For all the griping I did in another post about Vacaville, I really had a good time scoping out the place food-wise. I never even KNEW there was a downtown Vacaville. I thought it was just malls and the former Nut Tree.
A friend said Vacaville was once a major onion growing region and you would have to roll your windows up when you drove by because the smell was so powerful.
Not a restaurant, but a farm stand that seems to have promise is Morning Sun Herb Farm. They claim to have 500 herbs and there's a tomato tasting Sept 8th of more than 60 varieties of tomatoes. The picture below is from the site's 2001 tomato tasting. Looks pretty. Here's the site:
Anyway, it is worth a drive down town. The easiest way is just to take the Merchant exit (merchant's ... downtown ... easy to remember). Merchant Street goes straight to town. Coming from SF, the exit is about 2 exits before the malls and the old Nut Tree.
The Old Post Office Seafood Grill seems to have the most promise. An old converted post office, it is owned by Morgan and Unni Song who opened Rodin in San Francisco and Creek's Side Bistro in San Anselmo. I hit mid afternoon when it was closed, but the menu looked good and really was heavy on seafood. Will try them some day. The Contra Costa Times recommended it. Here's the mini review. Scroll down to seafood.
I'm thinking that Pietro's Pizza must be a pretty good Italian restaurant as there were two of them within about three blocks of each other. Pietro's #1 had a window for take out. Pietro's #2 is easily found on Merchant Street.
Imperial China Kitchen on Merchant looks like an Abacrombie and Fitche's stero-type of a Chinese restaurant. However, there were lines out the door at lunch time. They were lines of Caucasion teenagers, so take that for whatever.
Walking around, I asked a few local people where they ate. The answers were ... chains ... Napa. There was a lot of buzz about a new Jamaican place next to McFrugal's. No one actually ATE there, but they thought about it. It is called Caribbean Vibes on 898 Alamo Dr in the Alamo Plaza. They promise food prepared from scratch including jerk chicken, curry goat, oxtail. It includes a carribean grocery store.
There's a food delivery service like Waiters on Wheels that has on-line menus for the Vacaville area. The link is below. Select Vacaville from the drop down. Some places I drove by that looked like they had promise were:
Merchant and Main (noted for Sunday champagne buffet)
Mermaids (mentioned in my Venting in Vacaville post)
Perkos (seems like a decent breakfast place)
Murillos (Chevy's type place, but have churros, menudo and Mexican breakfast).
For a poster who was looking for Egg Fu Young, it seems looking over the Chinese menus, ALL the Chinese restaurants in Vacaville serve it. It's like a time trip back with Mu Shu pork and dishes with lobster sauce. In addition to lemon and ornage chicken, everyone seems to have cherry chicken.
Which reminds me. Most of the non ethnic restaurants seem to have liver and onions on the menu. May go back to Vacaville's days as an onion producer.
A restaurant that really makes me think the heat gets to some people in Vacaville is called Pizza Pucks. This place claims "the most fun you can have with your pizza". Filling is rolled inside the dough then covered with butter, garlic and parmesian cheese and cooked to a golden brown. Keep in mind the name is trade marked, so don't go stealing this idea.
As I said, I haven't tried the above list yet. But if you eat at a chain in Vacaville, you have only yourself to blame.