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Healdsburg report w/ pics: Bovolo; The Chocolate Lab; Downtown Bakery & Creamery; Powell Sweet Shoppe; J Winery

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Bovolo:
Chowhounds love it so I knew I'd at least like it. It doesn't look like much just a cashier to place your order, but they have tables in the back & also a patio for a nice day.

They make everything from scratch. Ingredients are high quality. Premium olive oil from Da Vero, cheese from Bellwether Farms, chocolate from Scharffen Berger chocoalte, breads from Della Fattoria, coffee that's fair trade, shade grown & organic from Flying Goat. They make their own bacon & salumi using heirloom pork that's antibiotic & hormone free & they make their own hand crafted gelato!

So many good choices, but we only ordered 2 things:

Salsiccia pizza small (10 inches) $12.50. It's 6 huge slices of Black Pig Italian sausage & roasted peppers. The first slice was delicious..very thin crust, lots of runny cheese, very temperature hot. 2nd slice the cheese made the crust very soggy. Kinda skimpy on the sausages.

Hubby got the Farfalline pasta Carbonara-Black Pig bacon, farm egg, parmesan $10. I thought the bacon was too chewy, but the pasta was very nice w/ the egg & parmesan.

Food took a while to make, so it's not Fast Food.

Water available serve yourself.

Separate bathrooms available. Credit cards taken.

Recommended. Hope to try the sandwiches: (pork cheek or Italian sausage) & gelato next time.
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The Chocolate Lab is in the Plaza & Farms area of Healdsburg, CA. It's just a small area in front of Bovolo Restaurant.

They have many famous & not so famous candy. They had Poco Dolce Bittersweet Chocolate Tiles from SF. Individual pieces and the box varieties. I bought an 8 pc box of Sesame Toffee for $16..just ok.

They have Vosges candy bars, but No Mo's Bacon Bars..so sad.

Charles Chocolates were there

Also Coco Luxe candy - a Holiday box..but I don't like white chocolate so didn't get it. Cute pics though.

Recommended. Credit cards taken.
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Downtown Bakery & Creamery:
I've had their products at the SF Ferry Building Farmers' Market before but wanted to try some things at the bakery.

What I tried at the FM:
Meyer Lemon Rosemary Bread $6 - just ok..not my favorite.
sticky bun - just ok
peanut butter cookie - good

Sat 12/8/07 tried:
triple ginger cookie .70c - thin crispy cookie, not much ginger taste..just ok, probably won't get again.
chocolate chip cookie .70c - Thin, crispy cookie, just ok, probably won't get again.

No Public Bathrooms.
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Powell's Sweet Shoppe in Healdsburg is a nice shop for candy. They have Gelato Classico and you can get FREE tasting. No trash bucket for the tiny spoon..so had to carry it around all throughout the store.

They had Vosges candy bars..like 7 varieties but NO Mo's Bacon Bar. It's driving me crazy.

Chuao candy bars are there

Scharffen Berger candy bars, Ghirardelli candy bars, Perugina candy, etc.

Jelly Belly - lots of variety

Saw Violet Crumble from Australia but didn't get it

Tons of others, but I didn't need anymore candy after getting Poco Dolce Tiles from The Chocolate Lab nearby.
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J Winery:
I've been wanting to go here for yrs and finally did. It was just ok for me.

First off they want your money right when you walk in. Can't just walk around..the dude stopped us and gave us the J Winery talk and wanted us to give him money NOW. Ok, fine since we already knew we wanted the $25 tasting w/ food. If u just want the tasting w/ NO Food it still cost u money, but only $10!

So paid the $25 for one tasting. Then you are told to go up the stairs to another room. It was crowded w/ young ppl milling around..sitting in chairs w/ heat lamp above your head or hanging around the tasting bar. The food is just simple finger foods.

These are what were available for $25 Sat 12/8/07:

J Cuvee 20 -coconut curried chicken, orange-cilantro scone. I did like the Cuvee. The little stupid tasting was boring..only could taste the mild orange flavor nothing else.

2006 J Pinot Gris, Russian River Valley -dill creme fraiche, radish. Nothing special here.

2005 J Chardonnay, Russian River Valley - Cowgirl Creamery MT Tam cheese, fig-almond cake LuLu White Truffle Honey, Black Lava Salt. Wine just ok, cheese is good, fig-cake chewy & dense, honey-nothing special, salt is salt.

2005 J Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley - duck sausage, Girl & the Fig dried fig compote, Costeaux's Bakery Raisin & Walnut Toast Points. So boring, hubby liked the duck sausage.

I'd recommend if you got money to burn & Eat a huge Lunch BEFORE Hand! Very touristy.

My pics:
http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slideshow...

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  1. Place linking.

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    Downtown Bakery & Creamery
    308 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

    Bovolo
    106 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

    Supper
    106 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

    Powell's Sweet Shoppe
    322 Center St, Healdsburg, CA

    J Vineyards & Winery
    11447 Old Redwood Hwy, Healdsburg, CA

    1. Maybe you're thinking of Della Fattoria of Petaluma for the Meyer lemon rosemary bread and peanut butter cookies you purchased at the Ferry Building?

      Too bad you missed the gelato at Bovolo, it's far, far superior to Gelato Classico's. The sugar pie pumpkin was otherworldly this season.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Melanie,

        My favorites at the Downtown Creamery and Bakery are the gelato's, any pastry made with fruit (galette's are perfect!), and some of their breads. In the summer, the gelato's really hit the spot. I think we've had ices there too, fruit again. They do fruit well.

      2. > J Winery:
        > First off they want your money right when you walk in.

        What a downer. Thanks for warning me off that place. I don't mind paying for tasting if I choose to but that sounds very over the top and out of place, at least out of "my place".