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Mar 14, 2008 04:00 PM

Russian River Brewing - Food Options?

Going to trek up to Santa Rosa tomorrow afternoon to check out Russian River - love their beers, so thought I'd go check them out. Pretty excited to see what they have in-house!

Anyway, I'm hearing that the food's pretty mediocre there - any suggestions for places nearby? Looking for something somewhat casual. Just seeing if anyone has any good suggestions, in the meantime, I'll look through the general Santa Rosa recs here. Thanks!

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  1. Check out this thread for info on lots of places to eat downtown:

    Also, you can use the search function to search the SFBayArea board for keywords like "downtown santa rosa", "railroad square santa rosa", "courthouse square santa rosa", "4th Street, fourth street santa rosa".

    A recent tasty restaurant that opened up recently on 4th Street (about a five minute, if that, walk east from RRBrewing) is Abyssinia...Ethiopian/Eritrean food. I think there are a couple posts here about that as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chocolateninja

      Ah, didn't realize this was in downtown Santa Rosa - not familiar with the city at all. Thanks!

    2. Ignore the critics. Pizza and beer work a lot better than injara and beer. Vinnie's crew makes great pizza. I like the Mikey and the Abbey (ranch sauce vs. marinara sauce). Be sure to try the Rejection (Belgian Black Ale) and get a growler of Pliny the Elder (Younger is gone) for the road. You should also consider stopping by Bear Republic in Healdsburg for some Racer X and Moylans in Novato for their Moylander or Hopsickle.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pininex

        " Pizza and beer work a lot better than injara and beer."

        According to who? I always see Ethiopians having beer with Ethiopian food at restaurants in L.As Little Ethiopia. Besides, are you kidding me? The complex spicing of Ethiopian curries & the incredible yeasty flavor of good injera are a far superior accompaniment to a complex beer than pizza.

      2. The food is mediocre and expensive. I could accept one or the other, but not both. Unfortunately, not given much choice when meeting friends for dinner.

        1. Thanks all! We enjoyed our trip to Santa Rosa, pretty nice little town, seems very beer friendly! We ended up doing a full day of eating and drinking. Quick overview -

          Started at Ledson's winery, for a quick round of wine tasting. I'm less than knowledgeable about wine, but I did like their muscat and their pinot noir, if I recall. The building was pretty cool, built as a castle, but unfortunately they had much of it blocked off for a private event.

          Ended up grabbing lunch at Flavor. I split a crab cake and a chicken sandwich. Nothing spectacular, but good food at a good price.

          At Russian River, tried a handful of their beers. Compunction was very very sour blond ale - mentioned on the board that it was made with pluots. I like that style, but it's not for everyone! Enjoyed the Rejection, but my favorite was the Perdition. Also tried their OVL Stout. We split a pizza and some "Travis Bites" (pizza dough with cheddar and jalapenos) - I thought the food was pretty good, and did a good job of soaking up the beer. Also had a brownie, but that wasn't very good. I'll have to return in a few weeks, when Supplication is available . . .

          On the way back, we stopped off at Lagunita's, but turns out their brewpub was closed. But, luckily, a guy was still working there, and he sent as along with a few bottles to sample. We also went to Marin Brewing Company, tried a couple of their beers. I like their blueberry ale, but they didn't have that on tap. So, tried a little of their Stintson Beach Peach - not as good as the blueberry, but still a very drinkable fruit beer. Wasn't huge on their Belgian style ale - just seemed to lack depth.

          Finished off the day with dinner at Avatar in Sausalito. I had their Chicken Punjabi Tostada. Meal was fine - I don't think I'm "wowed" by Avatar as some others are - a solid place for a meal, but I wouldn't go out of my way. It's described as an indian-mexican fusion - I'd say it's a little mexican, a little more indian. Overall, somewhat interesting, but again, nothing mindblowing . . .

          In all, a good day of eating and drinking, and the weather even (mostly) cooperated!

          5 Replies
          1. re: nsheth

            We need to give your better recommendations next time.... Flavor? No. We have better at that price point.

            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              Heh. I agree! I would definitely plug Abyssinia, and also my new fav breakfast/lunch spot, (which I forgot to mention in my original response here) Dierk's Parkside Cafe on Santa Rosa Ave., across the street from Julliard Park. Hole-in-the-wall spot, but very tasty food. Also, had I known that the OP was going to be a bit more mobile, maybe a mention of La Texanita and/or the Pupuseria Savadorena place near the fairgrounds.

              Antojitos La Texanita
              1667 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95407

              Flavor Bistro
              96 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

              Pupuseria Salvadorena
              1403 Maple Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

              Ledson Winery & Vineyards
              7335 Sonoma Hwy, Santa Rosa, CA 95409

              Russian River Brewing Co.
              725 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

              2656 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

              Dierk's Parkside Cafe
              404 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

              913 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

              Lagunitas Brewing Co
              1280 N Mcdowell Blvd, Petaluma, CA

              1. re: chocolateninja

                FYI... I spotted a new Pupeseria on Santa Rosa Avenue.... also Taco Max has added Pupusas to the menu.

                BTW.. I have been meaning to try Parkside... what is good there?

              2. re: Eat_Nopal

                Ah, had seen Flavor rec'd on the referenced thread. The point of the trip was Russian River, and I'm sure I'll return (love their beers!). I'll check out something different next time!

              3. re: nsheth

                Glad you enjoyed your trip and the food at the brewery. With the 3 barrel aged beers coming up during the next few weeks, I think you have a shameless excuse to return. Cheers!