Eating out Paleo is definitely a challenge, but with a little practice there are many good clean eating options in Sonoma County.
For a good fast food option, try Brody’s in Santa Rosa. They have grass-fed beef, buffalo, wild salmon, and turkey burgers. Brody’s also has gluten-free buns but they are not grain-free. I always order my burger on a lettuce wrap, extra patty and sweet potato fries.
Superburger, in central Santa Rosa, has been in business since the 1950s. Recently they started giving the option of grass-fed beef for an extra $2.00. They also have daily specials, including buffalo, venison and elk burger meat. I suggest an 8 ounce grass-fed burger, no bun with avocado and bacon with a side of sweet potato fries.
There are five Whole Foods Markets in Sonoma County. Whole Foods has a new feature in their stores a Paleo Bar. The Coddingtown and the Sebastopol Whole Foods both have a Paleo Bar in their hot prepared food section. There is usually one meat option, two vegetable options and a salad.
Medium Priced Restaurants
Abyssinia is an Ethiopian Restaurant in Santa Rosa. If you have never had Ethiopian you need to give it a try. The food is served on top of a flat bread made from a grain called teff. Teff is not gluten-free and but it is fermented during the preparation. I recommend the spicy chicken stew called Doro W’et and the Yebeg Alecha, a lamb stew. Did I mention the food is served on a communal plate with no utensils you eat the food by dipping your bread into the stew?
One of my favorite restaurants, El Coqui is a Puerto Rican restaurant in Santa Rosa. When my Puerto Rican friend, Alex, came to visit me from New York, I asked him if he minded going to a Puerto Rican restaurant. He was so delighted with El Coqui, he said it was better than the Puerto Rican restaurants in New York City. My favorite is the baked chicken called Pollo a Horno. Order it Paleo-style with no beans or rice. Ask for extra green plantains and avocado salad. Make sure to try the spicy vinegar sauce; you can also buy bottles to take home.
Hopmonk has locations in Sonoma and Sebastopol. I recently found out, although it doesn’t say on their menu, that their burger is grass-fed. Add bacon, leave off the cheese and bun and then upgrade to the sweet potato fries for a Paleo-friendly meal. I always order the hot beer sausage with mustard mashed potatoes and hot red cabbage and apples.
The Redwood Cafe is in Cotati right on the Main Street in downtown Cotati. It’s a great place with free wifi, so I go there to work sometimes. They have music and special events so check out their calendar. On their menu, they have a body building section courtesy of a local gym called Triad. They also have great omelets and you can order a bison patty on the side. The Tight, Lean and Light Salad is excellent too.
For Special Occasions
All of the beef served at The Duck Club at the Bodega Bay Lodge and Spa in Bodega Bay is grass-fed from Salmon Creek Ranch in the town of Bodega. Their menu also has Liberty Farm duck and fresh Bodega Bay salmon. The Executive Chef, Jeff Reilly takes pride in sourcing locally grown and raised products.
Mateo Granados, the Yucatan-born chef, blends sustainable Sonoma ingredients with the flavors of his homeland in Healdsburg. The beef is all grass fed from Salmon Creek Ranch. The lamb is raised by Preston Winery and Farm, a biodynamic farm in Healdsburg. I have to mention Mateo’s has a tequila bar.
Stark’s is an upscale restaurant in downtown Santa Rosa. Be sure to call ahead and make reservations because it is very popular. The options for beef include bone marrow topping, truffle fried egg and a truffle aioli sauce. They also have a roasted bone marrow appetizer. I also recommend the warm spinach salad.
Do you have a favorite Sonoma County restaurant with some decent Paleo options? Have you visited one of these restaurants and have a favorite dish? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below!