Who: VegNews Editorial Assistant Anna Peraino
What: A food-and-booze-filled joyride around the Bay Area
Where: Sonoma, Petaluma, San Rafael, Oakland, Berkeley, and Moraga, Calif.
When: May 13 to 15, 2011
Why: The Perainos are foodies. Fact.
The Scoop: My parents, happy as clams now that their two children live within 30 miles of each other, recently left the still-snowy foothills outside Denver (read more about my visit with them here) to visit my brother and me in the Bay Area. As is the case with my family, there was quite a bit of drinking, hiking, and most importantly, eating. What is it they say? The family that eats together, stays together? Something like that.
We began the weekend in Sonoma County, visiting wineries. After we'd had our fill of zins and merlots, we headed down to Petaluma's Lagunitas Brewing Company, where we spent a few hours sipping delicious, heady brews and snacking on peanuts, freshly made salsa, and avocado. Oh, and the live music was pretty stellar, too.
My brother, excited upon arrival
After happy hour, we headed to San Rafael to the beautiful home of my father's college roommate. We spent hours catching up, hearing hilarious stories about my dad's crazier days, and eating a delicious shabbat dinner. The hostess of the evening even made me vegan-friendly fare to nosh on, for which I was supremely grateful. After spending the night at my brother's in Moraga, the family started the morning at the Berkeley Bowl grocery store. Associate Editor Jennifer Chen always gushes about its awesomeness, and I must say, it lived up to my expectations. Next, we headed to Crixa Cakes, my brother's favorite bakery, to sample its delights. My vegan carrot cake was sweet, soft, and delicious, and the rest of the fam said it was their favorite, too! After one more stop at Flacos for some vegan tacos, we headed back to my brother's place to bake. (Did I mention we like to eat? I just wanted to make sure you got that.) My brother and his girlfriend baked us a delicious loaf of pain ordinaire with rye flour that they served with homemade tomatillo salsa and hummus. Post-food coma we took a hike around my brother's neighborhood, which hosted spectacular views of rolling hills, lunch greenery, a few happy cows, and Mt. Diablo in the distance.
Photo courtesy of Estella Sanchez
Dinner Saturday night was at Oakland's Souley Vegan, where I noshed on barbecue tofu and mac 'n' cheese. I had my eye on some pie for dessert, but to be honest, none of us could hack it. After dinner, the family headed back to Moraga and promptly went to bed. Sunday was a day of little food and mostly NBA-playoff watching, and then the parents headed home. I, for one, headed straight toward a green juice.