On the way to Napa yesterday I took some extra time and decided to have lunch in Vallejo plus do some exploring. As many folks have reported before, Vallejo is home to a lot of Phillipino (sp?) businesses - every chain I've ever heard of and more - Max's of Manila, Goldilocks, Valerio's Tropical Bakeshop, Jollibee's, ChowKing, etc. Seafood City is a somewhat spiffy Supermarket with extensive seafood and meat counter areas. Their produce dept didn't seem to be as extensive as the one at Island Pacific Market across the freeway (80) on Springs Rd. but this market is still worth a visit. Seafood City anchors a shopping center that is full of the above businesses and a few others but this whole stretch of Sonoma Blvd. ( aka Hiway 29) has lots of other spots waiting to be explored. I noticed that another branch of Hawaiian Drive Inn (#28) has recently opened.
I had read some enthusiastic postings about Gumbah's so I ended there for an Italian Beef Sandwich. Gumbah's is located in an old house and has a comfortable feel with lots of Chicago memorabelia (sp?) - I was greeted by a friendly older gentleman who took my order - I opted for the sweet peppers with my Italian Beef sandwich - I really wanted to like this more than I did. Maybe the hot peppers would have made it more interesting? The sandwich as a whole was OK but not exciting in any way ... the untoasted bread quickly turned to mush and the beef was OK but not really that tasty, the peppers were mild as expected but not as interesting as peppers can be when sauteed and caramelized....is this all there is? What am I missing that all the folks from Chicago dream about? (I regret not trying the Italian Sausage sandwich instead) I didn't finish the sandwich and decided to salvage my lunch by driving the few blocks North to Bud's Giant Burger for a Double Giant with their nicely done french fries. The burger was quite a mouthfull and very satisfying - I got mine without cheese but with hindsight, I think the cheese would have made it even better.
Seafood City Market Place....3495 Sonoma Blvd, Vallejo 94590
Gumbah's 138 Tennessee St. Vallejo 707.648-1100
Hawaiian Drive Inn #28 3730 Sonoma Blvd. 94589