The Cambrian

These popular blue-corn waffles are back: Cambria’s Hidden Kitchen re-opens for summer

The popular blue-corn waffle offered at Cambria’s Hidden Kitchen.
The popular blue-corn waffle offered at Cambria’s Hidden Kitchen.

The popular organic, gluten-free blue-cornflour waffles at The Hidden Kitchen in Cambria are back. They’re back, even though the building that is home to the walk-up cafe window is for sale.

Hidden Kitchen’s partners — Amira Albonni and Amanecer Eizner— closed the cafe for the winter and re-opened Saturday, March 16.

The two had previously roomed together in San Luis Obispo for about nine months, Albonni said in a recent phone interview, and reunited after she found available space at 2164 Center Street, right off Burton Drive in downtown’s East Village historic area. By then, she had her own small business making and selling the popular butter product, ghee (Grateful Ghee, available online and in various North Coast shops).

Knowing that Eizner had always wanted her own café, Albonni felt the shared space could be a good fit.

The waffles are Hidden Kitchen’s core product. They’re made with the women’s own blend of blue-corn masa and gluten-free flours and are available in classic, sweet and savory preparations.

Albonni said a classic waffle, served with grass-fed butter and organic maple syrup, costs $9. The entrepreneurs also offer a variety of vegan/gluten-free smoothies.

While the café’s kitchen is small, the sheltered outdoor patio’s seating space is large, accommodating about 30 people.

The Nest and the property

The building that houses Hidden Kitchen is owned by Eric and Cherie Jensen of Thousand Oaks, who ran The Nest gallery. But they recently made the painful decision to close their gallery and sell the property despite good traffic and sales, he said in an interview.

He explained that his wife is juggling the healthcare problems and care of several family members down there, and the combination and the commute were no longer doable.

The remodeled, historic building and property includes a four-station keg system, handcrafted fireplace and the patio area with gas-operated fire pit.

Listing price is $635,000.

The Craftsman-style, Depression-era building has a diverse history.

The original Mayfield house was built by the grandson of a Cambria founder. For 30 years starting in 1936, it was the residence of Wilfred and Hazel Lyons. The structure subsequently housed several different businesses.

Wilfred Lyons was a 1931 graduate of Coast Union High School who worked for his father’s general store, then for William Randolph Hearst, and then for about 40 years at Soto’s Market. Until Lyons’ death about 10 years ago, he had, for decades, been Cambria’s historian emeritus.

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