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Jun 2, 2009 09:40 PM

Fort Bragg & Mendocino in July

Looking for some lunch and dinner suggestions for an upcoming trip to Mendocino. Open to just about everything...just want a few good meals.

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  1. For breakfast/brunch: 1.Stanford Inn (organic..really lovely food...scones a must) check out their organic gardens. 2. Little River Inn (Ole's swedish pancakes) and sunken garden viewable during the day in the dining room.
    Dinner: 1. Albion Inn Albion. a few miles south of Mendocino. Probably my pick for the best dinner menu. Beautiful setting. arrive at sunset for a beautiful view from the cliffs
    2. Little River Bar ..casual dinner with a great sunset view from the bar. Order simply...they have some great seafood. and olallieberry cobbler!

    2 Replies
    1. re: cakebaker

      Ps. Little River Bar is located at the front of the entrance to the Little River Inn dining room. The food is the same but the setting is more casual and has the great view of the ocean at sunset.

      1. re: cakebaker

        Love the Albion Inn as well. Just great food and a beautiful setting. The quaint area of downtown Mendocino also has some decent spots, Cafe Beaujolais, being one, and quite popular. We go up to the area around the same time, actually a few days after the fourth. We also enjoy the Mendocino Hotel, it's good with kids.

      2. If you're in Ft. Bragg over the 4th of July weekend, there used to be a salmon BBQ that was immensely popular and pretty good, too. It's a local fundraiser (I don't recall for whom) that gets the entire community mobilized. It's been several years since we went, but we've gone twice and enjoyed it both times.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ricepad

          The 2008 and 2009 Salmon BBQ uses non-local salmon due to the restrictions placed on the local fishermen. It is still a fund raiser for a good cause, but the salmon won't be local this year.

        2. Consider La Petite Rive in Little River, just across from the hotel. This is a real find. Cafe Beaujolais in Mendo is excellent for dinner, and the Little River Hotel is also quite good. For lunch, go to Cafe Moosse in Mendo. Their mac 'n cheese, and chocolate pudding are to die for!

          1 Reply
          1. re: josephnl

            Followup to my post above. Really La Petite Rive should not be missed. See:

            We know this area very well, have been going there for years, ant LPR is the best. You will also have very good dinners at the Cafe Beaujolais and although it's a more casual spot, the Little River Hotel. As mentioned have lunch at Cafe Moosse in town.

            And lastly...if you need someplace to stay...the Joshua Grindle Inn in Mendo is the very best you can find! You will not find a better run B & B with more gracious hosts anywhere!

          2. Thanks everyone! Great tips. Much appreciated.

            7 Replies
            1. re: alexa52

              If you are going up highway 128 depending on the time a day...a really great place for lunch or dinner in Philo is "Libby's Mexican" the food is really good and filled with locals. It's easy to miss as it's a tiny place on the highway. re: restaurant suggestions once you are in town...I think Mendocino has certain things to offer we can't get in the crowded Bay area. Having spent a lot of time there; I think the best meals are those that highlight what is best of the north coast rather than try to recreate a bay area meal. Therefore, finding places that use mendo's products best will give your great meal memories...seafood, berries, wine...not to mention amazing ocean views at sunset. I am not a fan of LPR previously mentioned for the reason I just stated. It once was a restaurant named Little River Restaurant (not connected to the hotel) and then it was amazing but that type of place comes along few and far between and in my opinion does not exist on the coast now. The closest to a more formal meal is Albion Inn with it's beautiful setting and otherwise try to stick with simple fresh offerings that the north coast can do best. hope this helps. Last but not least...while in town...stop at Papa Bear Chocolate Haus at the end of S Main St. (the st that faces the ocean) and have some fresh raspberry bark with white chocolate! Robert the candymaker is a master at really fresh confections but the fresh raspberry bark just seems like Mendocino to me! Have fun.

              1. re: cakebaker

                Right on cakebaker - I love Libby's too for good home cooked mexican food. It's in Philo on the North side of the road next to the post office. I've stopped there regularly for a number of years on frequent trips to Mendocino and have had wonderful carnitas, carne asada, al pastor, seafood specials, and lots of other good stuff. Recommended to get off the usual taco, burrito choices here and venture into the more creative areas of the menu. Only downside is that the service can be quite variable . . . don't stop if you're in a hurry.

                1. re: cakebaker

                  I really can't understand your dissing LPR. We too loved the original LR Restaurant, now long gone. We have only been o LPR once, and had an absolutely delightful meal there...good food, good service and good ambiance and view. Were we extraordinarily lucky, or did you have a different experience.

                  1. re: josephnl

                    Libby's closes for several weeks in Jan-Feb, but the rest of the year serves lunch from 11:30 - 2 p.m and dinner from 5:00 - 8:30 p.m., Tuesday - Saturday. Great food and a good local wine list. This is not fast food, so plan to wait a while for a wonderful meal - worth the wait.

                  2. re: cakebaker

                    I've always heard about Libby's In Philo and we drive right past it every year. It was closed, I think, last year. Do you happen to know their hours? I would love to stop there. TIA!!

                    1. re: cakebaker

                      Would love to hear back from cakebaker or others who have dined recently at La Petite Rive. We have only eaten there once (last November) and all four in our party thought it was terrific. Has it changed...or, were we wrong? I believe it is owned by the same family who ran the original Little River Restaurant which was wonderful; it's their son and daughter-in-law, or vice-versa.

                      1. re: josephnl

                        I should say that when Jeri owned Little River Restaurant it was truly one of my favorite places in the world. I know her son owns LPR and is very talented. While many of Mendo's destination restaurants of that quality in years past are history or have changed dramatically (the Beaujolais for one) I think LPR is worth a try to continue her legacy but I still feel he is a different chef. I still think Albion Inn's restaurant is more consistent and has remained so for many years (something you don't see on the coast) and has a beautiful setting. I have had some wildly inconsistent meals at LPR which led me to my original post. Many people feel that LPR is wonderful so it certainly should be considered but it just is not my choice. It was really hard for me to say that since I feel such admiration for his mom but I had to be honest about my experience but again it's only my experience. Go and try it for yourself.

                  3. Thanks for all the suggestions. I have some good ideas for Mendocino.
                    What about Fort Bragg? Are there any restaurants in the actual town worth visiting?

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: alexa52

                      I like the Headlands Coffeehouse - just east of the main road through town - live Jazz or other music most evenings and decent breakfast and lunch. Also for dinner, Mendo Bistro - upstairs is one of the more upscale places in town. Also have enjoyed Sharon's - drive down to Noyo harbor to check out this area of Fort Bragg. Probably slow at the harbor now since no Salmon season . . .

                      1. re: vday

                        Just an FYI. Sharon's in the harbor is gone. Under a new name. Wasn't able to get any info on the new owners or food.

                        1. re: alexa52

                          Someone on Yelp is reporting it is now called "Herons" restaurant and is still good . . .
                          I hope to try it in August.

                      2. re: alexa52

                        I really liked Mendo Bistro, too. And Piaci Pub and Pizzeria is wonderful, though tiny. You can see it from the window of the bistro! I highly recommend both.

                        1. re: alexa52

                          If you are a beer drinker, try the North Coast Brewing Company

                          1. re: alexa52

                            We ate an Nit's Cafe and we loved it. It is a small place and it is not inexpensive (~$22.00/plate ish). HUGE portions so plan on taking some home or sharing. Sis in law got green curry and it was the best curry I've ever had hands down. Very spicy. Brother in law got a steak that was the special. I can't remeber which cut. He asked for medium rare and it was cooked perfectly. A nice thick cut too with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. Too much for him to finish and he let us try some too. I had a lamb brochette with polenta and roasted asparagus. Also cooked perfectly and it was delicious. I finished mine. I can't remember exactly what my wife had, but I know it involved chicken and some mushrooms, but I do remember that I liked it (I had her leftovers too for lunch). And the wine was very good too.

                            We called ahead to get a table because it is a very small place. This night Nit took our order and from what I could see did all of the cooking as well. She was all over that kitchen like a Tazmanian devil. And cooked it all perfectly. Worth a try. Call ahead.

                            Nit's Cafe, 322 N Main St, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
                            (707) 964-7187