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Lunch stop SFO to Healdsburg

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  • Amzee Mar 24, 2011 07:06 AM
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Any suggestions for a nice place to stop for lunch on the drive up from San Francisco to Healdsburg in the middle of April

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  1. Here's some suggestions.
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/763598
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/702930
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/773255

    1. I'm figuring that you will just take Hwy 101 all the way up to Healdsburg, in which case Sausalito would be a bit out of your way and Berkeley would be a lot out of your way. I'd suggest stopping off in Petaluma, Cotati, Rohnert Park or Santa Rosa. With that in mind, I like Water Street Bistro in Petaluma for simple and delicious sandwichs, soups and salads (they usually also have one or two heartier specials) that are creative and use the freshest local ingredients. If you like Mexican food, Lolita's Market and Taqueria, on Lakeville just off the 101, is very casual but superb. Their mole is one of the best I've tasted. In Cotati, Mai Vietnamese is excellent. Redwood Cafe is good, and has a real old hippy vibe. In Rohnert Park, my favorite Japanese resto is Kyoto (the sake sashimi is incredible!), but this is a controversial choice. I know a lot of people who rave about Hana, and I think that if you sit at the sushi bar there it might be great, but I've found the service seriously bad. There are many choices in Santa Rosa. Jhanthong Banbua, on Mendocino Ave, is my favorite Thai resto. They go way beyond the typical offerings with a varied menu, and service is very warm. La Palapa is another really good taqueria. Try the chicken molcajete, which is one of the best things I've put in my mouth. I've only scratched the surface, these are just a few of the favorites that came to mind immediately. I'm sure other hounds in this area will have lots to add.

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      Water Street Bistro
      100 Petaluma Blvd N Ste 106, Petaluma, CA 94952

      Lolita's Market
      451 Lakeville St, Petaluma, CA 94952

      La Palapa
      590 Lewis Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

      Jhanthong Banbua
      2400 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

      8 Replies
      1. re: Kathleen M

        Thanks, have you heard anything about Guy Fieri's restaurants

        1. re: Amzee

          I have not been to any of his restaurants, but my husband does like Tex Wasabi's (but he can be a bit of a junk food eater). I don't remember what he ate there, but I remember thinking that it did not sound good. They don't get much respect on this board, I've noticed. My husband did work with Guy on a non-food related issue, and told me that Guy is a genuinely nice man.

          1. re: Amzee

            The only Chowhound reference I found for Fieri's Johnny Garlics was a post about a free lunch for a blood drive.
            http://www.johnnygarlics.com/
            Tex Wasabi's is way out of the way in Sacramento. According to web site Santa Rosa is currently remodeling.
            http://www.texwasabis.com/

            -----
            Johnny Garlic's
            8988 Brooks Rd S, Windsor, CA 95492

          2. re: Kathleen M

            Excuse the digression but Water Street is less of a detour off 101 than Sausalito?

            1. re: wolfe

              I'd say downtown Petaluma is more of a detour than Sausalito. That said, both Petaluma and Sausalito are very good choices for lunch between SFO and Healdsburg with minimal detours. Check out the Sausalito link listed above ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/763598 ) and add Le Garage and Cibo in Sausalito. I also second Water Street Bistro in Petaluma.

              -----
              Water Street Bistro
              100 Petaluma Blvd N Ste 106, Petaluma, CA 94952

              Le Garage
              85 Liberty Ship Way Ste 109, Sausalito, CA

              Cibo
              1201 Bridgeway (at Pine, Sausalito, CA 94965

              1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                Downtown Petaluma is about five minutes off 101 including finding parking. Sausalito can take a lot longer depending on where you're going, how backed up the traffic is, and how much time it takes to to find a parking space and walk to the restaurant.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Le Garage has parking, a view and a quick right turn back on to 101.

                  -----
                  Le Garage
                  85 Liberty Ship Way Ste 109, Sausalito, CA

                  1. re: wolfe

                    Same goes for Fish.

          3. Why not just have lunch in Healdsburg???? It takes me , during non rush hours, 55 to 60 min from the GG bridge to the Plaza in Healdsburg.

            2 Replies
            1. re: celeryroot

              Do you think we would have time then to pick up lunch at Jimtown store and then go to Ridge and order a flight?

              1. re: Amzee

                It's a ten-minute drive.

            2. Yes, but give it more then 10 min . More like 15 as you probably are not familiar with the roads.
              Are you coming during the week are weekend???

              19 Replies
              1. re: celeryroot

                We arrive on Sat morning around 10am. If we wanted do do a restaurant for lunch. Is there one you really like. Or do you think the weather 9 April, will be okay for picnic

                1. re: Amzee

                  About the weather, there's no way to know ahead of time. Mid-April is still in our six-month "rainy season" during which it sometimes rains; this late winter and spring has so far been quite rainy. You can plan for a picnic (the weather may be beautifl) but be ready to change plans and instead go to a restaurant.

                  1. re: Amzee

                    It has rained non stop for 6 days and river abt to go over. I would hope by then NO more rain......
                    Usually by April we are done , but this year odd weather.
                    There are a few nice casual places arnd the Plaza for lunch.......Bovolo , OakVille , can eat outside ........ or pick up something at Oakville, Big Johns , JimTown and go out to Ridge or Mozzoco or Mauritson for a picnic if nice weather. All have picnic facilities. I like the others better then Ridge for picnic, all close by. http://www.bigjohnsmarket.com/Ads/San...
                    http://www.wineroad.com/maps/2/
                    if time
                    http://www.healdsburg.org/events/10251
                    For more substantial there is Zin, Ravenous , Bistro Ralph .

                    By the way, traffic is normally light on weekends except later Sunday afternoon in summer. On Saturdays no problem

                    -----
                    Bistro Ralph
                    109 Plaza St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

                    1. re: Amzee

                      If you're arriving on a Saturday morning, how about dim sum? Or swing by the Ferry Plaza farmers market.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        "Sausalito can take a lot longer depending on where you're going, how backed up the traffic is, and how much time it takes to to find a parking space and walk to the restaurant."
                        Substitute Ferry Building for Sausalito

                        1. re: wolfe

                          Entirely true, but the Saturday market at the Ferry Plaza is more than just a place to grab lunch. I'm not sure what else I'd put on my top 10 list of Bay Area culinary must-dos, but that would be #1 with a bullet.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            What time does the market open and how much time do you think we should estimate to be there.

                            1. re: Amzee

                              The Saturday Ferry Plaza farmers market is 8am to 2pm, though the shops and restaurants in the building are open all afternoon. I'd allow 2-3 hours including lunch.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                I went to the website, but it doesn't list what restaurants serve. I just want to know if there are stands that offer something besides seafood. Our friends are coming from overseas and one of them doesnt eat seafood.

                                1. re: Amzee

                                  You won't necessarily have any appetite for the restaurants after grazing the Saturday market, which has something for everyone.

                                  http://www.cuesa.org/list/artisan

                                  4505 Meats
                                  Acme Bread Company
                                  Alive! Restaurant
                                  Alldrin & Sons Alaska Salmon
                                  Andante Dairy
                                  Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
                                  Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke
                                  Cowgirl Creamery
                                  Della Fattoria
                                  Donna's Tamales
                                  Downtown Bakery
                                  Farmhouse Culture
                                  Fatted Calf
                                  Hapa Ramen
                                  Happy Girl Kitchen Co.
                                  Hayes Street Grill/Vicolo Pizza
                                  Hodo Soy Beanery
                                  June Taylor Company
                                  Juniper Ridge
                                  La Cocina
                                  Les Elements Patisserie
                                  Marin Gourmet
                                  Namu
                                  Noe Valley Bakery & Bread Co.
                                  Pasta Shop, The
                                  Petaluma Farms
                                  Pizza Politana
                                  Prather Ranch Meat Co.
                                  Primavera
                                  Rancho Gordo
                                  RoliRoti
                                  Rose Pistola
                                  Saint Benoit Yogurt
                                  Scream Sorbet
                                  Shogun Fish Company
                                  Sukhi's Gourmet Indian Foods
                                  Tacolicious

                                  -----
                                  Acme Bread
                                  1601 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

                                  Della Fattoria
                                  141 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma, CA 94952

                                  Rancho Gordo
                                  1924 Yajome St, Napa, CA 94559

                                  Blue Bottle Coffee Co
                                  1552 Beach St, Emeryville, CA 94608

                                  Andante Dairy
                                  Petaluma, CA, USA, Petaluma, CA

                                  Cowgirl Creamery - Petaluma Facility
                                  105 H St, Petaluma, CA 94952

                                  Rose Pistola
                                  532 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133-2802

                                  Namu
                                  439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                                  Hodo Soy Beanery
                                  2923 Adeline Street, Oakland, CA

                                  Prather Ranch
                                  1 Ferry Bldg # 32, San Francisco, CA

                                  Fatted Calf
                                  644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

                                  Scream Sorbet
                                  5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                                  Cap'n Mike's Holy Smoke
                                  642 Martin Ave # A1, Rohnert Park, CA

                                  Saint Benoit Yogurt
                                  Sebastopol CA, Sebastopol, CA

                                  4505 Meats
                                  1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111, CA

                                  Pizza Politana
                                  91 Rocca Drive, Petaluma, CA

                                  Tacolicious
                                  2031 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                                  Hapa Ramen
                                  ferry building, San Francisco, CA

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    The Roli Roti porchetta sandwich is particularly tasty, though the line is sometimes quite long. A lot of people like Gott's Roadside Tray Gourmet (formerly Taylor's Refresher) a large permanent restaurant with burgers, shakes, fries and sometimes interesting tacos. Even Hog Island Oyster Company has the non-seafood Grilled Cheese Sandwich which is one of the best I've ever had, using Acme ciabatta and three varieties of Cowgirl Creamery cheese. Of course, Slanted Door (Vietnamese) is also a permanent restaurant as is Il Cane Rosso, Mojita and Babette's Larder.

                                    -----
                                    Slanted Door
                                    Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                    Cowgirl Creamery - Petaluma Facility
                                    105 H St, Petaluma, CA 94952

                                    Il Cane Rosso
                                    1 Ferry Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94105

                                    1. re: bobpantzer

                                      As a twice-a-year visitor to the Bay Area, I'm hard pressed not to make it to the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market, sometimes even going both Sat and Tues, so totally agreeing with the learned locals. The one detraction can be the lines, at almost every food and coffee stand. Our solution has been to go quite early and get in line before 10 am which won't work for the OP. As far as specific things to eat, we've found Primavera does lovely Mexican breakfasts and (early) lunches. 4505 Meats always has something tasty on the go (last time we had a great egg in the hole for breaky) and I've heard good things about their burger. The RR porchetta sarnie is indeed v. tasty though the second time I had it the 45 min wait in the lineup in the hot sun made it seem less so.

                                      -----
                                      4505 Meats
                                      1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111, CA

                                      1. re: grayelf

                                        I've never found the lines all that bad. A few booths get ridiculous lines, but I just move on to the ones that don't.

                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                          Thanks, I am hungry already

                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                            I am severely lineup averse, so YMMV of course, and the looonnggg lineup at Roli Roti was around 10:30 so later than we usually go, but the lineups for the places we like always seem to get silly at some point. Don't get me started about the Blue Bottle (or any other coffee, for that matter) lines at FPFM, and the time doesn't seem to matter for those.

                                            1. re: grayelf

                                              re the lines at Blue Bottle: I think the only way to tolerate them is to treat them like the lines at Disneyland: part of the show, and a great way to meet people!

                                              1. re: grayelf

                                                I really don't get the point of lining up for places that have other retail outlets. Blue Bottle has several around SF. I guess some people just like lines, or think the wait makes things taste better.

                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                  Maybe it's just bad luck but I don't think I've ever walked into (or up to) a Blue Bottle that didn't have a lineup. I guess people need their particular java fix (hello Gibraltar at Linden kiosk, where the lines are pretty epic also).

                                      2. re: Amzee

                                        There's Boccalone in the FB, whose motto is "Tasty Salted Pig Parts"--they served cured salumi in cones, and have sandwiches too.

                                        -----
                                        Boccalone Factory - Not Open to Public
                                        1924 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606