My family has kept a home in Vallejo since the early 1940’s. I have been to bowling tournaments, spaghetti feeds and 4th of July parades. I remember when the military was here and then again when they were not. I even remember shopping with my Grandmother in a lovely shop located on a bustling Georgia street when I was a boy. I have seen Vallejo up, down and even sideways. Through all of that I still get a warm feeling when I pull off the freeway, after a long day at work, knowing that I am finally home. V-Town, for all of her reputed back and forth, is such a great place to live. I am proud to say that I am personally responsible for convincing two of my friends to look for and purchase homes here. They in turn have brought their friends who are happy, as well, with their decision to move. As you know, Vallejo has a lot going for it.
Saturday’s are no exception. Being the ever constant advocate for our fair city, I invited a friend whom I met at Burning Man a few years back. I wanted to give her the whirlwind tour of Saturday’s best in V-Town. Time was limited so we opted to start at the Farmer’s Market. Nothing new to anyone who is a regular but the Farmer’s Market in springtime is the best! The weather was perfect and as always, it was easy to find parking off Georgia. We met at the Sonoma Street end and began our shopping spree. I was having guests for dinner on Sunday and with a little left over pancetta in the refrigerator I was on the hunt for Brussel Sprouts. Also I was light on honey for my tea and fancied a bite or two of sourdough bread. Of course I did not stop there. I found a handmade soap that I liked, lovely button mushrooms to fry and to my surprise Duck eggs to scramble. I have not whipped them into an omelet yet but I promise a report very soon.
A fine surprise to me was to see a block of Marin filled with artists and informational vendors. It would be hard not to notice the NO ORCEM signs dotting the landscape on our city streets, nor should you. I feel that this recent upsurge of political interest, in the old flour factory, has awakened the better nature in our neighbors. And I like it! The commitment to cause and art, publicly displayed, reminded me of yet another reason I am so fond of Vallejo.
The other side of Georgia, still on Marin, is a little café that I have seen, driven by and occasionally stopped in for a bite, My Homestyle Café. There are two things that I can tell you for sure about this place. First, you get an honest meal there. You will not leave hungry. The breakfasts that I have had have all been tasty but the cook tends to use butter the way my grandmother did. So if you decide to drop in maybe ask her to go easy with that. Second, and more importantly, Ms. Yvonne, (I believe that is her name) is by far the nicest person that I have found in Vallejo to date. Her café is nothing but welcoming and she is always charming. I have never felt more welcomed, in any business, ever. If nothing else, stop in for a cup of morning java. To hear her tell it, “That’s the good coffee, with chicory in it.”
My friend had to run off early so I pushed on alone to my final stop for the morning. A place where I would find a little pick-me-up. For those of you who may not know, Vallejo has its very own gourmet coffee roaster. Yes, right here in town and they have an open house every Saturday, from 9 to 1, where you can try all of their coffees for FREE. I am speaking about Moschetti Coffee of course. They are easily found at 11 Sixth Street, at the intersection of Curtola Parkway and Solano Ave. There is a small sign on the sidewalk so do not hurry passed or you might miss the turn into the gravel drive. Behind a chain link fence is an immaculate roasting room which Fabrice, the owner, opens up on Saturday to share free coffee and tell you anything you ever wanted to know about coffee: the beans, roasting, brewing and even Kali the goat herder boy who first discovered the coffee plant. An overnight success, after 27 years in business, Fabrice is an accomplished roaster who offers a variety of coffees from Costa Rica to Ethiopia and back again. If you like light roasts, he has them. If you like medium roasts, you will find them there. He even has one roast that I like in particular. It is the only roast he takes into the second crack. So smooth dark and rich I find that it does not even need milk or sugar. Fabrice may not agree with me but so is the way of things.
A chat with Fabrice and his many great guests, a cup of warming coffee, some duck eggs to try and it is time for me to head home. So for all of you advocates of our fair Vallejo, I suggest inviting our possible new neighbors up for a Saturday visit. I am sure they will enjoy their day as much as I did.
Until next time,
Eat Well and Smile Often