The Summer Fog and Mendocino County

Yesterday was my first full day at home after our 3 day getaway up the Mendocino coast. It was J and my first vacation together in 2-1/2 years!

There’s nothing like getting away to a place that has NO cell phone reception to relax your mind and ease your stress!

So yesterday I had to unpack, start laundry, do a little cleanup, shop for groceries and prep for my Fighting Disease with Food session on Sunday. J left for LA to pick up his girls, who have been visiting their grandparents for a few days while we sneaked away to the Coast.


We stayed at a seaside Bed and Breakfast in Albion called Fensalden Inn – population: 350-ish, just south of Mendocino. It was about a 3 hour drive, with a quick stop in Santa Rosa to visit my daughter and her fiance.

Albion has two bridges, spanning the Albion River and Little Salmon Creek. The Albion River Bridge, built in 1944, remains as the last wooden bridge still in use on State Route 1.

Mendocino bed and breakfast

The Inn is an old farmhouse with two other separate buildings, the tower.. which has 2 bedrooms now, and the stables..which house the owners and their little boy.

Their black and white pygmy goat, Betina-Louise, was the first to greet us! The geese were second.

Mendocino CA travelOur room was the Ridge Room, on the first floor at the end, and had a gas stove and a private porch with rocking chairs.

The nearest ‘downtown’ is Mendocino, where we had dinner reservations at the acclaimed Ravens Restaurant at the Stanford Inn by the Sea, our first night.  In the evening The Ravens’ provides an exceptional vegan experience. Their breakfast is geared towards guests who may not be vegan, so it is well-rounded.

The Ravens, Mendocino

Big River Nurseries is their California Certified Organic garden. They offer produce and herbs to selected restaurants and grocers. As a retail nursery, they sell to local markets, and they also provide vegetables and herbs to their dining room.

First I ordered the Roasted Beets and Frisee Salad – garden beets in a roasted shallot vinaigrette.

Roasted Beet Frisee

My dinner was the Polenta patty with tomato, vegan raita and black trumpet mushrooms in a mint sauce. Delicious! All dishes come with edible flowers.

Polenta patty with mint sauce

J ordered the Sea Palm Spicy Peanut Curry – local tender sea palm ‘noodles’, seasoned vegetables, spicy peanut curry, tempeh fennel croquettes.

Sea Palm Curry

J ordered their Trio Sorbet selection, and I had a nibble of each flavor, blackberry, watermelon and mango.  Excellent!

3 flavor Sorbets

It was overcast each day, so we spent time shopping in Fort Bragg and in Mendocino instead of hiking in the fog! Oh, and eating…

Fensalden North California Inn

The next day we drove to Mendocino for lunch, and did a little window shopping.

Dinner that night was at the Mendocino Cafe, a funny place that has a very casual atmosphere and staff, yet white tablecloths and formal table settings at dinner.

Owner at the Mendocino Cafe

The service was ok, the food was quite good, but we didn’t appreciate being ignored by all the staff when we left.  We were next to last, and they didn’t say goodbye or thank you, or good-riddance!

I ordered the Thai Firepot: Garlic-Ginger-Chili Broth with Organic Vegetables and choice of Chicken, Beef, Rock Shrimp or Tofu
with choice of Brown Rice or Bean Thread Noodles. I had it with the beef and noodles. Tasty.

J had the Warm Spinach salad: with Roundman’s Bacon, Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes, Onions, Parmesan & Mendocino Mustard Dressing. Good.

Our third day started with overcast skies again, so we drove up to Fort Bragg to walk around and visit art galleries.

Floating zen circle puzzle

Then on to window shopping…

Mermaid Dress?
Glass Spirals
Leather Violin Purse

I really liked the violin purse!

We went back to rest for a while before dinner.  It was our last night, and J made reservations ahead at Cafe Beaujolais, a chic restaurant in Mendocino. Café Beaujolais started as a Victorian Farmhouse in 1893 and to this day has kept its historical charm.

According to their website:

Beaujolais’ Food: A hallmark of Cafe Beaujolais’ cooking is the use of organically grown produce. In addition, most of our meat, poultry and eggs come from animals humanely raised in a free-range environment, without chemical-supplemented feed.

Our waitress was excellent, just the right combination of professionalism and friendliness.

J ordered the Baby Spinach with Almond-Crusted Goat Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes and Niman Ranch Bacon.  He had the Petaluma Duck Crispy Skin Breast and Leg de Confit, Caramelized Onion Buttermilk Spätezle, and Wilted Kale in a Cherry Jus Lié as his entree! He said it was the meatiest duck he’d ever had.

I had the Free-Range Petaluma Chicken Breast, Coconut Rice, and steamed Asparagus ( which they made just for me, since I couldn’t have sautéed Broccolini that came with  it. Quite yummy!

J ordered the Coconut Cream Pie with Chocolate Macaroon Crust, and Caramel Sauce! I had two tiny nibbles.  It was Stupendous!!

Of course on the day we were leaving, the sun came out and it was a balmy 65 degrees!

Nowhere have I had more choices as to where to eat.  Most places offered vegetarian or vegan selections, and most of the produce used was organic. WOW!  You’d think I would have the same options living near San Francisco, but it’s sadly not so.

We enjoyed our vacation, and our tummies did too.


16 thoughts on “The Summer Fog and Mendocino County

  1. What a lovely break. I enjoyed the entire post but loved the food commentary. I’m hungry now 🙂 I’m neither vegan or vegetarian but I believe in eating food with integrity – whole, organic, local and prepared with care. Mendocino seems to be a foodie jewel.

    1. Indeed it is! Amazing that a town with less than 1000 people invests so heavily in good, wholesome food.. while my city of 65,000 has no more than 2-3 eateries that offer some organic options! The Whole Foods here does a brisk business, but the population is still munching on pesticide-ridden veggies. Go figure!

  2. what a heart warming and mouth watering account of your mini vakay… sooo happy you enjoyed the company and the local charm. thank you for your visit, and do come again.

    1. Thanks Amy. It was a truly fun 3 days, despite the wind keeping me up most of the first night! I liked the owners and their 1 year old, they do their best to make the guests feel at home.

  3. It was uplifting just to read about your getaway! Your pics are beautiful and your account of the foods and restaurants really gave me the travel bug! Where we live it is tough to find a good quality meal out, not to mention organic, pasture-raised or vegan! That is one of the reasons that I cook so often 😉 Glad you had a fun time!

    1. Thank you Gretchen. If Mendocino was just an hour closer, I would be tempted to drive there every other week as a treat! Am thinking of offering a Cooking for Good Health session for guests at the B&B once a month, for a discounted stay! Sneaky..yes? Xx

  4. Sounds great’s nice to get away from technology from time to describe things in such a smooth way that made me live the moment..I liked the glass spirals,but not the guitar bag too funky..

  5. I love the Mendocino coast. We went to Gualala last year and loved it. This year we went farther north to Humboldt County. Thanks for sharing your food adventures.

      1. We stayed just outside Trinidad and loved it! So green and beautiful. There are many state parks, lots of hiking and biking trails.

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