A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Quick Bites

Just a short walk from the main campus, Santa Rosa Junior College’s Culinary Cafe serves up delicious restaurant-quality food at reasonable prices.

Flamez Bar and Grill

701 Sonoma Mountain Pkwy D1, Petaluma

If you’ve never had French toast for dinner, you’re missing out. Flamez can make this dream a reality with its all day breakfast.

Santa Rosa Junior College students are given a small choice of restaurants near the Petaluma Campus. Flamez Bar and Grill’s extensive, almost too extensive, menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

For hearty eaters, the menu includes burgers, sandwiches and full dinner entrees. The backyard barbeque burger is extremely filling, with onion strings, bacon, swiss cheese and barbeque sauce.

A healthier sandwich option is the clubhouse: sliced white bread with bacon, turkey breast, tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise. There are also omelettes, salads, chicken pesto, potato skins and a breakfast burrito, among other things.

The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere with attentive service. The mirrored panels on the walls make it look bigger than it is. Most seats are booth-style with the exception of a few long tables by the bar, just in case you have a larger party that’s interested in watching sports on one of their TVs.

Flamez Bar and Grill does its best to cater the hungry masses but falls short in its attempt to give a meal worth raving about. Quantity over quality seems to be the rule.

Customers will probably spend at least $20 here including tip along with bringing home leftovers. The location is convenient for college students with a good variety to choose from but that’s about it. Flamez Bar and Grill is open every day from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. for college students or anyone looking for a diner fix.

-Rachel Genthe

Kettle’s Vietnamese Bistro

1202 W Steele Ln. Santa Rosa

Winter is coming, and that means a good soup should be in store to help keep you warm.  One of Santa Rosa’s best in the business is Kettle’s, which serves up a Vietnamese dish known as pho.

It’s a popular street food from Vietnam with thin rice noodles, delicious, hot broth, some form of protein, herbs and veggies for texture.  However, this place takes those tried and true recipes and gives them an upscale twist.

The herbs they use in all their dishes for aromatics and flavoring, include basil, mint and coriander, are grown right in front of the restaurant.  The protein used is strictly free range and hormone free.  This gives the dishes a superbly fresh, unprocessed flavor that most other bistros lack.

A favorite is the filet mignon pho, which uses mouth-meltingly, tender and rare slices of beef that cook in the broth. It will only set you back about $8.75 for a medium.  The quality of protein and portion size you get is quite impressive when you compare the same beef in grocery stores.

In the mood for something more solid?  Their menu has a range of other options including banh mi sandwiches, delicious stir-frys, boba sweet tea, and the most unique crispy egg rolls that will pair with just about anything as they explode with flavor and texture.

Don’t be afraid to let your inner wine enthusiast emerge, as most of their menu options are paired with local and artisanal wines to give the menu a more provincial touch.

Dropping in at happy hour will help you save even more. Signature cocktails and draft beers are half price, with a discount on a selection of quick bites.  Happy hour runs Monday-Friday, 3-5 p.m.

Located on West Steele Lane, this should be your next stop for a lunch, dinner or a quick bite to go.

-Kevin Lipe

Santa Rosa Junior College Cafe & Bakery

1670 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa

About two lots away from Ike’s sandwich shop, across from the new parking lot barely anyone knows about, is the B. Robert Burdo Culinary Arts Center: the newest addition to Santa Rosa Junior College.

It’s the most isolated building on the main campus. Including a café, bakery and coffee shop, it’s one of the few places on campus where you can get a prepared meal.

From the dining room customers get a view of the open kitchen. Classical music plays over the sound of the cooks working in the kitchen. The tables are set up like something out of a country club. They have a small menu with a mix of everything you would find at a high qualify café. Dinner entrees include fried calamari with lemon, pork stew and stone-hearth pizza, which are gaining popularity as of late. Salads, soups and sandwiches are also available. They have wine from Shone Farm as well as ingredients grown there.

They serve coffee and tea from the bakery. A bakery basket includes three pieces of mixed bread served with either butter or olive oil. The bread served is of the same quality as professional restaurants. A typical lunch might include tomato soup, mixed baby greens and a cheeseburger.

The tomato soup is the best you’ll ever taste, served with its own special spoon in a small saucer.  The soup is aromatic and reddish-orange with parsley and spices. It goes down smooth.

Then the mixed baby greens. While grilled figs and onions are not regular salad toppings, combined with feta cheese, they make this salad perfect.

The cheeseburger comes with freshly baked black potato chips that are crunchy on the edges and soft in the center.

The burger patty comes encased in Monterey Jack cheese, topped with shredded lettuce, small slices of tomatoes and red onion. It also comes with fresh house-made ketchup and pickle slices, an unremarkable duo. Make sure to save room for your entrée because your first courses will quickly fill you up.

Overall the food at the café is great but can be pricey. Everything feels professional, making this a great date destination as well as a way to support the school.

-Arthur Gonzalez-Martin

Jack’s Urban Eats

342 Coddingtown Center

With the multitude of sandwich and pizza places within walking distance of Santa Rosa Junior College, there’s almost too much to choose from. For a sandwich place with a modern feel, look no further than Jack’s Urban Eats.

Located in the Coddingtown Mall, Jack’s Urban Eats is a chill, small chain that serves sandwiches and salads alongside fries, mashed potatoes, or steamed cheddar broccoli. In addition to sandwiches, Jack’s offers build-your-own salads.

The inside of the restaurant has a modern, comfy lounge feel. With lit up signs on the wall and cozy booths, it feels like dining at a stylized carvery. It gives off an “all things California” vibe. The mix of original artwork and upbeat music provides a fun atmosphere. 

The rich, tangy urban fries, with blue cheese, spicy chili oil and chili flakes are a standout. The spicy buffalo sandwich, featuring a fried chicken breast dipped in buffalo sauce with crumbled blue cheese served on sourdough bread wasn’t as spicy as it could have been, but the strong flavor of the cheese stood out.

For fresh, affordable, farm-to-table food, check out Jack’s Urban Eats.

-Celine Gossage

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About the Contributor
Arthur Gonzalez-Martin
Arthur Gonzalez-Martin, Staff Writer
Arthur Gonzalez-Martin is a left-leaning social libertarian/Blue Dog who's been going to the SRJC for nine years, exploring everything it has to offer till he took a journalism class and decided to stick with it. After four semesters at The Oak Leaf, one of which he was senior photographer, he's continued as an intern for the program. In his spare time, Arthur writes short stories, including a collection of which he's trying to get published; playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, board games and video games; and taking long hikes into nature.

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