San Fran/Healdsburg/Santa Rosa Suggestions..
My bf and I are headed to the area for a wedding from DC. This trip is definitely more beer-based than wine-based, but I would like to go to a winery or two on the Monday afternoon. I'd love some suggestions/comments on the below itinerary. But in terms of importance, I'd love a Friday lunch in SF suggestion and some Santa Rosa suggestions (particularly if we're in walking distance of RR Brewery). Also, any comments on whether these things are ordered well in terms of driving would be much appreciated, it's been a while since I've been to the area and my memory is dim... Thanks in advance!
Arrive SFO 1 pm -
Wedding party meetup 6 pm
Giants Game 7 pm (dinner at park, requested by bf)
Morning run (want to do a
Lunch - Zuni Cafe ( we have reservations, but I've read through some comments here, seems to have mixed reviews, thoughts on a quintessential SF lunch? Slanted Door? Something newer, more fresh?)
Afternoon - drive to Healdsburg, with a stop on the way at Lagunitas
Dinner - Bar at Cyrus
Cocktial Party at 9 pm - Hotel Healsburg (wedding-related)
Lunch/Afternoon - Beer at Bear Republic
3-Midnight - Wedding Festivities
Drive to Santa Rosa
Lunch/Afternoon - Russian River Brewery
Dinner - Need suggestions - any taquerias?
Drive to Sonoma
Lunch - Girl and the Fig
Wineries - 2-3 suggestions
Drive to SF
Dinner - family dinner in SF or Redwood City
I haven't eaten at Girl & Fig since Chris Jones escaped to Napa/Brix, where he's doing a fantabulous job in the kitchen (Brix was the best meal of our June trip to Napa). Sadly, our fav restaurant in SRosa, Bistro 29, is closed on Sundays so that's out. We're so-so on Petite Syrah (both within walking distance of RR, I think) but others like it. We're foodies, but not drinkers, so our bias is always towards fine food/great service. You might want to look at them, or have burgers and pizza at Flavor. It's pretty much the best of the downtown moderate-cost places.
Sunday brunch is good at a lot of places. Make a reservation or it'll be a wait. Me, I'd go to French Gardens in Sebastopol, which is not only great food/service, but a lovely dining room - and they host a farmers market on Sunday lunchtime as well. Easy drive from SRosa or Healdsburg.
Wow, do you really breakfast/lunch/dinner on the road? I'm impressed! We usually just eat lunch and dinner - but we tend to eat dinner early, so that's probably why.
For Santa Rosa:
I would suggest El Coqui for Puerto Rican food. It isn't a taqueria, but is very good. I like the vegetarian canoas.
El Patio is serviceable. I recommend GRILLED chicken (as opposed to their usual) or the other, fattier meats. SR doesn't have good or low priced street tacos. I'm from Redwood City, so I know my tacos. That being said, the burritos, quesadillas, and other options are a safe bet.
It's just down the street from RR Brew Co. RR has food, btw. Interesting/ok pizzas.
Another Sunday recommendation: Mateo's Cucina Latina in Healdsburg. (http://mateoscocinalatina.com/home/)
Was there last Sunday and had a wonderful meal including Lamb Taco, Suckling Pig Tamal, seafood cocktail of octopus, crab, halibut, and shrimp, very good cochinita pibil and chicken mole and excellent cocktails. A bit pricey, but worth it for the high quality local sourced ingredients and creative and authentic preparations. Extensive Mezcal and Tequila selection.
Not a food suggestion, but a beer suggestion for Sunday...since you will be at Russian River (on 4th St), you should also make a stop at Flavor Bistro which is a couple of blocks away from RR, to try beer from one of my very favourite breweries, Moonlight Brewing Company. Flavor has six taps, and through an odd set of circumstances, they are all pouring Moonlight beers. You won't find that many of their beers available in one place anywhere else nearby. Moonlight is nano-brewery located in Santa Rosa (technically in the tiny town of Fulton), and they don't bottle their beers, so they are more difficult to get a taste of outside of northern California. You might have heard of one of Brian's (the brewer) more well-known creations, Death & Taxes. You can stop by Flavor and sit at their bar area for a beer without having to get more complicated with a table. http://flavorbistro.com for their address and such.
This is going to be a controversial statement, but I think the best taqueria in Santa Rosa, and among the top five of my life, is La Palapa, on Lewis Road. The chicken molcajete is one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. It's complex and multi-dimensional in terms of flavor, texture and temperature. The sauce on the enchiladas is unlike any other I've tasted in its rich, deep flavor. The chiles rellanos are just perfect, lightly battered and never greasy. Everyone there is friendly, and the service is efficient. Although the menu reads like a typical taqueria, everything that I've had has been more complex and well rounded than I expect from a taqueria. These people really know how to cook! That would be my recommendation for Sunday dinner for really great Mexican food.
Zuni Cafe is a quintessential SF lunch. Wouldn't change that if that is what you want.
As to wineries by the Girl and the Fig, there are tons of threads on this now but I particularly like the report/feedback at the end of this recent thread (note about half of the wineries discussed are appt only):