Saturday, November 05, 2005

Retro Chic- Norm's Roast Haus Hof Brau

What’s old is new again. Gas crisis, indictments and cover ups, this sound familiar? I am not a crook! Libby or is it Liddy? I’m convinced if you hang around on this planet long enough you’ll begin to see the repeats.

A sales rep came to the office the other day. She wore a business suit consisting of a mini skirt, matching jacket, tall black boots and pantyhose. I was immediately enamored. Holy smoke, she dressed exactly like my wife did when I met her undisclosed number of years ago. Are pantyhose back in style? Will they bring back L’eggs in the egg shaped container? How about Joe Namath in a pantyhose ad? Ugh, there’s a visual I didn’t need.

I saw kids doing the hustle on T.V.last week. Is it my refined sense of Déjà vu or should I break out the disco shirts? Somebody call the fashion police! No tight fitting clothing for the over forty people. That’s why they invented relaxed fit.

What’s this got to do with food? I’m telling you about Norm’s Roast Haus Hof Brau in Novato. No CIA graduates putting their fingers all over your food. No sommelier or uppity waiter waiting in the wings. No fancy food stacking except for the stack of meat on my French Dip. That’s right meat and potatoes and lots thereof.

The owner, Norm, looks like a former football player. At the very least he spends a little time at the gym. He learned the restaurant business from his dad who worked in a number of upscale San Francisco establishments. Norm greets and thanks customers of all ages who flock to his door.

The real artist here is the carver. His name is Felipe. You don’t want to challenge him to knife fight. His blade moves at lighting speed as he expertly slices and trims your meat selection. There’s ham, turkey, roast beef, pastrami to name a few. Some of the counter staff wear shirts that say “Eat Meat” on the back. This is the place to do that.
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Is Hof Brau back in style? Judging by the crowds here, it was never out of style. As things change they remain the same. I know one thing that’s never coming back, my thirty three inch waist. On the bright side, my wife still has the legs for a mini skirt.
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French Dip
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The New Yorker - Pastrami with coleslaw, thousand island dressing, and light and dark rye
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Ham sandwich with cheese
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Prime Rib with 2 sides--My son chose mashed potatoes and potato salad
All the above with 2 drinks cost me $44 The price was retro too!


cookiecrumb said...

Thanks for the review! I wouldn't have known about the place otherwise.
I love French Dip sandwiches. Please tell me it was good. (Well, don't lie.)
PS: No pantyhose!

Kalyn said...

Did Leggs pantyhose in the plastic egg disappear without me noticing? I guess that shows how I feel about pantyhose.

Amy Sherman said...

Wait--I want a t-shirt that says Eat Meat too!

drbiggles said...

Feh, it's never been out of style, just hanging out in the background.
You been to Brennan's on this side, right? In Berkeley? Still going strong.
You still need to visit Sukie's Country Kitchen in San Pablo for the Country Fried Steak & Eggs. This includes enough gravy for 3 people, hash browns, 2 eggs, home made biscuit and probably a few other things I've forgotten.
Whar'd the sun get to?

cookiecrumb said...

The sun. Heh. Remember that?

Greg said...

A chorus from Annie..Da Sun will come out tommorrow

Anonymous said...

Glad to here some good feedback on the place that I work, and I will soon be on felipe's level...So watch out for Eric!

Eric Ascher

Anonymous said...

I've never liked hof braus, until my co-workers took me to Norm's. What a place. I want my ashes kept on their fireplace mantel. The prime rib french dip is fantastic, their Reuben is amazing, their Prime Rib is truly the best in town. Unexplicably, the food makes me feel elated and powerful. Maybe they're slipping narcotics into the beef...There is no better lunchtime value. Race me and my coworkers for the end piece at lunchtime on Thursdays!
Thanks to Norm, his family, Felipe, and everyone down there at the roast haus that make this a real gem. Hooray Norm!

Jayson said...

that new yorker reminds me of my favorite sandwich. except i have it with roast beef in pastrami.

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