Occupation: Small Business Owner/Blogger
Favorite Restaurant: Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop & Restaurant
Reviewed Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop & Restaurant: Saturday, November 23, 2013
Among the many restaurants promoting a farm-to-table menu, Marin Sun Farms stands out as the real deal. It's located at the gateway to Point Reyes National Seashore and is an excellent place to fill up before a day of outdoor pursuits. Owner David Evans, a 4th generation cattle rancher, and his food shed co-producers follow sustainable farming practices and provide their customers with the highest quality grass-fed and pasture raised meats.
What you might not expect in entering a restaurant that's also a butcher shop is a bright, clean, appealing space with an open kitchen and small bar area offering local beer and wine. You can choose table service inside where you'll find the servers knowledgeable, efficient and eager to please. But if you’re in a hurry, you can order your food to go and bring it out to a picnic table on the grass.
For starters, the Brussels Sprouts or Kale fried in pork lard and served with a side of aioli are mouthwatering and not to be missed. Or try the tasty Chicken Wings.
As for the main dish, burgers dominate the menu and include beef, lamb, goat and chicken, each prepared with a different combination of toppings. For example, the Goat Burger includes Chenel chevre, shiitake mushrooms and caramelized onions. If you're lucky, they'll be offering their special beef blend of dry-aged Prime Rib and New York strip. With a side of crispy french fries, onion rings or sweet roots, it's a filling and very satisfying meal.
If you're not in the mood for a burger, go all out and select a cut of meat from the well-stocked butcher case and the chef will cook it to your specifications. Cost is price-per-pound plus $12, but like the rest of the menu, it’s an equal match with the quality.
If you want to go on the lighter side, try the Crispy Chopped Salad with bacon, Point Reyes blue cheese and apples. Or the daily soup with an outstanding flavor that comes from a stock that the chef meticulously creates in a multi-step process. This is a place to go hungry and stay a while to enjoy a pasture to table meal and a cold beer on a hay bale.
Occupation: Public Address Announcer
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Zut! On Fourth
Reviewed Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop & Restaurant: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Just off Highway 1 as you drive through Pt. Reyes lies a butcher shop selling some of the freshest tasting meat you’ll find in the Bay Area. Not wanting to cook it yourself? No worries, they have a little restaurant inside where you can experience what being a carnivore is really like.
On our lunchtime visit, we sampled the Goat Burger and Fried Chicken Sandwich. The goat patty, ordered and served medium, was surprisingly moist and juicy. Eaten by itself, the goat meat indeed tasted like goat: grassy, a little funky and almost game-like. But when eaten all together with the toppings-chevre cheese, shiitake mushrooms and caramelized onions-it was a delicious combination of flavors. As for the chicken, it was a plump breast overflowing from the sliced sourdough bread. Topped by jalapeno slaw and garlic aioli, each bite was crunchy, juicy, creamy and zesty. Portion size was sufficient and the sandwiches were filling. Each is served with a side of their house salad. If french fries are desired instead, there is an additional $2.50 surcharge. While not necessarily a 'bargain bite,' the $14-16 price was decent considering the quality of the ingredients.
Even though my visit there was during the lunch hour, if I were to return in the evening for dinner, I would likely select a burger or sandwich once again. The reason: the other choice on the menu is Steak Frites, where you select one of 12 different cuts of meat among four different proteins: beef, pork, lamb and goat. You pay the advertised price per pound as listed in the adjoining butcher display case, plus an additional $12. At $20 a pound, some of these selections will cost you $32.00 a plate.
If you are like me and are seeking unique and somewhat healthier meat-based food options when dining out, then Marin Suns Farms just might be a good spot to experience firsthand. The quality ingredients speak for themselves and the butcher shop can give you a wide variety of different meats to take home to cook for yourself. Just don't expect to pay regular supermarket prices.
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Paulie's Pickling
Reviewed Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop & Restaurant: Friday, December 6, 2013
Driving across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin Sun Farms was life changing! Breathtaking views had me wanting to move there! Marin Sun Farms is a small, cute restaurant that also has an impressive butcher market. Great looking steaks and sausages and much much more. They also have a freezer filled with ready-to-go items too, like sauces, stocks, and sausages. It had me thinking of picking up something for dinner before leaving.
Our waiter was great! Really nice guy. Our waiter was so informative, he really guided us through their selection of wine. The service was friendly and fast. There was no waiting. I was inspired to have something different so I went for the goat burger! I started with a salad of arugula, beets, Point Reyes blue cheese and candied pecans with a balsamic vinaigrette which was good. The beets were a little large but the portion was huge and the price was right. Next we had their Brussels Sprouts which were incredible! Lots of flavor fried and not oily drizzled with aioli and showered with parmesan cheese! My Goat Burger was well thought out. Goat burger with goat cheese, sweet caramelized onions and roasted mushrooms on a brioche bun, simply perfection! We also had the Lamb Burger with lamb bacon, manchego cheese, and chimichurri sauce. These guys know what they’re doing, that’s for sure. Those were perfect burgers! One thing I wasn't crazy about was the french fries. The fries were not crispy, but the beer battered rosemary onion rings were awesome, which made up for the crispy treat I craved for.
To my surprise, I was treated with a sample from the chefs who were adding a Rosemary Porchetta Sandwich with apple chutney on focaccia bread to the menu. I can’t stop thinking of how amazing that sample was! I have to go back for that sandwich! This place is small and cozy with incredible food with big bold flavor and wine that paired the menu perfectly. You just can’t miss. I love this place! Over all, great service, great wine, fresh products, great prices, and generous portions. I loved my day at Marin Sun Farms. I can’t wait to do it again and again.