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SFO & Napa Trip..please help

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  • jraja Apr 11, 2010 03:18 PM
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Hi, My DH and I are going to be going to SFO and Napa valley for the weekend.
We fly into Oakland and were hoping to go to the Golden Gate Bridge Park...have brunch at Park Chow, and than to Bi Rite Creamery for dessert in the afternoon. We are meeting up with friends in the evening, at their house. Than driving to Napa Valley in the evening staying at the Courtyard Marriot for one night in Vallejo than at the Meritage for 2 nights.
Where should we go for Sunday Brunch: Ad Hoc, or Boon Fly Cafe, or any other option?
Sunday evening- reservations at Bottega
Mon: still looking for a breakfast option
lunch-picnic lunch from Oxbow Market- or should we get our supplies from somewhere else
dinner-Taylor's Refreshers or Ad-hoc, depending on what we have for Brunch on Sunday
Tues: still looking for breakfast option and lunch near oakland airport

We are flying in from Phoenix, we like eating any ethnicity of food.
Please also let me know what wineries we should go to in those areas.
thanks

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Ad Hoc
6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

Park Chow
1238 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

Boon Fly Cafe
4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa, CA 94559

Meritage Restaurant
165 West Napa St, Sonoma, CA 95476

Bottega
6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

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  1. Bottega is a good choice. I'm sour on Ad Hoc at the moment, and even though I tend to rally against that place, maybe I'm just being too difficult. I'm not sure anymore. Have I lost perspective, or is Ad Hoc just really average for Napa (and therefore, not a great value, but never terrible, either).

    Consider Fremont Diner for breakfast or lunch (or brunch), along with Boon Fly (I like them both, and they're both underrated). I've never had a chance to eat Ad Hoc brunch (work schedule has never made it possible). I'm sure the brunch is on par with dinner.

    As for wineries, do you have a short list already, or maybe some preferences? That's a very broad discussion.

    www.thirstyreader.com

    -----
    Boon Fly Cafe
    4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa, CA 94559

    Bottega
    6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

    Fremont Diner
    2660 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA

    1 Reply
    1. re: ThirstyReader

      Hi ThirstyReader - my husband and I are heading up to the Napa Valley from New York in May to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. We have been there many times and we will be there for a week. Are there any new wineries to check out? Our last visit was in 2007. Thanks!

    2. I had a very good meal at Bottega. My favorites though were the starters especially the prosciutto.

      I wonder though about staying overnight in Vallejo? It does not really get you that much closer to Napa Valley - I would remain in SF and leave earlier in the morning or stay in Napa? Unless that is where your friends live?

      If you do drive through Sonoma. I second a stop a Fremont Diner. It is a fun little place. Before Bottega you can visit Domaine Chandon which is in the neighborhood.

      Tuesday lunch options. Take a look at Alameda, nice small town very near Oakland airport. Lots of dining options. Havana (Cuban), Hob Nob (American-small plates), Kamakura (Japanese), Angelfish (Japanese), BurmaStar (Burmese), Tomatina (woodfire pizza)

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      Angelfish Japanese Restaurant
      883 Island Dr # C-2, Alameda, CA

      Burma Superstar
      1345 Park Street, Alameda, CA

      Habanas
      1518 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

      Hobnob
      1313 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

      Bottega
      6525 Washington Street Suite A9, Yountville, CA 94599

      Fremont Diner
      2660 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA

      Tomatina
      1338 Park, Alameda, CA 94501

      1 Reply
      1. re: myst

        Despite the misleading name of the hotel, the "Marriott Vallejo Napa Valley" is at the intersection of 80 and 37, which is about half an hour from the beginning of Napa Valley wine country.

      2. Just a note: Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park are two different sights in two different locations. Park Chow is near Golden Gate Park, not Golden Gate Bridge. And I wouldn't necessarily trek across the city to eat at Park Chow.

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        Park Chow
        1238 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

        3 Replies
        1. re: sfbing

          Also, Park Chow is nowhere near Bi-Rite Creamery. I would stick w/ Bi-Rite and find another spot for lunch, maybe Delfina Pizzeria? (it's just across the street from Bi-Rite)

          I would also re-think staying in Vallejo, you won't be saving much time leaving from there to the wine country, and well there's really nothing there. (IMHO)
          I just feel it would be a waste of time when you could spend that extra night in The City or in the Wine Country.

          -----
          Bi-Rite Creamery
          3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          Delfina Restaurant
          3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          1. re: Kristine

            I probably wouldn't stay in Vallejo either as I agree that there really isn't a whole lot there, but the drive from Vallejo to downtown Napa is around 20 minutes. Not a long drive.

            1. re: adrienne156

              WhiIe I am sure it is quite a bit less expensive to stay closer to Vallejo the problem will arise when you need to drive back after dinner - if there is wine involved. And it is indeed 20 minutes to Napa but another 10-15 to Yountville. A half hour after dinner with wine can seem like a long drive IMO. Taylor's Refresher isn't much of a dinner stop - do you mean St. Helena or Napa? If you are going to St. Helena Sunshine Market has good picnic supplies. And in Napa there are both Trader' Joe's and Whole Foods.

        2. If you want to stand in line to order and then stand in line for your food, use paper plates and plastic utensils, eat outside, all while paying for over-priced ordinary food, then Taylor's is the place for you. Cindy's Backstreet is a better choice if you want a burger, or anything else plus a much better wine selection. You'll pay just about the same for your meal except for the wine.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Redwine

            Totally agree. Cindy's is a great choice. Incidentally, Taylor's is now called Gott's Tray Gourmet or something like that.

            1. re: bobpantzer

              Concur as well. Cindy's duck burger is formidable, as a lunch option.

              www.thirstyreader.com

          2. thanks for the options...I'm going to rework the itinerary I had, and use some of the options listed. I'll go to Cindy's instead of Taylor Refreshers. We pricelined the hotel for the first night, which is why we are staying in Vallejo. We than got a package deal for the Meritage for the other 2 nights.
            What's near golden gate bridge to eat or even Oakland airport. As we will be coming in from OAK to san francisco to see the golden gate bridge and fisherman wharf, depending on time. our flight gets in at 9:30 am. so any breakfast or brunch options would be great.
            thanks for all of the advice

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            Meritage Restaurant
            165 West Napa St, Sonoma, CA 95476

            3 Replies
            1. re: jraja

              I see. Surprised priceline would lump that into the napa valley, but the do sometimes have strange borders. For future reference, the drive to Napa is pretty pleasant and generally max 1.5 hours from San Francisco (my family lives in wine country), so it is nice to get up early and enjoy the daytime scenery. That way you could spend the evening in a place that actually has nightlife and get the best of both worlds. So next visit - priceline a place in city :) .

              I use priceline on every trip and have had awesome rooms. For example I paid $90 for Sydney Harbor Hyatt room with 180 degree view of the opera house and harbor bridge.

              1. re: jraja

                One great way to see the golden gate bridge is to go to Fort Point/Chrissy Field. They have a little cafe/gift shop where you can get a cup of coffee and a breakfast treat while you enjoy the view (surfers under the bridge). Other great viewpoints include Baker Beach (presidio park side), or the Marin Headlands on the opposite side of the bridge. Or since you are planning to visit fisherman's wharf, I recommend catching a ferry to Sausalito or Tiburon from Pier 41. That way you can get great views of the city, the bridge, Alcatraz from the water, have lunch and ferry back. Both Sausalito and Tiburon have lots of places to browse/eat.

                For ideas near Oakland Airport - see my post above. If you rent a car, make a left from the car rental place and drive along Dolittle past the golf course and over the bridge into Alameda. Street name changes to Otis, take Otis about 2 miles turn right on Park St. Lots of restaurants on Park St (per my post above). I like Hob Nob for breakfast, but La Pinata, Ole's Waffle House are other options too. My favorite pancakes are at Fat Lady in Oakland at Jack London square.

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                La Pinata Restaurant III (now La Penca Azul)
                1440 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

                Ole's Waffle Shop
                1507 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

                Fat Lady
                201 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607

                1. re: jraja

                  Looks like you're arriving on a Saturday morning...how about dim sum on your way to GG Bridge? Either Yank Sing in SF (complimentary wknd parking @ Rincon Center location) or somewhere in Emeryville/Oakland. There's also the Ferry Bldg with eats galore...check website for parking options.

                  For Sunday brunch in Napa, take a look at Brix.
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/649233

                  Monday bkfst - Bouchon Bakery - small tables avail. outside. Recently tried their bacon cheddar scones, pistachio crusted brioche...loved them!

                  Monday lunch- bought sandwich from Sunshine mkt last Fall & thought it was okay. Don't know about picnic supplies, just a nice grocery store. Haven't been to Oxbow, but you might enjoy this better as it is probably nice to choose from various merchants.

                  Monday dinner - don't know if you want to dine in St. Helena & drive all the way back down to hotel. You are already aware of Ad Hoc, other options include Bistro Jeanty in Yountville, BarbersQ & Zuzu, both in Napa.

                  Wineries...you didn't say what kind of wines you enjoy. Lots of threads, you have to search.

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6920...
                  Also...Honig, Grgich Hills & Hess.

                  -----
                  Ad Hoc
                  6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                  Bouchon Bakery
                  6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

                  Bistro Jeanty
                  6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                  Brix
                  7377 St. Helena Highway, Napa, CA 94558

                2. Thanks for all of the suggestions, I've reworked our plan:
                  sat brunch: fat lady - after landing at Oakland airport and than to Fort Point/Chrissy Field
                  ice cream at bi rite creamery
                  than visit & dinner with family
                  drive to vallejo
                  sun brunch: boon fly cafe
                  early dinner at bottega- wander around Yountville after dinner
                  mon bfast at freemont diner
                  picnic lunch from oxbow market or oakville grocery
                  mon dinner-drinks at bounty hunter, tapas at zuzu, and dessert at Ubuntu
                  tues bfast at Bouchon
                  lunch near the Oakland airport
                  We are also going to be going to the spa on Monday morning, at the Golden haven for a mud bath & massage.
                  now moving onto the wineries. I prefer big, bold, reds- cabernets or crisp whites.
                  So far we are planning on going to, in no particular order, Domaine, Mumm, Cakebread, Coppola, Castello Di Amorosa, Sterling- tram ride, and Frank Family. I'd like to go to Artessa, Peju, Beringer, Kuleto Estate, Frog's Leap, St. Supery, Regusci, Hall, and Shramsberg. Obviously, there's way too many wineries for the time that we have. Which ones should I go to?

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                  Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
                  1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

                  Kuleto's
                  221 Powell St., San Francisco, CA 94102

                  Bouchon
                  6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jraja

                    You might consider dim sum at East Ocean in Alameda instead of the Fat Lady.

                    You're planning an awful lot of time in the city of Napa, which would have zero tourist business if it didn't happen to be along the way to the Napa Valley.

                    You probably don't want to drive from Napa to Sonoma for breakfast if you've scheduled a mud bath in Calistoga the same morning.

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                    East Ocean Seafood
                    1713 Webster St, Alameda, CA 94501

                    1. re: jraja

                      Why not have breakfast in Calistoga since you'll be doing the mud bath there? I like Cafe Sarafornia, just a few blocks away from Golden Haven on the main drag. I love their chicken fried steak. Have you checked out Indian Springs? If you do your mudbath there, you can take advantage of their amazing olympic-size, heated mineral pool. I love it. I can float in it for hours.

                      Here's another option. Did you know you can walk across the bridge? If you want to walk across just go ahead and go straight to it (drive up Park Presidio) and turn off at the viewpoint and park in the lot. Nice photo opp there and you can walk across it. Crissy Field/Fort Point is beautiful as well -- you'll just be more at a distance.

                      Boon Fly is a great choice for brunch on Sunday.

                      Tuesday -- Make sure to bring extra goodies from Bouchon for your plane ride! The Nutter Butter and giant "oreo" cookies, as well as the bouchons, travel nicely (but won't last long -- they're so good!).

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                      Boon Fly Cafe
                      4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa, CA 94559

                      Cafe Sarafornia
                      1413 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515

                      Bouchon
                      6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                      1. re: sfkusinera

                        Ditto Cafe Sarafornia. Wonderful pancakes, fresh orange juice. Hearty breakfasts. Speedy servers.

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                        Cafe Sarafornia
                        1413 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515