Today’s adventure took us an hour north to the town of Boyes Hot Springs. Some people call this area“The Springs” because it’s next to Fetters Hot Springs.
We’ve been hearing about El Molino Central as a top 100 Bay Area restaurant (San Francisco Chronicle) for a couple of years now and we made that our first stop for breakfast! (they open at 9am!).
We walked through the front door surprised to see now indoor seats and only 1 menu item. We ordered the Chilaquiles Merida (Roasted tomato habanero salsa with soft-scrambled organic eggs & tortilla chips). It turns out that El Molino offers just 1 food option until 11am.
To get to the outdoor seating we walked behind the counter, through the kitchen and out through a bright blue screen door. Outside, we saw tons of picnic table seating (enough for 100+ people).
The Chilaquiles arrived and were delicious. The extremely sturdy homemade tortilla chips held up well under the yummy warmed tomato habanero salsa.
We then walked a block down the street to Barking Dog Roasters for our coffee fix. It’s across the street from the Boyes Springs Post Office.
We were happy to support Barking Dog as they had just experienced 2 days of power outages. PG&E (the local utility) yanked power from the area to try to prevent wildfires. Our soy latte and chai were solid and the team behind the counter were super-friendly.
While at Barking Dog, a local gave us a tip to check out Benzinger Winery in nearby Glen Ellen. Thanks, friend! He said it had a cool tractor-tram ride tour of the winery that included walking through a cave
We headed off to Benzinger (10 min. drive) and bought the tour tickets on-site. It was $30 per adult and $10 for kids.
The tractor-tram tour was 45 minutes long and included:
- a ride through the vineyard
- a stop to sample their Chardonnay
- a stop to see how the wine is made
- and a stop in their giant cave where the barrels of wine are kept
After the tram ride, you get to taste 3 red wines in their tasting room as part of the tour. Each wine we tasted was $40 to $50 per bottle and yummy. They also give tram riders discounts of $10 per bottle and had some good 2 for 1 type wine deals. They were nice to our toddler during the tasting giving him a big cup of grape juice to make him feel part of the group.
At this point, were hungry again and we had heard so much about El Molino Central that we headed back for lunch.
This time we ordered the Chicken Enchiladas Suizas and Fish Tacos. Yelp (which gives El Molino 4.5 stars (846 reviews) rated these the most popular dishes. They didn’t disappoint.
Other things to do near Boyes Hot Springs/”The Springs” area:
- Jack London State Park
- Sonoma TrainTown Railroad
- Oak Hill Farm
- Tons of wineries