Ike’s Quarter Cafe, Nevada City | TheUnion.com

Ike’s Quarter Cafe, Nevada City

John HartIke's Quarter Cafe on York Street features dining al fresco.
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First, let us introduce ourselves.

We are Steve and Fran Lantz of Grass Valley, and we have lived in the area since 1992.

We met in a restaurant in Studio City 15 years ago, and part of our continued attraction to each other is our love of the dining experience. We have literally dined all over the world. We estimate that we have experienced cuisine in over 1,600 different restaurants, so it’s fair to say we have an excellent basis of comparison to draw from.

We have often talked about the idea of reviewing restaurants in the area. Our goal is to highlight some of Nevada County’s best fare and offer pointers on how to get the most out of your dining experience.

We have many stories to share on this note, from waiters who have hugged us goodbye to restaurant managers who have treated us to complimentary champagne and special dishes not on the menu.

While we make no promises that you will receive the same royal treatment wherever you go, there are certain rules of dining etiquette we will share with you that have worked well for us.

If you want the best service or the best table, your “friendly” attitude makes all the difference.

We both work hard, especially with two kids. Dining out is our way of escaping and being “served” so we take it very seriously.

We have similar tastes in food, so we share everything. Thus, we can sample more items on the menu so this is our first tip of the day: Always share with your partner.

Second tip: If you have something positive to comment on (ambience, menu selection, service, food quality, etc.), introduce yourself to the management and let them know. You will always be appreciated for passing on positive comments, or any comment, to those at the top.

Ike’s Quarter Cafe, in the heart of Nevada City, is one of our favorite haunts. You have the choice of sitting inside or under the shade of numerous trees that cover their cozy patio. Ike’s is owned and operated by Ike Frazee and his wife, Adrienne.

The Frazees have created a large collection of menu specialties from his love of flavorful New Orleans-style cooking. Ike Frazee proves that Cajun and Creole cooking are not necessarily as spicy as many people think.

His focus is to serve quality food, rich in taste, using organic flour, grains and produce and free-range meats whenever possible. We have dined throughout the French Quarter in New Orleans and found that Ike’s is more enjoyable and a wonderful departure from California cuisine.

Ike’s is open for breakfast and lunch and has a great menu for kids. The selection of beverages far exceeds what you find in most restaurants; there is an excellent selection of beer and wine. The specials change daily and feature a variety of biscuits (goodies), gumbos, salads, soups, entrees and desserts.

Try whatever goody, gumbo or soup is on the daily special. There is a wide selection of sandwiches to choose from, including muffulettas, burgers with caramelized onions, blackened catfish po’ boys, fried oyster po’ boys, barbecued ham and cheddar melts, turkey etouffee rolls and Southern specialties like jambalaya, gumbo, Creole BLTs and red beans with rice. What makes the sandwiches so good is the fresh bread on which they are served.

Order the French fries and a side of their house-made green onion dressing as a dip for a new taste sensation. If you see a wilted-spinach salad on the daily board, order it as fast as you can before it is sold out. You’ll never taste a better one.

Ike’s has a large selection of vegetarian entrees and a unique selection of Southern breakfast specialties, including country ham, biscuits and gravy, flapjacks, roasted corn flaps and grits that have an enticing peppery bite to them.

Save room for dessert, especially for the sweet potato pie (heavenly good) sprinkled with a tad of granulated sugar. Eat it with a mug of Ike’s robust and perfectly brewed coffee served in a large “French Market” mug.

We sampled a new dessert the other day – vanilla and espresso cheesecake – and nearly dueled with our forks for the last crumb. If you see the barbecued ribs, garlic mashed potatoes or gingered greens on special, order those, too.

The prices are very reasonable, and the food is so good. You may become regulars like us.

Steve and Fran Lantz of Grass Valley love to eat out. Contact them c/o The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA 95945.

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