I'm not a private pilot but I've always had a keen interest in general aviation, airplanes and airports. Since you're here, you know that I'm a dedicated "foodie," as I LOVE to dine in as many restaurants as I can. Since I love general avaiation, I have a tendency to visit restaurants at small airports, as that was I can combine two hobbies. Recently, I heard about The Spitfire Cafe, located at the Lincoln Regional Airport - LHM - and today seemed like a perfect day to pay this fine restaurant a visit.
As with all restaurant reviews I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: It's just before 11:00 in the morning, Monday, June 07, 2021 and it's time for lunch at The Spitfire Cafe, located at the Lincoln Regional Airport - LHM - in Lincoln, CA. The restaurant highlights indoor, patio, and outdoor dining on the shady, green grass. Along with the restaurant Spitfire offers, flight training and pilot supplies. The store specializes in aviation oil, and the motto is "Come for the oil. Stay for the Sticky Buns." Alright... but I prefer sandwiches.
Photo: The Spitfire Cafe is located on Flightline Drive, next to the runway of Lincoln Regional Airport, LHM. If you love fine dining and general aviation, this restaurant is for you. It's a destonation for private pilots who enjoy a great sandwich, and a lot more...
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, you'll be noticed the greeting/order counter, and the menu, printed on a white board.
The Spitfire Cafe operates on what I call the "taqueria" format, in that there are no printed menus, and you place your order from the overhead menu and pay for it at the menu. Then, you receive a number and when ready, your order will be brought to your table. I was given a small "38" which I found quite humorous, as I was the only customer, and it didn't seem that it would be difficult to locate me. This format is the way most taquerias operate, hence the nickname I've given it.
My friendly host and sandwich maker, Zachary, as if I'd be dining inside or outside, and I replied "outside" as the late Monday morning was very pleasant, with the temperature hovering in the low 70's. The patio seemed like the perfect dining setting, but the picnic benches on the grass seemed inviting as well. In the end, I chose the patio.
Photo: The dining room is small... very small, and includes exactly two tables. There are counters against the wall, so single diners can "face the wall" while dining. As you're expect, the decor is aviation-themed, since the restaurant is located next to the runway of the Lincoln Regional Airport.
The dining room is small, but it's spotlessly-clean, comfortable, and with the aviation theme, it makes for a pleasant dining experience. This an "old school" dining room, as there aren't any high-tech television monitors, video monitors, or music... it's just pure aviation and centered on friendly service and great food.
You can get a peek into the tiny kitchen, which is located through an open door, just behind the order counter. Today, there two staff members keeping the restaurant operating.
Photo: Like in most taquerias, the menu is posted behind the order counter, and lists all the selections the restaurant has to offer. At The Spitfire Cafe, a printed menu doesn't exist, as all selections are printed on the white board.
Photo: One wall of the restaurant is basically graffiti, and signed by many who have enjoyed the fine cuisine the restaurant offers. Unfortunately, I'm not a pilot, so I didn't write my name on the wall, as most signatures seemed to be private pilots.
Photo: In keeping with the aviation theme of the restaurant, there's a vintage wood propeller mounted on the wall next to the drink cooler. Speaking of drinks, The Spitfire Cafe is "dry," and their selection of beverages seem to be Pepsi products, which are kept in a cooler, which you open, and serve yourself.
Photo: I took a peek into the small, mostly open kitchen, to watch the sandwich chefs at work, preparing my order.
Photo: Meet Zachary, my friendly host, who brought my "Italian Hottie" to me with a smile. Zachary was a busy guy, as he not only took my order, but he and the other sandwich chef prepared my amazing sandwich, along with a helping of potato salad.
Photo: On my request, Zachary took my photo, along with my "Italian Hottie" that I was ready to enjoy. Thanks! Note the "38" number on my table... "taqueria format" is protocol at The Spitfire Cafe.
Photo: From the "Flagship Sandwich" side of the "Lunch Menu," I went with the "Italian Hottie" which is at the top of the sandwich menu, and is the "signature" sandwich of The Spitfire Cafe. The web site describes this delicious sandwich as, "By far our post popular lunch item. And who could blame them? Smoked turkey, smoked provolone, salami, roasted red bell pepper, kale and smoked ham on a square ciabatta bun, grilled to perfection, oozing with gooey, cheesy goodness. Ciao baby!" The menu didn't mention that a sport pepper, a slice of dill pickle, and an olive were included, but they certainly enhanced the amazing perfection, and added a tasty treat.
Choice of sides include potato salad, soup, salad, chips or fresh fruit. My dilemma was... potato salad or soup? I didn't even ask what soup was being served today, so I went with potato salad. Great choice!
The sandwich starts with a square ciabatta roll that was buttered and toasted to a crunchy,perfect brown on the outside, yet chewy on the inside, which made a perfect foundation for a wonderful sandwich. Gosh, what an amazing roll! Like the menu advertised, the roll was perfectly grilled, and absolutely delicious. Several slices of turkey, salami and a slice of provolone cheese were placed on the roll. Kale was on top of the cheese, along with several slices of grilled red bell pepper. The provolone was melted just a little, which is perfect in my sandwich book. There was a welcome surprise: Pesto was used for enhancement, as this amazing sandwich didn't need any mustard or mayo. The combination fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and the skill of the sandwich chefs made for an amazing sandwich! It's au natural and simply delicious.
I suspect after the sandwich was assembled it was put in a pannini press, as the outside of the ciabatta roll was, in the words of the menu, "grilled to perfection." Ciao baby!
My side of choice was potato salad, and I received a couple of ice cream scoop-sized scoops of potato salad. It was definitely on the "chunky side," lacking any mustard, with lots of diced, red bell pepper, and a few slices of diced red onion. I like my potato salad on the "chunky" side, and Spitfire's potato salad made an outstanding side to my delicious sandwich.
Photo: Take a look at the goodness inside the "Italian Hottie" sandwich which highlights the lunch menu at The Spitfire Cafe! You get a great look at the melted provolone cheese, salami, smoked turkey, with kale on top of the stack. Check out the pesto, along with the grilled red bell pepper slices. This was a great sandwich! The potato salad made a welcome side dish.
Combine general aviation, amazingly friendly service, delicious sandwiches, along with pleasant dining, and The Spitfire Cafe is everything a private pilot, or a dedicated "foodie" could ask for in a small restaurant. Check out The Spitfire Cafe, located at the Lincoln Regional Airport, in Lincoln, CA.
The Spitfire Cafe
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