Should I get the biscuits and gravy or the pancakes?” the young stranger seated next to me asked the server at Wishbone in Petaluma.
“Oh, that’s easy,” the server said, leaning on the counter we shared. “Get the biscuits and gravy. We only have it when we’re working with an animal, and we have the pancakes all the time.”
The animal that Wishbone’s kitchen was working with was evidently a sheep as the biscuits were napped in mutton gravy. The stranger pronounced it delicious and, after taking a bite (I also had some of his bacon cinnamon bun; it’s just that kind of a place), I did, too.
That a tiny funky little spot can work with an animal, explain it that way to a customer, and have everyone not only understand what they’re saying but be pleased to support it means many things.
It means that the pendulum is continuing to swing back to less wasteful, more respectful days. That consumers are increasingly educated and anxious to eat well and live lightly. That Sonoma County regularly supports places like Wishbone—and Mateo’s, featured in this issue—that use all of an animal. Because it’s delicious, and a treat.
I like it as a metaphor. We can have the pancakes any time. Let’s seize what’s special now!
Gretchen Giles, Editor
P.S. This issue marks my last as editor since co-founding this magazine three years ago. While pursuing other goals, I will still contribute to this glorious experiment!