11829 River Rd, Forestville CA
If you are in San Francisco right now, you know that despite being THE MIDDLE OF JULY, the weather is crap. I love summer more than any other time of the year, and it's killing me that the weather has been so awful this year. I want HEAT and SUN and BEING OUTSIDE and believing that summer will never end and I'll never have to do anything other than bask in the sun with a cold drink and a delicious sandwich. As it is, I'm starting to believe that summer is never going to start. We have had spots of good weather here and there, though, and in those brief windows I've been able to snatch just the barest taste of summer. Maybe by relieving these moments, I'll forget that it's overcast outside IN THE THE MIDDLE OF JULY.
Here's a sandwich from an excellent outing that Els and I took a few weeks back. We wanted to spend an evening camping near the Russian River, so we drove up to the Armstrong Redwoods State Park, jamming the very Fleetwood-Mac-esque new Vetiver album on the way. Of course, this summer being the way it is, we got there only to discover that the campground was closed due to budget cuts (and by the way, to the person who scrawled "we have money to fund wars but not for state parks??" in the bathroom, funds for the military don't come out of the state budget..... but money to clean up graffiti in park bathrooms does. Nice one dude!). At any rate, we didn't let the closed campground kill the fun, and went on a nice and fairly short hike instead up a ridge and then down through some giant redwoods (and by the way, not only was the hike nice, but I'm pretty sure the campgrounds have re-opened since Els and I were there). After our hike we were hungry, and decided to stop at the Russian River Pub on the way home.
I had been wanting to try this small & rustic roadside pub for a long while, and we had even tried to eat there on the Fourth of July last year- but the wait was too long. At any rate, it was nice and quiet when we arrived this time. I ordered one of the daily specials, a chicken sandwich with guacamole, sriracha oil, pickled onions (supposedly- I don't think the sandwich actually had these) and I want to say.... blue cheese? I could be wrong about that. At any rate, the sandwich was delicious, an excellent take on a classic that was comforting but slightly adventurous at the same time- exactly what I would ideally want from a roadside pub like this one. Els confounded my desire for her to order a sandwich for herself (so that I could try that one too) by ordering fish and chips, but it was a good decision because they were some of the best fish and chip's I've ever had (much better than, say, the Fish Market in Palo Alto where I last ate fish and chips). Even the salad we started our meal displayed thought and care on the part of the kitchen. Add in the fact that they have Damnation on tap.... and you have a very good reason to spend the day across the Golden Gate Bridge. Next time I head up there, I'm looking forward to spending some time lounging in the Russian River and then trying some more of the Russian River Pub's sandwiches!
By the way, this place was featured on the show "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" (a fact that is loudly proclaimed in the pub), so if you don't like my review and want Guy Fieri's amped-up obnoxiousness instead, knock yrself out: