Make-your-own poke coming to Petaluma, plus food events and finds
It is with great excitement that several readers informed me of a new sign up in the Kohl’s shopping center announcing the arrival of Aloh-o Poke & Tea. There was recent Facebook discussion about where people get their poke “fix” in and around Petaluma. Several local suggestions floated to the top, including the Shuckery, Rosen’s 256 North, Seared, Pongo’s, Petaluma Market, plus Pearl out of Novato. Also, most of our sushi places made the list, such as Sake 107, Gohan, O’Sushi and the new (and soon to be reviewed) Kinka on McDowell Boulevard. But many lamented not having a place that offered “build-your-own” poke bowls. Well, Aloh-o Poke & Tea to the rescue, along with what I can only assume is boba tea, which is all the rage these days. (Boba is a sweet iced tea infused with tapioca balls. I don’t particularly like chunks of anything in my drinks, so this is not really my thing, but the kids seem to love it.)
For those who are wondering, poke is a mainstay of native Hawaiian cuisine and consists of diced raw fish that is marinated/seasoned in soy sauce, sesame oil and green onions, or something similar. Fresh, high-quality fish is a must because the texture and flavor of the fish itself is what carries this dish, with the marinade merely acting as a condiment.
Speaking of excellent poke, Anna’s Seafood offers a rotating selectin of poke that has become a Petaluma favorite. Currently, they have Ahi and Homachi pokes but in the past, we have bought the salmon, which is still my favorite. Reminiscent of the best salmon belly sashimi, we buy multiples of Anna’s salmon poke so as to save ourselves a return trip.
Stemple Creek Ranch will hold its 10th anniversary annual open house and barbecue on Saturday, Aug. 24, from noon to 3 p.m. This will be the last public ranch tour of 2019, providing a chance to not only learn about a working ranch, but learn what this multigenerational ranching family is doing with the Marin Carbon Project. Visit stemplecreek.com for tickets, which are $30 for adults, $10 for kids 3 to 12, and free for kids under 3. The tour will culminate in a barbecue, which is usually accompanied by a discount Thistle Meat sale.
Although the Petaluma Educational Foundation’s “Bash” fundraiser is not until Sept. 7, the online auction opens Aug. 14 and runs through Aug. 28. This is a great way for those of us who might not be able to make the Bash to still help support PEF’s goals by bidding on some of the great auction items. Of course, the restaurant gift certificates are what caught my eye. Keep in mind this is all for a good cause, so don’t be afraid to over-bid the value of a gift certificate. You’ll not only get some great food at your favorite restaurants but will additionally help PEF. Quinua Cocina Peruana owner Juan E Gutierrez made the biggest donation of all, a party for 10 at the Peruvian restaurant. This is one I’ll definitely bid on. Registration for the auction is quite easy and can be done at PEFBASH2019.afrogs.org.
No, Keny’s Donuts is not closed. Located just down the street from Petaluma High School, where Hagstrom’s used to be on Douglas Street, fans were in a panic when they saw a handwritten sign in the window reading, “Closed due to a problem ~ Sofie.” That left a lot to the imagination, while foodies hoped for the best, both for their love of Keny’s donuts (the buttermilk bar is divine) but also for Sofie, a beloved local proprietor. Finally, the scare was over when Devon Gambonini posted on the Petaluma Foodies Facebook page, “She’s fine! Went and got my coffee from her this morning. They had an issue with their oven. All is well.”