MENDOCINO Co., 3/16/23 – One of the biggest foodie holidays is on Friday, Mar. 17: St. Patrick’s Day! Scores of Mendocino County residents will flock to pubs and pop-ups to sip green beer, dance the jig, and score a plate of corned beef and hash. But is corned beef and cabbage really Irish? According to the New York Times, corned beef and cabbage has a few possible origin stories. All of them have one thing in common: it’s a dish born in America.
Corned beef and cabbage may stem from Irish immigrants in 19th-century New York City who could not afford the price of bacon or beef and opted instead for Jewish brisket. Another theory is that the dish of salted pork and cabbage was common in Ireland. But when St. Patrick’s Day gained popularity in the United States in the 20th century, commercial depictions of Irish people as pigs also became common. Irish-Americans fought the association with a dirty animal through protests, and eventually a cultural shift towards corned beef became associated with the Irish.
So, as you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, give a hearty toast to early Irish immigrants and Irish-Americans who fought stereotypes and as a result, created a comforting, iconic dish.
Where to enjoy Irish and Irish-American cuisine on St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, Mar. 17.
Cucina Verona is offering specials in addition to its regular menu including Guinness and onion soup with Irish cheddar crouton; corned beef and cabbage pizza; corned beef with cabbage, potatoes, onions and carrots; stout braised beef pot pies; Bailey’s Irish Cream creme brulee; and Barney Flats Irish Oatmeal Stout float with vanilla gelato. Special cocktails will also be offered, and singer-songwriter Steven Bates will perform at dinner. 124 E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg, (707) 964-6844, cucinaverona.com.
Mendocino Cookie Company is selling fresh baked shamrock shortbread cookies topped with green sugar topping that pair perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee. 303 N. Main St., Fort Bragg, (707) 964-0282, mendocinocookies.com.
Overtime Brewing is offering a new twist on St. Patrick’s Day eats: Irish nachos. The dish comprises hand cut french fries topped with housemade corned beef and beer cheese sauce. Pair it with an Overtime Bitter Stout for a hearty meal.
Hopland Tap will serve corned beef and cabbage. Jameson Irish Whiskey and Guinness will also be on special. 13351 US-101, Hopland, (707) 510-9000, hoplandtap.com.
Thatcher Hotel will have live music, green beer, Irish-inspired cocktails, and corned beef. 7 p.m., entry price $5, 13401 US-101, Hopland, (707) 723-0838, thatcherhotel.com.
Dick’s Place will host Smoked Out BBQ, which will serve smoked pastrami with sauerkraut on rye starting at 3 p.m., 21 and over, 45070 Main St., Mendocino, (707) 937-6010.
Patterson’s Pub is the most apropos place to be in the county on St. Patrick’s Day. The bar (21 and over) will offer a variety of specials for its biggest party of the year. 10485 Lansing St., Mendocino, (707) 937-4782, pattersonspub.com.
Franny’s Cup & Saucer has a huge variety of St. Patrick’s Day sweets, including chocolate Guinness pie, Lucky Charms Funfetti cookies with rainbow buttercream, Irish Cream chocolate chip cookies, and pecan apple spice cake with oat streusel and Guinness caramel. 213 Main St., Point Arena, (707) 882-2500, frannyscupandsaucer.com.
Patrona Restaurant is celebrating the Irish all week long with Guinness lamb shepherd’s pie; potato, leek and kale soup; corned beef flatbread with mustard cream and sauerkraut; Irish cream bread pudding; and a bourbon and Irish whiskey tasting menu. 130 W. Standley, Ukiah, (707) 462-9181, patronarestaurant.com.
Rivino Estate Winery will serve corned beef and cabbage and the winery’s signature wines. DJ Johnny Law will spin Irish music. 4-7 p.m., 4001 Rivino Ranch Rd., Ukiah, rivino.com
Slam Dunk Pizza’s Pizza of the Month is the St. Patty’s Day pizza: horseradish aioli base with corned beef, mozzarella, Jack cheese, fried cabbage and red potatoes. 720 N. State St., Ukiah, (707) 463-1000, slamdunkpizza.com.
Ukiah Brewing Company will serve house-cured corned beef. Live Irish music starts at 7:30 p.m. 102 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 468-5898, ukiahbrewing.com.
Windmills Cafe is offering a special holiday menu on Friday and Saturday featuring corned beef and cabbage with red potatoes, steamed vegetables, garlic bread, and choice of salad or soup. 749 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 462-4667, windmillscafe.com.
Kemmy’s Pies is offering corned beef and cabbage savory pies. 299 E. Commercial St., Willits, (707) 367-5498, kemmyspies.com.
Northspur Brewing Co. has corned beef sandwiches on special. 101 N. Main St., Willits, (707) 518-4208, northspurbrewing.com.
Slam Dunk Pizza’s Pizza of the Month is the St. Patty’s Day pizza: horseradish aioli base with corned beef, mozzarella, Jack cheese, fried cabbage and red potatoes. 1708 S. Main St., Willits, (707) 459-6811, slamdunkpizza.com.
Smokin’ G’s and Big D’s BBQ will serve corn beef and cabbage sandwiches. 1569 S. Main St., Willits, (707) 367-9717.
Girl Scout Cookie sales start
One of the best times of the year for cookie freaks is here: Girl Scout Cookies are on sale! Girls throughout the country are selling cookies to develop entrepreneurial skills and raise funds for their troops, the local Girl Scout Council, and for personal projects or passions: field trips, nonprofit causes, educational goals. You can find where to buy Girl Scout Cookies by typing in your zip code here.
Celebrate the culinary career and impact of Sally Schmitt with these local events
Libraries across the county are celebrating the life and legacy of Sally Schmitt, the founder-chef of the French Laundry in Yountville and the Apple Farm in Philo. Schmitt died in March 2022 at the age of 90, weeks before her highly acclaimed cookbook-memoir, Six California Kitchens: A Collection of Recipes, Stories, and Cooking Lessons from a Pioneer of California Cuisine, was released. Events include a talk with chef Margaret Fox, who owned Cafe Beaujolais for 25 years, book discussions about Six California Kitchens, seed-saving workshops, and a talk and tour of the Apple Farm led by Schmitt’s daughter Karen Bates. Learn more here.
New beers offered at Hopland Tap tap into sober trend
Hopland Tap in Hopland is now offering Best Day Brewing, a Sausalito-based brand of craft non-alcoholic beers. The Tap carries Best Day’s Kölsch and West Coast IPA. I was particularly excited to see a local bar carrying an independent non-alcoholic craft beer. It’s a great alternative if you don’t drink alcohol or want to take a break from drinking while still enjoying the taste of a delicious craft beverage. 13351 US-101, Hopland, (707) 510-9000, hoplandtap.com.
Dine Out for Dog and Cats in Mendocino on Monday, March 20
Each month a different restaurant on the northern part of the coast donates a portion of dinner sales to the Mendocino Coast Humane Society. This month, Frankie’s in Mendocino will serve up falafels, pizza, ice cream and more for the cause on Monday, Mar. 20., 4-8 p.m., 44951 Ukiah St., Mendocino, (707) 937-2436, frankiesmendocino.com.
Tickets on sale for Art & Craft of Distilling at the Willits Center for the Arts, March 25
The Willits Center for the Arts hosts an evening with Mendocino Spirits. Tickets include a spirit tasting with Tamar Distillery/Mendocino Spirits owner and distiller Crispain Cain, vice president Tamar Kaye, and distiller and production assistant Rye N. Flint. Artist Jeremy Logan, who designs Mendocino Spirits’ beautiful labels, will participate in a talk about his work with Crispin Cain. Small bites will be served by Tapas del Mundo and live music provided by Chris Cichaki. Proceeds benefit the Willits Center for the Arts. 21 and over, tickets start at $20, willitscenterforthearts.org.
March register round-ups support Willits Center for the Arts and Hospice of Ukiah
For the month of March, shoppers at Mariposa Market in Willits can round-up their purchases at the register to support the Willits Center for the Arts. 500 S. Main St, Willits, (707) 459-9630, mariposamarket.com.
Additionally, shoppers at Ukiah Natural Foods in Ukiah can round-up their purchase at the register to support Hospice of Ukiah. 721 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 462-4778, ukiahcoop.com.
Small — but equally important — news bites
The Ledford House is back open after a winter break, 3000 CA-1, Albion, (707) 937-0282, ledfordhouse.com. Trinks Cafe is now open seven days a week, 39140 S. Highway 1, Gualala, (707) 884-1713, trinkscafe.com. Finally, Spiro’s Gyros & Deli is now open until 6 p.m. for early dinner Monday through Friday, 844 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 468-8248, spirosgyro.com.
Have food or drink news you’d like me to consider for inclusion in my weekly news round-ups? Email me at [email protected].
Note: Sarah Stierch covers food, beverage, culture, weather and breaking news for The Mendocino Voice. Contact Stierch at [email protected]. The Voice maintains editorial control.