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Local art and scratch cooking at The Honeysuckle Cafe

The Honeysuckle Cafe moved last year from Ruch to East Medford and is now located in the Larson Creek Shopping Center at the former site of Vinnie’s Italian Kitchen.

The owners, Colin and Monique Cox, have used their extensive restaurant experience to bring comfort and warmth to every plate, utilizing the bounty of our area.

Colin is a classically trained chef who studied at the California Culinary Institute in San Francisco. From his extensive travels, he has picked up influences of French, Latin and Asian cuisines, which he brings to his cooking. He also partners with farms in the area to offer locally sourced food.

Monique is a lifelong lover of art and baking and has incorporated both into the restaurant.

Many of the menu offerings are baked from scratch, and colorful artwork from a local artist adorns the walls.

The restaurant interior is painted white with a black floor and black tables and chairs. Carmen Sonnes currently displays her colorful for-sale artwork here. Sonnes grew up in South Texas and describes herself as a Mexican-American Southwest-style artist. She works in mixed media, and her current display of artwork is of trees whose leaves are buttons, 3D flowers and other mixed media designs. The bursts of color on the walls add warmth and texture and a splash of fun to the dining experience.

The restaurant, 970 North Phoenix Road, Suite 104, is open Wednesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to

3 p.m. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., with lunch available from

11:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Sunday, the restaurant is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with breakfast available all day. Sunday is a busy day, so reservations are advised. The restaurant is closed on Monday and Tuesday. To make a reservation, call 541-702-2525.

We arrived on Saturday after noon, a little late for breakfast. The breakfast menu has quite a diversity of offerings — Eggs Benedict, French toast, buttermilk pancakes, huevos rancheros, and a chorizo skillet. Some lighter offerings include an open-faced breakfast sandwich, avocado toast, tofu scramble, and oatmeal with raisins and walnuts. On weekends only, try the Beef Brisket Hash and Eggs,

Banana Pecan Pancakes and House-made Biscuits with Sausage and Gravy are available. There is also an extensive menu of side dishes priced individually.

The lunch menu had a nice mix of salads, sandwiches and house specialties. Some tasty salads included a golden beet salad or watermelon salad. Sandwiches included cod fish sandwich, Vietnamese banh mi, tofu burger and open-faced meatloaf sandwich. House specialties included a carnitas tostada, Asian noodle bowl, fish and chips and the soup du jour.

Our waitress, Jill, advised that the soup du jour that day was a chilled plum soup. Since my sister and I had never tasted chilled plum soup, we were intrigued. Jill went to the kitchen and brought out a small bowl and two spoons to taste the soup. It was delicious. However, we decided on the more traditional choices.

My sister ordered the open-faced meatloaf sandwich ($15), and I ordered the Asian pork noodle bowl ($15). The meatloaf had a barbecue sauce that was a little too spicy for my sister. My pork noodle bowl was also spicy, but I love spicy foods. The spices blended together perfectly to give a nice flavor to the noodles. For dessert, I ordered chocolate cake ($8), and my sister ordered three-berry pie a la mode ($9). Both desserts were the perfect complement to the main course.

The Honeysuckle Cafe is a great addition to the culinary diversity in Medford. The food is well prepared and artfully presented. I am looking forward to going back for many more meals.

Asian pork noodle bowl at Honeysuckle Cafe. Photo by Cheryl Pearson