New Butcher Crown Roadhouse
Roadhouses enjoy a longstanding tradition in Sonoma County, offering rest and relaxation for weary travelers through the 1800s and 1900s. Today, roadhouses cater to modern guests looking for a friendly place for a cold beer, stiff cocktail, and some satisfying food. The often rural settings and quirky vibes add even more fun to the mix.
At the new Butcher Crown Roadhouse in Petaluma, owner Pete Schnell has turned things up a notch. Working with chef Christofer Gutierrez, he’s sending out exceptional barbecue, jazzed with Latin American and African accents. Think piri piri chicken, tender and with a bit of heat from the southeastern African chile pepper. Savory lechon asado sliders are another signature, of succulent slow smoked pork kissed with citrus and garlic, and they’re even better with a side of black beans studded with pork belly.
The lighter dishes are equally terrific, including Mexican street corn salad sprinkled with cotija, roasted Brussels sprouts tumbled with crunchy smoked almonds, delicate plancha-seared fish tacos with slaw, and smoked carrots drizzled in jalapeño crema. For dessert: maduros (fried sweet plantains) with rum ice cream handcrafted by Mariposa Ice Creamery.
Set in the former Nopalito space in the countryside on Bodega Avenue and Eastman Lane, the eatery sports hardwood floors and tables, a cheerful yellow and red paint scheme, and eclectic art like Day of the Dead portraits and vintage photographs from the 1920s. The back patio is particularly lovely, with picnic tables, sailcloth shade, and antique farm signs.
Be sure to treat yourself to a drink, too. The bar specializes in sangria, and it’s almost dessert in itself, the red wine and juices stocked with chunky apple, citrus and other fruit.
Details: 1905 Bodega Avenue, Petaluma.