Hello Bay Area hounds,
I’ve been lurking on your board recently, planning a trip next month to Sonoma County with my husband Antonius and our five year old son. (I lived in Berkeley for many years, but now live in Chicago.) The posts here have been invaluable, especially those by Melanie Wong on Sonoma and rworange’s compendia of markets. I was also impressed by the practical advice on traffic given to lparis for heading from SFO to Napa, and I would like to ask a comparable question if I may.
Though most of our time in Sonoma will be at the Sea Ranch (and thanks to you all I think I understand the somewhat limited chow options up there) the last night of the trip we’ll be in Petaluma. We’ll be driving on a Saturday from just south of Petaluma (McEvoy Ranch) to Oakland airport, leaving around 12:30 and we probably want to arrive at the airport around 4. In between we’ll need lunch. So my first question is, how much of that time interval are we likely to spend driving (from Petaluma to say, Berkeley, and then to Oakland airport)? The estimated times on mapquest seem insanely low.
Second, I’d welcome any comments on the quickness of service at the following places that seem like possible lunch stops for us: Hidden City Cafe in Point Richmond, Sea Salt, Ryowa in Berkeley.
Other ideas? I think the crowds and parking challenges of the gourmet ghetto would rule that part of Berkeley out for our purposes. (We’ll be having lunch at Chez Panisse on the day we arrive, anyway. Also the Cheeseboard will be on vacation then, sadly.) I think Fourth Street would also be too crazy on a Saturday but if you guys can suggest a relatively quick stop around there, I’d be eager to hear it.
Another idea I was considering is something in downtown Oakland/Oakland Chinatown, followed by a stop at Ratto’s to get sandwiches to take on the flight back. Any suggestions for that area would be great, too!
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide – and I promise to report back after the trip.
p.s. I must say I love the search capabilities of the new Chowhound!