Wednesday, September 19, 2018

101 North: Santa Rosa, Pacific Coast Air Museum


Pacific Coast Air Museum  One Air Museum Way, N. Laughlin Rd./Becker Blvd., at Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport, 5 mi. N of town, west of Hwy. 101, (707) 575-7900.  W-Sun 10-4.  $10, 65+ $7, 6-17 $5; flight simulator $10/20 min.  No pets.

overview of planes at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California
overview of planes at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California


Situated on a former World War II air base, this museum opened in 1989.  Its mission is to educate, inspire, preserve, and honor.  A small room inside the visitor center is filled with aviation exhibits, including a diorama depicting the Santa Rosa Army Airfield during World War II and another documenting the filming here of the film “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

docents C.J.and Andy Werback point to display re. "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California
docents C.J.and Andy Werback point to display re. "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California


A unique 3-D Virtual Reality Flight Simulator developed here by a volunteer makes use of virtual reality goggles to allow participants to experience flying many different types of airplanes.

developer of 3-D Virtual Reality Flight Simulatorr C.J. with his project at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California
developer of 3-D Virtual Reality Flight Simulatorr C.J. with his project at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California


More than 30 full-size airplanes--each with a history--are parked outside on an open field.  They include:

F-15 Eagle  The first plane to arrive in New York airspace after 9/11, when it flew in from Massachusetts.  It is on loan from the Air Force.
F-15 Eagle at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California
F-15 Eagle at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California


Crusader  This super-sonic Navy jet was once in a kids’ play area at Stonestown shopping center in San Francisco.  It was brought here and restored.
Crusader at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California
Crusader at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California


Jet Star  A private transport plane like this was seen in the James Bond movie “Goldfinger,” and Elvis owned one.
Jet Star at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California
Jet Star at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California


Albatross HU16  Sometimes this plane is open for visitors to go inside.
Albatross HU16 at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California
Albatross HU16 at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California


D-21 Drone  This high altitude, high speed, unmanned reconnaissance plane is fairly rare.
D-21 Drone at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California
D-21 Drone at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California


”Lucy” helicopter  Flew in Vietnam.
"Lucy" helicopter at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California
"Lucy" helicopter at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California


A-26  Positioned insider the Butler hangar, this is the only bomber to survive three wars--two in Korea, one in Vietnam.  Marked on its sides is the number of bombing missions it flew as well as the number of stops it made in Italy for wine.  It is a favorite plane because it could fly at 300+ mph and didn’t need escorts because it flew faster than the fighters.  This kind of plane is what is seen in movies.
Andy Werback describes A-26 at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California
Andy Werback describes A-26 at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California


Do arrange ahead for a free docent tour with one of the enthusiastic volunteers here.  On scheduled Open Cockpit weekends, visitors can climb aboard and get a closer look, and on the first Thursday of each month April through October you can attend a hot dog lunch fundraiser.  All this and there are 350 wineries within 10 miles!  Note that the aircraft will be moving this month into the adjacent Butler Hangar.
Andy Werback and W. David Ford point to Butler hangar at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California
Andy Werback and W. David Ford point to Butler hangar at Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California


The annual Wings Over the Wine Country--an air show with historical aircraft, climb-aboards, and skydiving--is scheduled for September 22 and 23, 2018.




Friday, September 14, 2018

880 South: Oakland, Rose’s Taproom


Rose’s Taproom  4930 Telegraph Ave./51st St., Temescal, (510) 858-3969. 

bar at Rose's Taproom in Oakland, California
bar at Rose's Taproom in Oakland, California


This tiny spot does its brewing right in the back.  Seating is available inside at a few tables and a small bar.  In good weather, more tables spill out onto the sidewalk.  Unless you are familiar with the brews, a flight is the way to go.  I liked the dark Toasted Coconut Porter best, as do many of the taproom’s customers.  It is interesting to know that they never use the same recipe twice.  Small bites are available to coat your tummy--olives, almonds, really good bread with salty butter--but a few heavier items are also on the menu and can supplement your drink into a meal. 

bar at Rose's Taproom in Oakland, California
bar at Rose's Taproom in Oakland, California


beer flights at Rose's Taproom in Oakland, California
beer flights at Rose's Taproom in Oakland, California


sidewalk seating at Rose's Taproom in Oakland, California
sidewalk seating at Rose's Taproom in Oakland, California


brewing area in back at Rose's Taproom in Oakland, California
brewing area in back at Rose's Taproom in Oakland, California


More things to do in Oakland.

Way more things to do in Oakland. 

More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

80 North: Berkeley, Way Station Brew


Way Station Brew  2120 Dwight Way/Shattuck Ave., (510) 982-1905.  M-F 6:45am-7pm, Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 9am-7pm. 

exterior of Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
exterior of Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California


Though this low-key spot is relatively new, it did take over from a previously established coffeehouse.  The space is deep, the light is low, the ceiling is high with an exposed-pipes industrial feel, and the atmosphere is chill.  Several interesting art pieces hang on the natural brick walls, and the gorgeous cast iron drum coffee-roasting machine can be viewed in the back.  Seating is in a large double-sided communal booth, at stools facing out the front widow, and on a banquette fronted with small round cafe tables.  Additionally, a beer garden patio in the back is of interest on warmer days and is equipped with umbrellas and heat lamps and is dog friendly, too. 

interior of Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
interior of Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California


communal booth at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
communal booth at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California


ornate coffee-roasting machine at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
ornate coffee-roasting machine at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California


patio beer garden at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
patio beer garden at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California


Breakfast hours are mellow.  Diners step up to the counter to order their coffees--I enjoyed a cafe au lait served in a mug, as opposed to the more common tall glass or French bowl.  For iced coffee, try the Kyoto-style cold drip made in a fancy slow-drip brewer with a ceramic filter.  I hear they also make a good matcha latte.

coffee menu at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
coffee menu at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California


Among the standout menu items--it includes sandwiches, salads, and bowls--is a long-cultured creamy housemade yogurt that is delicious, light, and fluffy, and served either alone with local honey, or additionally topped with seasonal fruit and Metropolis granola.  Exceptional housemade scones come in a variety of flavors.  My favorite is pecan-pear, but blueberry, cinnamon-sugar, and cranberry are also usually available.  They are made using a slight variation of the former Lindgren’s Cafe’s original recipe.  Pastries from Firebrand Artisan Breads bakery are also usually available, but the day I visited they came in late.  Also exceptional are Whipped Ricotta on Sourdough toast (with blackberry jam, organic honey, and toasted almonds); a Veggie Bowl (warm roasted cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, Romanesco, zucchini, and squash with a mint-tarragon tahini dressing); a slow-cooked beef brisket sandwich served on sourdough bread and topped with roasted tomatoes, Jack cheese, cabbage, and housemade Thousand Island-caper dressing; juicy organic chicken--in a sandwich, as a side, or on a salad.  Additionally, a variety of egg items, toast with toppings, soups, and grilled cheese sandwiches are available.  Most items on the menu are organic, and gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options are available.  Six beers are on tap, several wines are offered by the glass, and mimosas are available on weekends.

housemade yogurt and scone at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California
housemade yogurt and scone at Way Station Brew in Berkeley, California



Thursday, September 6, 2018

101 North: Fulton, Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens


Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens  5007 Fulton Rd., N of town, in Fulton, (866) 287-9818, (707) 571-8100.  Tasting daily 10-5, $15-$25; food pairings $25-$55; garden tour at 11, 1, 3, check re. fee. 

exterior of tasting room at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
exterior of tasting room at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


Wine Sensory Gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
Wine Sensory Gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


tasting room at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
tasting room at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


Set amidst a mature walnut orchard and surrounded by 120 acres of vineyards, this ch√Ęteau-like tasting room features new releases often not yet available in retail outlets.  Four International Gardens are planted with herbs and vegetables representing Asia, South America, France, and Italy.  They demonstrate the diversity as well as the similarities of these cultures.  The unique Wine Sensory Gardens permit visitors to wander, wine glass in hand, sniffing and tasting the various vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers that compose wine-tasting descriptors, and a Viticulture Exhibit permits a self-guided tour of a 1-acre vineyard identifying 26 distinct types of grapes and illustrating the 19 grapevine trellising systems most commonly used in California.

Wine Sensory Gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
Wine Sensory Gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


Sauvignon Blanc grapevines in Wine Sensory Gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
Sauvignon Blanc grapevines in Wine Sensory Gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


Additional expansive gardens--which are not certified organic but which use organic practices--grow most of the ingredients for on-site cooking, and extra is grown for all four three-star Michelin restaurants in San Francisco as well as some other restaurants.

gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


Master Gardener Tucker Taylor in gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
Master Gardener Tucker Taylor in gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


Master Gardener Tucker Taylor tends bees in gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
Master Gardener Tucker Taylor tends bees in gardens at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


An experience here not to be missed is a paired tasting, which in good weather is done on their expansive back patio.  Select cheese, chocolate, or food.  I opted for the food pairing, which was a delight and easily passed for lunch.  It is so special to have a wine selected to enhance each dish, and to have each wine and food item described in delicious detail.  Almost everything was grown on the winery estate, and the chef himself brought out each of five courses.

paired tasting set-up at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
paired tasting set-up at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


Chef Matthew Lowe delivers first course of paired tasting at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
Chef Matthew Lowe delivers first course of paired tasting at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


1.  first course:  toasted bruschetta that was “drug through the garden for us” and topped with fromage blanc, estate strawberries, shaved fennel, and fine herbs.  Served with an exclusive 2017 Grand Reserve Rose made just for the tasting room.

colorful bruschetta is part of paired tasting at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
colorful bruschetta is part of paired tasting at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


2.  second course:  house-smoked trout cured for three days and a Yukon Gold potato salad with horseradish and caviar.  Served with a 2016 Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay.

house-smoked trout is part of paired tasting at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
house-smoked trout is part of paired tasting at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


3.  third course:  duck breast with roasted beets, pickled dark cherries, and mushroom nage (a puree).  Served with a tasty 2016 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.

Chef Matthew Lowe delivers duck breast course for paired tasting at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
Chef Matthew Lowe delivers duck breast course for paired tasting at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


4.  fourth course:  well-marbled, Texas-grown Akaushi beef served with charred leeks, Tokyo turnips, and grilled Little Gem lettuce with a Balsamic reduction.  Served with a 2014 Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon--a bold red featuring soft tannins.

Akaushi beef at paired tasting at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
Akaushi beef at paired tasting at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California


5.  fifth course:  Buttercup’s buttermilk pie with peach jam, Estate honeycomb candy, and candied almonds plus caneles de Bordeaux.  Served with a 2015 Grand Reserve Late Harvest Chardonnay.

buttermilk pie and caneles de Bordeaux are desserts at paired tasting at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
buttermilk pie and caneles de Bordeaux are desserts at paired tasting at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens in Fulton, California
Kendall-Jackson Tasting Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Additionally, in summer elaborate Farm-to-Table dinners are offered in the garden.





Tuesday, September 4, 2018

101 North: Tiburon, The Lodge at Tiburon and Waters Edge Hotel


These two Tiburon lodgings are both perfect for a weekend getaway, and both are also very convenient to shops and restaurants.

view of downtown Tiburon, California, from The Lodge at Tiburon
view of downtown Tiburon, California, from The Lodge at Tiburon


Main Street in Tiburon, California
Main Street in Tiburon, California


The Lodge at Tiburon  1651 Tiburon Blvd., (800) TIBURON, (800) 762-7770, (415) 435-3133.  102 rooms; $$-$$$+.  Some kitchens.  Heated pool; hot tub.  Afternoon cookies; restaurant; room service.  Located just 1 block from Main Street, this 3-story California Craftsman Design building is set among 3 acres of lovely landscaped gardens and features exposed wood, beamed ceilings, river rock, and slate. 

lobby of The Lodge at Tiburon in Tiburon, California
lobby of The Lodge at Tiburon in Tiburon, California


          The lodge's Tiburon Tavern ((415) 435-5996.  B-L-D daily; $$$.) gives a nod to the area’s history as a railroad town with its bar constructed from salvaged railroad ties.  Popular menu items include such contemporary favorites as salmon avocado toast and peach and burrata salad.  Fire pits on the front and back patios and plenty of casual seating invite lingering over cocktails. 

front patio at Tiburon Tavern at The Lodge at Tiburon in Tiburon, California
front patio at Tiburon Tavern at The Lodge at Tiburon in Tiburon, California


Waters Edge Hotel  25 Main St., (877) 789-5999, (415) 789-5999.  23 rooms; $$-$$$+.  All fireplaces.  Evening wine; continental breakfast.  No pets.  Located adjacent to the boarding dock for the San Francisco ferry, this contemporary-style hotel takes full advantage of its location on an historic dock jutting into the heart of a picturesque marina by providing almost every room with a  private balcony.  Comfortable chaises and cloud-soft beds with fluffy white cotton duvets beg to be plopped on for a long rest under a cozy throw.  Many rooms have high-ceilings and are decorated with dark Asian-style furnishings and vintage botanical prints.  Breakfast is brought to the room. 

lobby at Waters Edge Hotel in Tiburon, California
lobby at Waters Edge Hotel in Tiburon, California



fun on the Tiburon Ferry in Tiburon, California
fun on the Tiburon Ferry in Tiburon, California

San Francisco skyline seen from the Tiburon Ferry in Tiburon, California
San Francisco skyline seen from the Tiburon Ferry in Tiburon, California




Thursday, August 30, 2018

80 North: Berkeley, Homemade Cafe


Homemade Cafe  2454 Sacramento St./Dwight Way, (510) 845-1940.  B-L daily.

exterior of Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
exterior of Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


exterior of Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
exterior of Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


Located on busy corner, this small, cozy, usually crowded neighborhood cafe has been around since 1979.  Seating includes a bank of wood booths that gets the cheery morning sun straight on, a small sea of tables and chairs, and a counter with swivel stools in the back where you can watch the kitchen action.  The work of local artists decorates the walls, and all are for sale should you grow attached.

interior of Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
interior of Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


interior of Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
interior of Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


counter seating at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
counter seating at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


The specialty is breakfast, which is available all day.  You know things are serious here when you glimpse the tattoos on owner Collin’s arms--“eggs” on one arm and “bacon,” added more recently, on the other.  Uncle Eddie’s cage free eggs and dairy products from Berkeley Farms keep things politically correct.  Choose from a large selection of egg items--including omelettes and scrambles (the LEO made with lox, eggs, and onion and served with a Baron’s organic bagel and cream cheese is a personal favorite)--and from a large selection of specialties—a whole-wheat waffle, blueberry pancakes, cinnamon-swirl French toast, housemade granola, and cheese blintzes with a seasonal fruit sauce.  For a pittance, toast can be upgraded to coffee cake or a muffin.  All the la-de-da coffeehouse-style drinks are available, too, including one I particularly like and got by special request--a dirty hot chocolate (hot chocolate is made here with milk and made ”dirty” with a shot of espresso).  The unimpressed can opt for a sandwich after noon.

dirty hot chocolate at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
dirty hot chocolate at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


LEO at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
LEO at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


sausage and eggs at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
sausage and eggs at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


cheese blintz with pluot sauce at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
cheese blintz with pluot sauce at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


Recently, a monthly pop-up dinner series was added to your options.  A special four-course, prix fixe menu is offered once each month and runs $85 (tax and gratuity are included; vegetarian option available by advance request) and an optional wine pairing runs $24 more.  At the end of August, I attended the night’s first seating at 6 p.m. for a dinner dubbed “A Late-Summer Night’s Dream.”

menu for monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
menu for monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


this table is having the wine pairing for monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
this table is having the wine pairing for monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


Several late couples straggled in through the first course, which was “Titania’s Tidbit”--a delicate pureed sweet corn soup topped with a fried basil leaf and served with heirloom tomato jam on crostini.  It was paired with a light French white wine from Vouvray winery.  The atmosphere slowly grew more festive.  Some people knew each other from the neighborhood, and others, like us, slowly got pulled in.

sweet corn soup for monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
sweet corn soup for monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


Next came “Puck’s Plate”--a stack of fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, and basil dressed with avocado vinaigrette and topped with a very big coconut-horseradish shrimp.  This was paired with a dry red Grenache blend from a Corsica winery--Domaine Petroni.

heirloom tomatoes and coconut shrimp for monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
heirloom tomatoes and coconut shrimp for monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


The main course was “Hippolyta’s Hungry”--a generous portion of flavorful butcher’s steak with salsa verde and sides of bacon-corn-cheddar mashed potatoes and fried green tomatoes.  We had enough left over for lunch the next day.  The tasty wine paired with this was a full-bodied Zinfandel from Seghesio Family Vineyards in Healdsburg.

butcher's steak for monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
butcher's steak for monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


Finally, as things became looser, “Bottom’s Up” arrived--a semolina-olive oil cake topped with sweet mascarpone cheese, flavorful and bright-red strawberries, and a fig-balsamic reduction.  A dry Chenin Blanc dessert wine from the French Jasnieres winery was the perfect pairing.

strawberries with olive-oil cake for monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
strawberries with olive-oil cake for monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California


Congenial chef Collin Doran visited the dining room throughout the meal, checking on diners and preparing us for the next course with interesting comments.  And it seemed obvious he was having a great time himself, spreading his wings from the restrictions of a breakfast and lunch menu.  In fact, the entire staff was in large part his own family, including his young son whose job it was to keep the water glasses filled and which he took quite seriously.  I wonder what this talented chef will think up next?

chef Collin Doran describes next course at monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
chef Collin Doran describes next course at monthly dinner at Homemade Cafe in Berkeley, California
Homemade Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato