The best part about settling into a new place is finding new favorite cafes and restaurants and hangouts. Or – if you’re moving back to a place – to rediscover old favorites. Max approves of Adele’s Diner which is just down the street from us. I’m not sure he’ll approve as much when the curly fries run out but we’ll see. We really miss Golden Valley Brewery for their high backed booths, they’re beers, they’re mostly reliable french fries, and their Snickers pie.
The other night Philip’s bicycle friend from Southern California stayed the night with us. He and his daughter were en route to Portland. He took us out and at first Philip was suggesting that we go to the Russian River Brewery on Fourth Street but I nixed this suggestion on a couple of vital points: the noise level in there is obnoxious, it’s a very adult hangout (tall stools, no french fries, mostly young hip college aged people with hook-ups in mind). Yes, they have good beer. But I suggested the slightly more kid friendly 3rd Street Aleworks. They have better beer, french fries, and big tables for families, and less noise.
I was wrong about the noise level. It was NOISY in there. Have I mentioned how much I dislike noisy restaurants? If you can’t have a conversation without being a few inches from the mouths issuing sounds then it’s too loud. Or if you have to shout. How did I not remember that? However, on all other counts I was right. It has great beer (less aggressive than the Russian River brews), good food (decent fries – Max ate quite a few), and nice big tables for groups of people. The nachos were very good. Max was not thrilled with the noise level and was also put off by the home made potato chips which he also tried (some soft bits on a few chips repulsed him) so after eating some fries and drinking one and a half Mr. Pibbs (which he was keen to try because of affiliation with American Dad) he went off to check out the other restaurant next door called “The Flip Side” which he’s decided we must try next because it’s much quieter and they have french fries and Mr. Pibb as well. “Coca Cola products” as he put it. (As a side note – Max normally prefers to drink either root beer or Dr. Pepper) Both these places are right next to a movie theater which Max noted with interest. Strange, because he hates going to the movie theater. I commented on this and he says he might be interested in trying it out again.
There are days (like yesterday) when all the electronics in the house stop working (our internet connection sucks, our remote controls are weird, and we had 2 bad video game purchases) and Max decides we need to move back to Oregon where things worked and the Game Stop didn’t suck and the video rental place had video games to rent (apparently there is nowhere to rent video games in Santa Rosa). But then we go to Sweet Tooth and thoughts of fleeing back to McMinnville evaporate. Sweet Tooth is his new favorite cafe. They have coffee and Italian Sodas (grape flavor is on order just for Max!) and soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt and a whole store full of candy. New and old kinds, gimmicky kinds, weird kinds (little plastic hospital bag of blood, for example), and humorous packs of gum. It’s a candy lover’s mecca.
My favorite places (so far) are Third Street Ale Works (in spite of the noise), Trader Joe’s, Treehorn Books (good old fashioned used bookstore), El Patio, and The Tearoom in Petaluma. I haven’t found my own favorite cafe yet but I enjoy going to Sweet Tooth with Max just because he enjoys it so much.
I have yet to visit the farmer’s market here but hope to do that on Saturday. I still need a library card (the library in McMinnville is very good – but the Santa Rosa library is much bigger so there’s more available) and I really need to get myself to some Chinese and Indian restaurants. However, what with all the grocery buying (so expensive here!) and electronics replacements, joining the Y and getting shoes… must budget. We still have to make one more trip to the old house for the rest of our furniture and things. It will all fit in a much much smaller truck than before but will still be quite expensive. Plus – the IRS is pounding down my door. So all the frivolous going out to dinner and exploring restaurants must wait. For now we will only go where Max wants to go because dining out will be a family experience.
What I’m missing in McMinnville (aside from friends):
I’m off to get some work done and later go to the Y for my 3rd workout in a row and then I must hang out with the kid. Have a great Thursday!