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Apple Madness: 2009 Gravenstein Apple Fair Aug 15/16 – a few ideas

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List of food vendors at the fair
http://gravensteinapplefair.com/gaf_f...

I seem to miss the Gravenstein season every year, but not this year.

Who knows how much longer gravs will be around?

From a peak of 14,000 acres in 1945, by 2009 there are only 943 acres left. Grapes are more profitable and many orchards have been replaced by vineyards. Gravs are fragile and don’t keep or travel well. Here’s some info with links to the Slow Food Gravenstein project.

Save the Gravenstein Apple - Bay Area restaurants serving them in August
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/641516

I’m not such a fair/festival person so I did my good apple hunting last week. Here are some ideas about farms, stores, restaurants, etc in the area for those who decide to attend the fair. Hopefully others who know the area will offer other suggestions.

This is 2003 report about the fair, but it is a good one and some of the same vendors are on this year’s list

Gravenstein Apple Fair Report—Long
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/25326

Other reports with some tips such as “the trick with baked goods at the apple fair (so we have learned) is to go for the things being made by the little old church & school ladies. We threw away a packaged offering from one of the apple vendors and replaced it with a lovingly handmade, came-in-a-ziploc-bag turnover from a booth full of Grandmas”

2001 http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/17149
2002: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/20708
2004: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/30621
2007: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/431061

I put this list together of apple farms and stands as well as other food-worthy stops for those who attend the festival.
http://www.chow.com/lists/14970

Since the Places database is down for August, the first reply has an overview and links to places that are not currently in the database.

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  1. * More info in list
    http://www.chow.com/lists/14970

    APPLE FARMS AND PRODUCE STANDS: Andy’s Produce Market*, Dutton Ranch*, Gudino Stand*, K & K Orchard *, Kozlowski Farms *, Ratzlaff Ranch *, Walker Apples*

    Apple-looza: Gravenstein Apple Adventure results
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/642132

    OTHER FARMS: Sebastopol Berry Farm*, Smiling Sun Farms*

    There’s a great little strawberry stand on Hwy 12 near Sebastopol that is near-ish Willie Bird Market. They have delicious Chandler strawberries that are picked daily from the fields surrounding the stand. When they run out, they go out and pick more.

    BAKERIES: Mom's Apple Pie*, Patisserie Angelica*, Village Bakery*

    RESTAURANTS, DELIS, MARKETS: Ace In The Hole*, BBQ Smokehouse*, Fiesta Market*, French Garden*, La Texanita *, Restaurant Eloise *, Underwood Bar & Bistro *, Willie Bird Market*

    Sebastopol: Henweigh Cafe - BBQ, fondue and chicken pot pie?
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6421...

    COFFEE AND TEA: Infusions Teahouse*

    Sebastopol: A big smiley face for Hardcore Espresso
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/642005

    Sebastopol: Coffee Catz - The purrfect cup
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/642052

    TACO TRUCKS AND STREET FOOD

    Sebastopol: Taco truck with great guava raspados
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/610951

    Antojitos La Texanita Taco Truck* – Next door to the raspado truck.

    Go Go Tacos is a truck in the Valero gas station (1140 Gravenstein Hwy S) They sell hand-made tortillas on the weekend. They also had Mexican hot dogs, pupusas and sopes in addtion to said tacos and some burritos. I haven’t tried them yet.

    On the other side of Gravenstein Hwy S, on the weekends there is a tamale cart at a tire shop. I didn’t catch the name though, but keep an eye out for the sign … and tire shop.

    This was a lovely and timeless report about Screamin Mimi’s Ice Cream *

    Sebastopol Sunday
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/19512

    The Sebastopol Farmers' Market * is also a great stop

    A good source for farms in the area is Sonoma County Farm Trails. Many places have the free guide book
    http://www.farmtrails.org/

    I’m sure there’s a lot more, but these are what I know about so far

    1. Just a reminder the festival is this weekend.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        We'll be there with bells on!

        1. re: Jeni Bean

          Great. Here's a report from someone who recently went to Sebastopol and some of the food they tried.
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6421...

        2. re: rworange

          Just saw your post, hope it's not too late to give you my one big tip: if the vendor is there who sells handmade corn dogs, run right over and get one. They're a revelation. Enjoy!

        3. Did anyone go? Despite my general loathing for fairs I might be persuaded to give it a try in the future if the crowds aren't unreasonable, the food tasty and the event handled well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rworange

            We ended up NOT going afterall, after multiple people said for the $10 you pay at the door it is sort of a hokey rip. I think it would be fun with kids, maybe. Also, pie eating is interesting to watch. But no, we didn't make it. My friend from work went and her 3 year old girl had a blast.