My annual list: fifty yummy reasons to be thankful for Sonoma Thanksgiving. This is meant to be the time of year to reflect on all the many reasons we have to be thankful, and this time of year, I am always utterly thankful for living in this truly special place. There can’t possibly be a more delicious place to live… and here are 50 of the yummiest reasons why!
Every imaginable, wonderful kitchen tool, gadget, machine, serving piece that a passionate cook could ever want right here on the Plaza at the Sign of the Bear.
The ever changing, always ridiculously beautiful Farmer’s Toast from the Fremont Diner.
Of course the most mind-blowing strawberries, but also vegetables that are unique and lovingly grown (right there!) by the sweet folks at the Watmaugh Strawberry Patch.
The Fruit Basket on Highway 121, the most utterly convenient and wonderfully tasty selection of fresh and dried gourmet goodies.
The sweet mushroom man at the Farmers Market and his spectacular array of earthy, funky, meaty ‘shrooms, and his vast knowledge of each and every fungus in which he will share with you. Oh, and his lovely classical music.
Sonoma Market’s sample table, always a delicious bite of something that I didn’t know I needed, but now can’t live without.
The scrumptious little, super crispy, fish tacos on the happy hour menu at Hopmonk.
Gorgeous, addictive, velvety lattes from the Sunflower. From Crisp Bake Shop. Oh, and from Sonoma’s Best. Gosh, yes, and even from Friedman’s! All the spectacular coffee in Sonoma.
Tiddle E. Winks’ vintage candy, when you’re in the mood for a bite of nostalgia. In my case: a mouthful of Tootsie Rolls.
Friends with Meyer lemon trees.
Here, in Wine Country, the deliciousness of the craft cocktail movement flourishes at the girl and the fig and the Eldorado Kitchen.
Never having to buy rosemary, lavender, fennel, or bay: that herbs line the sidewalks, grow in the gullies, and sprout on the roadsides.
Bram, easily one of the world’s most scrumptious shops. The very best spot for foodie gifts, unique cookbooks, and their extraordinary clay cooking vessels.
Sonoma’s Museum of Art, where a multi-month exhibit can merely be one woman’s lifelong collection of kitchen gadgets. How cool is that?
The fluffiest, most moist, prettiest homemade birthday cakes from the Little Maya Mexican bakery.
All the expertly prepared vegetables that come from the roaring wood-burning oven at Glen Ellen Star, but especially the crazy-good broccoli smothered in Ari’s cheesy “Vella-veeta” sauce.
Herb-inflected, vinegar-loaded, house-made fennel pickles served in cute little canning jars at the Fremont Diner.
Every single beautiful thing from Paul’s Produce.
Quarter Acre Farms’ CSA membership: a killer box of veggies and a beer with the farmer, picked up weekly at Murphy’s Irish Pub.
All the deliciousness of Petaluma being just right over the hill.
The coziest restaurant seat in existence: the food bar at La Salette.
El Molino’s steaming, chile-filled, corny posole: nothing short of a pure bowl of happiness.
White wine perfection: Gundlach-Bundschu’s flowery, honey scented, dry Gewürztraminer.
Stunning cookbooks from local chefs.
The beer tasting flights at one of our breweries — Carneros or Sonoma Springs — when it’s okay to have six glasses of beer in front of you at one time.
Nutty, toasty, creamy happiness on a stick: the walnut pelata from La Michoacana.
Pearl’s Diner for when the craving for simple, real, not fancy home cooking comes. And, one of Sonoma’s best grilled cheeses.
The Patch. Particularly their gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. Oh! And their beans. And peppers. And red onions. Alright, every beautiful piece of produce from the Patch.
All the wonderful foodie goodness that happens at the Sonoma Valley Grange.
Our Whole Foods, which just keeps getting yummier; my goto place for the store’s selection of dried fruit and nuts, their pretty homemade cookies you purchase by the pound, and a plethora of interesting organic wines.
Massive bowls of creamy, coco-nutty, spicy noodles from 599 Thai Cafe.
Sonoma County bubbly.
Dungeness crab season in all of it’s crabby, buttery, glory.
All the deliciousness happening quietly at the Depot Hotel.
The fluffy, yeasty, crunchy, buttery white Polenta Loaf from Della Fattoria. Toast nirvana.
Anything that Mike [the bejkr] bakes. Seriously.
A bagel’s best friend: the delicate, lightly smoked trout from the Friday Farmers Market.
Harvest Moon’s gorgeous, fresh menu that changes everyday depending on what is being grown on their very own farm.
Crisp Bake Shop’s thoughtful, lunchtime tartines, especially the pickled egg salad spooned luxuriously high a top the bakery’s own perfect toast and draped with slices of buttery smoked salmon.
Dining amongst the bottles: pop up dinners at the Wine Shack.
The Hot Box’s courageously wonderful use of duck fat.
Rainy nights tucked into the ridiculously cozy banquette at the Taste of the Himalayas sharing little copper pots of spicy Tikka Masala and cold, crisp glasses of Gundlach Bundschu Gewurz.
Insanely delicious corn and flour tortillas made right in front of your eyes at Jalisco, our own little tortilla factory.
Late night taco truck grazing along Highway 12.
All the porky goodness from Chef Rob Larman.
Complete and total happiness on a plate, when the monstrous Wolfe Ranch quail are on the menu at Cafe La Haye.
Two words: Straus. Dairy.
Sipping unlabeled bottles of wine at dinner made from friend’s very own grapes.
Peaceful, beautiful breakfasts in the sun-filled corner cafe at EDK.
Sondra Bernstein. Just sayin’.