My little one adores Mission Cheese and you will often find us there partaking in an after school snack of cheese and bread (fancy Della Fattoria bread). And wine for Mummy, if it has been “one of those days” – which it often has ;).
American cheese has come a long way since all we knew were the orange blocks of Kraft cheddar. The cheese featured is from all over the country with some well-known cheese makers and some we have never heard of. You can purchase cheese to take home for a cheese-plate playdate, but we love picking a few and eating right there. You can choose specific cheeses for your platter from a region (California, Midwest or Vermont). Or you can tell the cheese monger what you like/don’t like and they will surprise you. We often pick to be surprised. On our last visit, we were presented with a very orange, ten year old cheddar that I would have never picked myself, that turned out to be absolutely fantastic.
If you are feeling like more than just cheese and bread, they offer some pretty delectable grilled cheese sandwiches like the “California Gold” (San Joaquin Gold, chevre, prosciutto, fig preserves). Yum! Or if you feel so inclined, try the raclette, which is a Swiss concoction of melted raclette cheese over roasted potatoes, topped with cornichons. The mac and cheese, which is a secret house recipe is probably one of the best in the city and not to be missed if you are looking to turn the snack into dinner.
The Mission Cheese space is clean and modern. A little small, so not great for big groups of kids, but works well for a 2-3 children playdate. Perhaps, a little nibble of cheese before you head to Dolores Park? We love to snag a table on the outside when the weather is agreeable and people/animal watch (The Mission Pet Hospital is right there). It closes early at 8 pm, but since we go with our little ones, we are totally fine with it.
Here’s a wonderful post by my friend Stephanie on a unique holiday related adventure – chopping down your own Christmas tree in Petaluma, a stop at a bee farm and then lunch at Della Fattoria! Sounds like they had a very special day. The kind of day we love.
Stacie and I are big fans of Della Fattoria and have eaten there before on a summer adventure we took the kids on last year. We also recently attended one of the ranch dinners that they hold over the summer. It not a kid-friendly event but a fantastic idea for a grown-up date or dinner with a group of friends. They provide the food (all AMAZING) and you bring your own booze.
From their website, describing these dinners: “Dinner is served family style on our handmade 25 foot Tamarack table under the wedding oak. We offer local cheeses, Della breads, artisanal salumi, nuts and fruit to start. For the main event we bring out big platters of seasonal salads, roasted, grilled and stuffed veggies and pizzas served with grilled meats from our outdoor flat top wood-fired BBQ. To finish we serve coffee and seasonal fruit desserts made by our pastry crew at our downtown cafe.”
It’s the stuff you read about in travel books set in Southern France and Italy – long dinner tables set up outside under trees and family style food that keeps coming and the wine that keeps getting poured. An absolute must-do and for me a dream come true!
Our Christmas Tree Adventure in Petaluma by Stephanie O’Brien
Usually we go to the Guardsmen here in San Francisco to get our tree. There is hot chocolate, a jumpy house and lots of trees that are all ready to go. Not this year. After my nephew had regaled my kids with tales of heading into the wilderness to chop down a tree “all by himself’, they were hooked. We got up and out early last Saturday and headed to Petaluma. I always forget how beautiful it is there just 20 or so minutes from the city. Rolling hills, groves of picturesque trees, open sky. It is indeed Sonoma.
Having been out the night before I was looking forward to a big, hearty farm to table lunch at Della Fattoria. But first things first. We arrived at Little Hills Christmas Tree Farm, only a few minutes outside of town but a world away, just in time to beat the line for Santa. He was sitting there in all his glory in the barn with the sounds of animals in the background ready for the kids. Too perfect! After that, we headed out into the beautiful groves of Monterey Pine armed with a small saw and sleigh, both provided by the farm. My kids were like, well… kids in a candy store. “This tree, mommy… no, this tree… no, this one!” Sugar free and all! After an hour of searching for the perfect tree (and trying to get that ever elusive Christmas photo) we were ready to cut it down. THIS, was really a thrill. My son was already bragging about how he did it “all by himself”.
Ready to eat we headed back to town only to be detoured by a lovely little lavender bee farm. The bees weren’t active but it was fun to get a mini tour from the owner and we will definitely return this spring. On to Della Fattoria. Yum!! I had the most amazing poached eggs in creamy polenta, my husband a succulent pulled pork sandwich and the kids the best grilled cheeses EVER. Crispy and soft all at the same time with real, local cheddar melted just so. They make the most delicious breads, but you have to get there early if you want to take home a loaf. Sadly we missed that opportunity. Everything they make is sourced locally and it really is just delicious. I am so excited about our new Christmas tradition! An adventure that feels like you are so far away but is so close to home. Happy Holidays!