Two Petaluma restaurants to be featured in ‘Check, Please!’

Watch KQED for features on Street Social and Butcher Crown Roadhouse – and for Houston’s guest appearance Jan. 12!|

Last year’s season of “Check, Please! Bay Area” featured one Petaluma restaurant. To the surprise of no one familiar with the amazing food scene in this town, the upcoming season will feature two.

For those who aren’t familiar, “Check, Please!” is a James Beard- and Emmy Award-winning program hosted by none other than Petaluma’s own Leslie Sbrocco. Leslie is joined each episode by three Bay Area residents to talk about their favorite restaurants.

Last season’s featured Petaluma restaurant, Kinka Sushi, was the first from our town in quite a few years, but hopefully it started a trend (as we all know they could make an entire series based on just Petaluma restaurants). Sadly, Kinka Sushi has since closed.

This coming season’s two Petaluma restaurants are Street Social ( and Butcher Crown Roadhouse ( two definite local favorites. Although distinctively different cuisine, both represent Petaluma’s culinary creativity well.

Butcher Crown Roadhouse's appearance on “Check, Please! Bay Area” is Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. on KQED Channel 9. And after keeping my mouth shut about it for way longer than I thought possible, I can finally announce that I am one of the guests this season, with my particular episode, highlighting Street Social, airing this upcoming Thursday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m.

This process started for me way back at the end of 2020 when I applied to be on the show. I was asked to submit three of my favorite restaurants, describe their food, and tell why I felt they were worthy of special coverage. That application was followed up by a Zoom interview in early 2022 with several of the staffers from KQED, including producers and directors. Once chosen, the in-studio filming schedule had to be coordinated, and because we were pressed for time to make the deadline for the 2022 season, our filming was pushed to July 2022 for a Jan. release.

All along, we guests were asked not to reveal anything about our chosen restaurant, which was challenging, but I was happy to oblige because I’m grateful they are highlighting Petaluma and a couple of our favorite restaurants.

The experience of filming my in-person, in-studio portion of the show was simply magical. First off, if you think Leslie seems warm, friendly and welcoming on TV, you should meet her in person. She is amazing and really helps to put us TV novices at ease. And then there were my fellow guests. I hope it comes across on-air how well we clicked and how much we appreciated each other’s restaurant choices and stories and insight about their own visits. We were told it was one of the best shows they have filmed, and it certainly felt like something that will be fun to watch.

Once I’ve seen the Street Social episode, I will do a full write-up about the experience and hopefully inspire others to apply. And for those of you who, like us, do not have a regular TV connection, KQED makes the episodes available online after they have aired. (Though in this case, I may break down and actually go to a friend’s house to watch it “live.”)

New Year’s Eve outage

According to reports, the power went out for several downtown restaurants right as they were in the middle of their New Year’s Eve festivities. At roughly 7 p.m., the power went out at Seared, Risibisi and Central Market. (Somehow, Gales Central Club still had power, but maybe they have a back-up generator, or maybe they are hooked into the grid from a different spot than the rest on that block.) Several folks posted to the Petaluma Foodies group on Facebook that they either had to move their party elsewhere or, as was the case with Central Market, they just kept going but by candlelight, and with credit card numbers collected by hand to be charged after the power came back on. Nearby restaurants, such as Torches, Ayahuasca and Shuckery stepped up for several displaced guests from the power-deprived restaurants, and all seems to have gone well.

Crab feed date change

The Penngrove Social Firemen’s crab feed has changed dates to Saturday, Jan. 21, with cocktails starting at 5:30 p.m. and dinner to follow at 7 p.m. (The original feed was slated for Jan. 7.) The ticket purchase deadline has also been extended to Jan. 17 and can be purchased at JavAmore Café in Penngrove or online at Eventbrite. For those who originally purchased their tickets online, they will be placed on the will call list for the new date – however, if the new date does not work for ticket holders, they can request a refund through Eventbrite. Visit for more information.

Christmas tree recycling

Two local Boy Scout troops are offering Christmas tree pick-up for those who went the live tree route this year.

The first is the Boy Scout Troop 7 Tree Recycling Fundraiser, which still has pick-up reservation slots available on Saturday, Jan. 7 and Sunday, Jan. 8 for the East Side of town. Make reservations either by visiting or calling 789-1031. On your assigned pick-up date, simply place your tree at the curb by 8 a.m. and leave your donation in an envelope under your front door mat. The recommended minimum donation is $5 (plus $5 for flocking), but the troop would certainly appreciate more. Checks should be made out to BSA Troop 7.

Boy Scout Troop 8 is also offering Christmas tree pick-up in both Petaluma and Rohnert Park, with dates available on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 7 and 8, and again on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 14 and 15. Visit for more information and to schedule your pick-up and arrange for your donation.

These tree pick-ups are the primary fundraisers for our Boy Scout Troops, so please consider giving more than the minimum donation. Considering the time and cost to either haul off your own or the time and energy to cut yours down to fit in your green bin, the donation is a small price to pay to dispose of your Christmas tree.

Back to work

Although my belly may feel otherwise, I can appreciate when restaurants take a holiday break, both for their own mental and physical health, but also so their employees can spend time with family and friends. Much appreciated by this food writer, two local restaurants that are always on top of posting their upcoming hours and holidays are Don Ponchos and What a Chicken. Don Ponchos was closed for Christmas and New Year’s but is back open and serving as of today. What a Chicken was closed for the second half of December and reopens Wednesday, Jan. 4. Personally, I love to follow the What a Chicken family’s winter holiday road trip vacation each year on social media. Maybe it’s just me, but the food simply tastes better when you know it’s coming from a family that enjoys road trip vacations together. Both Don Ponchos and What a Chicken are available for dine-in, take-out and delivery via Petaluma Food Taxi.

Dine and donate

Tickets are currently on sale for the first food-related fundraising event of the year, which is actually a two-parter. On Friday, Jan. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m., Compass Realty (11 5th St., Suite 202) will host a Kickoff Fundraiser vision board party. Tickets are $30 and will include all supplies, charcuterie, wine by a local winemaker and other non-alcoholic beverages and raffle prizes.

In conjunction, McNear’s will be holding a Dine & Donate. Simply mention “Compass” while dining at McNear’s and they will donate to the cause, which is Raising Funds 2 Do Good, an organization that helps at-risk youth. For more information contact Hana at 324-9567 or

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