Volcano Union Inn and Pub Will Have You Programming Your GPS
Lamb Burger - Photo by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group
Overgrown and full of history, Volcano possesses the old-town charm that a lot of former mining communities have had to renovate and restore to obtain.
Volcano just is—it feels unchanged from its earliest days in the most charming way imaginable, and is entirely without artifice. It’s not the kind of town you just “happen” to pass through or “stumble upon” while out Sunday driving; it’s tucked away in the foothills in such a way that you have to plan a visit. Once you read about the culinary delights awaiting you at the Volcano Union Inn and Pub, however, you’ll be programming your GPS.
A former boarding house built in 1880 and restored in 2000 into a four-room bed and breakfast and pub, the Union is serious about delighting you, culinarily speaking.
On the sunny afternoon of my visit, it was a packed house—lodgers and visitors planning winery trips or returning from Black Chasm Caves (the little kid in the mining helmet was kind of a giveaway)—and the buzz was lively and welcoming. Thankfully, the dining room is expansive and there’s plenty of outdoor seating in the beer garden, so the friendly staff accommodated our party of two easily.
The menu offers an array of starters, salads, burgers and entrées, all crafted with locally sourced ingredients and simple, scratch-made flare. For starters, my husband and I opted for the mushroom bruschetta, which boasted a variety of earthy mushrooms sautéed in herbed cream sauce and served over grilled bread. I regret sharing it, because I could’ve eaten a whole serving on my own.
For mains, we ordered the lamb burger (for him) and the fried chicken and smoked cheddar mac and cheese with greens (for me). The burger—wrapped in house-made pita and accompanied by olive tapenade, cucumbers, tangy tzatziki and tomatoes—was pleasantly messy in its juiciness. My cooked-to-perfection fried chicken was golden brown and tender, while the mac and cheese was incredibly creamy and flavor-packed. Let’s just say I didn’t so much eat it as inhale it while weeping tears of joy.
As always, I left no room for dessert but promised my husband we’ll come back for the banana cream pie and fresh fruit cobbler!