The Windmill Restaurant in Gonzales, California is a convenient place to stop and have a bite on your way between The San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. About 16 miles south of Salinas, it is located just off 101 (“THE” 101 if you are from SoCal) it is easy to get to from the freeway.
The building is an old Wells Fargo bank building on the main drag in the quaint downtown. The main street runs parallel to (the) 101. The inside has been nicely remodeled and is a comfortable hang out to have lunch. The vault is still in place and is used as a walk-in pantry.
We sat down and ordered. I had the Windmill Burger ($8.75). Its long list of accoutrements includes a 1/2-pound patty, BBQ sauce, bacon, avocado, tomato, and grilled sourdough Parmesan bread. I also ordered a vanilla shake ($3.95) and onion rings ($5.95).
The shake came first. It was a pretty concoction with a rolled cookie, cherry and spoon. The yellow straw was fat enough through which to easily suck the thick, creamy shake.
The onion rings were thick, crunchy and very good. I sneaked a fry from my daughter’s plate. Although hot, they were frozen, coated fries and not real distinctive.
The burger was a nice looking thing. It was cut in half and presented with flair on a traditional white diner plate with stripes. The sourdough was grilled and crisp. What an interesting idea to have the cheese flavor be in the bread. The BBQ sauce was tangy and sweet and blended nicely with the crisp bacon and the avocado. In fact all the components blended together nicely into a tasty whole.
Next time you are heading to L.A., stay off of (the) 5 and go down (the) 101. There are lots of great places to stop along the way. I will be reviewing more in the future.
Burger 4 spatulas out of 5
Fries 2 spatulas
Onion Rings 4 spatulas
Vanillas Milk Shake 3.5 spatulas
346 Alta Street
Gonzales, CA 93926