Rosebud’s Café has been a Jackson mainstay since it opened in 1995. It’s hard to miss the building with green paint and purple trim on the east side of Main Street. My mother and I hadn’t been to Rosebud’s in a while, in large part because they moved to a breakfast and lunch menu most of the time when they rebranded into a “farm to fork” restaurant.
I literally mean that because Rosebud’s owners get their produce (and some of its meat) from their Amador County farm. Rosebud’s started accepting pick-up services on June 18 and started accepting reservations for limited dine-in services on June 20. So, my mother and I decided to pick up a mid-afternoon dinner at Rosebud’s on June 26.
My mother ordered the meal by phone and arranged to have me pick it up at 2:30 p.m. I was about ten minutes late, but the food was still ready in four food parcel cardboard boxes stacked inside a plastic bag. There were no customers in the restaurant, so I got a chance to chat with Mary Pulskamp, one of the co-owners, for a few minutes and put cash in the tip jar before the restaurant closed at 3:00 p.m.
I ordered a Rosebud Burger with a side of greens from the Rosebud’s garden. My mother ordered a Lemon Herb Chicken Wrap, also with a side of greens. Though Rosebud’s offers desserts, we decided to have a Safeway carrot cake square that I bought the previous day.
The Rosebud Burger is a minimalist affair: You get lettuce, one slice of a large tomato, small slices of red onions, and three dill pickle slices on the side. The burger itself only had a modest amount of dijonaise (that is, dijon mustard and mayonnaise) spread evenly in the center of the patty.
The patty itself was pressed and covered the entire width of the large bun. This burger lets the meat be the star, and the spices the Rosebud’s chef put on the meat made the patty flavor delicious from the first bite to the last. The produce was also crisp and flavorful but didn’t overwhelm the taste of the meat.
The toasted bun didn’t have any butter or any other seasoning that I could taste. Though the bun wasn’t dry, the top of the bun started disintegrating under my fingers as I passed the halfway point of the burger. I had the top crust of the bun sticking to my fingers when I released my right hand from the burger, and I had to get creative gripping the burger so I could eat it with the bun intact.
The Lemon Herb Chicken Wrap contains pulled chicken, lemon, jack cheese, and croutons tossed in garlic, olive oil, and herbs. Then the Rosebud’s chef adds lettuce and stuffs all the food into a flour tortilla.
My mother enjoyed the Chicken Wrap and noted that no flavor overwhelmed any of the others. She was also happy that there was some food along with the tortilla in every bite, so she had a consistent taste experience.
The greens my mother and I ordered both had arugula, radicchio, and spinach. Each box with the greens included a side of balsamic vinaigrette in an enclosed small cup. (I know which box of greens was mine because it also included the burger produce.)
My mother smelled the vinaigrette and declared it too strong for her. I put the dressing on my greens and I found the vinaigrette to be flavorful but not overly strong.
I don’t know where the burger meat came from, though Rosebud’s did tell me in a Facebook message that it didn’t come from Swingle Meat Co. Even so, when you put the meat front and center, you need to make sure you have an even meat-to-bun ratio and the meat is flavorful, and this burger delivers. Too bad the bun couldn’t.
My mother’s only complaint came when she was nearing the end of each half of the wrap and discovered the wrap was so large that she had some trouble getting to the end.
The greens were farm-fresh, and that made them memorable. What’s more, I’ll use my mother’s cup of the organic vinaigrette on my next dinner salad.
Overall, thumbs up from both of us. The cost of our meal, without tip, was a little over $30.
Want to Try Them?
Rosebud’s Café is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. Visit their Facebook page to get their latest menu, view photos of their food, and write messages to the staff. Call them at 209-257-0227 to schedule a pick-up order or make a dine-in reservation.
Amador Business Ticker food reviews are adventures in local dining with Editor Eric Butow and his mom.