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Old Farm House Restaurant

The only thing missing from the Old Farm House Restaurant is the red barn, the field and grandma.

This new restaurant with its rooster-print curtains, country music, paintings of barns and wide open spaces, homemade pies and huge helpings has grown from one restaurant to four in three years — two in Medford on Riverside Avenue, one near White City (6781 Highway 62) and one in Phoenix (723 N. Main St.). Open for breakfast and lunch only, The Old Farm House offers all the classic diner options with various breakfast platters, sandwiches, hamburgers, salads and wraps and for less than $10.

"After years in the restaurant business, I kinda want my table to be your kitchen table," said Greg Cordova, the owner.

Cordova, who has been in the restaurant business for 26 years, left his position as district manager for Shari's Restaurant and opened his White City location in June 2006. Three more restaurants sprouted within three years. His restaurants now feed more than 1,000 people a day and employ about 47 people.

"My inspiration was being at grandma's house and her putting a plate of food in front of me, more than I could eat," he said.

Cordova said he hopes to have locations in Grants Pass and Klamath Falls by 2010.

"I would like to get to 10 (locations) and see where we're at," he said.

Curious about its growing popularity, my husband, Sean, and I decided to have lunch at the North Riverside location, across from the Rogue Valley Mall, in the building previously occupied by Skippers.

The Old Farm House offers a selection of 14 hamburgers. The farmhouse burger is $8.79, and the guacamole burger is $7.89 and both come with an enormous side of steak fries.

Sean decided to swap beef for a chicken breast in a teriyaki burger ($7.89). The burger had all the traditional condiments and grilled pineapple dripping in sweet teriyaki sauce. Sean, who often opts for a hamburger when we go out, said it was one of the best teriyaki burgers he's had.

After changing my mind several times, I finally settled on the Caesar Chicken Wrap ($7.99) over the Farmhouse Club ($8.69). The wrap was nothing less than I expected — crisp leaves of romaine, grilled chicken, parmesan cheese, croutons, tossed in a Caesar dressing and rolled in a flour tortilla. I also ordered my all-time favorite summer beverage — a strawberry lemonade ($2.09 with one refill), 20 ounces of pulpy lemonade and floating strawberries. The lemonade wasn't freshly squeezed, but it was flavored by strawberries and not a pump of syrup.

Sandwiches include the traditional club ($7.69), with turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomato on sourdough toast and the philly cheese ($8.69) with roast beef, Swiss cheese, onions and peppers served on a French roll.

The pie menu was tempting, but I was just too stuffed to give in to a slice of cherry, blueberry or walnut pie ($3.29). The fruit and cream pie options change weekly and are homemade by Cordova's wife, Cheryl.

On a return visit, Sean and I would like to try breakfast. The Old Farm House morning menu is exactly what you would want to see at your favorite diner — biscuits and gravy (a full-order for $7.79), a farmhouse omelet ($8.49), the two eggs roundup ($8.89) and various other breakfast combinations that range from $7 to $9, and the best part is you can order breakfast any time of the day.

— Teresa Thomas