Solano's Bounty isn't Just Seasonal by Barbara L. Steinberg©
On just another beautiful day in Solano County, I found myself enjoying good things from the Earth at local farm stands and bakeries.
Previous visits to the region brought me good news about Pure Grain Bakery. I will say this more than once along the way, I am a glutton for great bread. I would rather have a fresh loaf of bread -- warm, crusty, chewy, whole-grains, cheesy, full of raisins, coated in nuts and seeds -- then chocolate cake, fresh cookies, or most any other sweet you can name. I have had Pure Grain breads before, but had no idea this honest-to-goodness German-style bread bakery was nearby. So during a return trip to the region, I Googled Pure Grain and put the Subaru on remote.
Visiting the "mother ship" in Vacaville,California was akin to Mecca. Located in a commercial district off Vaca Valley Road, it's no wonder I had never passed this bread haven before. But once there, I loaded myself up with a fresh-baked seeded baguette, pumpkinseed and caraway rolls, a Christmas stollen for my father-in-law, some holiday cookies, and one German pretzel to quell my bread cravings. The pastries looked and smelled yummy. Eying the cinnamon rolls, I had to pull myself away. Though small and obscurely located, the bakery was doing a brisk business on Saturday morning. In fact, they had sold out of rye bread to a single customer. Grrrrr...what I wouldn't give for a loaf. Talk about glutton. What about the rest of us poor bread junkies?
As if this wasn't enough punishment, I had to check-out the Pure Grain Cafe's Main Street branch in downtown Vacaville. The place was packed. Not hard to figure out why. Coffee, tea, pastries, bread, and made-to-order sandwiches...moms, dads, kids, friends, out-of-towners (me)...the cafe was humming. And so was I by the time I left.
Pure Grain is family owned and operated by boyhood friends, Michael Miethe and Holger Seibert, graduated from the same high school in a small town near Saarbrucken, Germany. They opened the Vaca Valley bakery in 1991...what more can I say? All the details are available online at Pure Grain Bakery.
After departing with my bread bonanza, I headed into the rolling hills and green fields nearby in Fairfield's Suisun Valley. I have visited many times but I always run out of time before I run out of travel...this is my new favorite phrase. This latest outing I have two very specific places in mind: Willotta Ranch and 99 Cherry Orchard. It's very convenient because they're both on Rockville Road.