Restaurant Review October 10, 2005 – Joanne

Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen

1327 Railroad Ave., St. Helena, CA


Cindy’s has a nice relaxed wine country restaurant atmosphere. It’s airy and bright inside and has a small pleasant patio. It also has a nice bar to go to for a drink or a glass of wine. In the Spring and Summer there are many flowers along the path leading you into the restaurant. I remember lots and lots of sweetpeas one year. As Railroad Ave runs parallel with Hwy 128 and the restaurant is in downtown St. Helena parking is sometimes difficult, so allow time to find a spot.

We enjoyed our lunch. As we brought our 3-year-old with us, we chose the patio and it worked out fine. He loved dining al fresco and he got to see the inside of the woodoven which was right beside our table.

Cindy Pawlcyn’s cooking style is warm and comforting. The dishes at Cindy’s Backstreet are fun choices showing her interest in global tastes. On our first visit, shortly after it opened, Jack discovered Baja wines and I still wax poetic over the tacos I consumed that day. I also remembered the cocktail I had then – and the Caipirinha I enjoyed was at par with that memory.

Cindy’s Soup
Sweet Corn with Mushroom $7.50

Awesome. Even Trent loved it. We almost re-ordered it!

Wood Oven Duck with Crispy Potato Croquettes & Citrus Sauce $20.75
Leg a bit tough. Good flavor. Would order again.

Backstreet Fry
Calamari, Sweet Onion, Pasilla Pepper & Summer Beans with Basil Aioli 9.75

Not too greasy. Good flavor. Basil aioli good. The breading was chewy and generally fell off. It was cornmeal based. It was fine but I wouldn’t order it again.

Chinatown Duck Burger with housemade shiitake ketchup $11.50
Boring bun and tasteless fries. Duck burger itself a bit charred on top but moist inside. Shitake Mushroom Ketchup totally lost in the boring bun. The burger was made of ground duck. I’m not sure I would have known it was duck. It was fine but I wouldn’t order it again.

Watermelon Fresh Fruit Sparkler $3
Really fresh and good. Subtle. Made with Yellow Doll Watermelon. Recommended.

Caipirinha made with Ypioca Cachaca and whole chopped limes & sugarcane syrup $7
This was great. The bartender is on it.

2000 Schweiger Cabernet Sauvignon $10/glass
Pellegrino $6.95 Bottle

The Menu

Other Drinks

The Entrance

Ahhh - The Soup!

Chinatown Duck Burger

Wood Oven Duck
(Note the piece of skin missing was in Trent's mouth at the time of photo taking)

The Wood Oven

The Wine List


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