Not the town, mind you, but off the same exit to Rohnert Park that hosts the Graton Rancheria Casino. And it’s a fast food place named Amy’s Drive Thru. Yes, that Amy’s. The menu embraces just about every trend in fast and casual dining; burgers, pizzas, burritos, and salads. But they’re all vegetarian and some are even vegan. It’s more than reasonably priced, it’s downright cheap, a family of four can dine comfortably for under $20. And when you consider it’s all organic, healthy enough to encourage sin, and literally encased in the trapping of contemporary sustainability – a living roof – you really have to wonder, did you just hop off a dark desert highway? But no, you didn’t. Neither did everyone else at Amy’s because the place is packed.
That’s quite a contrast to all the beef burger mini-chains popping up and IPOing all over the landscape. Combined with the upcoming Roy Choi/Daniel Patterson healthy fast food creation about to open any day now in the Tenderloin, we may have a trendlet here. Maybe it’s even a sign of salvation just as long as everyone getting there drives an electric and applies the same sensibility at home then we’d really be getting somewhere.
Lest you think this is a one off, Amy’s Drive Thru looks ready to expand and they’re savvy about marketing too. Their preview video gets all those hipster associations right. I’m just a tad concerned that someone might assume they’d get to the coast with a warm burger.
After you finish your burger, chili-fries, etc drive under the freeway and head to one of Sonoma county’s great brewing institutions. Beercraft’s taproom features constantly rotating taps in the back and a retail store up front just in case you need to pick up and go.
Tomorrow: The past of food is still alive and well in Sonoma.