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Vote, Then Eat Like Your Favorite Candidate

Local restaurant suggestions for presidential and vice presidential hopefuls to enjoy, from duck fat fries to BLATs.

What will the candidates eat on election night? Chances are it will be pasta, burgers and ice cream for dessert if Biden or Trump have their way.

With plenty of fast food, carbs and comfort classics on their go-to lists, Joe Biden and Donald Trump Jr. are pretty proud of their down-to-earth cravings. Both have been criticized for their predilection for junk food and honestly, from most published reports about their favorite meals, no one is going to accuse anyone on the campaign trail of being a gourmand — with the exception of Kamala Harris, the lone foodie (and cook) in the group.

We thought it would be fun to imagine what the candidates would eat in Sonoma County and to suggest dishes you can pick up to celebrate/console yourself in honor of Trump or Biden winning on Tuesday night. In the meantime, you can grab an elephant or donkey election cookie at Costeaux French Bakery (417 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, costeaux.com) to show support for your favorite party (or eat the head off the one you don’t like).

Interesting fact: Trump and Biden are both tee-totalers, eschewing booze of any kind. Both are fans of Diet Coke. Harris loves a good glass of wine, which makes sense considering her home state is California. Pence, apparently, isn’t much of a drinker and enjoys the occasional non-alcoholic O’Douls beer.

Of course, we all love a good burger, and no one can refuse pizza and ice cream. We’re more alike than different, and good food is something we all can agree on!

All dishes are available for pickup. None of the restaurants listed here have endorsed any candidate; this is purely for fun. The list is in alphabetical order.

Vice President Joe Biden

Vice President Biden is a huge ice cream fan. (Photo: Shutterstock. Illustration, Heather Irwin)

Biden has repeatedly told reporters his favorite food is pasta, especially with red sauce. Our first choice is Campo Fina’s homemade pappardelle pasta with Liberty duck ragu, truffle bugger, leeks, sage and roasted winter squash (330 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, campofina.com). But we also love a good Bolognese meat sauce at Ca’Bianca (835 Second St., Santa Rosa, cabianca.com). Wanna go old school? Art’s Place (563 Rohnert Park Expressway, Rohnert Park, artsplacerp.weebly.com) is the home of the famous Pasta King marinara and pesto.

Ice cream is Biden’s guiltiest pleasure. He once posed for the cameras with a tasty DQ Blizzard. But why not go plant-based? The nondairy chocolate shake at Amy’s Drive Thru (58 Golf Course Dr. W, Rohnert Park) is twice as good with half the guilt. Another sweet-tooth satisfier is the creamy vanilla bean small-batch pint from Noble Folk (Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, thenoblefolk.com). Other best bets for the Democratic contender? All-American caramelized apple pie from Two Dog Night Creamery (Sebastopol and Windsor, twodognightcreamery.com) or peanut butter chip from Fru-Ta (multiple locations in Sonoma County, fru-ta.com).

Senator Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris likes fries, pasta and burritos. (Shutterstock photo illustration)

VP candidate Kamala Harris seems to be the cook in the group. She says she loves to make a good roast chicken, with beans and even French fries in duck fat (how very Californian), among other things.

Roast chicken is so boring. We think “Aunt Kamy” would go wild for Blue Ridge Kitchen’s Drunken Fried Chicken with truffle mac and cheese, bacon collard greens, Kentucky hot butter and apple honey, just to shake things up (6770 McKinley St., Sebastopol, brkitchen.com). Harris has strong feelings about a tuna melt sandwich and too much mayo, but Mac’s Deli (630 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, macsdeliandcafe.com) does it so right with a side of Kamala’s fave side dish, fries. Take it up a notch with duck fat fries with whipped ranch at Wit & Wisdom Tavern (1325 Broadway, Sonoma, witandwisdomsonoma.com).

For Kamala’s burrito habit, we’re picking Lepe’s (4323 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, lepestaqueria.com) Surf and Turf with shrimp, carne asada and all the trimmings.

Vice President Pence

Vice President Pence’s favorite snack is popcorn! (Shutterstock photo. Photo Illustration Heather Irwin)

Pence is another simple eater. He loves popcorn, bacon and ice cream.

Mike’s not much of a drinker, but who can resist a little Bloody Mary-flavored popcorn from Comet Corn (cometcorn.com)? For pizza, keep it old school with a simple pepperoni pie from Homerun Pizza (484 Larkfield Center, Santa Rosa, homerunpizzalarkfield.com).

Pence is an avowed bacon man, and we think a tasty California twist on the BLT, the BLAT (with avocado and sourdough bread) might be a nice energy boost while visiting the Sonoma County Airport’s Sky Lounge (2200 Airport Blvd., Santa Rosa, santarosaskylounge.com).

President Donald J. Trump

President Trump loves well-done steaks and fast food. (Shutterstock photo. Illustration Heather Irwin)

Don’t ask the Prez if he’s a sushi fan, because the answer is a resounding no. Instead, Trump prefers his food well-cooked. He’s a fan of fast-food giants like KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King and Chik-fil-A. Here are a few local alternatives we think he might like!

The McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish is Trump’s go-to, but you haven’t had a fish sando until you’ve had the Crispy Cod Sandwich with rémoulade on a soft roll at Seafood & Eat. We think Donald might also go for a little butterscotch pudding for dessert, because who doesn’t like pudding (9238 Old Redwood Highway, Windsor)?

Make sandwiches great again with a fried chicken sandwich at Brewster’s Beer Garden with — wait for it — goat cheddar and aioli. But come on, it has bacon, too!

Or he could try steak at Valette. Snake River Farms’ beautifully marbled meat should never be cooked well-done, but hey, if that’s what Trump wants, at least it’s a darn good overcooked steak.

Whopper or Big Mac alternative: If it’s a drive-thru with a burger wrapped in paper, then In-N-Out is our choice, though Five Guys gets ’em nice and charred. We’d prefer to send him to Mike’s at the Crossroads (7667 Old Redwood Hwy, Cotati, mikesatthecrossroads.com) or Superburger (multiple locations, originalsuperburger.com), but if we’re doing a burger to remember, it has to be the California Smash Burger at Pizzando (301 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, pizzandohealdsburg.com).

And finally, chocolate cake. There’s no comparison to Sax’s Joint’s chocolate cake with caramel icing, fudge and Rolos. It’s decadent almost to a fault, but nothing this good could ever be faulted (317 Petaluma Blvd. South, Petaluma, saxsjoint.com).

Editor’s Note: Travel, dining and wine tasting can be complicated right now. Use our inspirational ideas to plan ahead for your next outing, be it this week or next year. If you visit restaurants, wineries, and other businesses during the pandemic, remember to call ahead, make reservations, wear a mask and social distance.

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