I have survived the holidays with the help of our annual tradition of a post holiday road trip getaway. We always start this adventure leaving out of the north bay area and headed north in some way. New to our adventures is a December 26th stop at Lagunitas Brewing Company Tap Room in Petaluma.
If you haven’t been-Go! I so appreciate the laid back vibe, the beer and sitting outside in the warm sun. It is the perfect place to decompress from the errands, the gifting, the parties the gatherings, all busyness of the holidays. I have not had a bad thing to eat here and the combinations are tasty and sometimes surprising. I was starving by the time I got there on this particular afternoon so a starter of wings would of course be in order. These things are not your usual wings. For starters they are not fried and they are not small. They are whole chicken wings that are brined and smoked to perfection. They are covered in a sticky spicy and delicious chili sauce. They are served with my favorite accompaniment crunchy cool jicama sticks with a cilantro lime dipping sauce…YUM!!
I am a big fan of Lagunitas IPA and have been for years but my current favorite is the Born Yesterday pale ale and no you cant find it in a bottle anymore…so sad. So in my beautiful Lagunitas mason jar was the cool crisp and perfectly hoppy born yesterday cooling my hot chicken wing lips.
And the eating went on…nothing like a nutritionist on a bender.
Up next was a cheese burger- cambezola cheese-carmalized onions-medium rare burger and it was of course out of this world delicious as well. There burgers come with salads which is delicious with all that rich burger and somehow makes it all feel right. Other dishes on our table included a smoked brisket sandwich, soft pretzels and more burgers and for those of you who appreciate beer Lagunitas should not be a new name for you.
Lagunitas Brewing Company Petaluma, CA
Tours daily-start with samplers-bring your dog-sit outside-don’t forget to hit the gift shop for your Lagunitas schwag on the way out!
Our next stop on our adventure was Healdsburg CA-ok so we did not make it s0 far and that was on purpose. We junked our way through old town Petaluma (don’t miss the Seed Bank 199 Petaluma Blvd N-cant eat it have to grow it first) and moved on up to the cute little town of Healdsburg. Our plan of attack was to hit the downtown shops (including my favorite tea shop Dragonfly Tea Co), grab a cocktail and roll into dinner. It is really difficult to pass up food or drink at Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar. This place is a smash up of east coast US meets spicy Latin/South America and it is fabulous. First off the bar has attention to detail down, bottles of Blanton’s bourbon, and brandied cherries…hello whose up for whiskey sour done right! Our evening was rich with friends and fresh oysters-a tradition on this trip. I cannot say enough about the little sweet briny oysters you can find nearby the northern California coast. We shared dozens on that day from Hog Island Oyster Company over in Tomales Bay, CA. Loved the starbirds and walker creek oysters. The evening rolled on into many small plates including grilled fish tacos, and amazing lobster roll, carmalized Brussels sprouts with linguica and blue cheese, almond crusted sole, beet salad with goat cheese mouse and basil, calamari with organge chili gremolata. There plates are served small or sectioned into smaller servings and intended to share-I love that. Everything was delicious-I already want another lobster roll. We had a long wonderful evening of eats here and also want to shout out to their bloody Mary’s and Hamachi Ceviche from another adventure here. This place is a pleasant surprise.
Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar Healdsburg, CA
Order the oysters, lobster roll, flat iron steak, fish tacos,
Hog Island Oyster Company Tomales Bay, CA
Available here, the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Napa and more
On the road again…
Up the coast we roamed stopping at cute shops and jukin along the way!
It was rainy and cold on the coast but we made the best of it with brunch and shopping in Mendocino-I love Mendocino!
Flow Restaurant Mendocino, CA
Great view. As for the food no complaints but no raves either biscuits and gravy, juevos rancheros and a bloody mary!
We made our way to fort bragg where the rain continued, but that was fine with us. We had no agenda and no place to be. We had a view of the ocean and soon wandered downtown to grab a hot beverage. The town was a little sleepy on this Sunday but we found ourselves stopping in to the north coast brewery and grabbing a few bottles of their Rasputin (for family) and IPA to go. We wanted a quite scene so opted for Italian take out at Cucina Verona downtown. They were more than accommodating and friendly and if we were coming back I would sit at the bar. We took our stuff back to the fireplace and relaxed over delicious minestrone soup and garlic bread and eventually dug into creamy pesto linguini with prawns and petrale sole picatta. Everything was good and was washed down with a lovely 2014 Assemblage Blanc from Concannon Vineyard in Livermore, CA (thank you cousin Spencer! and I want a case of this for summer!).
Cucina Verona Fort Bragg, CA
I am coming back to try the butternut squash lasagna and a pizza!
That was the end of our adventure as we headed to the new year. It is amazing what a couple days downtime will do for you. You should try it sometime.
Note: Sorry for the lack of pics-post Petaluma …in Willi’s the atmosphere is for eating and hanging out but not so much for picture taking. And the other images are trapped on my apple device and I am so upset that all loaded images to my PC are opening in Word that I better just post this before all devices end up in the driveway:) Deep breath!