UPDATE on Nov. 25, 2023: Great neighbor meet-up yesterday afternoon in Port Costa. We kept Tamir Ben-Shalom of Bull Valley Roadhouse busy with our food/drink orders while Isabelle Fontaine and Jeff Magidson of Duo Gadjo kept us enthralled with their musical range and peformance skill. Bull Valley Roadhouse is a hidden gem but the Lodge area in the back was packed with locals who are in-the-know.
It took me until this past March before I first visited Bull Valley Roadhouse in Port Costa. I should not have waited. I first visited Port Costa about a decade ago and found it to be a quaint town (don’t say shabby) about a block long next to the railroad tracks and Carquinez Straits. I could see Benicia’s waterfront from there. The main attraction then was a funky bar (don’t say shabby) called The Warehouse Cafe where we imbibed with some then Hiddenbrooke neighbors. Everything else in town looked shut tight back then. But others have told us over the years that we must try Bull Valley Roadhouse and that it is a favorite dining spot for Michael and Ali of Hiddenbrooke’s-own Michael Warring restaurant on their days off (insert eyebrow raise here). So finally, in the middle of a monsoon, Tiger and I ventured down the crooked road from the charming town of Crockett (don’t say shabby) on a Thursday evening to hear a jazz trio I’d read about called Duo Gadjo. The roadhouse staff ushered us past the gorgeous long wooden bar and main dining room to the area they call the Lodge where we could enjoy the full menu with a more laid-back, casual atmosphere. After a few songs, I snapped this photo of a couple dancing. Everyone else there recognized them as regulars.
We tried to just graze on the inventive appetizers, but the entrees called. While the wine list was extensive with several nice values, we never got there because the cocktails knocked our socks off. The performance by Duo Gadjo was what they call “Wanderlust Jazz” which I will define as French, American, and “Django” (Google it) standards with a jazzy twist played on guitar, bass, and “melodica” (yeah, better Google that too). We learned that the trio and sometimes duet play regularly at Bull Valley and other spots around our San Francisco area. We’ve since enjoyed the wife-and-husband duet twice at the Moschetti Coffee Roasters Saturday Coffee Cupping in Vallejo, but that is a topic for another article sometime. Let me just close by writing that the food and drinks at Bull Valley Roadhouse, as well as the music of Duo Gadjo, are not shabby.
But don’t take my word for it. Join us for a Hiddenbrooke Neighbor Meet-up @ Bull Valley Roadhouse with Duo Gadjo, 14 Canyon Lake Drive, Port Costa, on Friday, November 24, 2023 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. No RSVP is necessary, but if you make an Open Table reservation be sure to mention to seat you in the Lodge with the Hiddenbrooke group to hear Duo Gadjo. That’s Black Friday so we’re hoping that our still-working neighbors will have the day off, and the older folks won’t have to worry about driving that crooked road home in the dark. If that date/time doesn’t work for you, go eat there and see them another time on your own and then tell us all about it in a comment to this blog post.
To learn more about the Port Costa places mentioned, visit Bull Valley Roadhouse at https://bullvalleyroadhouse.com/ and the Warehouse Cafe at https://www.warehousecafeportcosta.com/. Discover more about Duo Gadjo plus their show schedule at https://www.duogadjo.com/about