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Jan 28, 2010 04:40 PM

REVIEW (w/Foodie Porn Pix and Flix!): Fremont Diner - a Gem in Sonoma

For Foodie Porn Pix and Flix click: http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot....

A preview of coming attractions: a close-up of the insanely good pulled pork sandwich.

How many times have I driven by the Fremont Diner on my way to SF or Petaluma and wondered, "hm, I wonder what that place is?" Many. Recently I noticed that the old wood shack (which used to be Babe's Burgers) that looked a drab Army barrack had been painted a fresh bright white and there were a bunch of yuppie cars in the parking lot. Swore to self that I would definitely check it out. Didn't even have time since on the same day I was invited to join Peggy for lunch later that week.

Another view of the ridiculously good pulled pork sandwich with the best onion rings I've had maybe ever.

I had done a little research ahead of time and discovered that the thing to order is the Nashville Hot Chicken (fried chicken served on a piece of bread that soaks up all of the grease from the chicken - divine!) Uh, oh, the chicken was not on the menu but there were twenty other things that I wanted to order (I believe that the menu changes daily).

I limited myself to only three items and asked about the Nashville Hot Chicken. The lady at the counter was so nice and she offered to have the kitchen make me an order. This was the best fried chicken that I've had yet in the Bay Area! Although it was a tad bit greasy, the crust was uber crispy and flavorful and the chicken tender and juicy. The ultimate test was that it tasted even better the next day.

Salad or macaroni and cheese as a side? What do you think this noodle whore ordered?

My only complaint was the the mac n cheese didn't have enough cheese in it but I took home the left-overs and added a bit more cheese before heating and it morphed into extremely good creamy mac n cheese.

The charcuterie platter speaks for itself:

From left to right: Prosciutto with wine marinated prunes; chorizo with Mahon, pistachios, and chopped quince; bresciola with fresh grapefruit and balsamic drizzle; and sopressata with pickled onions.

Not only was this one of the most fantastic tasting charcuterie platters that I have in a long time, it was also one of the most beautifully presented.

Well, I felt obligated to order something "healthy" and opted for the Gardner's Open Faced Sandwich instead of the Cincinnati Chili. While this sandwich did not have the cajones of the pulled pork sammie, it was still quite lovely (to look at and eat!) Shaved fennel, radish, and onion with a hint of dill were served over some great bread slathered with goat cheese. Definitely a great option for a vegetarian or someone who wants to eat light.

Fremont Diner
2698 Fremont Drive
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 938-7370

Fremont Diner
2660 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA

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  1. Thanks for the update.Great photos.I love anything pickled there. I haven't been in a few months. Do you kno. w if the Sunday thing worked out? They started opening on Sunday but did it during the winter, so I'm not sure if they gave up on Sunday or not

    4 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      I haven't heard anything to the contrary so I assume that they are still open on Sundays. I'll be driving by next Sun morning on my way to the city so I'll check it out (I would love to stop by and have breakfast - I've heard that their breakfasts are divine.)

      1. re: Bon Vivant

        Sounds like a great place! Would you have any suggestions for the best lunch spot in Santa Rosa, we're going in March? Willi's, Syrah Bistro, Flavors, which place has the best food? :)

      2. re: rworange

        I drove by this morning and the parking lot was pretty full so Sundays are obviously working for them.

        1. re: Bon Vivant

          Thanks for checking. These days I never get up that way until after they close. However, If I have my heart and stomach set to eat there it is good to know it is open.

      3. I had their pulled pork sandwich today and it might be the best one I've ever had. It came with their barbecue sauce on the meat and cole slaw on top, both of which I usually avoid, but this time it all worked and was just about perfect. The barbecue sauce is possibly the best I've ever tasted; quite rich and complex with some sweet notes and some hot notes, just great. The smoked pork flavor came right through the sauce; great meat.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Mick Ruthven

          And possibly the best fried chicken as well, the Nashville Hot. I thought the same re: the pulled pork. Need to try their cheesy grits and I've yet to have left room for dessert. I have to force myself to try something different next time.

          1. re: Mick Ruthven

            I forgot to mention the small side of pickled fennel which was just perfect with the barbecue.

            Here are a few pics. The one of the pulled pork sandwich doesn't make evident the generous portion of the pork.


          2. Wow, this place is great. Diner and BBQ joint classics made with the finest ingredients and executed with great skill—roadhouse a la Alice Waters. Pulled pork and coleslaw sandwich, spicy fried chicken, collards, cornbread, potato salad, cucumber pickles, pickled fennel. pork crackling, all stupendous. The mac and cheese that came with the chicken was just OK, I'd sub something else next time.

            Very reasonable prices given the quality. Worth a long detour. One more plus for Sonoma over Napa.

            I guess it's open 7am to 3pm ... seven days?

            Fremont Diner
            2660 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Glad you stopped by finally Robert. Get the fresh fruit popsicles next time and the fried chicken is great. The last I read it was open those hours. If not, i'll update the Restaurant record.

              1. re: rworange

                I also stopped by there for the first time finally a couple weeks back after a longish run workout (if nothing else, my running hobby gets me in the vicinity places all over the Bay Area.)

                Didn't have all that Robert had (just the pork sandwich, coleslaw & potato salad) but it was all delish and I would like to go back for more.

            2. Stopped in for lunch today after many months away from this place.
              Had a tomato and ricotta toast with a generous amount of pickled onions served on the side. Also had a small side of collards, they were pretty good and all in all it was a satisfying meal. Not too heavy but enough to fuel me up after a morning picking mulberries.
              The toast was generous and the ricotta was lovely. It was completely covered in halved sun golds.
              My friend ordered the cracklings to share. Best I've ever had, even better than Fatted Calfs.
              They seem to be improving their ice tea and drinking water too.
              All that for $8. Good deal.

              1. Went twice last week for breakfast. Day one, I had the smoked brisket hash, which was delicious. I really do not like hash with too many vegetables, and this one was right on -- only potatoes and onions. For the second breakfast I had to try the chicken and waffle. This was two pieces of nicely fried chicken resting on a delicious waffle (buttermilk, I think). Both pieces were breasts, and I would have probably preferred to have a piece each of white and dark meat. But the chicken was nicely fried, judiciously seasoned and not greasy at all. I'll be back to try lunch for sure.