MENDOCINO Co., 10/14/22 – It’s been a busy week in Mendocino County’s growing food and beverage scene. Here’s the latest!
Local creamery wins the Oscar of goat milk
Boonville’s Pennyroyal Farm won the equivalent of an Oscar for goat cheese. Its Pepper Moldunes won Reserve Best in Show in the 2022 American Dairy Goat Association Goat Milk Products Competition. A smooth goat cheese rolled in Piment d’Ville (fine ground espelette pepper grown in Boonville), Pepper Moldunes also won first place in the Formed/Shaped Soft Cheese, Savory Flavored category. Pennyroyal Farm’s cult favorite, Bollie’s Mollies, also won first place in the Surface Ripened Cheese, All Other category.
Erika McKenzie-Chapter, head cheesemaker and herd manager at Pennyroyal Farm, shared that she was surprised when she heard Pepper Moldunes was named Reserve Best in Show. “It was an unexpected win,” she said. Pepper Moldunes is a very small batch cheese for sale exclusively in the farm’s tasting room. “Our cheeses have been scored high and placed well in multiple national competitions this year, and it has made everyone involved in the daily cheesemaking proud to find out how well our cheeses stand out.”
Family meals to-go are back at two establishments
Two restaurants are offering to-go family meals just in time for cozy nights at home. Slam Dunk Pizza in Ukiah reintroduced its Thursday Weekly Family Meal. They’re offering four-course two-person meals for $35 and four-person meals for $60. Meals come with an entree, salad, side and dessert. Vegetarian options are available. This week’s meal was lasagna, Caesar salad, garlic bread and chocolate chip cookies. Orders must be placed by Wednesday for Thursday pick-up. They post their menus weekly on social media.
Point Arena’s Franny’s Cup & Saucer is offering gourmet “farmhouse dinners” every Sunday. Place your order on Friday for a three-course meal at $35 a person and pick it up on Sunday. October 23rd’s supper includes a blood orange and burrata salad, cider-braised chicken with wild mushrooms and pumpkin with polenta, and flourless dark chocolate cake. Vegetarian options are available. Call 707-882-2500 to place your order.
Halloween Happy Meals return to McDonald’s
After a six-year absence, the beloved Halloween Happy Meal pails are back at McDonald’s. The iconic pails — McBoo, McPunk’n and McGoblin — were first launched in 1986. Halloween Happy Meals will be available at McDonald’s October 18 until they sell out.
Mendocino Coast inn named one of the top vegan resorts in the world
VegNews, a vegan lifestyle magazine, named Mendocino’s Stanford Inn by the Sea one of the twelve best vegan-friendly resorts in the world. It opened in 1980 as the first “plant-based resort” in the United States. The inn’s Ravens Restaurant serves breakfast and dinner sourced from the property’s organic gardens. The inn was named to the list not only for its restaurant, but for being pet-friendly, its vegan cooking classes, and for the many outdoor recreation offerings.
Meals for tribal elders
The Hopland Band of Pomo Indians has launched a new program to ensure all tribal elders have access to delicious and nutritious meals. Enrolled tribal elders can enjoy fresh prepared meals Monday through Friday, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., at the Elders Community Center. Contact Loretta Harjo at (951) 581-7499 or Hilda Mata at (707) 750-9191 for more information.
Small — but important — news bites
Mendocino’s Fog Eater Cafe will be closed for fall break October 18-25. April May’s Drive Thru Espresso in Willits has new weekend hours for the season: 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Yorkville winery named one of the “best wineries in the US”
The Daily Meal, a food and beverage website founded by former Forbes CEO Jim Spanfeller, named Yorkville’s Theopolis Vineyards one of the “13 best wineries in the US for 2022.” Theopolis was the only Mendocino County winery to make the list. Theopolis was selected because of viticulturist and owner-founder Theodora R. Lee’s high scoring wines, including her estate petite sirah, and the $10,000 scholarship she provides to African American women pursuing viticulture or a related field at the University of California, Davis.
Tickets on sale for TASTE Mendocino
Over 35 wineries, distillers, and restaurants will showcase their Mendocino County-made products at this year’s TASTE Mendocino. It’s hosted at Barra of Mendocino in Redwood Valley and is a great chance to eat and drink your way through the county all in one spot. Learn more here.
Nonprofit applications now accepted for Round-Up at the Register 2023
Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op is accepting applications from nonprofits for the co-op’s annual Round-Up at the Register program. The program allows shoppers to donate to different local nonprofits each month. This year the store has so far donated over $11,000 to organizations. Find the application here.
Pumpkin spice and everything nice
If last week’s cider mimosas didn’t satisfy your craving for pumpkin spice, then perhaps you should consider starting your day off with a Giant Pumpkin Smoothie at Mama’s Cafe in Ukiah. If that doesn’t hit the spot, satisfy your sweet tooth with a Pumpkin Pie Milkshake at Jenny’s Giant Burger in Fort Bragg.
Don’t be a sour puss, drink up!
When the New York Times declared pickles one of the food trends of 2022, pickle fans rejoiced and the rest of us cringed. Now, one of Mendocino County’s most popular food trucks, Turtle Island Tacos, is serving pickle lemonade. Yes, you read that right: pickle lemonade. The tart and sour sipper is topped with pickle and lemon slices. To get your own pickle lemonade, follow Turtle Island on Facebook or Instagram, as they post their food truck pop-ups on social media. 🥒
Have food or drink news you’d like me to consider for inclusion in my weekly news round-ups? Email me at [email protected].
Sarah Stierch covers wildfires, breaking news, and more for The Mendocino Voice. You can follow Stierch on Twitter and learn more about her work and donate to her directly at here. Contact Stierch at [email protected]. The Voice maintains editorial control and independence.