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Fremont Diner – Sonoma

Fremont Diner is a small revamped diner in Sonoma that serves up tasty vittles like pulled pork, corn fritters, Oyster Po’Boy, mac n cheese and fried pies. Yes, another healthy meal for us! When we told a local we were heading over for lunch he said the food was good but then warned us about the service. When we arrived we put our name on the waiting list and joined the small mob that was standing in the parking lot (no seating area). It looks like it used to be open seating but it is no longer which means on a Saturday you got a good 30 minute wait for your name to be called.

When we were finally seated inside we were not only starving but knew exactly what we wanted because we had plenty of time to peruse the menu. Here is were the poor service thing comes into action. We sat at our table for at least 15 minutes before our waitress decided to come and take our order and it wasn’t like she was buzzing around helping others because the 3 tables around us had just left.

We started off with a milkshake because I had heard they were a “not to miss” item. We chose the salted caramel which had chunks of crystallized salty sweet goodness throughout. I agree, they make damn good milkshakes. Next up Mike ordered the Chicken and Waffles. Bonus was that is was a boneless breast so no dirty hands.

I went with the Shrimp & Grits which I enjoyed but it came with those tiny baby shrimps (I prefer the big guys) and was pretty spicy, but it was topped with an egg and bacon so I forgave them.
For dessert we had the peach bread pudding which wasn’t as good as I had hoped. It had the consistency of a quiche and was a tad burnt but we still ate it all. Stuffed we waited and waited some more for the bill to arrive. Our quick bite at a local diner turned out to be an almost 2 hour event. Good thing we were not in a hurry.
Overall, the positive did outweigh the negative so we will return — on a weekday– and give it another go.

Website: http://thefremontdiner.com/

Fremont Diner on Urbanspoon

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Cafe Beaujolais

Café Beaujolais is a California French restaurant located in a restored Victorian Farmhouse. This would be the destination for our one dinner out in Mendocino with Mike’s cousin and wife. The restaurant has been a town staple since 1969.

We started the night with the following appetizers; seafood bisque, crab cakes and butter braised beets with micro greens. All were good but the award winning crab cakes seemed to get the most admiration. Our main courses included:

-Pan Roasted Quail, Organic Greens, Sparrow Lane Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette, Candied Walnuts, Cashews and Dried White Figs

-Pan Roasted California Sturgeon Fillet, House Made Tagliatelle, Truffle Emulsion Sauce, Wild Mushrooms, Beets and Snap Peas

-Salmon with Raspberry Chile Sauce, Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus

The boys had stellar remarks for the salmon special. The sturgeon also deserves some props. For dessert we ordered the Cherry Crisp with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, the Coconut Cream Pie and House Made Fruit Sorbets. Everything was delicious.

My only complaint was that the server wasn’t very knowledgeable about the entree ingredients or the wine we ordered. This is unusual in a small well established restaurant. Despite those minor setbacks we had a wonderful evening.

Shots of the Eats (click to enlarge):

Rating:

Website: http://www.cafebeaujolais.com/

Goldeneye Winery

If you ever travel through Anderson Valley make sure to stop at Goldeneye Winery for a tasting of their world class Pinots. Goldeneye is owned by the Duckhorn family so you know they produce some outstanding wines. While in Mendocino we decided to do a day of Pinot tasting and Goldeneye was our first stop. We had made a reservation to take their Estate tasting session which is a 45 minute semi-private tasting (8 people max) that discusses the winery’s history and production process while tasting wines paired with a selection of cheeses, nuts and dried fruit. This was one of the best tastings I have been to. Our host was knowledgeable and friendly and the setting was breathtaking. At $20 per person this was a steal compared to Napa. You will find that many winery tastings in the Valley are low in cost or completely free.

Tasty Tip: Before you arrive pick up a picnic lunch and sit and enjoy the magnificent views of their vineyard.

Hours: open daily
11:00am – 4:00pm
Website: www.goldeneyewinery.com

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