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Old 12-07-2010, 01:25 PM  
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Santa Rosa, CA
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Great beer and food spots in the Santa Rosa area.

I've seen a few threads with mentions in them on eating and drinking in the area around Santa Rosa and thought I should start one on just that subject. This is by no means a definitive list on local hot spots, but rather is meant to provoke others to share the great spots they frequent and appreciate so that we might all benefit from that info. It would be great if people add their own specific types of food and/or drink spots as well since I don't get out enough to experience all the vastly different types of offerings in Santa Rosa and the surrounding area.

First: Beer and pubs.

The better pubs in my opinion are;

Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa for beer quality and selection and live music

Third Street Aleworks for food only (beer has suffered since the old brewer left)

Bear Republic in Healdsburg for beer and food

Lagunitas in Petaluma for beer and live music/events

Dempsey's in Petaluma for beers and food, with a highlight on their homegrown veggie additions to entrees

Hopmonk for beer selection, food and exceptional live music with some great names

and finally Barley & Hops, my personal favorite since it usually has my favorite beer (RRBC's Pliny the Elder) on tap, for funky ambiance, great food with inventive entrees, cool atmosphere and an incredibly knowledgeable owner who takes high pride in his beer selection, both on tap and in bottles.

Second: Food.

There are a few standouts in Santa Rosa and the surrounding area that need mentioning.

El Coqui for Puerto Rican food. Great selection of items and a nice little bar inside where you can have a drink with your quick lunch or tables for a relaxing dinner

Dierk's Parkside Cafe for breakfast. Exceptional Country Benedict and a big variety of high quality dishes from a Napa Valley restaurateur. Also has special dinner nights with full blown five course dinners with wine pairings

The incredible Yeti in Glen Ellen has some of the most fantastic Nepalese food in the entire bay area! The owner takes immense pride in his food and has the best ribs I have ever eaten (you may have to ask for them, they're not always on the menu)

La Palapa for great Mexican food, including my personal favorite, the Terminator burrito, a combination of peppers, shrimp, steak, onions, wine (yep, wine...) and the usual suspects that make the best burrito around since Rafa's in Cotati stopped producing the Rafa's Especial years ago

Now, as I mentioned, this is by no means a complete list of even my own favorites, let alone all the great stuff we have in the area. These places have been added because they all serve exceptional fare, have friendly staff for the most part and seek a higher quality standard for their customers.

I'd love to hear what others have to say about local eateries and pubs. Join in and share your favorites and let's all get out there and support our great and diverse local gastronomic gems!
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:40 PM  
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santa cruz, CA
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So, Lagunitas is the brewery that produces Hop Stoopid, right? Do they have that and their other beers on tap there? That may be just like heaven!

And I keep hearing about Pliny the Elder, but it's been hard to find. Any suggestions for an outlet near Santa Cruz?
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:21 AM  
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Santa Cruz, California
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Originally Posted by daveku View Post
So, Lagunitas is the brewery that produces Hop Stoopid, right? Do they have that and their other beers on tap there? That may be just like heaven!

And I keep hearing about Pliny the Elder, but it's been hard to find. Any suggestions for an outlet near Santa Cruz?
Pliny The Elder is Incredible, but I haven't found it in SC. Whole foods on Soquel sometimes has a few Russian River beers, but never Pliny. If you do manege to find it locally, let us know!

Also, Lagunitas has a great tap room with lots of beers on tap. Some good stuff that they don't bottle, too.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:43 AM  
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Santa Rosa, CA
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Originally Posted by daveku View Post
I keep hearing about Pliny the Elder, but it's been hard to find. Any suggestions for an outlet near Santa Cruz?
You can find all kinds of useful info on Russian River Brewing and its beers at their website (Russian River Brewing Co.).
One of their great sources is the account lists they have but, unfortunately, the south bay list is down for some reason (Russian River Brewing Co.). These lists show pubs and stores that carry RRBC brews.

Vinnie is VERY particular about where his beer is sold because he's very particular about its refrigeration at all times from the brewery to the glass. You'll find it at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa but never, as far as I know, at BevMo because they can't be trusted to keep it cold.

There should be quite a few liquor stores in the SC area that carry Pliny in the bottle at this point and should also be a few spots that serve it on tap. I suggest calling around using the phone book and using this forum... a lot of knowledgeable folks here!

You can always try The River by phone (707-545-2337) or email (info@russianriverbrewing.com) to see if they can give you input, but they are very proactive on their site so I'd keep checking to see if they get the south bay page back up.

I should be talking to Natalie, one of the two owners, today and will try to remember to mention it to her. If nothing else, call the brewery and see if you can light a fire under them to replace the page ASAP. People need that info!!! =P

Good luck!
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:21 AM  
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Santa Rosa, CA
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Originally Posted by daveku View Post
So, Lagunitas is the brewery that produces Hop Stoopid, right?
Oh yeah! I forgot to mention something...

If you like Hop Stoopid, Pliny will blow your mind! There are very few beers (in the world, according to beer bloggers worldwide who consistently rate it at the top) that even come close to the carefully matched hop intensity and precise bitterness that is extreme without being too much. Vinnie has perfected the Double or Imperial IPA with Pliny and, if you like a hoppy brew, you owe it to yourself to try it. Better on tap as all beers are, but he did a great job on the bottled version getting it as close as possible to the draft version.

Also, if you ever get through San Rafael, the Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur has a great double IPA called White Knuckle that, on tap, is quite a bit like Pliny but, in the bottle, suffers greatly. Part of a brewer's mastery must be measured on how they "understand" their beers, and Vinnie Cilurzo understands his enough to have been able to make his bottled beer almost identical to the draft product.

I can almost guarantee that Whole Foods in SC carries Pliny, as well as the IPA and Blind Pig in bottles! Marin's White Knuckle should be there also if you wanna try it.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:00 PM  
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Santa Cruz, California
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Originally Posted by kaitiura View Post
One of their great sources is the account lists they have but, unfortunately, the south bay list is down for some reason
That link has been down for a long time. I haven't tried emailing or calling RRBC. Maybe I'll give them a call this weekend.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:27 PM  
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Santa Rosa, CA
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Originally Posted by Hopsniffer View Post
That link has been down for a long time. I haven't tried emailing or calling RRBC. Maybe I'll give them a call this weekend.
Hey, JUST got off the phone with Natalie and she swears she's going to work on the link next week. She's been trying to gather some info for me and I can attest to her being extremely busy. Try checking next week, maybe mid week.
She told me that Whole Foods will be your best bet for bottled brews by RRBC but couldn't say whether or not any pubs in town serve it on tap. She thought one called Rose & Crown was one, but then decided that was in Palo Alto (it is). I thought I remembered a place with a name close to that on the main drag coming into town (from HMB). If you're familiar with the local spots, you might call around to likely places.

Sorry I can't be of more help!
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Old 12-28-2010, 03:19 PM  
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California
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Hopmonk for beer selection, food and exceptional live music with some great names

We have been to most of the spots on the list and can attest to the consistency, especially the beer choices. We travel to Santa Rosa from the central valley regularly and finally hit "Hopmonk" in Sebastopol. It was a weekday and the beer selection was stellar, the food was awesome and there was a great band playing in the back bar! Perfect stop for us!
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:15 PM  
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Santa Rosa, CA
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Originally Posted by Hopsniffer

That link has been down for a long time. I haven't tried emailing or calling RRBC. Maybe I'll give them a call this weekend.
Hey;

Just a note to let you know that Natalie at RRBC just told me she (finally) got around to updating some of the contacts on their south bay suppliers' list on their website. She originally said she couldn't get to it due to doing payroll and taxes, but I mentioned a few people had been waiting a while and apparently she felt bad and got to at least a portion if it. I haven't checked it yet but you may be able to find a few more vendors in your area now.

She's usually a bit more responsive but it's a busy time...

Kai
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