Ah, the bagels! These are seriously good ones that don’t turn into a pile of crumbs when you cut them. It’s one of the only things we miss terribly about New York City.
And the Italian subs! Piles of mortadella, capicola, “hots” and not a dab of mustard in sight with a perfect hoagie roll. Bad delis have given this classic a bad name. The “half,” however, is bigger than your arm, and you’ll likely eat the whole thing. The whole is… well, bring a team to help you.
Wicked Slush didn’t happen by chance. Covin worked with local BurtoNZ Bakery in Windsor for three months to get the Italian hoagie rolls and boiled/baked bagels as authentic as possible. For the sandwiches, she used the power of persuasion and a whole lot of charm to get the secret recipes from the biggest names in Boston’s deli scene. And Covin can be very persuasive.
“This is just street food,” says the former CPA (she worked this tax season while opening the slush spot) and president of Healdsburg’s Prune Packers baseball team.
Though she had no real interest in a restaurant, after a string of tragedies that included her home burning to the ground and her daughter being seriously injured in a car accident, Covin was ready to leave her desk job and enjoy life a little more.
Sitting on the deck of Wicked Slush in a T-shirt, her fingers slush-stained as she holds her 2-month-old grandson, she’s clearly found her bliss. For the 55-year-old, that even includes pulling all-nighters jamming to Bruce Springsteen and making slush for the next day. That, and teaching high school kids she mentors how to properly make a dip cone.
“Usually on their fourth try they get it,” she says. But not without a few mishaps along the way.
With her son Benny as general manager and most of her other family members, including her dad and her husband, helping out, there’s a cheerful kind of insanity as lines begin to form even on an early Tuesday afternoon. “We were lucky to survive the first week,” she laughs.
Covin is currently working on her Wicked Wagon, a mobile slush truck for events and deliveries that will let the rest of Sonoma County taste a bit of Wicked.
13840 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 707-431-9253, wickedslush.com. Dog- and kid-friendly.
Trading Post, Cloverdale
After ownership changes last winter, new chef-owner Erik Johnson and baker Aaron Arabian are seriously ready for a close-up on their garden-to-table concept in the emerging culinary destination of Cloverdale. With late summer’s bountiful days upon us, there’s no better time to go.
The menu, in part, revolves around Ronnie’s Garden, the restaurant’s own culinary plot. Restaurant gardener Ron Ferrato’s Instagram account (@ferratosgarden) hosts a rainbow of lettuces, daikon, peas and whatever else is popping at the moment. That translates in the daily “Ronnie’s garden” ($8) plate of the morning’s vegetables, “prepared on a whim.” Don’t miss it. Our version included a lightly dressed salad of pea shoots, radish, chamomile-soaked carrots, pickled strawberries and daikon with house-made ricotta with black sesame seeds.