With the sun beaming on Sonoma these days, it's hard to stay indoors - even for a fantastic meal.
But, here's a hearty comprimise: Visit the Fremont diner on Hwy 121, just east of Burndale Rd., located between Sonoma and Napa. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the rusted pick-up in front of the roadhouse straight out of the fifties. If you’ve been in Sonoma for a while, you can refer to the structure as the "old Babe’s."
Don’t be discouraged by the outrageous line, it’s worth the wait. Fremont has been recently written up constantly in too many national publications, since it’s opening in 2009. It's only a matter of time before the hype overwhelms the space, so get in while you can.
A majority of the food they prepare is harvested from the 4-acre property - where chicken coops and crop fields line the space - and it shows through in the flavors. Chef/owner Chad Harris believes in sustainability and understands that a great chef’s work begins in the garden.
The menu is easy and filled with familiar options - rubens, chicken and waffles, grilled cheese - there is something for everyone with a special “down-home” twist. Honestly, It’s easy to choose from the seasonal menu because everything is thoughful, but save a little room for the and milk shakes. Recently, they added a small beer and wine list, to slow down the meal and soak up some grease.
While waiting in the quaint lobby, sample one of the old-time sodas or candies they stock - it helps mitigate anticipation. After you pay for your food at the counter, head out back to enjoy your new favorite place. Grab a seat on the turquoise picnic tables, take in the breeze whipping through the rolling vineyards and the chicken’s squawking around the property. This must have been what its like to live deep South.
When I eat here, I run to the counter when my name is finally called to pick up my food. I get a little sad after I’ve eaten every morsel, and I leave proud of what’s in my backyard.
If I ever leave Sonoma, the one thing I will absolutely take with me is a Fremont Diner shirt. They just don’t seem to make ‘em like this anymore ya’ll.
2660 Fremont Dr. Sonoma, CA 95476 - 707.938.7370, Open Mon – Fri 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Sat and Sun 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.