Cordoza’s Deli and Cafe is a great local family deli run by Bonnie Cordoza and her husband in downtown Petaluma near the theater district. They have amazing foods, like sandwiches and salads, for decent prices. The atmosphere is open and welcoming, and the staff is really friendly. AND they have foods I can eat! In fact, they just won Petalum’a Best Deli in the 2012 People’s Choice Awards through Petaluma 360! Congratulations, guys!

Cordoza’s carries Mama Baretta’s award-winning multi-seed loaves of bread for sandwich making upon request. The multi-seed bread is so tasty and wonderful with the deli’s Number 3 sandwich, which I get without mayo and cream cheese but with pesto added on. I usually get the mixed berry or green salad with a gluten-free dessert to accompany my sandwich, taking half of the entree home. They also sell bags of gluten-free crackers in their chip and cracker area of the deli. I also found out that their meats are sulphate and nitrate free!

Cordoza’s has a daily special, which includes sandwiches, wraps and other dishes. Every time I check out it out, the special always sounds wonderfully mouth watering. Sometimes Cordoza’s asks for suggestions from their Facebook followers. There’s also usually a couple kinds of soup available in the refrigerated case. If you arrive at the deli early enough, you can also get breakfast, from breakfast burritos to oatmeal with fruit. I haven’t had any of those dishes, but they look really tasty. It may not sound like anything special, but they often have flavored ice water, coffee and hot tea available all day long, too, which is important to me, since hot beverages aid in digestion. There are also at least two cases of cold beverages.

Her catered meals are so good. If whatever you want isn’t on their menu, just ask. They can accommodate for your needs. They’re rather flexible and will adjust for special dietary needs, which is fantastic, since I know I’m not the only one with allergy and digestive issues. Cordoza’s is catering all of the Petaluma-Hamilton Masonic Lodge’s monthly stated meeting dinners this year, and they also catered the officers’ installation lunch and my husband’s congratulatory dinner afterward for our family and friends at the deli.

My husband loves her meaty lasagna, and her vegetable pesto lasagna is a smash hit, too. She made me a special gluten-free penne pasta dish with a superb pesto sauce made with brown rice noodles on the spot when she found out that I couldn’t eat her gluten-free veggie lasagna due to my dairy issues. How great is she?! Bonnie also makes a killer flourless chocolate torte served with fresh fruit. I have eaten many of her catered meals, and I have never been disappointed. Her family also has a small vineyard and winery, and she offers bottles of her wines in her cafe and with her catering.

Cordoza’s is also now featuring Jill Habansky’s Sweet gluten-free baked goods. Jill has her own gluten-free space to work in within Bonnie’s kitchen in the back. How cool is that?! So far, I have tried the salted chocolate chip cookies and almond scone, fennel scone and vegan chocolate-frosted chocolate cupcake. Bonnie also has some of Jill’s lightly sea salt-sprinkled chocolate chip cookies, white chocolate chip cookies, carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing, cardamon crumb cake, rosemary cornbread, morning glory muffins and more. She does not make the same things every day, so it’s always a surprise to see which little delectable goodies are in the case. Jill supposedly makes great baguettes that have really nice flavor and great textures, nice and crunchy on the outside with a soft airy inside. Bonnie told me that Jill’s goodies were featured at the Petaluma Valley Rotary’s Edible Art Tasting in March. I can’t wait to taste her other baked goods.

Sinful Cheesecakes 3Recently I learned that Sinful Delights mini cheesecakes, made by Amber Merkel, are now being featured at Cordoza’s Deli. They are so cute! I love the bright and dark color contrasts and the way the layers are stacked. These little morsels look so tasty! (I was “good” and ate one of Jill’s deliciously amazing chocolate cupcakes instead. ;P ) The prices aren’t bad either, considering what they are and how they are made. I couldn’t resist! I bought one for my hubby, hoping that I could enjoy it vicariously. He’s rather picky about food, but he totally approved with a big grin on his face and a compliment. I’ll have to buy him another one the next time I go buy a sandwich. When I pied them in the case, I knew I had to buy one! Yesterday, they had three different kinds, New York with various fruits, chocolate, and caramel macchiato, but the choices seem to change often. Amber also makes full-sized and mini cheesecakes for whole sale orders and catered events, too. The pictures of her treats are gorgeous! Oh, how they really make me wish I could eat dairy foods easily!

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Please pardon the empty looking deli shots, I snuck in at the tail end of the day; I took these pictures as I was waiting for my order to be filled, I think. There are usually many more people inside eating, ordering and snacking earlier on in the day. If you want something from the gluten-free Sweet case, make sure you get there at least 30 minutes before the deli closes, otherwise you may find the case empty. Trust me. I already made that mistake. Oh well. There’s always next time.

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