Pull up a rainbow-hued chair in the sweet little garden at Persimmons Garden Gallery and take in the flowers (1055 Redway Drive, Redway). Some will show up on your fluffy cornmeal waffle topped with Bourbon barbecued pulled pork and pickled onions, drizzled with lime crema ($15). Take that, chicken and waffles. The organic El Guapo omelet is stuffed with homemade chorizo, black beans, Loleta jack cheese and salsa ($12).
Bypass the gazes of wall-mounted deer and elk watching from the walls at Shamus T Bones (1911 Truesdale St., Eureka) and carry your drink out to the firepit overlooking the scenic Hikshari' Trail and Humboldt Bay. Back inside, nibble on warm, buttered corn muffins while you wait for your grilled artichoke with chipotle aioli — you may never go back to boiled ($7.99). A stack of sweet, hand-dipped Walla Walla onion rings and a trio of sticky pork ribs round out appetizers enough to make a meal ($7.99 each). Keep your eyes peeled in case the staff fires up the big, silver Tesla coil in the middle of the dining room.
Relaxing on the patio at 3 Foods (835 J St., Arcata), you can see why the place has such a serious set of regulars devoted to the farm-to-table goodness. Ravioli stuffed with duck leg confit and candied hazelnuts are bathed in a rich gorgonzola cream sauce sprinkled with duck skin cracklings ($14). Something lighter? The catch of the day shows up in ceviche tacos with fresh vegetables and soft, homemade tortillas ($12). And the anise-fragrant Humboldt fungi tagine is a "healing ayurvedic stew" with sweet potato and coconut rice ($12). Feeling better already.
Photos by Mark McKenna