Burger Breakdown, New Releases, and ’90s Vibe
Stories Dawn Garcia, Madeline K. LeJune and Stephanie Wilson
- West County’s top three patties Read
- The hottest films and shows this month Read
- Our editor-in-chief’s hottest hits of the month. Read
- The line of CBD products has since expanded to include vapes, drops, toothpicks etc. Read
- With the nostalgia of the ’90s, old school parties becomes new again. Read
Try these top three West County burgers (and yes, one of them is plant-based).
The more bohemian, coast-hugging communities of Sonoma County make up what we residents refer to as “West County.” While there are many stunning restaurant options here, only a few can hold the coveted title of “best burger.” These are our top contenders:
#1 The Rocker at Rocker Oysterfellers
Situated in Valley Ford, one of the North Bay’s smallest communities (pop. 147), Rocker Oysterfellers (rockeroysterfellers.com) is a favorite among locals as well as passersby. Folks in the know stop by for the Rocker Burger. This Stemple Creek Ranch grass-fed beef patty stands on its own but you don’t have to keep it that way. Consider topping it with roasted oyster mushrooms, onion rings, a fried farm egg, or that magic that is baconaisse. Or have it like we do—with Firefly Pimento cheese sourced from Valley Ford Cheese and Kennebec fries on the side. This combo will make you very, very happy. Trust us.
#2 The Melrose at Handline
Located on Sebastapol’s Highway 116, Handline (handline.com) is a kid- and pet-friendly, fast-casual eatery with a focus on mindful ingredients. Inside this repurposed Foster’s Freeze, we found our favorite housemade plant-based patty. Made with quinoa and lentil, The Melrose (shown left) does not try to imitate meat like its Impossible Burger and Beyond Beef brethren. However, it stays true to the flavor of its ingredients and surprises the palate with a savory flavor profile that pulls from shiitake mushrooms, miso paste, and nutritional yeast. Add an order of fries to dip in either of Handline’s two housemade sauces or ketchup. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike will find this burger compelling.
#3 The Grilled Burger at Underwood
Nestled in the cozy town of Graton, Underwood Bar and Bistro (underwoodgraton.com) has thrived for more than 18 years, and its grilled hamburger has been one of its most popular menu items. Made with Niman Ranch beef and topped with your choice of white cheddar, Gruyère, gorgonzola, and applewood smoked bacon, this dank and juicy burger is plated with fermented red onions, sliced pickles, and crispy french fries. Chef-owner Matthew Greenbaum sources his buns from local Costeaux Bakery. This burger is what beloved bartender Gaelen Osbun refers to as “emotional,” and he’s not incorrect.
Here’s a look at new releases.
With the awards season in full gear, it’s also a time for some fun new releases in film and TV. On the big screen, the enamoring world of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn gives new meaning to female prowess with Birds of Prey: The Emancipation of Harley Quinn opening February 7. This long-awaited female-led film will throw you into a seductive, violent tailspin that will feed your need for a strong badass movie, welcoming you back into the DC Comics universe. Releasing that same day is a dark and bloody indie horror flick starring Elijah Wood called Come to Daddy. In the vein of reviving the past, the film Fantasy Island (inspired by the 1970s TV show) will release on Valentine’s Day, and it’s anything but campy. Guests are invited to the most seemingly perfect island to live out their fantasies, but what they’ve asked for is dark and twisted and will push them to their limits. Keep your eyes peeled for the long-awaited remake of The Invisible Man, written and directed by Leigh Whannell. Opening February 28, the film stars Elizabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen.
Netflix releases Locke and Key on February 7, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You on February 12, and Season 2 of Narcos: Mexico on February 13. Hulu releases the premiere of High Fidelity on February 14, Starz releases the long-awaited Season 5 of Outlander on February 16, and AMC releases Season 5 of Better Call Saul on February 23.
By Stephanie Wilson, Editor in Chief
1. Primary Focus
A New Hampshire law requires the Granite State to be the first presidential primary in the nation. This election cycle, that goes down on February 11, after which my home state becomes irrelevant for another four years.
2. Leap of Faith
While the calendar year is 365 days, it takes the Earth 365.24 days to orbit the sun. Every four years, we add an extra day to the month of February because without it, the calendar would be misaligned with the seasons by 25 days after just 100 years.
3. Born This Way
The odds of being a “leapling”—a person born on a leap day—is 1 in 1,461.
4. Right On
On February 29, some places celebrate Bachelor’s Day or Sadie Hawkins Day—both a nod to the old Irish tradition that gave women the right to propose marriage to a man on leap day. If he declined, he was required by law to pay a penalty, often in the form of gloves so she could hide the shame of her bare ring finger.
5. Modern Love
Since we’re not all Irish, but we are all feminists (because we all believe in the equality of the sexes, of course), any of us can propose to whomever our heart desires whenever we want. Except Valentine’s Day. There’s no law prohibiting it but, sweetie, pay-as-you-go forced romance is anything but romantic.
6. PETA Violation
The origins of the canned-love holiday are as cruel as a red rose delivery in February is clichéd. According to NPR, V-day traces back to the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a brutal fete during which naked men sacrificed dogs and goats—and whipped women with the animal hides. Stop, in the name of love.
Ignite with Flavor
Dan Bilzerian, known as “The King of Instagram,” launched Ignite in 2017. The line of CBD products has since expanded to include vapes, drops, toothpicks, topicals, pet products, gummies, and lip balm. Flavor profiles include blood orange, lemon, cherry, lavender, and tropical fruit. Its newest product is the 350 mg full-spectrum drops and bath bombs.
Ignite / $15–$65 / ignitecbd.co
Party Like It’s 1999
Old school becomes new again.
With the nostalgia of the ’90s revival including the comeback of scrunchies, old school hip-hop parties, cartoon reboots, grunge fashion, army pants, vinyl records, and the Friends craze ever present, why not celebrate like it’s Y2K?
The ’90s were the era when grunge was born; punk rock got a resurgence; indie music fests took off; personal style was nonconformist; music was insanely good, angsty, dance-worthy, and impactful (Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Tupac, N.W.A., Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees, Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple, and so many more); and the teens and twentysomethings finally felt like their voices were being heard.