Solano County Highlights & Real Estate Tips

Many real estate websites utilize an outside vendor or articles written by others to populate their blogs.  This is understandable since life as a realtor is often times very busy and writing blogs is by no means a top priority. This blog however is different.  I actually enjoy writing, exploring my neighborhood for hidden gems, and sharing my insight with others to help support local businesses I find to be exceptional.  All the content you will find here will be created by me in order to provide you with an honest and sincere review of my local favorites and to also provide you with some tidbits of information related to real estate. I will try to update the blog weekly but please bare with me if I miss a week here or there. Enjoy!

Sept. 22, 2018

It's It Ice Cream Outlet

Today is the first official day of Autumn and since it seems like the masses have been enamored by a popular coffee shop chain's pumpkin spice latte, I felt compelled to share a little known gem I found tucked away in Suisun City - the It's It Ice Cream Outlet! Although born in the much more popular city of San Francisco, Suisun City (or simply Suisun as the locals call it) is home to an It's It outlet where you can find much more than the nationally (I think) distributed classic It's It - the vanilla ice cream treat sandwiched between two chocolate covered oatmeal cookies.  I've yet to try the "Chip's It" - a company variation using chocolate chip cookies, but am inspired to do so sooner rather than later.  Pictured here is the inspiration for this blog post - a pumpkin It's It in the foreground with a Cappuccino photo bombing in the back.  Both were very tasty and enjoyed at the near by waterfront.  Not photographed was a Green Tea variation that I was actually most excited to try but unfortunately enjoyed the least.

Next time you're in the area or find yourself with a sweet tooth, stop on by, enjoy the scenery, and don't pay attention to the calorie count!

Aug. 27, 2018

Fairfield Together, Food Truck Mania

In the greater scheme of things, the Fairfield Together Food Truck Mania is a relatively low key event.  It doesn't receive as much publicity or traffic as other events you might hear about in San Francisco or the East Bay, but that's one of the reasons why I like it. If you've ever found yourself regretting waiting in line for 30 to 45+ minutes to order food from a truck, you can leave that concern at the door.  This past weekend, I attended this event for the first time and had a good time.  More importantly - my kids had a GREAT time.  The event garners a moderate crowd - enough to feel like part of an event but not so much that you end up choosing which food truck you'd like to order from because it has the shortest wait.  The event is also conveniently located at the Cordelia Community Park so you are just steps away from benches, tables, and playgrounds for the kids and other great park amenities such as a skate park, dog park, tennis courts, basketball courts and more.  In addition to the playgrounds (one for young kids and one for bigger kids) the event also hosts it's own set of FREE games and activities for kids with free prizes!   

I'd like to thank the City of Fairfield Parks & Recreation Department for putting together this event.  I understand that it is a monthly event held on the fourth Sunday of the warmer weather months, with the next event scheduled for 9/23/2018. I hope to see some of you out there enjoy and supporting this event some time soon!

Posted in Fairfield, Food & Drink
May 24, 2018

Good Day Cafe

Dare I say the Good Day Cafe is a good way, nay - a GREAT way, to start your day. 

A long standing Vallejo staple, the Good Day Cafe pairs amazing food with amazing service.  Each order placed comes with a healthy serving of smiles and good vibes which is sometimes hard to come by these days.  You get the feeling that the whole staff enjoys their work and really takes pride in the quality of service they provide.  It is true that at peak hours, you can expect there to be a bit of a wait to be seated but truth be told, this is a common indicator of a great establishment.  Bad restaurants rarely generate long lines. Listen closely and you will start to realize that a lot of the patrons are regulars (another tell tale sign of a good restaurant), often knowing the servers by name and happy to engage in a little friendly chit chat.  

I can't say I've sampled the entire menu but I have had quite a bit and one of my favorites is the Good Day omelette.  As a rule of thumb, I expect any dish that includes the namesake of the restaurant to be a menu favorite and this omelette is no exception.  The eggs are cooked to perfection as well as the healthy portion of bacon wrapped inside and sprinkled on top.

As if great food and service were not enough reasons to make you fall for this place, another quality that I really appreciate and respect is this restaurant's connection with the community. In addition to being located in the heart of Down Town Vallejo, the restaurant also supports local artists by displaying their artwork throughout the restaurant, providing the entire place with a unique ambiance and providing the artists with a platform to market and sell their work.

Don't take my word for it. Give it a try.  Today is a good day to have a good day!

Posted in Food & Drink, Vallejo
May 17, 2018

Tasty Indian Pizza

The name says it all.  Truth be told, when I first heard about Indian pizza becoming a things some years back, I was very skeptical. Although some fusion foods have done a great job of blending styles and flavors (i.e Korean BBQ burritos and carne asada fries) I thought that this concept would err more on the side of gimmick (think combination toaster/TV/phone/+something else ridiculous).

To my delight, Indian pizza is actually pretty amazing an I think Solano County is fortunate to be the home of Tasty Indian Pizza.  They offer traditional Italian style pizzas as well which are pretty good in their own right, but the star of the show has to be their Indian style pizzas.  I've come to favor the "3 Idiots" and "Dhoom" pizzas but should really venture out and try some of the others based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews I've seen on Yelp (Saagar I'm coming for you next!) 

Posted in Fairfield, Food & Drink
May 11, 2018

Picnicky's Sandwich Shop

I finally had an opportunity to try Picnicky's Sandwich Shop on Sonoma Boulevard this week and they did NOT disappoint! I had the pleasure of tasting The Caveman and The Sausalito and both were quite satisfying.  I've been looking for a local sandwich shop to call my favorite and for the time being, this will take on that title.  I've heard many good things about the sandwiches at Food Basket so that will definitely be next on my list of places to try soon.

For now, Picnicky's is easily my top choice.  They provide an overall great value with fair prices, substantial portions, and great ingredients (the bread is SO soft and tasty!) If I were to make one critique it would be regarding the very limited options for side dishes.  It's not a big deal for me because I typically skimp on side orders when I'm at a favorite sandwich shop but I'm sure other's may appreciate a wider variety to choose from.

Just a few steps away from Bud's Burgers, a true Vallejo staple - be sure to give Picnicky's a shot if you're in the area and haven't already done so!

Posted in Food & Drink, Vallejo
Jan. 10, 2018

Slanted Tree

Nowadays, it's not uncommon to come across someone who can speak about beer as intelligently and passionately as a sommelier would talk about wine. I am in no way a connoisseur, but I do enjoy a good brew and can attest to the increased quality that I've experienced myself in the past 10 years or so. Some of my European friends have even informed me that the craft beer movement has been so successful that it has actually altered the image of American beer over seas. Previously,  the mention of American beer would conjure up images of only big brand name, watered down light beers.  Today, I hear that we have earned the respect of many European beer drinkers, many favoring the ever so popular IPA.

Although I myself am not a fan of IPA's, I do enjoy a wide array of beers - my choice usually being dictated by occasion, weather or food for pairing. After driving by the Slanted Tree on many occasions and thinking to myself, "I gotta go there one day...", recently I finally took advantage of an opportunity and was able to enjoy a couple glasses at the Slanted Tree. I normally wouldn't write about a spot I've been to only once but I did feel compelled to summarize and share my experience as follows:

  • Location:  Awesome - it's the closest tap room to my where I live (Cordelia)
  • Ambiance:  Warm and inviting - however I think I came and went before the rush.  
  • Service:  Good - our server checked on us periodically, was able to answer questions about the menu and service over all was fast.
  • Food:  I'll hold off on sharing my opinion until I've experienced a bit more of the menu
  • Beer:  I like the fact that the majority of beer on tap were local brews. I LOVE the fact that they serve sour beers.  One of the lesser known varieties, this is actually one of my favorites. After checking their website, it looks like they will continue to serve sours from different breweries on the regular!
Posted in Fairfield, Food & Drink
Dec. 12, 2017

Original Red Onion

Where can I find the best burger in Vallejo?  Many Vallejo natives will be quick to reference Bud's Burgers. I don't argue that they sell good burgers for a good value but lately, when I find myself craving a burger, I find myself more inclined to grab a quick bite at the Original Red Onion on Springs Rd. To be clear, I have read some of the negative reviews for this establishment on yelp and do agree that some of their specialty burgers can make the buns pretty soggy.  This is why my go to burger there is now their double cheeseburger (pictured on the left).  This burger was served fresh & juicy and the bun was still nice and intact (though a bit softened from the fixings).  The fries are also something to note - they are fried to a perfect crisp and are not greasy at all.  The other common complaint I found on yelp was that the food was over priced. It's true that the food is not bargain basement cheap but I think it's a stretch to call the menu over priced.  The food is good, the people are always friendly and dining area is always kept clean - three qualities I'd gladly pay a little extra for any day!

Posted in Food & Drink, Vallejo
Dec. 4, 2017

Glen Cove Christmas Display

817 Glen Cove Road has always been the Vallejo home with the best Christmas display for as far back as I could remember.  As a kid, my parents would drive me and my brother to the home and we would gaze at the display while being greeted with smiles and free candy canes!  It's been a while since I've been back to take a close look, often times simply admiring the lights from the distance as I would drive up and down Glen Cover Parkway.  However, now that I have two little ones of my own that LOVE Christmas lights, I swung by on a whim (kids already in PJ's) and was really pleased impressed to see the production taken to another level!  The lot across the street was lit up and used as parking to help with the logistics, the display has gotten even bigger and brighter, and best of all - Santa was present with an elf to take photos with all the visitors!  I've spent a few years standing in line at the mall to take over priced photos with Santa in the past and must say that I found this experience to be much MUCH better.  The lines were short and fast and the pictures were free of charge (you can take them with your own camera) although I would highly encourage any body enjoying the display to provide a donation to the family to help keep this going year after year. 

Thank you so much 817 Glen Cove Road - The holiday spirit is alive and strong with you and I thank you for spreading it each and every year without fail!

Posted in Vallejo
Nov. 30, 2017

Vallejo Real Estate Perspective

Posted in Vallejo
Nov. 30, 2017

Value of a Good Realtor & Home Inspector