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Well now that I am no longer in the Wine Country, I have listed my favorite Southern Jersey Shore restaurants here:

Octopus's Garden
771 S Main St, West Creek a mere 3.5 miles from the office 609-597-8828
Serves only dinner starting at 430 - seafood specialties with early dining specials.

The Old Causeway
1201 E Bay Ave, Stafford Township 609-488-1327
Steak and seafood excellently served both lunch and dinner. Cannot go wrong here.

The Arlington
1302 Long Beach Blvd, Ship Bottom 609-494-8848
Great brews, great food, American style and seafood - a favorite always.

Tortilleria Rancho Grande
Day Plaza Rte 72 E, Stafford Township 609-488-2428
Mexican fare, makes me feel as if I was back in California.

Dolce Bagel
830 W Bay Ave, Barnegat Township 609-488-5203
Open early and here I found the best bagels ever. I like his breakfast bagels as well.

Shore Fire Grille
675 E Bay Ave, Manahawkin 609-488-5586
They make the best largest hamburgers anywhere. I am surprised that Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive Inns and Dives, who hails from Santa Rosa, hasn't discovered this place yet. However you can, and you won't go wrong. There is a second location in Surf City, NJ.

Starbucks - there is one inside the Target off the Garden State.

I miss Peet's Coffee which is superior to Starbucks. Peet's is a staple of the West Coast.

As I think of more places to eat, I will add them here. Don't forget that just another 25 miles south, are the many restaurants of Atlantic City.

Sonoma and Wine Country Restaurants
There are so many restaurants to explore in the Wine Country. I have tried a few and here are my recommendations.

835 Second Street Santa Rosa 707-542-5800
Serves delicious Italian fare next door to my office.

Pamposh Restaurant
52 Mission Circle, Suite 110 Santa Rosa 707-538-3367
This is inspired Indian cuisine, with a healthy bent. The dishes are delicious, yet low in salt and low in fat.

Gary Chu's
611 Fifth Street Santa Rosa 707-526-5840
Located downtown. According to Zagat and the San Francisco Chronicle this is the best Chinese food in Sonoma County but I find the food uninspired. The food comes out quickly though and in good proportions.

Hank's Creekside Diner
2800 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa
Best breakfast in town.

Simply Vietnam
966 N. Dutton Ave. Santa Rosa , CA 95401 You want excellent Vietnamese food but you need it cheap...this is the place.

Chloe's French Cafe very hard to find. Located in an office building and looks like a cafeteria more than a cafe but this is very inexpensive and excellent fare. Only open in the morning and afternoon.
3883 Airway Dr., Suite 145, Santa Rosa, 707.528.3095

Willi's Wine Bar
4404 Old Redwood Highway Santa Rosa 707-526-3096
Just north of town. Small entres with wine pairings - you can't go wrong sampling many different dishes.

3535 Guerneville Road Santa Rosa 707-523-4814
New American-Northern Italian served in a comfy road side setting. A bit of a drive to the west of Santa Rosa. Reservations a must. Wonderful food.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery Restaurant
300 Via Archimedes, take the Independence exit off Highway 101, Geyserville
This used to be Chateau Souverain but the entire place was bought out by Coppola. The restaurant is marvellous.

Cafe Citi
9049 Sonoma Hwy/Hwy 12 Kenwood 707-833-2690
Northern Italian. A favorite of locals and a secret. It is a bit of a drive out of town but the prices are very good and the food excellent. The menu is on a chalk board and you order from the counter and find a table. The food will find its way to you.

Downtown Bakery & Creamery
308A Center Street Healdsburg 707-431-2719
This is in Healdsburg about a few miles north. They don't accept credit cards so bring your cash. This is the best bakery in the Wine Country. The sweet pastries sold me, especially the galettes and cinnamon rolls. Not too sugary but flavorful. Their breads are excellent. Having a place like this here made it easier to move from Colorado!

Pacific Market
1465 Town and Country Dr Santa Rosa
This is a grocery store, not a restaurant, though they make hot food to go. You can stock up for a one of a kind Wine Country picnic experience. This is an expensive market but the quality is incomparable. Try the morning cinnamon rolls, huge and filling and for 99 cents, a steal.

McNear's Saloon
23 N. Petaluma Blvd. Petaluma 707-765-2121
A fun and inexpensive place with huge portions. Good for the kids as there is a games room upstairs. It can get noisy inside however.

River House
222 Weller St. Petaluma 707-769-0213
Somehow they moved this Victorian mansion to the river banks. It is a quiet romantic spot. The food is excellent.

Noah's Bagels
375-A South Mcdowell Blvd. Petaluma 707-766-9651
This is a good place for sandwiches and a snack and it is just less than a mile south of the hospital. The company that runs Noah's is the same one that runs Einstein Bagels which is well known east of California. I know the Einstein name well as it was my favorite bagel shop when I was in Denver.

Graziano's Ristorante
170 Petaluma Blvd. Petaluma 707-762-5997
Excellent Italian cuisine in this Zagat rated downtown Petaluma establishment. Food portions are small but oh so devine.

Hunan Village
295 North McDowell Blvd. Petaluma 707-763-7156
Lots of good Chinese food, a really inexpensive lunch or dinner. Only a block or two walk from the Petaluma Valley Hospital.

Star of India
299 North McDowell Blvd. Petaluma 707-762-1328
Good Indian food in the Wine Country. Lunch is inexpensive. The food could be hotter.

17 Petaluma Blvd. North Petaluma 707-773-3232
There are a lot of Japanese restaurants in the Wine Country and there are several in downtown Petaluma. This is one of the better ones. I am not much of a raw fish fan - I don't like to see my meal flipping around. I enjoyed my meal here and would readily go back.

Peet's Coffee
tastes superior to Starbucks and is more consistent in flavor
650 Fourth Street, Suite 100 Santa Rosa, CA 95404
2500 Mendocino Ave Santa Rosa, CA 95403
200 D Street Santa Rosa CA, 94504
1071 Santa Rosa Plaza Santa Rosa CA, 95401
2200 Santa Rosa Avenue Santa Rosa CA, 95404
2210 Mendocino Ave Santa Rosa CA, 95403
1620 Mendicino Avenue Santa Rosa CA, 95401

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