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Friday, July 6, 2012

Pickles and olives and brie, oh my! Fantastic picnic food at Jimtown Store

After breakfast at the Haydon Street Inn Tracy and I headed out to visit Jimtown Store. It sells everything from gourmet sandwiches, killer comfort food, jams with a twist (have you ever seen green rhubarb jam before?) and classic candies, to antiques & vintage collectibles, to a small selection of housewares and cookbooks. I found Jimtown on the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives Flavortown website. You can watch the episode with host Guy Fieri by Clicking Here. It features Jimtown's Chain Gang Chili and BBQ Bourbon Brisket Sandwich with Chipotle Mayo.

Jimtown Store, American Flag, Healdsburg, CA

I think the only thing that could make this picture more Americana'esque would be a farmer in overalls holding a pitchfork standing beneath the flag. Oh, and he'd need to be holding a chicken in the other arm and there would have to be a pig standing beside him. LOL

Jimtown Store, Ford, F-250 Pickup

This is the classic shot everyone probably takes because you can get both the Jimtown store and Jimtown's 1955, Ford F-250 pickup at the same time.

Ford F-250 Pickup, name plate

Love it! It definitely sets the mood of what to expect even before you walk through the front door.

Jimtown Store, Menu Board

On the porch you'll see a chalk menu board with special items being served that day. I wanted the Vegetarian Chili, Spicy Mac & Cheese, the Grilled Cheese with Roasted Vegetables and the Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding.

Tracy Logan, Wine Road, Lumix GF2 Camera

And there's Tracy Logan from the Wine Road shooting with her new GF2 camera on a quick stop we made at Jimtown the day before. She wanted to show me the store before they closed that afternoon. We came back the next day to take our time and have lunch.

Inside, the store has all kinds of goodies. It's a great place to stop and stock up on picnic food if you're going wine tasting for the day. Just be sure to bring an ice chest with you so you can keep the cold things cold. Jimtown offers Signature Sandwiches (most are in the $8.00-$9.00 range though their most famous BBQ Brisket runs $13.95 with a side of buttermilk coleslaw or potato salad), sandwiches made to order, boxed lunches and catering. They can feed just you or a whole passel of people at a corporate event, wedding, family reunion or a summer picnic.

The vibe inside is retro, creative and full of whimsy. There's all kinds of things to shop for including culinary ingredients, vintage toys and candies, dish wares, glasses and cookbooks.

Jimtown even has its own cookbok so if you can't make it out to Healdsburg you can still recreate their dishes in the comfort of your own kitchen.

And OMtCs (Oh My tiny Chickens). So cute!

So, here's the cool thing. Remember back in December when my foodie friend Carl and I did our final food tour excursion of 2011? We'd gone south down to Carmel Valley and Carmel by the Sea. While in Carmel Valley we passed the Earthbound farm stand on the side of the road. There, for the first time ever I saw Jimtown's Fig & Olive (kalamata) spread. I had to have it. And I loved it. Well, now I was standing in the place that makes it all the way up in Healdsburg. I though that was pretty neat-o.

Walk further in and all of a sudden you're in an antiques and collectibles shop with more dining tables in case the front of the house is full.

Go out the side door and you'll find patio seating. The arbor above is a dense canopy of grape vines and wisteria.

As soon as I saw this cluster I thought to myself "grape chandelier!"

Back inside it was time to order lunch. From the moment I saw it on their online menu I knew I could only order the Brie & Chopped Olive Signature Sandwich ($7.75). At the recommendation of the counter person I had my bread toasted. Salads, soup and chili run around $4.00 to $5.00 for small or individual servings.

Though I knew what I wanted to eat, I couldn't decide what to drink: Spindrift Sparkling Grapefruit soda? Or Nana Mae's Organic Pressed Pear juice? So I got both.

I took my number, chose a table and waited for my sandwich.

Chopped Olive, Melted Brie, Sandwich

It was everything I'd hoped it would be. I was a little worried that the Brie (always a delicate and subtly flavored cheese) might not be able to compete with the more flavorful olive spread but my worries were for naught. The brie held its own and the sandwich couldn't have been more delish! The brie wasn't a cold slab. In the picture you can see it was softened and melted just the right amount.

Bread and Butter, Spicy, Pickles

And on the plate were two slices of bread and butter pickles. Boy was I surprised that not only were they sweet, they were spicy too!

Carrie Brown, Tracy Logan, Jimtown

We'd just finished eating lunch when owner Carrie Brown arrived and came over to say hello to Tracy. It was so fun meeting her in person! She was adorable, delightful, and she posed for this photo with Tracy, graciously humoring me when I asked if Jojo the dinosaur and my new tiny rubber chicken could join them. LOL

Ginger Spice Cookie, Jar, Sign

She also offered to send over a dessert! As much as I wanted that Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding I was just too full. So instead I chose a Ginger Spice cookie.

Plate, Ginger Spice Cookie, Jimtown

It was big! Tracy and I agreed to split it.

Ginger Spice Cookie, Mini Rubber Chicken, Dinosaur

Although I drew the line at only sharing with Tracy. LOL

Jimtown Chopped Olive Spead, Sonoma Brinery Pickles

Before we left I purchased a container of the Chopped Olive Spread and some of those Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles from the Sonoma Brinery. I think I'm addicted to both. I've been tossing the olive spread with angel hair pasta and sweet corn.

One Pot Chopped Olive Angel Hair Pasta with Corn
1. Boil Pasta. I use 1/2 traditional and 1/2 wheat angel hair pasta
2. Put frozen corn in the bottom of the colander you'll use to drain the pasta
3. Pour the hot water and pasta over the frozen corn it blanches the corn
4. Add a small pat of salted butter to the now empty pasta pan and let it melt
5. Add spoonfuls of olive spread to the pan
6. Add back in the pasta and corn and toss
7. Add salt and pepper to taste

It's that easy!

Pasta, Jimtown Chopped Olive Spread, Corn
It takes less than 10 minutes to make.

And the pickles? I've been eating them alone or partnered with Trader Joe's canned Alaskan salmon and whole grain Saltine crackers.

Salmon Pickle Crackers
1. First I set a cracker down
2. Then I add a pickle
3. Then I top it off with some canned salmon


Cracker, Bread and Butter Pickle, Salmon
Food doesn't have to be complicated to taste good!

I know Sonoma is famous for their wine tasting tours but I wonder if there are ever any pickle tasting tours? I'd sign up for one in a heartbeat :)

From now on I'll have to stop in at Jimtown every time I head up to Healdsburg to stock up on supplies and enjoy another menu item! Though it will be hard not to order the Brie and Chopped Olive Sandwich again. #FoodiesDilemma

To visit Jimtown Store just head up to the Alexander Valley. It sits on the main road you'll take to reach the wineries.

Jimtown - Website
6706 Healdsburg Highway 128
Healdsburg, CA 95448 - map

They're open breakfast and lunch hours so don't try heading to Jimtown for dinner unless you eat on the early side :)

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