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Feb 24, 2012 04:16 PM

Tastiest stop between OAK and Yountville for lunch?

Hi CA Chowhounds!

Needing your help in finding a tasty lunch between the Oakland airport in early March. Our flight gets in at 1:05pm on a Friday, not checking in luggage. Dinner will be 6pm-ish, so the earlier we each lunch, we'll have more room for dinner. We are open to any type of cuisine + cost -- whatever is tasty is of prime importance to the two of us.

We are meeting friends (6 of us) in Yountville and have dinner reservations for the following: Terra, Tre Vigne, La Toque, Bistro Jeanty, and Redd. As we will be leaving Sunday, we will need to pare that list down considerably. If you have any thoughts on which to drop, that would be great. Any nice lunch spots + breakfast pastry places (other than Bouchon -- anything comparable out there?) would also be appreciated.

Thanks much!!

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  1. These options are not scenic:

    Off the 880:
    Not my favorite, but in Oakland, and right off the freeway is Chop Bar

    Off the 80:
    Vik's in Berkeley for Indian Street Food

    In Sonoma, CA (slightly out of the way, but not much):
    El Molino Central for Mexican

    4 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95

      A 40 mile(round trip) detour on a 60 mile ride is scarcely slight..

      1. re: wolfe

        To be fair, it adds a total of 15-20 miles to the trip. Not 40. Plus, it would end up adding the same amount of time as some of the Berkeley/Oakland recs that would require long treks on and off the freeway.

        It is a detour, but not by a ton, and Sonoma the town and the area around there has lots of stuff to do and is quite a cute winery town.

        1. re: goldangl95

          With no traffic, El Molino is a 90-minute drive, and oez is looking to eat lunch as early as possible.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            True =) Though now they've realized and are landing at 10:55 and may try to make it all the way to Napa for lunch, so I guess the rec works better now than it did originally.

    2. Tra Vigne was last good in the 90s.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Windy

        ouch. At least that leaves us one less to consider.

      2. Here's a recent thread on lunch en route to Napa. I'd keep it quick & light. I second goldang's Vik's rec...casual place, not the usual heavy buffet stuff.

        I'd pick Redd...enjoyed Bistro Jeanty somewhat as I found food too heavy. For breakfast, Model their "english muffin". Bouchon has yet to reopen after remodel; check facebook page. Lunch at Rutherford Grill is always good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ceekskat

          Looks like Bouchon Bakery is reopening tomorrow.

        2. Sorry... had the wrong arrival time. We'll be getting in at 10:55 in Oakland. Would that change any of your recs? How long would it take to get to downtown Napa, if we were to try a lunch there?

          8 Replies
          1. re: oez

            The thread ceekskat linked above is very good if you ignore the In n Out discussion. The idea to do a quick on and off in Berkeley to allow decent time between lunch and dinner.

            1. re: oez

              I would just warn about getting too far from the freeway in Berkeley. It will result in a good half an hour unintended detour. From some spots in Berkeley, say Gather, there is no easy access to the freeway and fairly traffic heavy/lots of lights trying to get in and out.

              1. re: goldangl95

                True, but there are spots closer to the freeway like Vik's that was mentioned or other places on/near 4th St like Pasta Shop, Tacubaya, Brennan's

              2. re: oez

                If you're on the road around 11 and the weather's nice, going through Sonoma's not a bad idea. More interesting choices for food and it's a lot more scenic than Pinole, Rodeo, Vallejo, American Canyon, and the city of Napa, which are a mix of industrial, strip malls, and suburban sprawl.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  In at 10:55 and on the road by 11 would be a new record even with no luggage and a getaway car parked at the curb. Unless you take San Pablo Dam Road you see little of Pinole, Rodeo, Hercules and Crockett. You do, however, open up the opportunity to take my beloved scenic Trinity Road shortcut.

                2. re: oez

                  What are your plans for after lunch? Are you making winery appointments for the afternoon you arrive or just winging it? Appointments may dictate your lunch plans.

                  1. re: ceekskat

                    Forgot that as a group of 6, you will most likely require appointments for tastings, especially at some of the smaller wineries.

                    1. re: ceekskat

                      Yes, would like to fit in a tasting... but unfortunately haven't gotten to making those appointments yet. Ideally, we would have a tasty lunch, then check in at our hotel in Yountville to relax a bit before tasting though... but need to watch our time so we get one in before they close.

                3. Jeanty is great if you like classic French bistrot dishes such as lamb's tongue, pig's foot, blood sausage, and veal kidneys. Despite widespread abuse of the word, that food is very rare around here.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I was rather happy with the blood sausage at La Catalana in San Jose. Will go back for more of everything. Terrible lighting (bright!) and closes early.