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Although the Penngrove Independence Day Parade has been canceled for the second year in a row, the incredible Chicken BBQ is back for the second year in a drive-thru format. And although pick-ups are not until Saturday, June 26, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Penngrove Park, you will want to order early as I believe it sold out last year.

Volunteer cooks with the Penngrove Social Firemen will be hard at work from early in the morning hours to put together incredible barbecue chicken meals, with beans, macaroni salad and bread, all for just $20 per plate. And don’t forget that the Penngrove 4-H will be there selling desserts for just $1 each, a price I don’t think has ever gone up. So bring some cash to help support the 4-H, too. Ticket must be purchased by June 20 through either Eventbrite (chicken-bbq-penngrove.eventbrite.com) or, to avoid the service fee, take your cash or checks to JavAmore Café (794-1516, 10101 Main St., Penngrove) between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. and get your tickets in person.

The event, as always, is put on by the Penngrove Social Firemen as a fundraiser for club and park maintenance and to help support Penngrove events, such as the parades. penngrovesocialfiremen.org

New eateries

Social media is all abuzz about two recently openings we announced here over the past couple of weeks. The first is Urban Deli, which is located on the Petaluma Boulevard side of Theatre Square. The exact address is 151 Petaluma Blvd. S., but with only a spot and a half in front of their location, the likelihood of getting a parking spot right out front is slim, so simply drive to Theatre Square, park, and you’ll find your way there. (There is free parking in multi-story parking garage on C Street, between 1st and 2nd streets.) It appears to be the old Subway sandwich shop location, but I have not visited yet, so cannot be sure. What I am sure of is all the rave reviews people have been posting about both their sandwiches and their Mediterranean cuisine. Having missed the grand opening announcement, and had some questions about whether they are a chain, franchise or are privately owned, I reached out to them through their Facebook page and received a nice and prompt response inviting me to come down to learn more about their shop. I do love me some good kafta, shawarma and kabob, so I can’t wait to try them. Visit eaturbandeli.com for more info, including the menu and online ordering.

The next surprise grand opening came from Pink Owl, located next to Whole Foods. Several members of the Petaluma Foodies Facebook group posted photos and positive comments about their experiences. “The Pink Owl was fantastic this afternoon! So hard to find a dry cappuccino without it tasting ‘burned',” posted Christine Bertino.

“Pink Owl lives up to the hype! My friend ordered a coconut and white chocolate latte that she’s been trying to recreate from a past favorite shop and they nailed it. My iced mocha was great and they have some outdoor seating so you can enjoy your concoctions,” posted Rachelle Fugitt-Schneider.

Father’s Day and Grad Sale

The Father’s Day and Graduation Bonanza Sale will be held this Sunday, June 6, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Of the Woods, which is one of the vendors of this local and unique gift event. They offer handmade charcuterie boards, which is a growing topic of interest these days, now that the weather is warming up and small home gatherings are gaining steam. And if you’ve visited this outdoor parking lot sale before, you may want to give it a revisit as the vendors change monthly. The address is 210 F St., which is the parking lot that Of the Woods shares with Pinky’s Pizza.

Transcendence Theatre Company will bring a drive-in version of its Broadway Under the Stars shows to the Petaluma Fairgrounds. (Photo: Erik Castro/for The Press Democrat)
Transcendence Theatre Company will bring a drive-in version of its Broadway Under the Stars shows to the Petaluma Fairgrounds. (Photo: Erik Castro/for The Press Democrat)

Fun at the Fairgrounds

Transcendence Theatre Company is returning to the Petaluma Fairgrounds on June 6 for a live drive-in performance, all to help raise funds for Jack London State Historic Park. These are the folks that put on Broadway Under the Stars in Jack London Park. In the last 10 years, they have raised over half-a-million dollars for the park, in addition to working with our community on projects revolving around youth, education, health, arts and the environment. So, what is the food connection? Dino’s Greek Food Truck will be at the event taking orders for anyone who wants to enjoy some great food along with the great show.

Tortilla Real Mexican Kitchen uses sake, not liquor in its cocktails. (Houston Porter/for the Argus-Courier)
Tortilla Real Mexican Kitchen uses sake, not liquor in its cocktails. (Houston Porter/for the Argus-Courier)

Grads and margaritas (it’s not what you think)

Tortilla Real is celebrating the class of 2021 by offering 10% off student meals throughout the month of June to anyone who shows their senior student ID. While on the topic of Tortilla Real, we tried and loved their margarita when we were researching our recent Argus article but am glad to see we are not the only ones. Heather Holliday posted to Petaluma Foodies, “I dare all foodies that are margarita lovers to try the one at Tortilla Real. I think it’s the best one in Petaluma! And you’d never know there is no tequila (who knew sake could taste like tequila??). Would love to hear what you all think. I love this place!” That is certainly a challenge many were eager to accept, with some (like us) responding that they had sampled already and agreed with her assessment. Additionally, owner Chef Luis Flores recently announced, “You asked for it and we made it for you. Our mole plate is now part of our menu.” Check it out – it’s pretty incredible.

Sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean makes Dillon Beach Coastal Kitchen worth the drive. (HOUSTON PORTER/FOR THE ARGUS-COURIER)
Sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean makes Dillon Beach Coastal Kitchen worth the drive. (HOUSTON PORTER/FOR THE ARGUS-COURIER)

Back in business

As reported in Sonoma Magazine recently, Dillon Beach’s Coastal Kitchen has reopen but with a new chef out of Sonoma. After skipping the greasy fries and substandard burger of the old café for years, we were delighted when Coastal Kitchen opened a few years ago in the old diner’s spot, in large part because they concentrated on local ingredients and flavors. In fact, we had starting making special trips to Dillon just to have lunch or dinner. Their menu was that good, and was certainly helped along by one of our favorite local chefs, chef Matthew Elias (formerly of Salt Water Bistro and the Bodega – CA food truck).

Some of the local residents seemed to resent the improvement in cuisine, but I think this was more a cultural objection to Dillon getting better discovered, than an objection to the excellent food. It appears that chef Jennifer McMurray has done a nice job with the menu, walking that fine line between beach-side burger shack and coastal cuisine by simplifying the menu down to what appears to be burgers, sandwiches, fish and chips and chowder. However, to those familiar with Coastal Kitchen, one can easily read between the lines and see that there is still something special going on at this seaside gem. We look forward to giving Chef McMurray’s menu a try and reporting back. dillonbeachresort.com

Some of the favorite recipes from Nick’s Cove can be found in Dena Grunt’s “Table with a View.” (Photo by Charlie Gesell)
Some of the favorite recipes from Nick’s Cove can be found in Dena Grunt’s “Table with a View.” (Photo by Charlie Gesell)

‘Table with a View’

While on the topic of great coastal dining, Copperfield’s Books’ employee Megan Elizabeth Tomsky was nice enough to reach out and let people know that the new Nick’s Cove cookbook “Table with a View” is not only in stock, but, “The author was kind enough to come by and sign some copies for us so we have autographed copies in stock if anyone would like to come get one!” Dena Grunt took over operation and management of Nick’s Cove in 2010 and has deep family roots in Tomales Bay. We used to visit Nick’s regularly when I was a kid but then stopped for a long while as the food had gone downhill. However, in the past decade, their food has gotten so much better that they are again a regular part of our dining routine so I’m sure this book is filled with gems.

Amer the Gamer

A bit of an error on my part in last week’s column when I credited the Amer the Gamer sandwich to Lombardi’s Deli instead of Lucchesi’s. (Thankfully, an avid reader let me know and so we were able to correct it almost immediately on the website.) It serves as a long-standing fundraiser, as some of the proceeds of which are donated to the Petaluma Educational Foundation, which is the important part. Find it at Lucchesi’s at 301 S. McDowell Blvd.

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