Who’s got the best margaritas in Sonoma County? Let me know in the comments below…
Not like you need an excuse to hang out on the patio and drink margaritas all day, but hey, thanks to the victory of the Mexican army over the French some 150 or so years ago, you’ve got one. So grab a glass, some chips, a Cerveza or two and tap into the salsa and mariachi-filled love fest that surrounds. Ole!
I’m far from a margarita purist, but I can appreciate a simple on-the-rocks salted rim with plenty of good tequila drink. I’m also pretty fond of the blended type. Either way, here are a few spots to get your ‘rita on.
La Rosa Tequileria: 500 4th St., Santa Rosa, 707.523.3663. Best. Margaritas. No contest. The La Diabla ($9) with muddled strawberries and jalapeno peppers on the rocks is picante’riffic.
Cornerstone Gardens: from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, with food and margaritas. Registration in advance gets you a free margarita. Ramekins.com/friends-of-ramekins. 23570 Arnold Dr., Sonoma.
Rossi’s 1906: Inaugural Cinco De Mayo party benefiting La Luz from 5 to 11:30 p.m. The evening will include live music with Grupo Karma Norteno and a Licores Latinos launch party featuring mezcal, tequila and artisanal rum. A special menu will be served until 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. 401 Grove St, Sonoma, (from the Sonoma Index-Tribune)
Agave: Grab a mole and an Agave margarita with fresh lime juice and agave nectar. 1063 Vine St., Healdsburg.C
Maya Restaurant: Great tequila and margaritas. 101 E. Napa St., Sonoma
YOUR FAVES: From my BiteClub Facebook Peanut Gallery, here are some great ones…
Geyserville Gun Club: New spot in Geyserville from Dino Bugica. Tres chic. 21025 Geyserville Ave., Geyserville.
The Starling: Brand new spot for seasonal cocktails in the former Blue Moon. “Watmaugh strawberry margarita and the Fresno pickled pepper margarita” 19380 CA-12, Sonoma.
El Farolito: Oaxacan-influenced dishes & an ample list of tequilas. 128 Plaza St., Healdsburg and Windsor.
Mateo’s Cocina Latina: 214 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg
El Torito: Hit the bar and get yourself some paper bull-horns (kids usually get them free with dinner). Let the hilarity ensue. Pitchers tend to be a little light on the tequila. So order several. 5090 Redwood Dr., Rohnert Park, 707.206.9100. Outdoor seating: Ole!
Chevy’s: Let the kids in on the Cinco-vibe! Hands-down my rugrats’ favorite spot for, uh, chicken nuggets and balls of raw tortilla dough, Chevy’s does the faux margarita oh-so-well. With whipped cream, and in a glass the size of your head. 24 Fourth Street Santa Rosa, 571.1082 Outdoor seating: Ole!
BEST CINCO DE MAYO EATS
(Want more great Latin eats? Check out this story)
Mateo’s Cocina Latina
Preston Farms strawberry margarita, a traditional margarita de casa, or spice it up with jalapeño (each $10). Plus, special tequila and Mezcal flights on the patio ($20 per person). They’ll also be roasting one of Winkler Farms’ heritage Mangalitsa pigs and serving it up with oysters, four sides, and salad, $35. Complementary chicharron bar begins with drink orders at 2p.m.; dinner starts at 5p.m. 214 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg.
La Toque, Napa becomes “El Toque”
We love the idea of this upscale French bistro showcasing a five course meal with family recipes of the Hispanic kitchen staff of the restaurant. The menu will include guacamole and family salsas, Coctel de Mariscos, chile relleno, “staff tacos” duck confit with mole and tres leches cake wiht roasted pineapple, pina colada ice cream and cajeta. A portion of the proceeds donated to the puertas Abiertas Community Center in Napa. 1314 McKinstry St., Napa, $75 per person, latoque.com.
Everyday Mexican Eats…
La Texanita: Located on Sebastopol Ave., Texanita is a perennial taqueria favorite for locals, with constantly changing daily specials. Weekends are for serious eaters, with posole, menudo and goat on the menu. 1667 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa, 707.576.8805
Chilenos: My neighborhood taqueria, we love the tacos dorados, ceviche and super burritos. 1079 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.
Taqueria Las Palmas: Chiles relleno combination plate ($5.80): Deep-fried delight stuffed with cheese. 415 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, 707.546-3091
El Farolito: Fish tacos to die for. 128 Plaza Street Healdsburg, 707.433.2807
Lola’s: Amazing carnitas, mole and pretty much anything else from dried chiles to pig’s feet. 440 Dutton Ave # 17, Santa Rosa, 577.8846, or 1680 Petaluma Hill Rd, Santa Rosa, 571.7579.
SERIOUSLY CINCO EVENTS
The 11th annual Roseland Cinco de Mayo Festival happens from 4-9p.m. Thursday, with an estimated 10,000 plus people in attendance. Non-smoking, no alcohol, family-friendly. Awesome live music, mariachi, Ballet Forklorico, plus nearly 100 booths to visit with children’s activities, local organizations, and Latin eats including tacos, pupusas, pambazos, turkey drumsticks, fruta, paella, and kettle corn. Don’t miss the Classic Car Show from 5 – 7 p.m. and La Reina del Cinco de Mayo. santarosacincodemayo.org.
Windsor Town Green: Family-friendly event with live music, Ballet Folklorico Sarita, food, alcohol for sale from 5-8p.m.
– Robledo Family Winery: Wine, traditional Mexican dishes, Mariachi and folk dancers, $45, reservations required, robledofamilywinery.com on Saturday, May 7.