Willits Restaurant reopens with new name, hours and menu; lettuce shortages; where to get your Thanksgiving turkey and other delicious news! • The Mendocino Voice | Mendocino County, CAThe Mendocino Voice



Willits restaurant has a new name, menu and hours
Cafe 77 in Willits is now Kelly’s Diner. Cafe 77 opened in 2017 to mixed reviews. Locals lamented that dishes lack fresh ingredients and slow service, while travelers to Willits praised the reasonable prices and solid breakfasts. Kelly’s Diner has expanded the menu and dine-in hours, providing a much-needed later dining option in town.

Breakfast starts at 7:00 a.m. and includes biscuits and gravy, four types of eggs Benedict, six types of omelets, breakfast skillets, waffles, and pancakes. Lunch includes appetizers (including my guilty pleasure: potato skins), burgers, sandwiches and salads. Breakfast and lunch stop at 3:00 p.m. and the menu switches to dinner until 10:00 p.m.

Dinner includes healthy seafood dishes (salmon with rice and vegetables), steaks, and Italian-inspired dishes like chicken parmesan and prawn pesto pasta. All dinners come with salad and garlic bread. The dessert menu includes dinner classics: apple pie a la mode, hot caramel sundaes and milkshakes. A children’s menu is available. There are a few vegetarian options on the menu. Beer and wine are available. Kelly’s Diner is open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 77 S. Main St., Willits.


Looking for lettuce at the grocery store? You might have trouble finding it.
General Produce, one of the largest product distributors on the West Coast, announced a shortage of iceberg and romaine lettuce. General Produce cites “extreme weather events” for the low inventory, including hurricanes, excessive heat, rain and high winds. Consumers will also find “quality issues and higher prices” on tomatoes, strawberries and other produce due to shortages. The shortage is impacting Mendocino County grocers, including Surf Market, which posted information about the shortage on social media.

Freshly squeezed orange juice mimosas at Windmills Cafe. (Sarah Stierch/The Voice of Mendocino)

It’s mimosa mania at this Ukiah restaurant
Windmills Cafe in Ukiah wins my unofficial award for best place for mimosas in Mendocino County. Last year I joined a friend for brunch, and we were delighted by the beautiful mimosas that arrived at our table: equal parts sparkling wine and freshly squeezed orange juice topped with a skewer of fresh fruit. Windmills has stepped up its mimosa game in recent months to launch a full menu of the brunch drink. The menu features a classic mimosa with orange juice and a rotating cast of flavors including white cranberry peach, tangerine peach, cherry, apple, mango, cranberry apple and more . They are sold by the glass ($6) and bottle ($30 for a bottle full of bubbles and juice). Windmill Cafe(707) 462-4667, 749 S. State St, Ukiah.


Home cooks shouldn’t miss this pumpkin cooking contest in Westport on November 12
This Saturday the Westport Hotel and Old Abalone Pub will host the Pie and Other Things Pumpkin Contest. Home cooks and bakers are welcome to make anything using pumpkin as an ingredient – from scratch. Examples include pumpkin pie, muffins, cakes, stews, curries and more. If you’re like me and more of an eater than a cook, you can pay $10 to taste and judge the entrees. The winner receives a $50 gift certificate to the Old Abalone Pub. Then stay for live music by Pura Vida from 5 p.m. The contest is from 3-4 p.m., Saturday, November 12, (707) 964-3688 for more information, 38921 N. Highway 1, Westport.

Dinner for dogs and cats in Mendocino, November 17
There’s nothing we love here at The Mendocino Voice but eating a good meal for a good cause, and you can do that during Dine Out for Cats and Dogs at Flow Restaurant & Lounge in Mendocino. A portion of each dinner bill will be donated to the Mendocino Coast Humane Society. 5-9 p.m., Thursday November 17, Feed Restaurant & Lounge, 45040 Main St., Mendocino. Reservations can be made by calling (707) 937-3569.

Ukiah restaurant offers discounts to farmers and farm workers
Harvest is coming to an end, and one of the most popular restaurants with inland agriculture workers for lunch is offering a discount especially for its loyal customers. Taste Buds is a fast casual restaurant serving vegetarian and vegan cuisine with Jamaican influences. Until November, 30 agricultural workers, including farmers and winemakers, can benefit from a 10% discount on a purchase. The hot bar at Taste Buds is particularly popular and the restaurant displays its menus on Facebook Daily. (707) 463-2253, 405 S. State St., Ukiah.

Donations needed for Thanksgiving Community Boxes in Laytonville
The Laytonville Healthy Start Family Resource Center will distribute Thanksgiving boxes containing the ingredients a family needs to make their own Thanksgiving dinner. The Center needs donations to fill the boxes, including packets of turkey gravy, canned instant potatoes, canned evaporated milk, cranberry sauce, mushroom soup, garnish for pumpkin pie, sparkling apple juice and more. Monetary donations are also accepted. Visit the Healthy Start Facebook page for details or call (707) 984-8089. Donations should be dropped off by Wednesday, November 16 at 44400 Willits Ave., Laytonville.

Where to order your Thanksgiving turkeys and prepared meals
Vendors across the county are accepting orders for turkeys, ducks and other holiday staples. Due to supply chain issues, prices are higher and products are limited, so place your orders now. Be sure to call your local grocer or store to see what they are offering this year. Here are some options:


arena market in Point Arena offers natural turkeys ranging from 10 to 32 pounds at $3.99 a pound for co-op members. Orders must be placed by Friday, November 11. You can place your order through their website. (707) 882-3663, 185 Main St., Point Arena.

Mariposa Market à Willits accepts orders for turkeys, turkey breasts, ducks, flower arrangements, desserts and more. Orders must be placed by November 18. You can find order forms in the deli or call (707) 459-9630, 500 S. Main St., Willits.

by Raley in Ukiah takes orders for Diestel and Butterball turkeys and Bourbon Pineapple Glazed Turkey Breasts and Hams. The store also offers complete meals that can feed two to eight people. Accompaniments and desserts are also available individually. Order online or call (707) 468-5178, 1315 N. State St., Ukiah.


Cafe Trinks in Gualala offers local grilled turkeys from 12 to 14 pounds. You can also order cookies by the dozen; pints of cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy; and pies. Orders must be placed by November 15. [email protected] to place your order. The menu can be found on the Trinks website. (707) 884-1713, 39140 Highway 1, Gualala.

Ukiah Natural Food Cooperative has free range and organic Mary’s Free Range turkeys ranging from 8 pounds to 24 pounds. Place your order at the store or by calling (707) 462-4778, 721 S. State St., Ukiah.


Small – but equally important – news
The QBBQ at Fort Bragg is once again open six days a week. The barbecue restaurant is open Monday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday to Friday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. They are closed on Sundays.

Do you have any food or drink news you’d like me to consider including in my weekly news digests? Email me at [email protected].

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