In Fairfield California Your New BFF is BBF Story & Photos by Barbara L. Steinberg©
What’s big, blue, and brewed? Okay, forgive my joke writing effort! The answer to this less than funny query is this: Big Blue Frog Grille … in (drum roll please) Fairfield, California.
Fairfield, California is so much more than you realize. Yes, yes, we all know about the enormous beer factory along Interstate 80 next to that equally famous colorful candy facility. Just off the speeding thoroughfare, hidden away in Westfield Solano Shopping Center, is this incredible award-winning microbrewery and restaurant. We were lucky enough to discover this local landmark of fun, food, and brew. Meeting an East Coast cousin visiting in Alameda, we wanted someplace equidistant from Sacramento and San Francisco. But something more than just convenient. From what we could see on the BBF website, they had it all.
Arriving on a Sunday evening I wasn’t sure we’d need a reservation, but I made one anyway. I also wanted a quiet corner so we could hear our gab above the din. The hostess recommended a corner table in a quieter dining room off the main bar/restaurant. It was perfect! We shared the room with some other larger groups; the noise factor was minimal. I do not enjoy the clamor in most restaurants that has you screaming to be heard.
Entering BBF you are greeted by the brewery mascot…a beautiful, cast-iron BBF. I am sure we weren’t the first – or the last guests to grab a photo opp…stopping to kiss this potential frog prince. A specials board mentioned happy hour though we had arrived just moments too late. Imagine our delight when our wonderful waitperson, Tammy, informed us that HAPPY HOUR is ALL DAY on Sunday! What does this mean? Well…lovely pints of BBF brew for $2 and a list of special happy hour hors d’ouvres for $2. Deal and score!
We wasted no time ordering a couple of BBF pints – Blonde Ale and Red Ale – along with homemade blue potato chips, BBF bear-battered fries, and roasted garlic that included veggies, humus and brie. Frankly, we could have stopped with the appetizers or maybe piled on a few more. Happily we didn’t. Everyone ordered something more and different: Harvard Square Stew in a bread bowl, Corn Chowder, Frog Cobb, Pasta Pomodoro, Caprese Salad, and, well I guess you get the idea. We chowed down! I had my eye on the house-smoked beer-battered salmon fish and chips but was trying to pace myself. The reason? We had already heard the dessert offerings. There is BBF bread pudding. Though I am not usually a dessert person, bread pudding is my latest fixation. I had never had bread pudding until about a year ago. I sort of get hooked on these things. I have found is that everyone has their own version of this old-time favorite. BBF is no different and theirs is topped with the Chef’s own whiskey sauce. Glad I saved room…we all agreed it was an excellent choice.
Happy hour rates aside, try the Beer Sampler. If it’s your first visit, you’ll be treated to a BBF Beer 101 from bar staff. Ask for bartender Sarah -- winner of the Northwest Brewing News' "Reader's Choice Award" for Best Bartender. A bit of a brew tour, if you will, is enhanced by views of the petite microbrewery through windows behind the bar. BTW, BBF brews are Northwest award-winners too!
California Travel Insider says: BBF owner, Dennis Landis, named the microbrew after a Peter, Paul & Mary song "I'm in Love with a Big Blue Frog."
I'm in love with a big blue frog
A big blue frog loves me
It's not as bad as it appears
He wears glasses and he's six foot three.
Dennis' BBF may not where glasses and isn't 6/3, but you'll love this Big Blue Frog!