I was a bit concerned about scheduling a social ride for December and added this ride at the last minute and hoped the weather would hold. Well, it did! The ride to Hideout Kitchen this past Saturday may have been chilly but at least we were more fortunate than Stephanie, who scheduled her Geysers ride for the following day when it poured up in Santa Rosa. In contrast we had overcast skies but no precipitation whatsoever, making for a pleasant ride through the Lamorinda suburbs. One minor hazard of fall riding in the hinterlands is the at-times massive leaf dump especially from the sycamores that provide well-needed relief from the sweltering sunshine during the summer. There were leaves everywhere but not enough to cause a problem, even on the Lamorinda Regional Trail. The clouds occasionally gave way to brief hits of sun allowing an eventual warming to the mid-50s.
Eventually there were eight of us as the beginning was somewhat chaotic with three folks missing the start. David met another group of cyclists in the parking lot and thought we were gathering there; Omar missed his train; and Laura arrived by car and saw us already heading out. Eventually we all caught up and Adrienne and Sheila met us up the road in Moraga after coming over Pinehurst from Oakland.
Cut to the chase: the brunch at Hideout Kitchen in Lafayette. Hideout Kitchen is a new restaurant—I think it’s not even a year old—off the main drag in a strip mall albeit pleasant. With an outside courtyard it’s a convenient place to park a pile of bikes out of sight from the road and easily seen from the inside. We had a reservation and a table for nine—Adrienne’s girlfriend also joined us—was waiting. The service was excellent and gracious. Hideout ain’t no greasy spoon yet it serves a traditional southern dish, country fried steak, with a twist: the steak is sandwiched between two waffles. Grace said it was like her Oklahoma home cooking and Omar, as thin as he is, inhaled the whole thing. Is that praise enough? Keeping to the comfort food theme, I had a—get this: chili cheese omelet. Not only was the omelet itself perfectly cooked but having it generously stuffed with homemade chili and cheese was, well, it reminded me of how it used to feel back in the day when I arrived at the top of Mt. Tam and got a chili cheese dog from the shack that used to be there: the perfect way to top off a ride.
Want more food with your social riding? Stay tuned for the 2016 schedule: at least one A-paced ride a month with a really yummy place to eat! Here’s a preview: in January we’re going to lunch and baked goodies at Bear Claw Bakery in Pinole…