Fenton’s Creamery – not in Oakland, CA

If you’ve ever watched Disney/Pixar’s animated movie Up!, then you’ve undoubtedly noticed the scene where Mr. Fredrickson and Russell are enjoying some ice cream at Fenton’s. That ice cream parlor is actually located in Oakland, CA.

I bet you didn’t know that there are actually two Fenton’s Creamery’s in the Bay Area! If you live or ever venture near the Napa Valley, Vallejo, American Canyon, or Vacaville, then you’re in luck if you want to have some of the best ice cream around.

Located near the outlets at the Nut Tree in Vacaville, Fenton’s offers a fun, family friendly, dining experience in a lively atmosphere. The food is great and there are plenty of options from sandwiches, burgers, and salads. I’ve had their burgers, my kids love the grilled cheese sandwiches. The tuna sandwich is also a good choice as is the crab sandwich which my wife loves.

No matter what food you choose to eat, you have to close out your meal with some sort of an ice cream dessert. Our family has never been disappointed by the banana split with traditional flavors, strawberry and hot fudge toppings, almonds, and whipped cream. The servings are huge that our big family can be totally satisfied with a Jr. Banana Split. My wife and I split a kid sized banana split and it’s more than enough for the two of us.

The Kitchen Door – Oxbow Market in downtown Napa, CA

Downtown Napa's The Kitchen Door Entry at Oxbow MarketThe Kitchen Door Dining AreaKitchen-Door-Napa-John-Gamboa-5  Kitchen-Door-Napa-John-Gamboa-4Kitchen-Door-Napa-John-Gamboa-1  Kitchen-Door-Napa-John-Gamboa-3

American Canyon’s CRAVE for Asian Fusion food

My eldest son told my wife and I about this little place he goes to get boba drinks. They’re those drinks that come with dark chewy tapioca balls. It turns out they serve food, too. A good thing for us because we like to eat out a few times a months as much as our budget allows our family of seven to go. That’s a lot of mouths to feed!

The little place he was referring to is Crave. We decided to try out Crave in American Canyon, a little town sandwiched in between Vallejo and Napa California. Crave serves a variety of things but I don’t think you can go wrong with most of the stuff they serve and they tout themselves as an Asian Fusion restaurant.

They have a wide selection of boba drinks (with and without boba). We got some taro root drinks, a lychee one, and a couple thai milk teas. There may have been an avocado one, too, but can’t be too sure. I like thai milk tea and Crave’s is pretty good. You can’t really do it wrong unless you put way too much milk that it tastes like, well, milk. Then you’ve messed it up.

This was our first time at Crave and the first food we ordered the Sisig Fries. Sisig, for those that don’t know is a Pampanga term that means “to snack on something sour”. Pampanga is a section of the Philippines in the Central Luzon region.

Enough geography…Crave’s sisig fries are excellent. A wonderful snack or meal if you’d prefer to enjoy them by yourself. It’s loaded with sisig pork, cheese, sour cream, and some other stuff, and it tastes good!

Crave-Sisig-Fries

Sisig Fries – Crave – Napa

Next we ordered the surf and turf noodles. It’s got pork, it’s got shrimp (hence the surf and turf in the name), and it’s got noodles. And it’s good, too! One of those dishes you have to try. It’s so simple yet so yummy.

Crave - Surf And Turf Noodles

Crave – Surf And Turf Noodles

They’ve got rice plates, too. Our family shared the barbeque pork skewers and egg over rice. They stick to what works in most Filipino restaurants and it’s done well.

BBQ - Pork-Egg-Garlic Rice

Crave – Napa – BBQ-Pork-Egg-GarlicRice

Oh! Did I tell you they serve crepes? If you have room after your meal, they’re an excellent dessert!

Little Dessert Shop In Napa, CA – Sweetie Pies

Located in the old mill in Downtown Napa California is a little dessert shop and cafe called Sweetie Pies.

Sweetie Pies | Napa, CA | John Gamboa

Sweetie Pies | Napa, CA

The family and I were walking in old downtown Napa looking for a place to eat and happened upon this quaint bakery and dessert shop aptly named Sweetie Pies. What makes this place unique is its locale in the old mill as well as the mismatched furniture and outdoor seating.

The desserts are too numerous to try in one visit even for our big family – cakes, pastries, etc. All of it prepared excellently with great presentation. Check out their website gallery and other reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The main reason I’d come back is the experience bringing the kids. Just like and ice cream or candy store, the kids’ eyes light up at the colors and sights. Sure the sweets are always a treat but the historic feel and odd (in a good way) decor brings with it an experience all its own. Right in the middle of the shop is an old mill thing – I have no idea what it is but it must be important and historic.

The word is their pies are excellent but we didn’t have it this go round, but surely we are coming back to try some of their homemade desserts.

Sweetie Pies | Napa, CA

Sweetie Pies | Napa, CA

Sweetie Pies Desserts

Sweetie Pies Desserts

Our sweets from Sweetie Pies

Our sweets from Sweetie Pies

We were here on a busy holiday weekend and it didn’t seem to crowded which was a little surprising but a welcome surprise it was because we got seated right away. If it were just my wife and me, I would have loved to chill with our tasty baked goods in one of the table outside especially because the day was bright sunny and perfect.

A word of caution. Sometimes the desserts are reported as being stale or old and I’m not sure why that is. Maybe they expect to be busy and prepare more than is needed. Who knows. For the most part they are prepared fresh so expect cakes to be moist and bread to be fresh.

Sweetie Pies isn’t only about sweet treats though. They also offer sandwiches and paninis as well as gourmet coffee and tea. If you’re in early and crave a breakfast meal you’re in luck. They have a selection of breakfast dishes from breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal, and bagels.

With it’s ability to satisfy the sweet teeth on our household, Sweetie Pies if definitely deserving of a return trip by me and my family.

Napa’s Gott’s Roadside

Napa, Gott's, diner, burgers - John Gamboa

Gott’s Roadside

One of the coolest and fun places to eat in Napa is Gott’s Roadside, formally Taylor’s Automatic Refreshers. First established as Taylor’s in St. Helena, then later sold, it’s named changed to Gott’s Roadside. Gott’s Roadside expanded to a location in Napa and most recently in Palo Alto where they serve some of the most delicious dishes around the Bay Area. When the weather is favorable we love eating in the outdoor dining area.

They’ve got good burgers no doubt. Their meat is fresh, their bread is mmm-mmm freshly baked good! Garlic fries and sweet potato fries are excellent. But one of the things that makes this place truly an awesome place to eat are the interestingly unique menu items. The first one is a signature burger.

Burgers, Gott's, Roadside

Juicy burgers

It is their Ahi tuna burger. Oh my goodness! My family and I first heard of this place on Diners, Dives, and Drive-ins. Triple D and Guy Fieri went to the one in St. Helena (30 to 40 minutes north of Vallejo and American Canyon) where they featured the Ahi Burger. The wasabi mayonnaise is crazy good and makes the sandwich amazing! They also add a cole slaw to add crispiness to the burger. The mixture of flavors and textures is such an unexpectedly wonderful surprise.

Next is another signature item I enjoyed on our last trip there. The ahi poke crispy tacos and they are incredible! So tasty! What a mouthwatering delight. You get three per order and you WILL finish all three. If you’re a fan of ahi poke, you’ll love how Gott’s combined that with Mexican flair.

Gott's, roadside, napa, ahi, poke, tacos

Ahi Poke Crispy Tacos

As for your sides, they have much to choose from. Check out Gott’s menu here. When our large family goes there, we are lucky enough that there’s enough variety in what we all order that we get to try many dishes in one trip. My favorite side dish is the garlic fries. My wife’s are the sweet potatoes. I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll enjoy.

For drinks, I highly recommend their shakes and malts. It’s just a nice accompaniment to an appetizing meal. Their strawberry shakes have little chunks of strawberries and the chocolate ones are rich and thick. They also have root beer floats, another favorite of mine.

When you’re done, you can chill in their outdoor dining area or walk around downtown Napa, St. Helena, or Palo Alto. It’s a good trip no matter which one you go to.