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SF, Wine Country and LA:


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Hi there, I'm going to spend three weeks driving through Napa, Sonoma County, LA, SF and probably Santa Barbara County. What I'm looking for are places for:

Great burgers

simple food, with superb products

Pizza

If preferable, something that's open for lunch, as we want to keep dinners for more high-end places.

THanks a lot!

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If you want great pizzas, Tony's Pizza Napoletana in SF is my pick. Not open on Mon and Tue though. If you want to just grab a slice an go, you can do so next door at Tony's Coal-fired Pizza and Slice House.

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This place has been getting buzz from the locals: El Molino Central in Sonoma. A local recommended it to me the last time I was in Sonoma. I ate a breakfast of chilaquiles there, and it was delicious. Meanwhile, while I was eating, I noticed the steady stream of people, mostly residents, coming by for take-out or snacks. I took home some of their great tortilla chips and salsa. I could eat their salsa by the gallon.

Not just your typical taqueria. http://www.elmolinocentral.com/Menu.html

Edited by djyee100 (log)
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if you are near geyserville, diavola makes seriously good pizza. homemade salumi too. worth the drive over from healdsburg if you are in that area.

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You didn't say when you're visiting, but if it's around mid-August...

The Gravenstein apple harvest should be happening. Stop by a farmstand for a bag of these special apples, or go to the festival. I usually drive up to Sonoma to buy these apples when they are in season, and their fragrance perfumes my car all the way home.

http://www.slowfoodrr.org/GravensteinAppleFarmers.html

http://www.gravensteinapplefair.com/

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I assume you'll be traveling down 101 headed south so just about lunch time you should be hitting the Paso Robles area, lucky for you. In Templeton, just south of Paso is a small shopping center off (west) Vineyard Drive that has several stores. The fresh fish market that also does meals and they offer an incredible fresh ahi, sashimi taco with asian slaw in a wonton shell, this does well with a local vin rose available by the glass or a cold beer. Also in the complex is a Trader Joe's in the event you want to lay in some travel snacks. A small wine shop, 15 Degrees C, is there and offers local wines and imports. Knowledgable staff, palatable pricing and imported meats and cheeses.

If you prefer San Luis Obispo I'd suggest Meze cafe for an interesting menu and tapas, wine is also available. Enjoy the trip.

http://pier46seafood.com/

http://15degreescwines.com/

http://www.facebook.com/MezeWineCafeandMarket#!/MezeWineCafeandMarket?sk=info

"I drink to make other people interesting".

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Also, in SF, we had a great lunch at Cotogna - wood-fired oven pizza and wood-fired oven lots of other stuff.

LOVE Cotogna as well. Don't know about now, but the first few months it opened, reservations were hard to get, even for lunch. However, there are some seats by the counter that are reserved for walk ins. They did fill up quickly when we did that so it's best to get there right when it opens for lunch.

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In Napa, there is great pizza to be had at Pizza Azzura on Main Street as well as Oenetri.

There is a whole thread on burgers in Wine Country on Chowhound that I have contributed to and can heartily recommend Norman Rose's lamb burger.

Edited by Carolyn Tillie (log)
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