Wednesday, June 24, 2009

World Famous Hamburger Ranch & Pasta Farm - a Sonoma County Original

Saturday Night I cajoled my wife into a trip to Cloverdale to go to the World Famous Hamburger Ranch & Pasta Farm for some BBQ.

This place is great. An old roadhouse looking place on 128 just on the North tip of Cloverdale as you would head to Mendocino. We found it by happenstance on a cycling trip in Sonoma. I wanted to take my wife out on Dutcher Creek Road to give her a taste of a small hill that wouldn't have much traffic, then drop us into the Dry Creek Valley. Not knowing much about Cloverdale, I decided we should stay there. When dinnertime came, there were something like 5 places in the yellow pages. We passed on a Mexican joint, the pub was closed, so we ended up at the Hamburger Ranch.

Once there, we were greeted by "BBQ Bob" and his "lady", Joanne.

Bob has a grill outside where he was cooking up some ribeyes and salmon, and he has a smoker where he does his ribs ("I'm originally from Kansas City", he says). Bob Krucker is quite a character and chatting with him adds a lot to the experience had eating his BBQ. The meal also comes with the "BBQ Pasta", which isn't barbequed, it's just the moniker for the pasta they serve with the BBQ, I think a combo of the red and the white sauce. A good salad and some grilled zucchini finishes the meal.

We liked the place so much, we had the rehearsal dinner for our wedding there. I recommend the Baby Back Ribs. Go early enough that you can soak in the warm Sonoma County sun on the outdoor patio.

Did I say that the meal finishes with zucchini? Blasphemy! The finishing flourish is their special dessert - the Pumpkin Pudding Cake. Excellent stuff.

Stop by and visit Bob on your next trip to Wine Country! You'll be glad you did!

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