Out of the City: The Marin French Cheese Co & Pete’s Henny Penny, reviewed

8 Jan

Well as a last hoorah before I had to go back to school, my Uncle decided to treat my mom and I to a nice breakfast/lunch in Petaluma at this home-style restaurant: Pete’s Henny Penny. The ride up was nice enough with light traffic and the Golden Gate Bridge looking at spectacular as any bridge could look. I had my earbuds in listening to a mixture of Owl City and Taylor Swift (my two current favorites).

Pete’s Henny Penny, reviewed

4995 Petaluma Blvd N
Petalum, CA 94592

I have to say that I was delightfully surprised at Pete’s Henny Penny. Located just off Hwy101 and 116, this restaurant has no real competition except for Cattlemens Restaurant and Denny’s, which is right across the street from Pete’s. Why anyone would go to Denny’s except for Pete’s seems crazy to me.

Sausage Lentil Soup (cup size)

Pete’s Henny Penny is a wonderful, casual, home-style restaurant that serves breakfast all day. Best of all for those with children 12 and under, with one paying adult, one child (12&under) can order a free meal. There’s a special menu but it basically has all the typical foods like hamburgers, spaghetti, grilled cheese, breakfast items, and more. This restaurant is definitely dirt cheap – they serve a lot for the money. Your dollar will go far here.

Chicken Noddle Soup (yumm!)

This brings me to Pete’s next great point: large portion sizes. So maybe you’re traveling through Petaluma on Hwy101 and you want something to eat. You could go to Cattlemens, which I hear is a great steakhouse or if you have a craving for home-style meals, you can eat at Pete’s. Pete’s serves true American food like steaks, hamburgers, halibut filet, numerous sandwich varities, and great breakfast selections. The menu is so large, the portions so plenty, that you will leave stuffed and your wallet fuller. If you don’t want to have such a large portion, they even have specials that are half the size, and half the price. I think their motto should be “Have it your way” except I believe that that slogan is already taken. :P

A House Specialty: Fried Chicken - a must try!

As an added bonus, Pete’s customers and waiters/watresses are friendly and down to earth. The whole atmosphere is relaxing and casual. And now, Pete’s is open 24 hours! Great service all day and all night. It’s simply perfect for road trips. I am definitely stopping by if I ever go past Petaluma again. And as a rule, you must must must try their Fried Chicken. It is simply divine: crunchy, crispy, flavor-packed but not too spicy, and the chicken is moist and tender. Their Charbroiled Chicken is tasty too.

Another House Specialty: Charbroiled Chicken

The Marin Countrysde & M.A.L.T.

So after we had breakfast-lunch at Pete’s Henny Penny, the Uncle took us through the Marin countryside where the farms were under the protection of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT). The terms of the MALT consist of “an agricultural conservation easement [which] is a legal agreement between a landowner and Marin Agricultural Land Trust that prohibits non-agricultural residential or commercial development, subdivision, and uses or practices which would be destructive to the agricultural value of the land. The easement is recorded, and future owners are bound by its terms in perpetuity. The land remains privately owned and on the tax rolls.” The whole idea behind the MALT organization established in the early 1970s was to prevent any commercial development in that area. Personally, I’m glad that the Marin ranchers and environmentalists did this because without MALT, I would not have been able to see the beautiful, breath-taking landscape.One Lane Road in Main Countryside

Marin Farmhouse

Laguna District School Est. 1906

Laguna District School Est. 1906 - one room schoolhouse

It’s a beautiful thing that the MALT has done. I felt as if I had traveled back in time. Who knew Marin had these farms tucked and hidden away? I mean, it’s not often that you see a “Cattle Xing” sign.

The Marin French Cheese Co.

7500 Red Hill Rd., Petaluma, CA 94952

The Marin French Cheese Co.Well, when we finally neared the end of our tour in the countryside, we stumbled upon The Marin French Cheese Co. famous for its cheese tours. Unfortunately, it was a Saturday when we came so there were no tours. (Tours are usually Mon-Fri only).

I have to say that we were caught so off guard when we saw the giant sign sticking out in the distance. When we approached the sign, we saw that it was on a property that also contained a medium-sized man-made lake with picnic tables, a simple farmhouse, and then a long building in the back. The Uncle recognized it immediately.

“It’s the Marin Cheese Factory! I’ve only been here one other time about 10 years ago. I could never figure out how to get back here!”

He immediately pulled over and before I knew it, we were inside asking if they had their daily tours. Unfortunately, as I have said, they did not because it was a Saturday. Darn. But their store was very interesting too. The store was quaint and sold different kinds of cheeses that they personally make there as well as several shelves of jams and jellies, a small room with historical pictures of the cheese-making process and fresh bread and bread supplies. It was heaven.

Between the three of us, we ended up buying a small wooden cheese cutting board engraved with their logo, a small cheese knife, a tall glass jar with a sourdough starter inside, a bread bag, a tote bag with a cow on it, and one of their famous cheeses. We had crackers at home and we were planning to veg out that night with our new goodies. :)

James and Jellies at Marin Cheese Co.

Homemade Cheeses from Marin French Cheese Co.

French Bread at Marin Cheese Co.

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