I happened upon this humble hangout around lunchtime on a Wednesday, and from the steady stream of customers eating and shopping, it was evident that this store is quite popular. I was immediately taken in by the antique gas- lamp-style ceiling lights and the abundance of holiday floral arrangements, which made the store festive and welcoming.
I was seated next to a beautiful mural of a fruit stand and patisserie by local artist Holly Nicholson, under a pair of false windows complete with flower boxes and rustic shutters.
The restaurant area is modest—around 10 tables—but not too crowded. I had plenty of space to mosey around, eye-shopping some adorable hand-painted Christmas ornaments ($4) and a unique square-potted tree that looked like it was coated with tiny sugar crystals ($40).
My lunch arrived quickly, and I was fortunate to have ordered the “beef and bleu” sandwich with a side order of homemade potato salad ($6.19). Now, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who like bleu cheese and those who would rather gnaw on a cactus than touch it. I am in the first group, and I can tell you that there is something magical about marrying savory roast beef, sweet caramelized onions, earthy sautéed mushrooms and pungent bleu cheese crumbles in between two thick slices of grilled sourdough bread.
The side of potato salad was a class act with well-seasoned unskinned baby red potatoes and diced hard-boiled eggs. For all of you non-bleu cheesers out there, I would recommend the new Nate's melt, which is sliced beef roast, green chile, red peppers, caramelized onion, avocado and cheddar on grilled sourdough ($6.79). All of the sandwiches are served with a choice of potato salad, chips or fresh fruit, or a substitute garden salad ($.50) or spinach salad ($.99).
If a big salad is more your style for lunch, then try the citrus chicken salad with spring greens, mandarin oranges and almonds ($6.19), or the grilled tuna steak salad with a filet of fresh lemon-pepper grilled tuna atop greens, red peppers, celery and their house cucumber dill dressing ($6.59).
Hannah and Nate's is also vegetarian-friendly, and offer several meatless selections including a grilled veggie wrap with zucchini, roasted peppers, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and organic sunflower sprouts, and a grilled portabella mushroom salad with their signature creamy vinaigrette dressing.
I was mildly miffed at the plastic plateware, which, to me, did not do the food justice. But I am willing to forgive them because they use crushed ice in their drinks. Who doesn't like that? And the service is splendid, with cheerful and animated servers like the musical Megan making the rounds. I enjoyed seeing a little taste of farmhouse in the city, and as I am a transplant from the Midwest myself, I can personally attest to the best part: no cows to milk, no stables to muck and I'm not the one washing the dishes.
Carne adovada crisp appetizer
Beef and bleu sandwich
Tuscan meatloaf sandwich
Grilled portabello salad
Hannah and Nate's Home Décor and Market Café. 6251 Riverside Plaza NW Suite. B-4, 922-1155. Café hours: 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Home décor hours: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Price range: Inexpensive. No smoking, major credit cards accepted.