Restaurants & Bars San Francisco Bay Area

More Cloverdale

Melanie Wong | | Oct 20, 2003 02:54 AM

Here’s an update on what’s available in town. This is a supplement to the post linked below to complete the inventory of eats in Cloverdale.

SWEET ROSEBUD’S COFFEE HOUSE (Broad St., next to the Post Office, 707-894-9912) opened on Saturday. It’s serving Flying Goat Coffee from Healdsburg and making its own baked goods on site. Opening day menu included muffins, scones, pastry of the day, salads, sandwiches, and panini, and a full line up of coffee drinks – I haven’t had a chance to try any yet. Seating is a mix of tables, café tables and stools, and a couple couches. The walls are painted a warm persimmon, and I bet it’s going to be a popular spot right on the square.

SCHAT’S BAKERY AND CAFÉ (543 N. Cloverdale Blvd, 707-894-0211) has added a lunch menu served from 10:45am to 2pm, Monday through Saturday. It features sandwiches, soups, salads, baked potatoes with toppings, wraps, quiche, and soup of the day. I checked and macaroons aren’t made daily, only by special order.

The pizza place next to the theater I mentioned is PAPA’S PIZZA CAFÉ (117 E. First St.,707-894-4454). They say they make their dough fresh every day. I haven’t tried it.

THE COFFEE SHOP AT ANTIQUES AND UNIQUES (124 So. Cloverdale Blvd., small nook in the antiques store, 707-894-4080) serves sandwiches, soups and salads, breakfast items, hot and cold espresso drinks, Torani sodas, Mon-Saturday, for breakfast and lunch. The pesto cream cheese and Jimtown olive spread with sprouts on a dutch crunch roll for $4.50 on the sandwich menu sounds pretty good. It bakes its own breakfast pastries. I haven’t eaten here yet.

RUTH MCGOWAN’S BREWPUB is now serving both lunch and dinner Wednesday through Monday.

The Chinese place is CANTON RESTAURANT (132 No. Cloverdale Blvd.,707-894-9168). It advertises that brown rice and tofu are available. I’ve never eaten here. It’s closed on Mondays, but is one of the few places in town that stays open on Sundays.

BREAKING NEW GROUND COFFEE (212 N. Cloverdale Blvd.) has satisfied my caffeine-loving friends. The signs say it serves hot dogs, but I haven’t tried one.

The donut shop, CHARLIE’S DONUTS AND PASTRIES (122 E. First St., 707-894-1882) is no longer open on Sundays. But if you need an early morning snack on another day, it opens at 5am.

The panaderia is LA MICHOCANA (5 Tarman Dr., 707-894-5370). The store also has some Mexican groceries, dry goods, and does tax returns. As I write this up, I’m struck by how much baking is going on in this little town. I’ve been meaning to check out the pan dulce here.

STARRY NET CAFÉ (512 N. Cloverdale Blvd., 707-894-0100, looks like just another drive-in with burgers, fries and shakes. These are on the menu, but the surprising part is how good the food is and the attention to quality. I was sorry that I’d waited so long to try it. There’s a full burger menu – I went with the “Big Daddy” 1/3 burger with pepper jack cheese, $3.75, and fries, 75¢, plus a spicy chai milkshake made with real ice cream, $4.75 (16 oz). The chuck is ground fresh every day, and even though only 15% fat (vs. the usual 23%), is full of flavor and stays moist even when cooked medium-well. The garnishes are sliced to order and very fresh, and while the bun could be a little toastier, this is a terrific burger and cheap too! The slender fries are nice and crisp, cooked in clean fresh-tasting oil. For vegetarians, a Portobello mushroom burger is offered. The chai milkshake was made with good quality ice cream (maybe Double Rainbow?) and deliciously exotic – I’ll have to remember this combination.

Initially, I had attempted to order an egg roll and pork bun, but the Hokkien-Chinese owner from Rangoon dissuaded me. He said that they’re too salty for his taste (and presumably mine), but that’s the way his customers like them. He told me he’d like to serve some Burmese dishes but doesn’t know how to develop a market for it here. This is the one place in town to get a Thai ice tea, small, $2.25. The coffee is organic from local premium roaster, Taylor Maid. High-speed internet access with use of two PCs is $6/hour. There’s seating outdoors on a shaded patio or inside in air-conditioned comfort.

EAGLE’S NEST DELI AND GRILL (113 N. Cloverdale, 707-894-9290) has a bar that serves up lots of tomato-beers at lunch time and a few tables to eat-in. My first taste of the food was a bbq tri-tip sandwich, $5.50 on a soft roll, sold at a recent street fair. They smoke their own and I was impressed by the tenderness and deep flavor. Smoked pork roast and chickens are also offered. A prime rib sandwich, $7, has a nice thick slab of roasted medium rare center cut. Offered on dutch crunch roll with condiments of your choice, I chose horseradish and sprouts with hot jus on the side for dipping and really enjoyed it. I tried a Schrenken’s cran-cherry soda with ginseng from the self-service cooler. It stays open for dinner on Fridays offering one dinner entree or the lunch menu.

GRAPEVINE RESTAURANT (236 S. Cloverdale Blvd.) is festooned with plastic grape clusters, an overhead faux grape arbor, and grape vine motifs in the pictures, posters, and drapes. There’s also a crystal chandelier. The tables are covered with vinyl and set with white paper food service placemats.

The dinner menu is fairly limited with hot sandwiches and salads, supplemented by a handful of daily specials on the chalkboard. I meant to ask my waitress what was so unique about the Caesar salad that it would be priced at $10 (without additional protein). My one meal here I had the beef ravioli with pesto sauce, $10.95 from the specials board. This came with a choice of soup or salad. The serving of soup, clam chowder, was generous and bigger than the cup I was expecting for this price. The chowder was the thick and creamy style and tasty with flecks of carrot shreds, potato, onion, and bits of tender clam. I swear that I could taste some cheese in this, as it left an impression that was a cross between fondue and chowder. Odd, but I liked it. The basket of bread was warm, a nice touch. However, these were slices of balloon bread sandwich rolls in white and whole wheat colors. The pesto turned out to be a cream sauce version – should have remembered to ask in this town – giving me my dairy allotment for the week. The edge of the plate was garnished with chopped scallions and bits of plasticky pre-shredded “parmesan” cheese. More of this was strewn on top of the ravioli. The whole thing was tepid, as if the pool of sauce had been ladled on a stone cold plate. The smaller than usual squares of ravioli looked familiar. When I tasted them, I knew that I’d tried this very tender pasta before. The kitchen confirmed that the source was indeed Canevari’s Ravioli factory in Santa Rosa. Luckily this time, the all beef version proved to be better than my earlier disastrous experience. Not only was it edible, it was tasty, albeit drowned in too much cream. Cash only.

RAY’S is the local supermarket. Additions include an organic fruits and vegetables section in the produce department, Boars Head meats featured in the deli, and a bigger wine selection. There has been an in-house bakery, but I’ve not found anything worthwhile yet. The grilled tri-tip on weekends is recommended.

CORNUCOPIA NATURAL FOODS STORE surprises me some times. It has a decent selection of fresh, dried, and prepared vegetarian and health foods for when you have a craving for smoked tempeh. This last visit, I spotted fresh turmeric root in the produce section (features local, organically grown), something I’ve never seen anywhere before. It carries Boonville’s Bruce Breads (

CLOVERDALE FOOD CENTER (138 E. First St., 707-894-2325) is more of a convenience store and place to pick up ice and drinks. It’s dingy and shop-worn. NORM’S DELI is in the back with sandwiches and nachos, but it looks pretty unappetizing and I’ve avoided it.

ZEKE’S LIQUORS (109 N. Cloverdale Ave., 707-894-5604) is, no surprise, predominantly a liquor store. But you can buy snacks here too (chips, hostess cupcakes), including La Michoacana paletas. It also has some local small production wines, such as Handley’s “Recall Red”.

LONG’S DRUG USED to have the best wine selection in town. No longer, but you can buy all sorts of fish and game supplies and licenses. This can come in handy if the cry goes out that steelhead are running on the Russian River as you’re passing through town.

There’s a QUIK STOP MARKET at the north end of town if you need a slushie.

I erred previously when I said there was a Taco Bell in town. The fast food chains are limited to McD’s, Subway, Aztec Grill, and KFC.

The downtown streets are still torn up and the project is behind schedule. Business from visitors has fallen off dramatically because of this and many of the merchants, especially those on the north side of town, are struggling to hold on until next year. The minor detours are well-marked and there’s no chance you’ll get lost since the town is only eight blocks wide. Please visit and have a meal in Cloverdale.



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