Casual wine & dine spots in Sonoma County, CA
Ozdane and I had a wonderful visit to the US last month. We spent a lot of time with my family and friends. We also did more than our fair share of eating, drinking wine, eating and more eating. While we were there we went to some great places in beautiful Sonoma County, just north of San Francisco in Northern California. I’ve selected some of my favorites to share with you. Maybe one day you will be visiting the area and these may come in handy! Enjoy!
1. Smokehouse BBQ – Sebastopol, CA
My parents were very excited to take me, Ozdane, my brother and his wife to this great BBQ spot in quaint, little Sebastopol. We weren’t disappointed. It is a pretty small place but it works because it has that cozy feel. Fun pictures and signs cover the walls and the tables are covered with the red and white tablecloths you expect to see in a country place. The minute I looked at the menu my mouth was watering. I felt like I wanted to eat everything on the menu even after Ozdane and I made a quick stop at In’n’Out burger on our way up from the airport earlier in the afternoon. Here’s a little sample: Rib Tips, Pulled Pork, Memphis Style Pork Ribs, Beef Brisket, Mac & Cheese, Cowboy Beans, Drunk and Stoned Shrimp (yep that’s what they are called). We were all very pleased with our meals. This is a little gem right downtown Sebastopol. Chamorro Chica thumbs up!
2. Sequoia Burger – Sebastopol, CA
This little burger joint is in my hometown of Sebastopol as well. If you’re driving into Sebastopol you will drive right past it before you head into town. It has been around for as long as I remember. It looks just like a burger shack from the outside but the food inside packs a mean punch. If you’re hungry for a juicy burger, authentic french fries (not the McDonalds french fries), onion rings, hot dogs or a chicken sandwich then make a pit-stop at Sequoia Burger. They have it all and more. The best thing about it are the portions. Their “small” size french fries is more like a large and can definitely feed two people. I tried the Cajun fries and they were incredible dipped in some ranch sauce. Yes, that’s the American in me…ranch dressing! If you feel like something sweet and refreshing try one of their milkshakes. I’ll even admit I went to Sequoia Burger not one, but TWO times this trip. Did someone say oink?! Chamorro Chica thumbs up!
3. Old Chicago Pizza – Petaluma, CA
Luckily we snuck this one in our last night on the way to the airport. My Mom kept asking what we wanted her to cook for dinner and then pizza popped in my head, but not just any pizza…Old Chicago Pizza! The name pretty much describes it. Now if you’re in Chicago reading this you’re probably rolling your eyes about now and you may just be right. I’ve never been to Chicago so I don’t have the “real deal to compare this to. Nonetheless I think the pizza is very good. You can get deep dish, thin or extra thin crust pizza. This is a great spot for families and groups. You have to be a fan of the louder and lively environments though to enjoy it. This isn’t a quite, romantic date night type of place. So if you find yourself driving from the wine country area down to San Francisco and are craving pizza make a little stop in Petaluma at Old Chicago. Chamorro Chica thumbs up!
4. Field Stone Winery – Healdsburg, CA
This is a great smaller, family winery founded back in 1977 located in the beautiful Alexander Valley area of Healdsburg. Field Stone is best known for their award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Petite Sirah. Vineyards surround the main part of the winery that houses wine barrels and the nice tasting room. This is one of those wineries that has a very welcoming feel. The people working there are very friendly which adds to the tasting experience. It isn’t commercial or over the top. They have a few picnic tables partially shaded by trees so it’s a perfect, quiet spot to enjoy a picnic lunch while sipping on a delicious Field Stone wine. There are so many wineries to visit in the Healdsburg area but this is one definitely worth a stop. Chamorro Chica thumbs up!
5. Jimtown Store – Healdsburg, CA
This funky, country store also located in Alexander Valley is a perfect place to stop to get some scrumptious sandwiches for your picnic at a winery. These aren’t just any sandwiches though. They have a very unique selection so don’t expect your standard turkey or tuna sandwich here. In addition to sandwiches they have a variety of other gourmet foods you can purchase and even their own Jimtown wine. You can even order gourmet boxed lunches ahead of time and pop in to pick up during your winery tour. If you feel like staying put you can sit outside on their patio and enjoy your lunch. I highly recommend Jimtown Store as a pit stop while enjoying the exquisite Alexander Valley. Chamorro Chica thumbs up!
I’m always more than happy to provide suggestions to people when they are heading to beautiful Sonoma County so don’t be shy in contacting me. You can find me on Twitter: @chamorro_chica or feel free to post on my Chamorro Chica Facebook page.
Stay tuned for my next post from our Stateside visit…Vegas baby!