I'll be in Santa Rosa for a IASCA comp. I saw Willie Bird in Diners, drive in's, & Dives. Looks good anyone been?
or the deli?
The restaurant doesn't get much love here or on Yelp. If you click on the above links you will see some Chowhound reports. One person wrote of the restaurant ... "Their signature Turkey Dinner is probably the single most terrible dish I have tasted in Santa Rosa "
The deli gets lots of love, but what I remember most about it is people buying turkey parts and turkey eggs there.
I took the challenge one day and had a meal there. It was perhaps one step above a cafeteria turkey and fixin's. Most of the diners were locals, but not "foodies".
I've never been to the restaurant or deli, but their smoked turkey is very good.
Willie Bird's Restaurant
1150 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Willie Bird Turkeys
5350 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa, CA
If in Santa Rosa a lunch there might be more fitting than dinner as it is not one of the towns best places to eat. I would check out Syrah they do some amazing things and offer multi course meals with wine pairings.
I have a great soft spot for Willie Bird's. I've written about it here before, but not for a while, so perhaps my favorable reviews have dissappeared. No, it's not really a food destination, but I love the old fashioned atmosphere, and there are at least a few things that are really quite good. I took my aged parents to dinner there when they were in town, and they LOVED it, but I think mostly because you get a LOT for your money, and they are big eaters who love a value. The waitress flirted with my dad, and was good natured as my mom changed her mind about what to order over and over. The home made turkey soup that the table shares is homey and tastey, a simple dish with lots of simple flavor. The barbequed turkey breast is quite tastey. If they have fried chicken, just order it! You won't regret it! I wouldn't go there looking for any kind of experimentation or originality, just a simple good meal. As for the deli, it really is a destination - I have friends who make it a particular point to go there and stock up when they are in the area. The smoked chicken is excellent.
re: Kathleen M
I totally agree with Kathleen. We ate there recently and it's good, straight-forward diner food. An old time, locals kind of place. Knowing that the turkey is local, free-range, and fresh made it worth a visit for us. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but if you're going to be in Santa Rosa and don't need a fancy place, Willie Bird is good.
I also saw the DDD show. I wouldn't say that anything at this place is, "money," "killer," or "off-the-hook."