Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, we consider ourselves lucky to have so many choices in restaurants with a variety of ethnic foods. One evening in early February we were in the mood for tapas and decided to try out on Solano Avenue in Albany.
With the restaurant chosen, we had to make the decision on which dog we were going to take with us. We decided to take Braxton, our foster dog, so he could be exposed to the noise and street crowd. Solano Avenue is the and, with lots of restaurants and small shops, it is a nice street to stroll down.
is right on Solano Avenue, and features a large selection of Latin American small dishes and a full menu of wine and spirits. At the entrance to the restaurant is a small outdoor dining area where you can dine with your dog. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on the sidewalk on the other side of the small metal rail surrounding dining area.
There are two to three available tables in this area. On a busy warm weekend it may be difficult to get a table on the patio. We went on a weeknight and had no problem getting a patio table.
We ordered Mojitos, chips with guacamole, and salsa de arbol to start. Just as we got our drinks, the sun started to set, and we enjoyed the beautiful view while sipping our Mojitos. We also enjoyed the peoplewatching and Braxton enjoyed the visits from the passing people and dogs. It can be a little noisy as there is quite a bit of car traffic on Solano Ave.
Tapas restaurants specialize in small plate items so, for our main small plate entrees, we ordered the grilled skirt steak with manchego onion rings, fish tacos, fried plantains with black beans, and quesadillas with mushrooms, which was our favorite.
Overall, we thought the plates were good, but could use a little more flavor. Fonda Solana also has a Sunday Brunch, which we hope to return and try.
If you have been to Fonda, or plan to visit, let us know what you thought of it.
Summary of Fonda Solana Review
*** 3 out of 5 bones (We may visit again.)
- Nice location right on Solano Avenue
- Decent food
- Friendly service
- Dog friendly, only asked that we keep him on the other side of the rail
- Nice view of the sunset
- Average tapas in comparison to others we’ve had, but we loved the won ton-like quesadillas
- High-priced and, for small plates, these were extra small
- Just three tables outside
- Moderate level of road noise from street
Heating: No outside heater, but we didn’t feel any wind the day we went.
Dog Location: Dogs need to stay outside of the patio on sidewalk. The black metal bar is the border.
Water: No dog bowls provided.
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