Healdsburg Weekend with Wine, Beer and Beignets

'Tis a scary time of year, between Halloween and Election Day. Indulge in a New Orleans breakfast, a mega-church garage sale, an Ag Boosters dinner, a two-day wine road event or just grab an IPA at the Bear.


The the Goblins are gone, the little ones sated by a sugar crash. Just when you thought it was safe… here comes another weekend tasting event.

This one is 14th Annual Wine & Food Affair, a two-day pairing event along the Wine Road of northern Sonoma County.  Over 100 participating wineries in Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys will show off not only their wines but their favorite recipe, to be featured in a cookbook handed out to ticket holders, along with their tasting glass and wristband. More information can be found on this page on the Wine Road site.

Event is Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It's not all about wine. There's beer in the autumn air too, as the Bear Republic Brewing Co. has a couple limited release brews on tap that are definitely worth checking out.

The Racer 5000 is like Racer 5 on steroids, or at least performance-enhancing hops, triple the dry hop charge for an even more aggressive West Coast hoppy IPA. It's the 5,000th batch brewed at the Healdsburg brewhouse, hence the name.  Meanwhile this year's Racer X has been released on draft, one of a dozen or so enjoyable craft beers on tap at the brewery.

Saturday, Nov. 3, the Healdsburg Community Church throws their annual Holiday Boutique, with a garage sale, "sidewalk café," silent auction and handcrafted items, baked goods and of course holiday decorations for sale. It runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Also Saturday, join the 5th Annual Healdsburg FFA Ag Boosters Dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. at Alexander Valley Hall. There will be cocktails, dinner and live and silent auctions to benefit the Future Farmers of America. Tickets are $40.00 each and are available by calling 707-484-5162 or at Finchers Auto Service, or online at brownpaperticket.com.

Theatrically, it's the last weekend for the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy at the Raven Theater. Cast includes Harry Duke in the role of Elwood P. Drood (Jimmy Stewart in the movie); the title role is played by the original character. More info in the program, attached. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8, Sunday at 2 p.m.

A couple of long-awaited local restaurants are opening in town. The New Orleans-themed Parish Café on Mill Street at Healdsburg Avenue (where Johnny's Off the Plaza used to be) has quietly opened its doors, and has already garnished 251 Facebook "likes " and eight reviews (with some complaints about service). Check it out for yourself, open for coffee and beignets and po-boy lunches Wednesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Early next week Bravas Bar de Tapas will officially seat customers at the 420 Center St. address, formerly that of Ravenous. Official date is Nov. 7 (the day after the national election) but a peek inside shows they're running through the menu to perfect the "taste of Spain" dishes for friends and staff.

It's the latest from who has already begun to offer crispy pig ears at his Willi's Wine Bar in Larkfield. Look for them here, too.  More info at 707-433-7700, barbravas.com.

Also next week, the second year of Dancing with the Stars begins. Be prepared.

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