Few people know and understand what it takes to run a successful restaurant. You must be part and all chef, cook, janitor, nutritionist, hospitality expert, accountant, marketing adept, and insomniac (meaning you don’t require sleep). If you all these skills and then add that little miracle of just “One Thing”, meaning you possess a single skill or talent that no one else does, you just might be a booming success. I love when I find an up-and-coming restaurateur succeeding and loving every day in that mêlée. My recent discovery came from a place I used to frequent often when my children were young and I have now just rediscovered with the grandkids- Avila Hot Springs and Pool.
The inside restaurant space has been through more lives than a cat and I was thrilled to find a familiar friendly face now taking the helm in Yvonne Mendivel who now runs the restaurant and has renamed it Home Plate. Yvonne was a long time friend and server from Fat Cats in Avila. She served us daily as we labored over our sailboat. This lady is a unique person, possessing a real caring attitude and true love for what she is doing. She opened Home Plate in March of this year with her husband; she has turned this into a popular and sensational food enterprise.
I asked her where the name came from and she told me she wanted this café to be just like home, offering quality meals that were like your mom was in the kitchen (if your mom could cook). She has succeeded. The café has almost always primarily served pool attendees, and I love that I can lie by the pool and have my food delivered. They also are offering Dinner and Movie nights where they show a family movie on the wall outside by the healing spa while you dine on pizza, tacos or delectable Mac & Cheese. This property has always had a magic quality to it and now with Yvonne, it is pure enchantment.
My first visit was a lunch affair feeding the kidlets too, so we ordered Sliders with fresh cut fries and inhaled them poolside as people do after swimming for hours. The Sliders were served on fresh brioche rolls with grilled onions, cheddar cheese and pickles with a dab of mayo. They were perfectly cooked and the flavor was outstanding. The kids devoured the fresh cut fries that were seasoned with an outstanding flavor and the sweet potato fries possessed that sweet and salty element we all loved. Trying to maintain a healthy appearance for their reporting back to their mom, I also ordered the Roasted Veggie plate with mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and onions. Prepared impeccably, these were also inhaled, so I felt good about a poolside snack and glad that owners understood the importance of making healthy food taste good.
Our next visit was just for dessert with my hunny as he had missed Miss Yvonne’s Bomb Bread Pudding that he had lived on when we were in the Port. She was excited he remembered, and dished him up a huge portion of fragrant treat that is a sweet explosion in your mouth with cranberries, house made French cream topped with vanilla ice cream. He tried the peach cobbler and she told us the cobblers were made fresh every day, with surprises appearances of in-season fruit. He vowed to try each one. I was a bit more reasonable and ordered the Chicken Blue Pizza with lightly breaded chicken breast, ham, white cream sauce and swiss cheese. This mix of savory and hot ingredients made for an excellent pizza pie. Home Plate offers other specialty pizza and a Build Your Own option. I also tried the Crab Cakes and Fried Pickles both were a gastronomic enjoyment.
My third visit, I tried the breakfast (they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner) choosing the Breakfast Burrito. This huge meal blanketed with a flour tortilla combination of eggs, hash browns, chorizo, cheese, jalapenos and avocado was enough food for three meals and delectable. I took an order of cinnamon rolls to go for my sweet tooth at home. You can tell that all the items are expertly prepared with the passion of wanting each bite to satisfy.
Home Plate offers lunch buffets for only $7.99 from 11:00am – 2:00pm on Monday and Wednesday’s featuring Mexican and Italian dishes. On Tuesday’s they offer $1.00 Tacos and I have heard that the mole and chorizo tacos are worth the trip, so I will be trying this next time. I encourage you to grab your towel and spend the day enjoying the pool and the food.
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