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!

June 21, 2019

La Michoacana Pasteleria y Paleteria

Hello Summer!  Beat the heat with some fresh made, hand crafted ice cream bars and other sweet treats at Vallejo's own La Michoacana Pasteleria y Paleteria.  This family owned & operated business serves authentic, HOME MADE desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth at a very affordable price. With so many flavors of ice cream and ice cream bars to choose from, you'll definitely want to come back again to try them all!

Today, I started off my morning right with the Cafe de Olla and the Nino Envuelto & Puerquitos pastries shown below. Delicious! This pairing of cinnamon flavored coffee & pastries balanced each other very well in sweetness and texture. I'm definitely looking forward to my next cheat day to pay this place another visit!

June 6, 2019

3 Star Restaurant

The past year, I've heard quite a bit about a Chinese-Filipino restaurant in Vallejo called 3 Star.  I finally had an opportunity to swing by and sample a couple favorites and I must say, I left full, happy and a little bit fatter!

First and foremost, I would recommend this place to someone looking for good, Asian style wings (similar to San Tung in the Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco). Although the sauce was a touch sweeter than I'd personally prefer, I still found the flavor to be very good and the skin was fried to crispety-crunchy perfection! This will more than likely be one of my new go-to dishes to order for catering when entertaining a medium to large party.

I've yet to sample some of the more traditional Chinese dishes or noodles but will make a point to do so during my next visit. Based on what I've heard from others, I expect to be equally satisfied with those dishes as well! If you've had the pleasure of eating at this restaurant and have any personal favorites you'd suggest I try - please comment below and let me know what I'm missing out on!

  

May 28, 2019

Chianti Osteria

Sad to say, there aren't too many fancy-schmancy restaurants available in Solano County for treating that special someone out on special occasions.  Mind you there are a handful that do exist, but more often than not, I find that most people end up driving to more "boujee" places out in Napa or Contra Costa County for said occasions. 

Chianti Osteria, I believe, belongs to that Solano County handful. Located next door to the Ironwood American Bistro in Suisun City (another place that I enjoy and reserve for date nights with the Mrs.), Chianti Osteria has always piqued my curiosity.  I always came across the restaurant on yelp, took note of it's high rating and high number of reviews, but don't often eat out at Italian restaurants (which is weird because I do enjoy Italian cuisine).

Pictured here is the lobster cioppino which I thoroughly enjoyed. The lobster, which was cooked to perfection and was both succulent and sweet, was accompanied by clams, mussels, calamari and a tasty broth that went well sopped up in bread. I can't speak for many of the other dishes as I've only visited this restaurant once.  Normally, I like to write about places I've been to on more than one occasion to make sure that my recommendation is based on an ample sample set.  However, given the sparsity of fancy restaurants in the area, my great initial experience, and the consensus found on yelp, I felt comfortable spreading the word and letting others know of this gem is Suisun!

 

 

Jan. 15, 2019

Big H Deli

This post is long overdue and was recently sparked when I heard that the Big H Deli made it on to Yelp's 2019 top 100 places to eat in the U.S. (#60 to be exact).  Typically, I'm the kind of person to explore a menu before honing in on my restaurant favorites but uncharacteristically, I can't say that I have an extensive experience with menu at this spot.  That's because for lack of a better phrase, I experienced "love at first bite" with the Big H Deli's Chicken Shwarma.  Although the deli meats and sandwiches have always looked appealing, on subsequent visits, I've never been able to bring myself to order anything else other than the Chicken Shwarma!  I always order it spicy and although I've always found it to be mild at best, it doesn't take away from the fact that it is deliciously mild!  Surrounded by a variety of chain restaurants, fast food joints and a few other family owned establishments, Big H Deli is easily my top choice when looking to eat in this area.  Check it out.  Order the Chicken Shwarma. Enjoy. Thank me later!

 

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