Road Trip Dining – Healdsburg Breakfast
|Bella Vineyards and Wine Cave, Geyersville, CA|
A recent road trip combined two of my favorite activities, wine tasting and good eating. I love going to either Napa or Sonoma counties in early spring and mid-week. The mustard plants are blossoming, magnificent green colors the hills and the thick, just pruned dormant vines resemble sculptures. If you are lucky enough to get a break in the rain during your stay, clouds and blue sky frame the bucolic countryside. You can get great rates for lodging, which makes justifying buying another bottle or special dinner out that much easier. The wineries and restaurants are not crowded so you can actually savor your experience, getting to know the people you are meeting.
This trip we were particularly interested in exploring northern Sonoma and setup our base camp in Healdsburg, California. This allowed us to revisit some favorite places and take our time checking out the beautiful Dry Creek Valley.
With any adventure you need to start out your day with a good breakfast. While our motel offered continental style along with our stay, we just had to treat ourselves to the wonders of Costeaux French Bakery in downtown Healdsburg. This bakery cafe recently won the prestigious Retail Bakery of the Year (2009) awarded by Modern Baking Magazine and numerous other medals for their fine products.
Entering through wrought iron gates to a brick patio, you can chose to dine inside or out — or even take your treasures to go. Rolling in mid-morning on a Wednesday we had our choice of tables. You will like the bright natural light that streams in from the front bank of windows, reflecting off the high ceilings and back onto the polished wooden floor. The space just oozes old school grocery or general store history. The brick walls are a gallery of large portraits of Healdsburg’s notable residents as part of the Healdsburg Heritage Project. Each portrait has quote and brief biography. We sat next to an image of Elsie Nardi Passalacqua who in 1937 was instrumental in bringing the nuns from St. John’s Parish, Ireland to Healdsburg and treating them to their first milkshake at the famous Mel’s Diner.
|Costeaux French Bakery Cafe and Pastry Counter|
Now to the eats! I had the Breakfast Sandwich and my darling dear the Costeaux Omelet. Simple words cannot describe how fresh and delectable these were. Mine, a beautiful pressed croissant filled with Applewood smoked bacon, avocado, egg and cheddar cheese was served with fresh fruit. The sandwich was so rich I saved half for my picnic lunch while wine tasting. The omelet, gloriously stuffed with Applewood smoked bacon, spinach, sun dried tomato and French brie. The brie was suitably melted and buttery, which added a certain lusciousness. Our server Brian, was naturally cheery and attentive but not a hoverer. He made time to answer questions about the food or the bakery while refilling our coffee mugs. He just beamed when we asked about the Retail Bakery of the Year banner that hangs proudly from the ceiling. If you are anywhere in the area you must visit. You will not be disappointed!