Miltonians out there might remember Norma’s Restaurant & Subs, a 40-year staple in that tiny town. Proprietor Norma Fleming employed her daughter-in-law, Gail, for 15 years. She obviously perfected her short-order cooking skills and brings those talents to the tiny Creek Side Cafe (formerly Old Landing Restaurant) which opened on March 1, 2012. As cook, she keeps up the tradition of (mostly) homemade, basic breakfasts and lunch.
This is an interesting place. Manager Sheila McCall scampers about, doing double/triple duty asPro-Shop manager, checking golfers in and out of Old Landing Golf Course, refilling drinks, running food and kibitzing with the regulars. In addition to its duties as a breakfast and lunch place, the building on the hill serves as the Old Landing clubhouse and sports a 100-seat banquet room that enjoys a spectacular view of Arnell Creek and Robert Marshall’s Old Landing Golf Course (weekday fees are $49 including a cart).
The breakfast menu is typical of a facility such as this. Quick, easy-to-eat items like breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal and various breakfast meat sides are pretty much it. And that’s not a bad thing, as Gail makes a fine Fried Egg Sandwich with cheese and scrapple (on an English Muffin, thank you, though you may also choose toast). The oatmeal is quite good, not too thick, and for some reason comes with toast. I can’t help but think of my Favorite Foodie’s mother, who served a baked potato with spaghetti. So, when in Rome, and all that….
The lunch menu is a bit more extensive, but still sticks with the basics. I have to tell you that Gail’s Egg Salad Sandwich is stuffed to bursting with some of the best egg salad I’ve had around here. Lettuce and tomato rounds out the simple preparation that’s not too wet and delightfully chunky.
On my first visit I had what the menu proclaimed as: Old Landing’s Famous Homemade Chicken Salad sandwich. If you are looking for chicken salad kicked up with grapes, walnuts, radishes, squid, red cabbage, apples, brie cheese, rutabagas or whatever else can be found to hide the fact that it’s just chicken salad, this is NOT the sandwich for you. Like the egg salad, it is basic, straight-ahead and very good. You might notice from the photo that I did add bacon. That was apparently a new one for Gail, and I suggested she add it to the clubhouse menu. She smiled patiently and slowly backed away from the table (I get that a lot).
Though I haven’t yet had it, I received several emails that touted the freshness and taste of the Tuna Salad. If the chicken salad and egg salad are any indication, I would order it in a minute.
The Crispy Fish Sandwich is crunchy and flavorful. Though obviously a frozen product, it is expertly fried and not greasy in the slightest. The value-added is that the breading is something like panko, and it makes for a very nice mouth feel. This sort of thing is certainly Gail’s forté, and she does it well. The Bacon Cheeseburger is loaded with bacon and is quite good. With the exception of semi-fast food places like Five Guys and Jake’s Wayback Burgers (both of which serve a nice burger) there are very few quiet, sit-down restaurants where you can get a burger like this for a paltry $6.50.
On our most recent visit, I took a chance and departed slightly from the standard breakfast/lunch/salad fare: I ordered the Cheesesteak. Regulars here to RehobothFoodie.com know that I’m a maniac when it comes to cheesesteaks, and I was prepared to be disappointed. I was not disappointed. The thinly sliced steak was well done, and properly chopped with the onions. It was served on a diminutive, yet surprisingly authentic Amoroso’s-style roll. Though they don’t have the cherry pepper spread that is so nice on a cheesesteak, they did have some hot pepper rings that worked OK. I would order this again.
Creek Side Cafe1/8 View from your table…2/8 The egg salad is eggs-ceptional. Sorry. Couldn’t resist.3/8 Plain & tasty chix salad4/8 Crunchy fish sandwich5/8 The surprisingly well-put-together cheesesteak.6/8 Creek Side Cafe7/8 The view from another table8/8
Gail is particularly proud of the soups at Creek Side Cafe, so much so that she features a different one every day. As of this writing, Monday is Green Limas & Corn, Tuesday is Veggie Beef, Wednesday celebrates Chili, Thursday is Chix Noodle, and Friday pays traditional meatless homage to Manhattan Clam Chowder. Saturdays and Sundays feature Seafood Chowder. There are 3 emails in my inbox that sing the praises of the Seafood Chowder. I might go tomorrow.
Creek Side Cafe lives up to its name as a quiet place with a peaceful view and a feeling that you’re the guest of a couple of your friendly aunts, intent on satisfying your every wish. They have a Sunday Breakfast Buffet that’s only $8.95 per person and $4.95 for smaller persons (under 12). Though it’s pretty typical fare, you usually don’t see Eggs Benedict at these prices, and kielbasa also joins the breakfast meat lineup. French Toast and Creamed Chip Beef also make what I suspect are tasty cameos.
Creek Side Cafe is open seven days in-season from 7 a.m. ’til 3 p.m. Drive almost all the way down Old Landing Road. You’ll see the fenced golf course on your right, and the entrance to the course and the restaurant is marked with a sign at 20836 Old Landing Road. If you’re going to eat, drive up the hill and park by the side of the building. To check their hours, reserve a tee time or perhaps inquire about a rehearsal dinner, wedding reception or lunch/breakfast business meeting, call Sheila at 302-227-3131. Be patient, she might be refilling somebody’s lemonade or helping Gail run food. Everybody’s friendly and sort of laid back, and I have to say that Creek Side Café is a delightful escape, with a wonderful view, from the in-season craziness just a mile or so east of there. (B., L., Sunday Buffet).
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