Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fremont Diner - A Sonoma Pit Stop

Me and my wife only have 3 hours to spare in Sonoma so I have to think of a way to make the most out of it. Two spots came into my mind: Fremont Diner and Cornerstone. I've read about Fremont Diner on magazines and online publications and the reviews were great. And so, we drove 49 miles to Sonoma to check this place out.

Looking from the outside it doesn't seem that much. It looks like an ordinary diner and the signage appears old. When you step inside though, it's far from ordinary. It feels like your in an antique fair. It definitely has character. You'll notice rusted decor, classic posters, vintage cabinets and they even use county fair drinking jars for water. The tables are wooden picnic tables similar to those in your local parks but it's painted in a blue-greenish color. It feels like your eating outdoors which is basically true since the dining area is outside and is covered with a tent. The tent is somewhat transparent which is nice given that it's right beside a vineyard. The place is also fit for families. There's ample amount of space for the little ones to wonder. So we can say that the ambiance is great now I'm excited to taste if the food is legit.

Looking at the menu, you'll notice that it's dominantly Southern comfort food with a California-Mexican influence. There were Biscuits and Gravy, Shrimp and Grits, Hangtown Fry and Huevos Rancheros to name a few. Our server suggested Chicken and Waffles and the Black Pepper Brisket Hash. And so we listened, and both were amazing! I was surprised with the amount of chicken. There are 4 pieces of meat which I think makes the dish share-able. The waffle was okay but the chicken was the star.  It was crispy on the outside and perfectly moist on the inside. The seasoning was spot on as well. My favorite though was the smoked black pepper brisket hash. The meat was amazing. It's smoky, peppery and very flavorful. It comes with a sunny side up fried egg, some sage and caramelized onions and potatoes. The combination is just perfect. They also serve Four Barrel coffee which is refillable. That really added up and scored more points on my book.

I just love this restaurant. Their menu even showcased the local farms that supplies their food. They also have a backyard farm where we actually saw their chickens eating baguettes. That probably explains why the eggs and the chicken were delicious. Can't get any fresher than that. I must say, I highly recommend this place. If you are ever in the Napa - Sonoma area, this is a must-eat restaurant. Start your day here before heading out to the wineries, or maybe go after being intoxicated. I think it has a lot to offer and I'd drive 49 miles again to eat at this restaurant.

Fremont Diner
2698 Fremont Drive, Sonoma, CA

Friday, January 11, 2013

Rosamunde opens in Oakland

Nuernberger bratwurst - Savory pork sausage with sweet peppers and grilled onions

It was a sausage fest last Wednesday night in Oakland. Rosamunde has finally arrived on the other side of the bay and people got excited about it. This is their 4th location ( 2 in SF, 1 in Brooklyn) and I'm glad I don't have to cross the bay to get some fine sausages. The restaurant is right beside my favorite sausage shop, Taylor's. It's where I get my Longanisa and Pork belly fix. I even heard a rumor that you can buy any sausage at Taylor's and their next door neighbor will cook it for you.

45 minute sausage line

Their opening party was a success. I didn't expect that it's going to be that packed. Average wait time to get your sausages is about 45 minutes. I guess people got really excited and can't wait till the next day to beat the crowd including myself. Their sausages were amazing and you can choose 2 toppings to go with it for $6. That night they were featuring 2  beers from Linden Street Brewery for just $1. Aside from that they also have about 16 beers on tap.

Rosamunde is a great addition to the neighborhood. I have to say, Old Oakland is going to be big this year.  Miss Ollie's recently opened as well which gives the place some Caribbean flair, there's Cosecha which serves amazing authentic Mexican food, Borgo Italia opened a few months back and local shops like Umami mart. I love what's happening in Oakland and I'm glad I work just a couple blocks up.  

Wild boar sausage with apples, cranberries and spice

Rosamunde Sausage and Grill
911 Washington Street
inside Swan's Marketplace
Oakland, CA 94607