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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: One House Bakery, Burma 2, The Monk's Kettle Terra Linda

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Check, Please! Bay Area, season 18, episode 1, airs Thursday, April 20, at 7:30 pm, on KQED 9. See other television airtimes, and never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

In Benicia, One House Bakery uses the force to win over customers with buttery baked goods — think everything from fresh breads and sweet pastries to savory meat pies and house-made soups. This North Bay spot even went viral in 2022 thanks to one of its most creative concoctions: a life-size “Pan Solo,” a rendering of famed Star Wars hero Han Solo composed entirely of bread. Then, in Walnut Creek, Burma 2 dishes up authentic Burmese cuisine, offering traditional favorites like crunchy tea leaf salad and fresh-from-the-wok shrimp stir fry alongside Burmese-inspired cocktails and beers. Finally, nestled in a quiet San Rafael neighborhood, The Monk’s Kettle Terra Linda brings big, juicy burgers, beers and brewpub fare to a lively, family-friendly space.

Three Bay Area residents join host Leslie Sbrocco in lifting their wine glasses in a "cheers."
Host Leslie Sbrocco joins guests Alex Friedman, Janice Wang and Adriel Socrates from KQED in San Francisco.

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Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine
Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine (Courtesy of Leslie Sbrocco)

My name is Leslie Sbrocco, and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I’ll share my tasting notes about the wine, beer and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show.

Shows the wines Leslie Sbrocco recommends

Sponsored

Kuiper Belt ‘Atmospheric’ Dry Gin by E-40
$45
As a gin lover, I’ve become enamored with an out-of-this-world dry gin dubbed Kuiper Belt. Made with eight unique botanicals, this juniper, floral, and citrus-scented spirit comes in a sleek, space-age shaped bottle. The celestial label depicts icy asteroids of the galactic Kuiper Belt encouraging drinkers to pour this bold spirit over ice and sip. I enjoy it with tasty tonic or in a heavenly Negroni. Earl Stevens is a Bay Area legend. Otherwise known as rap icon and music mogul, E-40, Earl was born in Vallejo and has made the Bay Area his home. In addition to his music, food projects, and myriad entrepreneurial ventures, he is making a name for himself with quaffable wines and smooth spirits under his Earl Stevens Selections brand.

2020 MacRostie Nightwing Vineyard Chardonnay
Petaluma Gap, Sonoma County, $48
With a history stretching back more than 30 years, Steve MacRostie and winemaker, Heidi Bridenhagen, make wines that showcase the unique places the grapes are grown. They source fruit from more than 20 Chardonnay vineyard sites throughout the state and this is the inaugural vintage from the cool-climate Nightwing vineyard. Crisp and layered, it’s a stunning sip. Try all the MacRostie expressions as the winery crafts some of California’s best Chardonnays.

2020 Greenwing Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley, Washington State, $30
Napa Valley icon, Duckhorn, is famed for California Cabernet Sauvignon. But, their Golden state bottlings are now complemented by a worthy Cab from Washington. I’ve long been a fan of rich reds from the Columbia Valley of Washington state and this affordable wine demonstrates why…it is saturated with dark berry fruit flavors underscored with a kick of peppery complexity. Balancing elegance with intensity is a hallmark of both Columbia Valley and the craftsmanship of Duckhorn Cabernets.

Thirsty for more beverage advice? You can find more of my wine, beer and spirits tips for you here.

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