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northbay day trip: chocolate malted

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northbay day trip: chocolate malted

moto | Apr 5, 2006 11:30 PM

Hello,we continued on to Healdsburg after the Portuguese bread and pastry interlude to fetch some wine, and following the inimitable Ms.Wong's tip had lunch at the made-over Downtown Bakery. There was a selection of breakfast and lunch pizzas including one on flatbread (I think there's a place in the central coast area known for this) plus the usual sandwich and salad suspects. We shared the santi sausage w.radiccio pizza and a bowl of farro,pancetta, kale,porcini soup. It's a order from the counter, food brought to you arrangement, sheet metal-topped tables lending a bright,sleek touch. Very good pizza, 8 in., a thin, crisp but still semi-pliable crust, the topping with the exceptional sausage assertive, but not smothering, so one could enjoy the complementing elements. The soup was comforting on the rainy day, the porcinis having melted into the broth and the net result a kind of delicate variation of mushroom-barley soup. It needed a finishing dollop of good olive oil, but the garlic toast floating on top nearly sufficed to provide that touch. The pizzas were all 7.50, the soup was 5, with our drinks and tip it came to about $18 so it wasn't a bargain, but fair value given the high quality of ingredients and preparation.

In former times we'd get take out bbq from Rasta Dwight's in Cotati on the way back, but he moved on a while ago, and we haven't found a worthy alternative. His meats weren't even wood smoked, but had such a nice complex rub and excellent overall prep it mattered little. Excellent greens, too, which seem a rarity in most bbq places in this area. There used to be another pretty good place next to a driving range near Glen Ellen I think, but it got made over into a differnt type of eatery. This day, we tried to find Rob's Roadhouse in Windsor on the old redwood hwy, but apparently it's been converted to a Thai place--anyone know if Rob's is still around?

The next choice was Colibri in the northeast corner of Santa Rosa a couple of blocks from hwy. 12, which formerly was Hogg heaven or something like that. I had read a favorable write-up on Colibri in the Press Democrat. The make-over apparently succeeded in a bright and colorful cantina-like interior. We ordered a slab with cole slaw and potato salad and had a coffee and chocolate malted for the wait. Our standard of excellence for a choc. malt is made at Crown Candy in north St. Louis, a 1950s time machine kind of place in a prototype urban blight neighborhood. Colibri's equalled it. Made in the standard stainless quart cannister that snaps under a Hamilton Beach shake mixer, and I saw our server put at least a pint of ice cream into it. One could barely imbibe it through the straw, it was the consistency of the famous frozen custard pumped out at Ted Drewe's in south St. Louis.

However, when I asked about what kind of wood was used for the 'q, the nice server told me they didn't use the smoker anymore. The meat was just o.k, the sauce, paradoxically, was actually better than what several E.Bay places have, as were the sides. The slaw consisted of long thin strands of fresh red & green cabbage, and carrot, rather than the usual little confetti shards, so the effect was a fresh salad. The potato salad had chunks of fresh tasting red potato and a light dressing, but it was somewhat bland. Reading Colibri's menu, I'd really be interested in their breakfast (open at 7,8 on Sunday), because it's quite extensive with varieties of pancakes and Cal-Mex items , and the coffee is quite drinkable. Fresh, good opacity and concentration, and smooth, served in a solid, tall, porcelain mug, very much above the norm for coffee shop/diner coffee, actually better than the regular drip brew that some "gourmet" coffee specialty places serve.

It's very unlikely we'll be in the vicinity during breakfast hours though, so the search for good 'q in southern Sonoma county goes on. cheers

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