the reply box. I bet alot of people would have Liked your response to MugbugEddy. I never would have known what a maffaletta was unless you explained.

    • As the article said….60 A Mill Street. healdsburg.

  8. Just ate there and I’m hooked! I had the blackened catfish po boy, my friend half a muffuletta. Such big portions. All the food we saw coming out looked terrific! Also had fried okra and hush puppies. All delicious and can’t wait to return!

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  9. “What you want to do, and what you can do, is limited only by what you can dream.”

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    • “Do you think that’s air you’re breathing now?” The Matrix

  10. This place rocks……. Do not miss out on the Shrimp and Gris……AMAZING

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  11. Had lunch there, very tasty… a little place, so it’s easy to imagine it being constantly crowded…

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  12. Would love to visit your restaurant. I know if you are cooking, it will be good. Your menu sounds fantastic!

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  13. So, so, so, so, SO excited to try this place! It all sounds wonderful.

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  14. As a huge fan of southern food (and a North County resident), I have been anxiously waiting for this place to open. I have no idea when I will be able to actually eat there, however. The 9-4 hours mean I am out of luck W – F (work and all) and no local in her right mind wants to battle the tourist-masses to dine for lunch on the weekend. Seriously hoping they offer take-out. LOVE the concept, just hate the limited hours.

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    • they do have take out. i saw someone getting sammies wrapped up to go yesterday.

    • Rob,
      We’re friends of Bonnie & Bob. We’re planning a trip to the wine country and your dad sent me a message about your place and where to go. When would be a good time? I need a recommendation for a B&B in Healdsberg. Trying to talk our daughter, Stephanie & her family into joining us for a few days. (They live in Silicon Valley; Damon is w/ Mozilla.) Is your wife still doing the pizza oven thing? I’d like to hook her up w/ our son, John Hall. John is a landscape architect. He works for a high-end residential company. They outsource their pools, and I thought possibly he could suggest one of the ovens to some of his clients. The company he works for is LandWest Design in Austin. We enjoy your parents so much! Have been to a couple of your sister’s weddings and had a great time! You have the most amazing grandmother! She’s such a joy! We visited at Jane’s wedding. Good luck on your new venture!
      Carolyn Hall

    • Carolyn: Why don’t you just call him up for crying out loud.

    • Drove up from Petaluma and stopped by yesterday at 11:30AM for take out, said they were too busy to take my order. They didn’t look that busy and as I was walking in I saw a woman walking out with wrapped sandwiches. I guess they only care about locals and tourists. I went home and made myself and the family shrimp po’ boys for dinner. They were very good.

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