MENDOCINO Co., 2/26/23 – Wintry weather has led to a lot of hunkering down and comfort food cooking. I recently tried my hand at making red pozole, using a recipe by Mexican-American chef Pati Jinich, with my best friend on a recent wet and miserable Sunday afternoon. Pozole is a traditional Mexican stew made with hominy and meat. The dish is savory and smoky thanks to the dried blend of ancho and guajillo peppers and extremely hearty thanks to heaping portions of hominy, a type of dried corn. Suffice to say, our pozole turned out delicious, and we topped it with heaping portions of cabbage, avocado, fresh salsa and crispy tortilla chips. Thankfully, plentiful leftovers helped me make it through these cold winter nights.
For those home cooks who are currently, or find themselves frequently, without power due to the storms, I highly advise adding the cookbook Apocalypse Chow: How to Eat Well When the Power Goes Out to your repertoire. The simple cookbook, written by vegan chefs Robin and Jon Robertson, features a plethora of recipes specifically for cooking when there is no power. I picked up a copy used at the Friends of the Fort Bragg Library shop in Noyo Harbor, and it comes in handy for everyday pantry meals, camping, and intentional or not-so-intentional off-the-grid moments. While the recipes are primarily vegetarian/vegan, just toss in a can of your favorite protein (such as canned tuna, salmon, chicken), and you’ll have a hearty meal without relying on modern-day conveniences.
Real estate updates – are these restaurants and bars for sale?
There is a lot of real estate for sale in the county right now, including restaurants and bars, which is leading to some confusion among residents on what those “for sale” signs mean. For example, if the building is for sale, does that mean the restaurant is too? Here’s the scoop to help clear the air.
The Floodgate building on State Route 128 in Philo houses the Bewildered Pig, a farm-to-table fine dining restaurant with a cult following throughout Northern California. While the Floodgate building is for sale for $1.275 million, the Bewildered Pig is not for sale. In fact, the real estate listing for the building states that the restaurant plans to renew its lease in July 2023.
The Yorkville Market in Yorkville remains for sale. The market closed in 2020 and in early 2022, it almost became a cannabis-processing facility. In May, the building went up for sale for $1.1 million, including the former market space and two residential units.
In Ukiah, the historic Marks Building, which houses Ukiah Brewing Company, is for sale. The $1.59 million asking price is only for the building, which was built in 1889, not the brewery or any of the businesses operating upstairs.
The Vietnamese bar and restaurant Miss Saigon in Ukiah is for sale for $2.5 million. The reason for the sale? Owner Lam T. Mai “would like to retire and hand the baton to the next entrepreneur.” Placed on the market in August 2022, the purchase price includes the self-described profitable business, full liquor license, and all equipment and furniture.
One of the region’s most popular bars is for sale: McCarty’s. The Redwood Valley bar was listed in October 2022 for $1.4 million. The price includes the building, a full liquor license, furniture, fixtures, and equipment, including pool tables and televisions.
Out on the coast, the Chowder House Building in Arena Cove, which housed the Pier Chowder House Restaurant, is also for sale. Listed since May 2022, the $3.79 million asking price includes the two-story, 9,300 sq. ft. building with five units, along with the restaurant space, which was a popular spot with tourists and locals thanks to its historic bar and ocean views. The restaurant and bar closed in 2022.
In Laytonville, the Boomers Building is up for sale at $1.7 million. The sale includes the building and an adjacent property. However, Boomers Bar & Grill and Asian Palace Restaurant will continue their leases under the future owner.
Finally, the Leggett Valley Market and Peg House both remain for sale in Leggett. The market and its western-style building is for sale for $650k. As it is the only full-service market in a 25-mile radius, the current owners hope that a new buyer will keep the market as-is, opting for improvements over major changes. The famous Peg House has been for sale since 2021 for $3.2 million. The property includes three commercial buildings and three residential buildings. The Peg House brings in on average $1.2 million in income annually at its prime Highway 101 location.
Slam Dunk Pizza in Ukiah suffers $3,000 worth of vandalism
One of Mendocino County’s favorite family-owned establishments, and one known for giving back to the community through fundraisers, suffered a blow to its popular arcade at its Ukiah location. The attack took place on Saturday, Feb. 25. The perpetrator(s), who has yet to be identified, smashed 10 devices that allow users to pay to play video and carnival games. The damage is estimated to cost the small business $3,000 to fix. “If you know who did this please let us know. We are mad, but not so mad that we don’t want to help teach this/these people a lesson of hard work and self-respect,” shares Slam Dunk Pizza’s owners on Facebook, “We believe in helping people learn lessons and don’t want to get the police involved, but we will if we have to. So please come and let’s find a way to fix it and learn the lesson that should be learned here. A few (thousand) dishes never hurt anyone.” Slam Dunk Pizza, 720 N. State St., Ukiah, (707) 463-1000, slamdunkpizza.com.
Mi Mexico Restaurant opens in Willits
The latest addition to the growing food scene in Willits opened this weekend. Mi Mexico Restaurant serves up a variety of Mexican dishes, including tacos, burritos, fajitas, salads, steak, and lots of seafood. The new establishment also serves breakfast. Willits resident Michelle King shared on Facebook that the “menu is amazing, portions are BIG, and the quality and taste was excellent.” King particularly enjoyed the Burrito Del Mar (a burrito stuffed with prawns sauteed with green onions, tomato, mushrooms, sour cream, guacamole, topped with cheese and green sauce), which she said was full of prawns and enough for two meals. Mi Mexico also sells beer and wine (sorry Willits, no tequila!). You can like Mi Mexico on Facebook, as it has no website at this time. 144 N. Main St., Willits, (707) 841-3006.
Paysanne in Boonville reopens after renovation
The charming Paysanne bakery and coffee shop at the Boonville Hotel in Anderson Valley has reopened after renovations. The renovations include a new redwood counter, a beautiful retro green La Marzocco espresso machine, and an easier-to-navigate layout. Paysanne is open Fri-Sat 12-5 p.m. and Sundays 8-5 p.m., 14111 CA-128, Boonville, (707) 895-2210, sweetpaysanne.com.
St. Patrick’s Day raffle benefits food bank in Laytonville
Harwood Park is sponsoring a St. Patrick’s Day raffle with all proceeds benefiting the Laytonville Food Bank. Winners score $500, $250 and $100 Visa gift cards, Guinness beer and Jameson whiskey. Tickets are available at Harwood Memorial Park, Park N Take It Liquors, and Friends Coffee Shop.
Mariposa Market supports the Willits Center for the Arts with its March register round-ups
For the month of March, shoppers at Mariposa Market in Willits can round-up their purchases at the register to support the Willits Center for the Arts. The round-up amount will be donated to the nonprofit art center. 500 S. Main St, Willits, (707) 459-9630, mariposamarket.com.
Support local animal shelter with Dine Out for Dogs & Cats in Westport, Feb. 25
Each month a local coast restaurant invites guests to enjoy dinner with a portion of their check benefiting the Mendocino Coast Humane Society. This month’s Dine Out for Dogs & Cats is at the Old Abalone Pub. Reservations highly recommended. 5-9 p.m., 38921 CA-1, Westport, (707) 964-3688, westporthotel.us.
Tickets on sale for 3rd annual Battle of the Bloody Marys in Little River, March 12
Bloody Mary fans will not want to miss the Battle of the Bloody Marys at the Little River Inn. The event pits amateur and professional mixologists against each other with the hopes of their cocktail winning Best Bloody Mary in Mendocino County. Attendees taste their way through each cocktail and vote for their favorite. Proceeds from the event benefit MendoParks. Tickets are $75. 21 and over. Learn more and buy tickets here.
Small — but equally important — news bites
D’Aurelio’s in Fort Bragg and Smokin’ G’s and Big D’s BBQ in Willits are closed for winter breaks and will reopen on February 27. Colombi’s Market in Fort Bragg is closed for building repairs. Owners anticipate reopening by mid-March, if not sooner. The laundromat remains open. The Ledford House is on break and will reopen March 15.
Have food or drink news you’d like me to consider for inclusion in my weekly news round-ups? Email me at [email protected].
Note: Sarah Stierch covers food, beverage, culture and breaking news for The Mendocino Voice. Contact Stierch at [email protected] The Voice maintains editorial control.