Since Reggie and I have been to this area before, we discussed what we wanted to do and what we wanted to avoid this time around. We had done the all day wine tasting tours and really just wanted to visit one or two wineries this time around. With the rest of our time we really wanted to do a bike tour of Sonoma Valley! We booked an 8 a.m. tour through our hotel so we woke up extra early to eat some breakfast. I heard that the El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma recently hired the former Pastry Chef from French Laundry. Let’s just say I had no problem waking up that morning!
I grabbed a vanilla yogurt with homemade granola and fresh strawberries…
And this has to be the BEST chocolate chip muffin I have ever had. So buttery!
Once we got back to our hotel, we met up with our guide, Steve for a 12 mile ride. He was a really nice guy, very friendly and knowledgeable. The ride was mostly flat, with the occasional hill and very scenic.
Throughout Sonoma there are beautiful bike trails that take you around different vineyards and parks. About half way through our ride we took a short break! I was ready for it too because that last hill was killer. I took the time to take some photos of our surroundings. 🙂
Then we climbed back on our bikes and completed the loop back to the hotel. I am so glad we decided to do the bike tour. We saw a side of Sonoma that we had never seen before and got some great exercise in the process. I would call that a successful morning!
After working at the hotel for a couple hours, we were both ready for lunch and I knew exactly where I wanted to go–Fremont Diner. Now, please pay attention because you could miss this restaurant if you do not actually look for it. And trust me you want to look for it.
Check out the signage on the top left hand corner of this photo. Totally unassuming sign, right? Well, this place is AH-MAZING! They have one simple mantra–Eat Local. Now that’s a commitment I can stand behind! All of their food is sourced locally and you can even purchase some of it in the small retail space.
This bar area is built into the kitchen and makes you feel right at home!
Hello….I Love You…MMMMmmmmmm
We grabbed a seat outside with this view. Not too shabby!
I ordered the Fig Roasted Pulled Pork Sandwich with Homemade Coleslaw and Baked Beans. I am getting hungry just by typing this post and looking at this picture. Let me be clear–this was the best thing I ate the entire trip.
The pork was so flavorful and juicy while the coleslaw was cool and crisp offering a little heat at the end. The beans were equally flavorful.
My hubs ordered the Cheeseburger with Caramelized Onions with Homemade Special Sauce. The burger was moist and seasoned perfectly and the sweet onions and flavorful sauce were the perfect complement.
We ended the meal with a Fried Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. Yes, I said fried! Crispy on the outside, a bit doughy on the inside and filled with the most flavorful fruit mixture ever. Amazing!
We wanted to get in a wine tasting later and we, again, knew exactly where we wanted to go–Buena Vista, the oldest winery in California.
We had to take a short walk to get to the tasting room. I love tree lined paths like this.
This is one of the original barrels used in the winemaking process.
We loved Buena Vista! The employees were full of personality and we really had an enjoyable time. We even ended up joining Buena Vista’s wine club. I love that the wine is only available at the vineyard. I do not like to join the clubs if I can purchase the same wine at my local Trader Joe’s–especially when it is cheaper! But if I cannot find it anywhere else, then it is worth joining., in my opinion. Most importantly, the wine was just delicious! Please try this charming winery if you are ever in the area.
We traveled back the the El Dorado Kitchen for an afternoon snack. We just had to try their homemade soft serve. Oh my was this good! So creamy and perfectly sweet. Reg asked me why I ordered such a large size but before I knew it, it was done. Clearly, he was not that concerned. 😉
We took a walk around the town square before heading back to the hotel.
Dinner was at Sante, which was recently given a Michelin Star. This is a huge honor and after our experience, well deserved. However, it was quite fancy and I was a little camera shy. Please forgive me for not taking photos. I will say this, if you have the means and opportunity to eat at this restaurant, do it. The food was exquisite and the service was so comfortable, that in hindsight, I am really upset I did not bring my camera. I am planning on taking my mother for her birthday in a month. I will return with photos next time!
The next morning we woke up early and packed up to head home. We just had one more place to go…
Fremont Diner: Round 2! We had to go back for what is known as the Almost Famous Biscuits and Gravy! Wow, was this good! Very rich but definitely the best biscuits and gravy I have ever had. Do not miss this place if you are in the Napa and/or Sonoma area.
We are truly in love with Northern California and enjoyed every moment we spent here.
I will be back soon with some of my own recipes! I cannot wait to share some of the food I make at our home.