There’s a whole lot more to Cloverdale than the Hamburger Ranch these days. A burgeoning food scene is rapidly making this small, north county town a destination for adventurous eaters.
While playing hooky (I mean working really hard) last Friday afternoon, BiteClub stopped into the eagerly-anticipated Trading Post Market and Bakery. A project of SF’s Mercer Restaurant Group (AQ, Melange, The Hall), the bakery is more of an industrial cooking space with a small collection of jams and raw honey than what you might think of as a “bakery”. That doesn’t matter much, since you’re really there for the bread — hearty country loaves and baguettes on our visit — from the stone-hearth oven. It’s truly excellent bread, with big air pockets and a crunchy crust that only need a swipe of fresh butter and raw honey to become spectacular. The bakery is the first stage of a larger-scale project at The Trading Post, which will include a full restaurant. Another North Bay project is also in the works for Mercer, Long View Ranch in Mendocino. The 32-acre property will house a chef’s garden, vineyard and heirloom seed library, along with a high-end restaurant, but is still in the investment stage. Trading Post Bakery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1-6p.m., 102 S. Cloverdale Blvd.
We also stopped in at Savvy on First (116 E First St.), an adorable cafe we’ve been meaning to hit up for a couple years. Chef/owner Kristine Bodily has created a charming breakfast/brunch/lunch spot that helped define Cloverdale’s food scene with lots of locally-sourced dishes that span the gamut from a killer 8 oz. burger, homemade biscuits and sausage gravy, to a not-so-local but delicious-sounding Maine lobster roll with Old Bay butter, lemon aioli on a brioche bun.
The restaurant’s dinner menus have included everything from roasted bone marrow and beef Bourguignon to togarashi-crusted ahi served Thursday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9p.m.. Sadly, we’d already filled up at Diavola on the way up, so we grabbed a couple cookies from the stocked bakery case and made our way, promising to return soon. Saavy on First offers up breakfast and lunch Wed.-Fri. from 9a.m. to 3p.m. and brunch Saturday and Sunday from 9a.m. to 3p.m.
Another favorite for a coffee boost-up? The always hip Plank Coffee and Tea (227 North Cloverdale Blvd.)
Check out this article from Sonomamag.com for more on Cloverdale’s rise.
3 thoughts on “Cloverdale’s New Food Scene: Trading Post Bakery”
Trading Post Bakery’s bread rivals any in Sonoma County, as well as the bay area. The fruit and nut makes the BEST french toast, and the baguettes are warm and fresh right out of the oven. The owners are super friendly. A great addition to Cloverdale. Can’t wait for the restaurant to open.
Though I generally agree with BiteClub’s opinions, I have to take exception at, what seems to me like a disparaging opening sentence to this piece. In my book (and I’ve been eating BBQ for almost 70 years), Hamburger Ranch is the real deal. No pretense, just great BBQ, beans and slaw at reasonable prices in a warm, friendly, authentically retro atmosphere. I drive there from Sebastopol.
No disparaging meant! I think the point was more that Hamburger Ranch used to be about the only reason to drive to Cloverdale to eat. I love it too! There’s MORE now. 😉