Ll and I love to plan trips around food! It’s a great way to not only discover a new favorite spot, but a great excuse to get out and drive! Today’s roadtrip was planned out by L, and the destination was in the north Bay, around Fairfield and Pinnole, CA. It’s cherry picking season so we went there with the aim to get some early season stone fruit, cherries, apricots and a big box of strawberries, too. On the way, we went to Little Knopp’s Bakery at the suggestion of a friend. This just might be the find of the year! Arguably the best ice cream I’ve had in the last year. . . or ever?
Before I get to that, I should say the Little Knopp’s is a charming roadside spot, the kind you’re LOOKING for on a foodie roadtrip… unpretentious, off the beaten path, frequented by local folk, serving up authentic, good food. Surrounded by kitsch, one just has to stop to check it out! Located just along the border of the cherry orchard, listen for the sound of geese as you get out of your car… there’s a gaggle near the front door of the store. Inside, you’ll find jars of fresh honey and cherry preserves, vinegars, candies and nut mixes. . . and a bakery case of gorgeous, clearly house-made apple pies and cheesecakes. As the ownership is Greek, you’ll also find greek pastries like spanakopita, baklava and dipple, a gorgeous, thin wrap of filo dipped in honey. Then there’s the ice cream. . . it comes in a shallow but wide plastic dish, covered with an aromatic waffle pulled off the grill when you place your order. Cinnamon wafting, you plunge your spoon into the waffle to get to the ice cream underneath, now slightly softened by the warmth of the waffle. Mine was peaches and cream. . . not too sweet, with big pieces of fresh fruit stirred through. . . a well-balanced and creamy sweet milk cream which really set off the freshness of the fruit. Perfection.
After picking up our fruit at the orchard, we stopped by another roadside spot and pulled off the road for lunch- A bbq truck parked in the lot of a local winery on Suison Road in Rockville, called BJ’s. Run by a lovely family we ordered smoked tri tip sandwiches with their own home made bbq sauce and potato salad. Everything was incredibly good, with the nostalgic goodness of a firehall dinner back home. . .
All in all today was a triumph of a road trip. Now I can say I’ve been to Fairfield and hope to make this drive through gorgeous country a yearly tradition.