Rudy’s Hideaway is easy to find. Go south off Highway 50 on Hazel Avenue, turn right at the first light and you’re there.
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It’s the inside that makes you feel you are in a hideaway. More specifically, in a nautical hideaway.
The lobster house, bar and catering service was established 42 years ago. Steve and Julie Ryan of Shingle Springs have owned and operated it for the last 22 years.
Steve said that loyal customers helped them through the last economic downturn. The restaurant is open seven days a week. Local patrons — a lot of business people — keep lunchtime busy. At dinnertime, customers come from as far away as Modesto, a 160-mile round trip. Steve said that he never compromised on quality.
Steve and Julie are hands-on owners. Steve is there as the staff prepares for the day’s meals, and he stays to make sure that everything runs smoothly and visit with guests. Julie takes care of the office and also works as hostess in the restaurant. Their 40 employees are restaurant professionals who have worked at Rudy’s for many years. “We have very little turnover,” said Steve. His chef, Christine Golden, has been at the kitchen helm for 14 years.
Steve wants people to be comfortable and enjoy great food prepared from the freshest ingredients. Since it is called a lobster house, the big crustacean is the star of the menu. Rudy’s serves thousands of pounds of fresh New England lobster to landlocked lovers of the hard-shelled ocean bottom-dwellers each year. They are prepared in a variety of classical and innovative ways. As appetizers, Lobster Potstickers come with a sweet and spicy Jalapeño dipping sauce. House specialties include Cioppino with lobster and Lobster Ravioli. Lobsters of various sizes can be ordered with a full dinner — a live Maine lobster, a 5-ounce, an 8-ounce, or a 12-14 ounce lobster tail. For a surf-and-turf combo, choice aged prime rib or a center cut top sirloin can be added. Lobster rolls are served for lunch or as small plates for dinner. In addition to lobster, Rudy’s serves other seafood dishes, beef and chicken, salads and soups. For diners who need a sweet ending, Rudy’s has an inviting selection. “Banana cream pie is the favorite,” said Steve.
The four dining areas feature décor that reflects life cruising on the water. In the main dining room, comfortably upholstered private booths are surrounded by fine art by Tomas, a resident of San Joaquin Valley. Brightly colored on a brushed zinc base, the pieces complete the theme. The large bar area is devoted to movies and television programs, from “Mr. Roberts” to “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The Captain’s dining room could be the interior of a yacht, with varnished wood strips on the ceiling and resin-coated tables with scenes and maps from places around the world. The banquet room is its own private space.
The latest addition to the dining area is Clawdia. She joined Rudy’s in July, and has her own aquarium at the entrance. Steve says that Clawdia is one in 10 million. She is naturally orange-colored and weighs around 4 pounds. Most eating lobsters are between 1 and 2 pounds. But if they avoid the lobster pots, lobsters can live a long time, 100 years and more. Steve estimates Clawdia is around 25 years old. She dines on calamari and shrimp.
This fall Rudy’s Hideaway launched the Cruzin Crustacean, a gourmet food truck with a dedicated driver, food preparer and server. It is appearing at events around the area, and is available for regular stints at business locations.
A trial run was held on third Tuesdays at 11020-30 White Rock Road, east of Zinfandel, between the two intersections with Prospect Park Drive. Starting January, the gourmet food truck with the lobster pots painted on top will be at this location every Tuesday between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The Cruzin Crustacean serves lobster rolls, clam chowder or lobster bisque in a bowl or a mini loaf of sourdough bread, and Lobi-Pops. A Lobi-Pop is a lobster tail on a skewer. Steve is trademarking the name. Other items change periodically.
Locations for the Cruzin Crustacean can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Rudy’s Hideaway Website: www.rudyshideaway.com.
Rudy’s Hideaway Lobster House, Bar and Catering is located at 12303 Folsom Boulevard in Rancho Cordova. It is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
For more information, visit the website or call 916-351-0606.