Yummy Sonoma

Helping you decide where and where not to eat!

Archive for the category “Sebastopol”

Sebastopol – Tyja and Sarah’s House

Tyja is such an awesome chef.

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Caviar and an uni-based sauce on poached duck egg. Hell yes.

Unfortunately for y’all this isn’t a restaurant and a benefit of being friends with Ty and Sarah. But perhaps you could eat something similar at Applewood Inn. 😉

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Taking a break

Hi all!

I’m still alive!  But I’m taking a break!  I am starting to plan my wedding… yay!  I will be way busy until we find a venue.

I also plan on moving Yummy Sonoma over to its own domain as well as redesigning the blog.  This will be a long, long process.  Until then, try out a restaurant I have recommended!

Catch you all later.

Food at Home – Layer Ducklings!

So I FINALLY got my layer ducks!  They are White Layers.  White Layer ducks can produce up to 300 eggs a year, but even when their production is on the low side, they produce more than most chickens, which is great!  Their eggs are also great for baking and have a richer yolk and firmer whites.

Lookie how cute!

White Layer Ducks

White Layer Ducks

Aren’t they soooooo adorable?

Curious (& Mean) Baby Chickens

Dana and I got some new meat chickens about a week ago. Yes, I know, how could we possibly eat anything so cute. It’s quite simple, really: they’re delicious.

So here is an extra horrible video for you to attempt to enjoy. DON’T FAIL ME. ENJOY IT.

Santa Rosa – Abyssinia (Featuring a Guest Appearance from Sebastopol’s Screamin Mimi’s)

It was a very exciting Friday as I had just gotten paid. YAY! What a better way to celebrate than have a few beers and go out to Abyssinia?

Located in Santa Rosa, Abyssinia features some great Ethiopian food–something one would only expect to find in larger cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. I was quite excited when I discovered Abyssinia as the first time I had Ethiopian food was in Reno, and I loved it!

So two of my friends (we’ll call them George and Charles because I don’t know if they care if I use their real names and I’m too lazy to find out) joined Dana and me for a yummy dinner. This was my fourth time at Abyssinia, and I was very excited for my return!

honey wine

Honey Wine

As my beverage choice, I ordered the honey wine.  Honey wine tastes pretty much as you would expect: like fermented honey with a similar finish as grape wine or rice wine (sake). I actually really love it, which is rather surprising because it is sweet, and I much prefer dry wines and sakes. I suspect what I enjoy about it most is that it tastes like honey!

Something you should know about Ethiopian food before we get to the actual food part of this entry is that it is usually served on a communal (large sharing) plate with a type of bread called injera, which is made from a grain called teff. This is my limited understanding of Ethiopian food, as people in general have a tendency to modify any ethnic food they are unfamiliar with. Anyway, back to how Ethiopian food is eaten (at least in the USA). A group of hipster foodies gather round to talk about their hipster trophies and how they were the first of their friends to eat Ethiopian food. They take turns dipping the injera into individual dishes.

sambusa

Sambusa

I insisted that we order an appetizer as this is a restaurant review blog, and I am trying to eat off of as much of the menu as I can afford and fit into my growing tummy. So, I decided on beef sambusas (because who cares what anyone else wants). It tasted a bit like a hamburger in a pastry, if you can imagine that. There were lots of spices and it tasted great, though it’s nothing that I would absolutely have to order next time.

vegetarian combo

Vegetarian Combo

abyssinia combo

Abyssinia Combo

As always, we ordered a Vegetarian Combo and an Abyssinia Combo because it lets us taste a bit of everything. The Abyssinia Combo includes samples of chicken and lamb dishes while the Vegetarian Combo is made up of mostly samples of lentil and garbanzo bean-based dishes.

Vegetarian Combo:

  • Shiro We’t – Roasted garbanzo beans simmered with berbere, olive oil, and Ethiopian spices
  • Miser We’t – Lentils stewed in a red-pepper sauce and Ethiopian spices
  • Yater Kik Alecha – Mild split peas flavored with garlic, ginger, turmeric, & green pepper
  • Yabesha Gomen – Collard greens cooked lightly with tomato, garlic, and rosemary
  • Miser Alecha – Lentil stew flavored with garlic, ginger, and a touch of turmeric
  • Tikel Gomen – Cabbage, carrots, and potatoes lightly cooked with ginger.
  • House Salad

Abyssinia Combo:

  • Doro We’t – Spicy chicken stew simmered with berbere, garlic, onion, and nitre kibe; served with hardboiled egg
  • Yebeg Key We’t – Lamb cubes stewed with awaze and onion (by the way, am I the only one who thinks “cubes” should never be used to describe meat?)
  • Yebeg Alecha – Lamb strips seasoned with garlic, onion, turmeric, and ginger
  • Tikel Gomen – See above
  • Miser We’t – See above
  • House Salad

I love food with lots of spices (like curries, as I’ve mentioned before), so I enjoyed everything.  My favorite item of all time there is tikel gomen (cabbage, carrot, and potato), which is a bit odd for my meat-lovin’ self. I also particularly enjoy the yabesha gomen (collard greens), and the yebeg alecha (lamb strips). Overall, I love both combos and would order them again and again. However, I think next time, I will actually order individual items instead since I am finally starting to figure out what I like most.

Dana, George, and Charles (I’m cracking up at these names…) all enjoyed their food, but not as much as I did! I think Dana prefers the restaurant in Reno, but I don’t remember that meal as well as he does.

After we finished the combos, we didn’t feel like sticking around at Abyssinia for dessert, so we decided to go to Screamin’ Mimi’s in Sebastopol instead.

hazelnut & pumpkin ice cream

Hazelnut & Pumpkin Ice Cream

I was so excited that Mimi’s had pumpkin ice cream because I love pumpkin-flavored desserts! This ice cream tasted just like pumpkin pie, mmm mmm mmm. The hazelnut ice cream was also great, and it tasted like–you guessed it–hazelnut! It was an odd night for me since I did not have chocolate! My favorite ice cream flavor from Mimi’s is probably the Midnight Menthe (chocolate ice cream with mint), which is not there every night (for those who don’t know, Mimi’s rotates their flavors). Another big plus about Mimi’s is that all of the ice cream is homemade, and they use real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup (I’m looking at you, Honeymoon).

Please go give both Abyssinia and Screamin’ Mimi’s a shot!

Abyssinia Yelp Page

Abyssinia Website

Screamin’ Mimi’s Yelp Page

Screamin’ Mimi’s Website

Sebastopol – Himalayan Tandoori & Curry House

I am so excited about this entry.  I inserted the images before I began writing, and all I want to do right now is call up this restaurant and order some masala… which brings me to my next point.  Masala is one of my favorite foods.  Curry, in general, is my favorite food besides authentic sushi.  That said, I am no expert.  The origins of masala are not even clear; some say it was created in the United Kingdom while others claim it was created in India.  Either way, I have heard several times that it is not considered traditional Indian (or any Asian culture’s) food!  It tastes damn good, though, and that’s enough for me.

I have ordered takeout from Himalayan Tandoori & Curry House many, many, many, many, many, many times.  However, Saturday night was the first time I have eaten at the restaurant.  Dana had to work that day, and I was ready to relax after a long day of housework and homework, so we met for dinner.  We took full advantage of this blog project and ordered more than we usually do.

Let’s start with the most important part of every meal: the alcohol (underagers reading this: stay in school and don’t drink)!

real gold - authentic nepalese beer

Real Gold – Authentic Nepalese Beer

The first time I had Real Gold was when Dana picked up some food at this restaurant for us and one of the managers sent a free beer home with him.  I love sweet beers and Real Gold is a bit on the sweeter side, so I loved it right off the bat!  Last time, we shared it straight from the bottle, so I had not seen its color before.  When it was poured into a glass, I was surprised by its very light color!  If you enjoy wheat beers or lagers or any beer that does not have an overly-bitter, hoppy flavor, definitely give Real Gold a try.  (Disclaimer: I am no beer expert… but I stay away from beers like Bud, Miller, and Coors.  Just a PBR every now and then.  No big deal…).

lentil soup

Lentil Soup

Ah, yes, the complimentary lentil soup!  This was a pleasant surprise as the only complimentary item we had ever gotten from takeout was a beer!  Ha!  I thought it was delicious, and I was so grateful for it when it arrived in front of me, as I was starving.  What a great way to begin our meal!

vegetable momos

Vegetable Momos

Now, I am still a Himalayan food newbie, so I had no idea what to expect when I ordered momos! They came with a delicious, sweet tomato-based sauce. The dumplings were so savory with the perfect, soft texture. I could eat ten more!

chicken biryani

Chicken Biryani

Dana and I had only ever had curries before so he decided to try something new and ordered the Chicken Biryani. I was fortunate enough to taste it and I would definitely order it again!  So many delicious spices were incorporated, such as cinnamon, coriander, and nutmeg.  I am so happy that I finally got to try something different at HTCH!

pumpkin lamb masala

Pumpkin Lamb Masala

Mmmmm, yes, on to my entree!  As stated earlier, I love masala! I usually order the lamb masala from takeout but I wanted to try something different.  So, I went ahead and ordered what I usually order… Plus pumpkin.  The pumpkin brought a slight sweetness to the dish, and I loved it!  I have had Thai curry with pumpkin in it before, but never Himalayan.  Another bonus of this dish is that the pumpkins are locally grown.  I definitely would recommend this dish if you ever make it to this restaurant.

garlic naan

Garlic Naan

This meal would just not be complete without some yummy, fluffy naan!  I love my garlic, so we ordered the garlic naan.  It was not terribly garlicy, but it was good nonetheless.  It was fluffy and soft, which is perfect for my tastes.

gulab jamun

Gulab Jamun

We were craving something sweet after a meal like that, so we ordered some dessert.  Dana decided on the gulab jamun, which are deep fried milk balls served in syrup.  They were very sweet and tasted much like a deep fried pancake would.  I enjoyed them, but I do not think I would order them again as I preferred my dessert.  I could definitely see how others might favor this dessert, though!

rice pudding (kheer)

Rice Pudding (Kheer)

Speaking of my dessert, I ordered the rice pudding (called kheer), which was so sweet and spiced!  I used to think that I did not like rice pudding, but I am always willing to try something again, and I figured this was the perfect time to try it.  I think I made a great choice, and I am now a fan.

That’s all folks!  If you love curry and lots of spices, give HTCH a shot.  It is a great treat, and many of the ingredients are local and organic (if you are into that, which I am).

Himalayan Tandoori & Curry House Yelp Page

Himalayan Tandoori & Curry House Website

Make masala at home!  Try Alton Brown’s recipe!

Sebastopol – Hopmonk Tavern

I had been to Hopmonk a few times before tonight, and I desperately needed some pictures for tonight’s blog, so I thought, “Aw, what the heck?”  I have always enjoyed the food there and I needed a beer.

My boyfriend, Dana, and I lucked out tonight.  It was “Hoppy Hour”, and beers were $3.  So I began my dinner with a relaxing HopMonk Dunkelweizen.   The menu describes it as having an “estery aroma” with “chocolaty wheat malt”, “strong banana”, and a “bit of clove spiciness”.

HopMonk Dunkelweizen

HopMonk Dunkelweizen

I tasted smokiness, but maybe I just need some practice developing my palate!  Overall, I enjoyed my beer, but I enjoy most Hefeweizen beers so it was not a difficult sell.

Dana and I shared five mini “Hoppy Hour” entrees, and it turned out to be a lot more food than I expected, so Hopmonk seems to be a great place to go for good beer and decent food if you don’t have a lot of money to splurge!

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

We each ordered fish tacos.  The fish tacos (two per order) were $3, and while they tasted pretty good and fresh, I have had way better fish tacos.  Of course, I am extremely spoiled by my friends who fish regularly and make delicious food from said fresh fish.   Plus, I prefer corn tortillas for my tacos!  Considering how much food there is on that plate for $3, though, it is hard to complain.

Sausage Bites

Sausage Bites

The sausage bites ($5) came fried with leeks and onions.  Unfortunately, much of it was burnt!  Rather than send it back, Dana and I agreed to not put up a fuss and just accepted the possibility that this is not a common occurrence.  Which I am sure was not just a fluke was the fact that the sausage was too salty!  I am usually the person who thinks an entree needs more salt, so when I think something is really salty, there is a problem!  Sausage is usually salty, but this was extreme.

Pork Slider

Pork Slider

The pork slider was just a mini pulled pork sandwich, which I have had in the past.  And I am no pulled pork expert, but I find theirs to be delicious!  The sauce is not too sweet, and even better, there is not too much sauce!  I really dislike when my food is drenched in barbeque sauce, and in many cases, I’d rather opt out of the BBQ sauce altogether!

Beef Slider

Beef Slider

This is a $3 miniature cheeseburger, which I have also had the entree version of at Hopmonk before.  We ordered the slider rare and it came out medium.  Why is it that when I ask for a rare burger, the only restaurant in the area that wants to give it to me rare seems to be Mike’s in Cotati?!  No, I don’t want my burger overcooked!  Give me that delicious tender mooing meat!  I really need to learn to send my food back when it is not cooked to order.  I am way too lenient… until I get to write about it later!  Regardless, it tasted pretty alright.  Not as good as Mike’s, but it is difficult to compare because Mike’s actually gives me what I want.

Overall for this visit, I was underwhelmed and disappointed!  We have had many great visits in the past, but this did not live up to my expectations.  One of my favorite items on their menu is the Hopmonk Reuben.  Not too greasy and not too salty, it is a great option for any Reuben fan!

At least we got out of there for $30 (including tip).  Oh, and the potato chips are homemade and pretty delicious!

Hopmonk on Yelp

Hopmonk Website

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