Posted by Lauren

Hope you enjoyed the Santa Rosa half marathon race recap. A few friends/coworkers asked me how the race went and although my review wasn’t full of sunflowers and ponies, I really did have a great weekend up in the happy Sonoma County town.

As I mentioned, the expo was top notch.

DeLoach Vineyards hosted all of the runners…

20130825 195615 Race Expo + Underwood, Graton

After picking up your race bib and race jacket, you could go into the barrel room and pick up a special bottle of wine…

20130825 195648 Race Expo + Underwood, Graton

There was also a complimentary tasting for every runner over 21. Additional tastes could be purchased for $2.50 (a little steep IMO). Blue skies and pinot go together quite well!

20130825 195707 Race Expo + Underwood, Graton

My pal Kyle suggested we go to the nearby town of Graton for dinner. Graton is a small, unincorporated town in Sonoma County (only 1.5 square miles, population less than 2000 people). Although downtown Graton is just one itty bitty block, it shouldn’t be overlooked. And that’s because it has one of the best local restaurants in town.

20130825 195718 Race Expo + Underwood, Graton

Underwood Bar and Bistro

9113 Graton Road, Graton, CA
WebsiteYelp

Reservations are recommended, but we arrived early enough to take one of the open tables outside next to the bocce court. Everyone, this is Kyle… he’s no stranger to the blog

20130825 195756 Race Expo + Underwood, Graton

We each ordered a pint of Blind Pig IPA from Russian River Brewing Co. So delicious.

Then, we joined some randos on the bocce court for a friendly game of lawn bowling. They had been wine tasting all day and were really funnnnny. One of the guys gave us the password to a website he’s working on, to convince us to become business partners. And another girl shouted at Kyle “are those yo kids?” when some six year olds ran past him. Too funny.

We decided to order a few plates from the tapas side of the menu. (The entrees sound FABULOUS too BTW.)

20130825 195823 Race Expo + Underwood, Graton

Harissa Fries – cilantro, scallions, lime
Perfectly cooked, crunchy fries with homemade ketchup. A neighboring table had these and we couldn’t resist getting a 1/2 order.

20130825 195842 Race Expo + Underwood, Graton

Flatbread – caramelized onion, blue cheese, walnut, sage
My favorite dish of the night. The blue cheese/caramelized onion combo took this to a whole new level.

20130825 195855 Race Expo + Underwood, Graton

Hoisin Glazed Baby Back Ribs – napa cabbage and mango slaw
Just kidding, this ties with the flatbread as my favorite dish of the night. The hoison glaze reminded me of my favorite Pok Pok wings, but less tangy. Kyle and I both thought the slaw was refreshing, just a little too much …parsley?

20130825 195906 Race Expo + Underwood, Graton

Thai Curry Crab Cakes – green papaya salad, peanuts, red chili-lime dressing, cilantro
These run a little small, which was fine by me since I was already quite full. I don’t think the Thai flavor shined enough, but Kyle declared this dish his favorite of the night.

We left Underwood VERY full, but so happy with all of our picks. I can’t recommend this place enough! Locals swear by it.

When we got back to Kyle’s house, we participated in a mock fantasy football draft on ESPN.com …. you girls better watch out, I’m coming extra prepared this year ;)

20130825 195927 Race Expo + Underwood, Graton

I fell asleep a little before 11 pm! Plenty of rest before the 5:45 am wake up call.

Kyle – Thank you for hanging out with me all weekend, especially letting me crash at your house! You’re such a great host :) and you have wonderful restaurant recommendations!

Question: When is the last time you played bocce ball? Are you a fan?

-Lauren

 

2 Responses to Race Expo + Underwood, Graton

  1. Kelli H says:

    I’ve never been to Underwood but you sold me!
    Kelli H recently posted..Chocolate Espresso MousseMy Profile

  2. Emily says:

    I ran the full, and I will agree it was definitely not pancake flat… my Garmin showed 600+ ft of total elev gain.

    The bike path definitely got a bit boring. Luckily the marathon is long enough that we spent a decent amount of time in the wine country around DeLoach. Guess you’ll just have to do the full next time!

    I too, ate at Underwood. Which is amazing. As is Blind Pig IPA.

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