As you can discern from my postings below, Mike and I spent three days traveling through the Napa Valley, tasting wine and relaxing. We had a few really nice dinners, and more conventional lunches. But as I swore to review everything about the trip (to make it even more fun for me), here are my notes on our Wine Country Lunches.
Sunday we were in Napa and had lunch at Giugni’s Deli in St. Helena. This is our favorite sandwich shop in the whole world. *Every* time we come to Napa, we go eat there. Napa may be filled with culinary delights from north to south, but we will never know them because I will never have lunch at a place other than Giugni’s. It *is* that good.
The way it works (nothing extraordinary here) is that you chose your meat(s), you chose your cheese(s), you chose your bread, you chose your condiments and accouterments and they prepare the sandwich for you. I’m not sure if it’s in the quality of the meats and cheeses they use, the condiments or what, but their sandwiches are simply delicious – and very filling as well.
This time I had a roast beef with muenster cheese, tomatoes & avocado, and Mike had black forest ham with smoked Gouda, lettuce, bean sprouts and other stuff. We also got two dessert bars which were very disappointing. I got a coke. The whole thing came up to a little over $20. But hearken me, go to Giugni if you ever go to St. Helena, you won’t be disappointed.
1227 Main St.
The next day we had breakfast at the Calistoga Roastery, a very cool cafe in downtown Calistoga. They serve gourmet coffee, smoothies, teas, some pastries and a few breakfast items. I had a pineapple and cream cheese scone, which was good though crumbly. I also had the bananza smoothie ($4 for 16 oz) a mixture of banana with berries, which was unremarkably good. Mike liked his English Muffin with a sausage patty, eggs and cheese.
The cafe is pretty large and they have a communal table, as well as table and bar seating. There is a computer for internet access (free), and while they say in their website that they have wi-fi, Mike couldn’t connect. It was very busy on a Monday morning, and if I lived in Calistoga I’d probably hang out there.
1426 Lincoln Ave
Calistoga, CA 94515
That day we went to the Russian River Valley and we decided to stop in Guerneville for lunch. We went to the River Inn Grill for lunch, the first place we came across. It was a coffeeshop sort of place, with booth and table seating. It was comfy but nothing special. They have a limited menu mostly of coffeeshop items, burgers and sandwiches.
We shared some onion rings ($6) which came with blue cheese dressing. The were crispy but not burnt, good but not great and we felt the portion was small for the price.
I had the Ancho BBQ Pork Sandwich ($9) which had a good, smokey flavor. Mike had the fish and chips ($13 for 3 pieces), which he didn’t like. The fish was tasteless and chewy, and the batter came off it.
On the plus side, the portions were large. I think next time we’d probably look for a different place for lunch.
River Inn Grill
16141 Main St.
On our final day in the wine country, we found ourselves in Boomville – a town that looks like anything but a boom town. The first place we found where they had food was the Anderson Valley Market & Deli so that’s where we headed for lunch. They have a deli operation in the back where they make sandwiches, there are a couple of tables outside by the door where you can eat them. I thought my roast beef sandwich was OK, it definitely had a lot of meat and I couldn’t finish it all. Mike really liked his black forest ham with smoked gouda sandwich, but mostly because of the sweet Mendocino mustard. “Lord knows it overpowered everything. I had smoked gouda, I couldn’t taste it at all”.
Our sandwiches were between $5-7. They were slow to come by, however, they only have one person working the counter and she needs to cut the meat and cheeses herself in addition to assembling the sandwiches.
Anderson Valley Market & Deli
And that was it