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Style: Folsom | El Dorado Hills

Willow Café & Sweetery

Jan 07, 2013 04:43AM ● Published by Style

Photos by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.

Tucked in the back of a nondescript complex off of Folsom Boulevard, Willow Cafe & Sweetery may be tough to find (keep an eye out for strategically placed sandwich boards to help direct you), but it’s certainly well worth the effort.

Only open a year, it’s sure to be the new go-to spot for those desiring a destination offering gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options; as well, there’s a menu for the carnivore (the meatloaf with house-ground sirloin is a favorite, and for the vegetarian, the Asian noodle salad looks quite satisfying). Be sure to try the fabulous focaccia bread, made in-house several times a week for Willow’s gigantic breakfast sandwich. The namesake bakery case features at least as many gluten-free versions of its scrumptious baked goods, if not more, than their regular-recipe counterparts. I’d recommend the standby blondies and sinfully rich brownies, but keep eye out for any of the daily specials.


Cajun Smoked Salmon

Photos by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.

On the brunch menu, the Buckwheat Pancakes with organic maple syrup disproves the “this tastes like cardboard” saying that sometimes accompanies items made with buckwheat. If you’re afraid of overdoing it on the sweets, try the Cajun Smoked Salmon – a small-plate option that’s perfect for sharing – featuring a lightly toasted crostini with silky-smooth cream cheese, red onion, and relatively tame “Cajun” salmon.

Though they just started offering dinner service in August (Thursday-Saturday starting at 5 p.m.), intriguing menu items like the Grilled Coho Salmon with an apricot glaze, sautéed Swiss chard and wild rice salad, or the popular Polenta Lasagna with seasonal vegetables and house-made tomato sauce (it even features a hyper-local touch with basil grown out on the cafe’s patio) will surely prove to be just as superb as their brunch selections. Willow rebels from the ordinary and keeps it fresh by changing their menu throughout the year, assuring that guests get superior ingredients in their sinfully simple dishes.

Willow Cafe & Sweetery, 13405 Folsom Boulevard, Suite 950, Folsom, 916-294-7805,

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