Samoa, Calif.--Samoa Cookhouse is one of the oldest restaurants in California and the last surviving lumberjack camp style cookhouse in
Since 1893 heaping meals have been served to both
lumberjacks who the place was originally built for, and now, the public, longing
for hearty, American style breakfasts, lunch and dinner meals.
As you enter the old building similar to what many may remember from their
church or youth group camping days--with the dining halls tables lined up picnic
style--red&white oilcloth covered tables and mismatched chairs, people sit
in long rows with up to 40 diners to a table. You get the feel of what it must
have been like for a lumberjack to come in for fueling before he hit the forests
and sawed some logs. Waiters & waitresses quickly fill the tables with huge
loaves of bread--be sure to leave room for the desserts that will come later.
Amazingly the popular Samoa Cookhouse can serve up to 15,000 people in a
single day, and they have done so many times on Mother's Day especially. When
you have to wait to find seating, there's a logging museum in one of the rooms
next to the dining areas.
The food: The food comes from the local region, and for those who know
about the dairy cattle in Humboldt County, suffice to say that choosing eggs,
flapjacks, bacon and sausages on the breakfast menu are great choices. The eggs
are cooked on a grill and a bowl contains more than two scrimpy eggs from
McDonald's or IHOP. Think mega-meals in a lumberjack camp! Like Wisconsin, this
area of California makes great cheeses, cream for ice cream desserts, and
produce that seems fresh.
From your table you can smell the food cooking, hear the sizzle of the
sausage and watch the cook prepare the hundreds of meals within view.
Cooking thousands of eggs, sausages, sandwiches and soups is what Samoa
Cookhouse does best.
At logging camps, the cook was recognized as one
of the most important people. His cooking skills and style created the
tone for hard working lumberjacks who burned thousands of calories
each day, and longed for something good to eat. Loggers were actually known to leave a
camp for better fixins', believe it not!
The Samoa Cookhouse also has three private rooms available for large or
small gatherings and a
historic logging museum.
To reach the Cookhouse, take the Samoa Bridge (Hwy. 255) from Eureka,
turn left at the end of the bridge on Samoa Road and look for signs.
Call: (707) 442-1659