14 Apr San Francisco Magazine- Five Things to Eat and Drink in Sebastopol
Over the past few months, Sonoma’s quirkiest town has been quietly amassing street cred for its new food scene. Thanks to the Barlow—a newish complex of tin foundry-style buildings—local restaurateurs, distillers, and brewmasters have a new set of store fronts where they can house their latest experiments. Check them out this weekend and enjoy one of the town’s most interesting traditions, the annual—and pleasantly bizarre Apple Blossom Festival.
Brunch: Bacon waffles at Zazu
If the thick cuts of Zazu’s house-made (and raised) bacon are too much pig for you to handle, try the Bacon-in-the-Batter waffle—which is exactly what it sounds like. Toffee bits help to balance out the saltiness of the bacon bits, and the whole thing is topped with two mountains of espresso gelato. You’re going to need to take a walk after this one.
Lunch: The Red Eye at Vignette
Watch the parade, explore the town, and then refuel with a Neapolitan pizza at this airy farmhouse-style restaurant, smack in the center of the Barlow. Perk up with the Red Eye pie—a thin, crisp wheel topped with Calabrian chili pesto, local eggs, mozzarella, and charred mortadella. Or, try something lighter, like the fire roasted local vegetables of the day, which are well worth the wait.
Happy hour: The beer sampler at Woodfour Brewing Company
Forsake the rest of Sonoma County’s ubiquitous IPAs for Woodfour’s refreshing list of sour beers and saisons, as well as the miel et framboise, an ale brewed with local wildflower honey and Sebastopol raspberries and aged in oak wine barrels for more than a year. If you can’t decide on just one beer, spring for the brewery’s $8 flight—five generous pours in bulbous Belgian beer glasses.
Gin tasting: Barrel aged gin at Spirit Works Distillery
It looks like whiskey, but it tastes like… gin? Sort of. This experimental Barlow-based distillery is tinkering with a few rare breeds, including a barrel reserve sloe gin (aged four months) and a barrel-aged gin (think caramel and vanilla with notes of hibiscus and juniper), both of which you can taste in their teensy tasting room off the Barlow’s main drag.
Cleanse: Cold-Pressed Juice at the Nectary
With dozens of shelves stocked with wellness elixirs like The Tao of Turmeric, this place epitomizes Sebastopol’s hippy-dippy reputation. But given all the indulgences in this rising gourmet Eden, consider hedging your bets with a dose of Liquid Zen: a mixture of daikon radish, burdock root, cilantro, apple, and plum aimed at stimulating digestion.