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Restaurant specials to lure back customers

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The list of Petaluma restaurants that have changed their status to delivery or pick-up only, or that have temporarily closed is long. Check the Petaluma Foodies Facebook page for an updated list.

A few restaurants are offering specials during the shutdown. Street Social is offering entry into a $200 gift card drawing for all those who order take-out meals through March 31.

Several restaurants are offering family meal options, including Beyond the Glory, Pub Republic, Stockhome, and Estero Café in Valley Ford.

Petaluma Market may have closed down their hot-food-bar but they continue to offer similar daily lunch plate specials and are posting their announcements to Petaluma Foodies each morning.

Petaluma Pie Company is offering bulk frozen pies, which certainly beat the hordes of low-grade frozen burritos currently taking up space in our freezer.

Butcher Crown Roadhouse is offering 20% off to restaurant workers and Kinka Sushi are offering 30% off to healthcare workers. Mariposa and Basin Robbins both offer ice cream delivery and Wilibees is working on booze delivery as we speak.

LALA’s Jam Bar is also offering free delivery, which a great way to stock up on locally made snacks and great jams. If you have been wanting to try Quinua’s great Peruvian food, this is a great opportunity because Juan and his family are offering free delivery on advance orders.

Bert’s Desserts and Golden State Pickle Works, who share a commercial space on Lakeville, are still planning their Easter sale, with orders taken from March 25 through April 7, for pickup on April 8-10. Although their shop is closed, the Bagel Mill is taking orders for four dozen bagels or more, with two days’ notice.

Many of our local restaurants were front and center feeding fire evacuees and first responders, while others are regular supporters of our many local nonprofits. These are the restaurants that help make our community what it is and in these tough times, deserve the benefit of our support.

Alcohol restrictions eased

One big change in the past week is the easing of restrictions on how and what types of booze restaurants can sell to go. As long as a customer purchases food to-go, they can also purchase sealed bottles of wine and beer. (No hard alcohol.)

The Alcohol Beverage Control has now gone a step further, allowing restaurants to sell beer, wine and cocktails in customers’ home-brought containers, so long as they have a lid, without a straw hole, are kept closed and stored outside the driver’s reach during the drive home, and are part of a food purchase. So, you can now order your favorite margarita with that burrito or beer with that pizza.

That said, several of our favorite beer buying spots remain open, so there is no need to panic and start stockpiling. Charley’s Wine Country Deli and Wilibees are currently open for business and TAPS is offering any and all of their beers to-go in your containers. Dempsey’s is also open and is offering 32-ounce Crowlers, which is an extra-large can and sealed for freshness, giving a Crowler more time in your fridge before going stale, which for a well-kept growler is usually no more than a week.

Senior special delivery

Petaluma Food Taxi (772-9007) announced delivery fees will be waived for anyone over the age of 60. Additionally, PFT extends those free deliveries to grocery, pharmacy and other errand runs for people over 60. And PFT offers true no-contact deliveries with a drop-off, followed by a call or text to let you know your food is on your doorstep.

Owners Nick and Kiki admitted that they will lose money on these deliveries but they are hometown boys who feel they are in a position to help and so felt it was the right thing to do. For the rest of us using PFT for our delivery orders, please consider tipping a little more than usually in order to help cover offset the cost of delivering to our seniors so PFT can continue doing what they are doing.

A peek into the kitchen

This past Sunday, just as my brain was about to fry from sheltering in place, Juli Lederhaus popped up on Petaluma Foodies with live video, direct from her kitchen. Not being much of a home cook, this sort of thing would not have caught my attention but I needed a break, so I tuned in.

Juli is a trained chef, a food writer, and for a good part of her career, a hotel food and beverage director. She eventually became a hotel general manager, where she remained for 23 years, before retiring a few years ago to Petaluma.

“I find I have a lot of energy, and love to teach other people how to cook,” she said. “So I do offer private cooking lessons, including team building cooking classes for groups looking for things like that.”

I tuned in to the 10 minute video on how to make potato pancakes, which are one of my favorite foods, and which I had the honor to judge at the past two years’ Latke MasterChef competitions at the Chabad Jewish Center of Petaluma. Juli has a relaxed and approachable air about her which made watching her video not only interesting, but also inspiring because she illustrated that with the proper preparation, cooking is a fun and rewarding endeavor.

“While everyone is stuck at home, I figured a lot more people would be cooking now, and perhaps could use some inspiration, recipe ideas, and cooking tips,” says Juli. “I have always wanted to be my own version of Julia Child (my childhood hero) and with live streaming, and these wonderful phone video cameras, it seemed like the time is right to give it a shot.”

Her videos usually run live at 5 p.m., at which point her assistant Max reads Juli viewer questions, to which she immediately response live. The videos are also archived on both her Facebook page and the Petaluma Foodies page.

Max is a Rotary Exchange student is taking broadcast journalism in school, so this not only gives him something to do while under the shelter in place order, but he has been very helpful on the production side of Juli’s videos.

Juli would love to hear from viewers what they are interested in learning to cook and bake so she can cater upcoming broadcasts to your tastes.

If you like what you see, you can contact Juli at JuliLederhaus@gmail.com to learn more about her private cooking and team building classes, which she plans to resume once we get past the current crisis.

Words of inspiration

Times are tough and they are only going to get tougher so my sincerest hope is that we can all stay positive and supportive. That is the Petaluma way.

Crises bring out our true character, so when you are about to snap at something that at any other time would be an almost unnoticeable annoyance, remember that we are all in this together and the only way we are going to make it out is with the support of each other.

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