One of the first things that you will notice when you enter California Dreaming is that no one is in a hurry. While most people go into restaurants to order an entrée and leave as in a “slam bam thank you ma’am” fashion, customers at California Dreaming are enjoying full meal orders of salads, mains and desserts. Some may think that it is all about the salads because after all, from 1999 to 2014 California Dreaming has been voted as the restaurant serving the best salad based on the Augusta Magazine’s readers survey and in the Columbia County Magazine for 2014.
Starting off with specialty salads at California Dreaming is the best way to dine. Choices include the house specialty; California Dreaming Salad with its mixed greens, shredded ham and turkey, smothered with cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, surrounded by chopped eggs, with mixed tomatoes, toasted almonds all topped with warm Hormel ham and bacon. For a taste of fresh tender chicken, some may opt for Broiled Breast of Chicken Salad with mixed greens, hearts of palm, fresh mushrooms, scallions, chopped tomatoes with a broiled marinated chicken breast. Or for something very simple , anyone can start off with their Special House Salad with its mixed greens, chopped eggs, almonds, tomatoes, Hormel Ham and Bacon.
Any other restaurants can have the same ingredients in their salads but they can never capture the award winning taste of the California Dreaming recipe because a lot of it has got to do with their homemade dressing and freshly baked honey-butter croissants.
For mains, a lot of customers are opting for a sandwich. Sliced Prime Rib Sandwich is always popular with thin slices of prime rib dipped in Au Jus and topped with Monterey jack cheese on toasted French bread or the Shrimp B.L.T. Wrap with spicy shrimps, diced tomatoes, bacon, Romano cheese and Romaine tossed with Caesar dressing and wrapped in a spinach tortilla. For seafood choices you can have the battered Fried Flounder, the rosemary and thyme encrusted Oven Roasted Salmon, the indulgently battered Fried Shrimp Platter or, the Atlantic oyster and flounder treat Fried Seafood Platter. Steak meals at California Dreaming is always filling with orders than can only go larger and larger starting off with the 10-ounce Sirloin Steak that is marinated for 48 hours to achieve its juiciest and tender-perfect form.
For a larger treat, you can go for the 12-ounce hand-cut Ribeye or the biggest one in the house; the 14-ounce center-cut New York Strip. Favorite pasta choices are the Four Cheese Ravioli with parmesan, fontina, Romano and ricotta ravioli in a marsala cream sauce and the chicken Sausage Pomodoro with chicken sausages and roasted chicken tossed with fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and bell peppers in their seasoned tomato sauce over penne pasta. For those going for poultry, two of the favorites are Knob Hill Chicken with their giant marinated chicken topped with ham and Monterey jack cheese and the Chicken Parmesan that’s coated with Italian Bread crumbs and Romano cheese, sautéed and topped with marinara and mozzarella, served in linguine.
And finally desserts that can be any choice of an Apple Walnut Cinnamon Pie, Key Lime Pie, New York Cheesecake, Chocolate Brownie, Ice Cream Floats, Milkshakes, Reese’s Dream Cup, Pina Colada or a frozen Strawberry Daiquiri.
Complete meals from salads all the way to desserts, that’s the best way to dine at California Dreaming. So is it just about the salads? It is most certainly not. It is the perfect combination of salad, mains and dessert that makes all the magic. The salad merely paves the way for the exciting entrees that will land on your dining table. The combination is as delightful as the California sunrise and as engaging as the romantic sunsets.