The Fremont Diner – Sonoma

The Fremont Diner - Sonoma

Before making the long drive home to Los Angeles, The Astronomer and I made one final stop at The Fremont Diner in Sonoma for lunch. The restaurant has been garnering significant buzz ever since it opened in 2009, but it didn’t come across my radar until my friend Lien enthusiastically recommended it. She promised me that Chef Chad Harris’ brand of gussied-up down-home cuisine would rub me in all sorts of right ways.

The Fremont Diner - Sonoma

Situated on a lonely stretch of Highway 121, the two-year-old diner captures the feel of a weathered roadside diner down South. Rusted truck parked out front? Check. Chickens roaming around the building? Check. Grease wafting heavily in the air? Check. If it weren’t for the lush rolling hills and acres of carefully planted grapes, I would’ve sworn we were back in sweet home Alabama.

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After placing and paying for our order at the front counter, The Astronomer and I grabbed a table inside. There were a dozen inviting picnic tables set-up out front, but the essence of manure in the air discouraged us from outdoor dining.

The Fremont Diner - Sonoma

With enticing offerings like oyster po’ boys, ham and biscuits, and  “Nashville Hot Chicken” on the menu, it was really difficult to pick our poison. After much hemming, hawing, and second-degreeing the cashier, The Astronomer finally chose the chicken and waffles ($7.25). The boneless slab of fried chicken was served on a buttermilk cheddar-bacon waffle with a pitcher of apple cider syrup on the side. A pat of butter provided the finishing touch.

It’s totally unfair to compare this fried chicken to the specimens we demolished the night before at Ad Hoc, but alas, I cannot help myself. The chicken had a fantastically crispy crust, but its meat could’ve used a citrus and herb brine bath. Still, coupled with the bacon-studded waffle and fruity syrup, every bite was pretty darn memorable.

The Fremont Diner - Sonoma

My pick was the Fremont Reuben ($11.99), which was made with house-cured and smoked pastrami, chow chow, and Estero Gold Swiss cheese on rye bread. The hefty sandwich was served with a side of buttermilk and tarragon potato salad, and whole grain mustard.

The Fremont Diner - Sonoma

I friggin’ loved my sandwich. It was a mouthful of toasty bread, tender and salty meat, gooey cheese, and tangy sauce and sauerkraut. I might have to name my first born Reuben.

The Fremont Diner - Sonoma

The Astronomer and I shared an order of breaded onion rings ($2.50) that were simple and delicious. Breaded > beer battered.

The Fremont Diner - Sonoma

To wash everything down—a horchata milkshake ($3.99). The cinnamon notes weren’t as strong as we would have liked, but we drank it all anyway because it was so smooth and sweet going down. Next time, I’m ordering a salted caramel milkshake. Oh, Lord that’s gonna be good.

The Fremont Diner - Sonoma

The Fremont Diner truly did rub me in all sorts of right ways, and I cannot wait to return for more Southern comfort with a Nor Cal bent. I’ll be seeing you soon, Mr. Chicken.

The Fremont Diner
2660 Fremont Drive
Sonoma, CA 95476
Phone: 707-938-7370

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9 Responses to “The Fremont Diner – Sonoma”


  • I love how thick the bread is on your Reuben! The sandwich, not your unborn first son. 😉

    Mmmm carbs…

  • ohgosh, we were fairly disappointed by the chicken/waffle, too! (I thought that syrup was CRAZY.) And while the oyster po’ boy is so, so delicious and I want to try the burger, I think I love Fremont for its breakfast. Heaven.

    (Let’s go back together.)

  • That reuben looks RIDICULOUS! It is before 11 am and I’m thinking lunch might come reeealllly soon… ps, I LOVE your blog! You have such beautiful pictures!!

  • Looks awesome! I’ve heard so many good thngs about this place. buttermilk cheddar-bacon waffle is such a great idea!! hopefully they have mimosas here

  • Dang. That bread looks so thick. The combined bread in the the reubens I usually eat is probably the equivalent thickness of just one slice of that rueben toast. 🙁

  • Nice one, and nice food shots! I love this place and even put them in my new Sonoma agenda at http://www.sonomatouristguide.com/agenda.html. But you should have had the salted caramel shake, seriously the best thing I’ve tasted in a long time!

    Wally

  • Nice. My hood! BTW, consider the smell of manure an extra seasoning to the food. I guess I’m used to it now….

  • I absolutely LOVE this diner. I live in the UK but have been lucky enough to eat there twice and I can’t wait to go again. It is just amazing!

  • I would have ordered the farmers toast, brussel sprouts, and collard greens. I am obsessed with veggies!! Yum! Ps. maybe the sorghum waffle too!

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