'Southern Pacific Smokehouse', 'Sonoma County Fair', 'Rivertown Revival' & 'The Dailey Method' Studio opens this weekend!

Fun events going on this weekend including the 'Sonoma County Fair' which has its 75th anniversary and runs for 17 days from this Wednesday, also a celebration of yesteryear at Petaluma’s 'Rivertown Revival' happening on Saturday.

If you are in the mood for BBQ with some accompanying live music be sure to check out the new ‘Southern Pacific Smokehouse’ in Novato. If you feel guilty about those sticky baby back ribs, then work them off at the new “The Dailey Method” studio opening in Novato this weekend with free classes!

Event Highlights

Thursday July 28th

‘Sonoma County Fair’ from Wed July 27th – Sun Aug 14th (closed Mondays), 11.00 am – 11.00pm at Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa. Admission $9 ages 13 7 up, $3 for 7 – 12 yrs. and under 6 yrs. are free; view website
This Wednesday the Sonoma County Fair opens and  Thursday 28th is “Kid’s Day” featuring puppets shows, performing pigs, teddy bear stroller race, scarecrow building contest, LEGO building contest, horse wagon rides, a livestock area and carnival rides. For those with infants and younger kids there will be a parent’s rest station with changing tables and chairs for nursing. There will also be a daily parade filled with old fashioned fun at 5.00 pm that you can participate in.

Saturday July 30th

“Rivertown Revival” from 11.00 am – 7.00 pm, Petaluma River Heritage Center, free; view website
A celebration of the early twentieth century when the Petaluma River was the state’s third busiest river. The peninsula will be decorated with vintage-inspired buildings, banners and clotheslines as the river comes to life with art barges, art boat drag races, circus acts, and aerial and puppet performances on the river. 15 local food & beverage vendors, 20 artisan craft vendors and 10 bands on several stages are expected at this free event. There will be a shaded relaxation tent for nursing mothers, visitors are encouraged to fill up their own bottles at water stations and are applauded for playing dress up…think Old West meets Victorian Carnival.

Restaurant of the Week

Southern Pacific Smokehouse

224 Vintage Way, Novato; view website

I first visited the “Southern Pacific Smokehouse” in Novato shortly after it opened in May for a girl’s night out, a group of us sat in one of the circular booths and enjoyed the buzz of the bar and busy dining room with cocktails and dinner. Last weekend my family went for an early Saturday evening dinner and sat outside in their patio with the added bonus of a musician playing guitar (playing Saturdays between 5 .00 – 7.00 pm at the moment). My son is fascinated with people playing the guitar since he got a ukulele last Christmas and our baby is at her happiest when around music, so this setting turned out to be perfect.

The Smokehouse is located in the Vintage Oaks Shopping Center by Target, a retail area that has been crying out for a place to enjoy a weekend brunch or dinner after shopping. The restaurant has a great high entry bar area, 100 seat dining, 70 seat outdoor patio and 110 seat intimate music lounge where locally known and international blues, acoustic and country musicians perform. The interior of the restaurant has a lounge look but with high ceilings, open kitchen, dark wood furniture and brown leather seating that has a sophisticated but unpretentious feel.

They have great cocktails here so my husband ordered a Mint Julep which came in a traditional silver cup and went down very nicely, last time I was here I ordered their Moscow Mule which come in a brass version of an adult ‘sippy cup’, bit too small for my liking but delicious. 

My son talked about a burger all the way to the restaurant but changed his mind and ordered the Mac and Cheese as he charmed the friendly waitress. My husband and I shared a spinach salad with spiced pecans, bacon, egg, pickled shallot and balsamic dressing, which tasted good but my husband was disappointed with the presentation and suggested that the egg should be sprinkled on top rather than tossed in with the leaves. He also tucked into the SP Burger with grilled onion, creole mustard aioli and cheese with a Dutch crunch style bun and great crunchy fries. I had the chicken, bacon and brie pizza, as I started eating it I remembered why I decided to order this pizza again, it was because of its winning ingredient; the pear puree which adds a lovely sweetness that I found absolutely delicious.

Of course the specialty here is BBQ and the choices are a pulled pork plate, dry rub baby back ribs or the Smokehouse duo of ribs and pulled pork all served with mashed potatoes and wood oven vegetables. The open faced Tri Tip melt also sounds good with horseradish cream, arugula, tomatoes, grilled onion and cheese. There are some hearty side dishes with a hearty $5 price tag such as cast iron cornbread, mac and cheese, onion rings and sweet potato fries.

My son and I shared a couple of scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice cream for dessert as I was disappointed with the lemon crumble dessert last time I was here, so played it safe instead of ordering the bread pudding which was tempting.

The menu is straight forward, not particularly creative, but offers a good local BBQ destination with nice surroundings for both family dining and a night out with friends with live music most evenings.

Mommy’s Treats

A new exercise studio opens in Pacheco Plaza (by Paradise Foods) in Ignacio, Novato this weekend and are offering free classes on Saturday July 30th & Sunday 31st ! “The Dailey Method” focuses on postural alignment through a unique combination of ballet barre work, core conditioning, stretching and orthopedic exercises. Register online for classes and childcare during their weekday morning classes! Register for classes

One of my favorite memoirs is Jane Fonda’s “My Life So Far” which she signed for me in London nearly 5 years ago. On August 18th you can join her for breakfast at the signing of her new book “Prime Time: Love, Health, Sex, Fitness, Friendship, Spirit: Making the Most of All of Your Life” at the Book Passage in Corte Madera at 9.00 am. Reserve a ticket

Rue magazine issue 6 launches this week, get virtually inspired; View magazine

Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendars

Looking for something to do to entertain your toddler or want to reach out to new moms with babies this week?

Click on the ‘Weekly Calendar’ bar at the top of the page to view this week’s “Baby & Toddler Weekly Activities Calendar”. 

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