Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Destination Diner

The Putah Creek Cafe in Winters is the kind of place you hope to find on a long road trip. It's cheery, comfy and, even though it's relatively new, it feels as though it's been part of small-town life for decades. Oh, and the food is good.
This isn't the kind of diner that relies on a pre-packaged food distributor for its menu items. Most things are made on site, including pies and desserts such as apricot bars, which garnered a rave in the late Gourmet magazine some years back (Despite encroaching development, Winters remains a farm town, surrounded by orchards and the fruit is used in the restaurant).
I tried the locals' favorite (according to the waitress), the Buckhorn Farmer's Market Char-Roast Sirloin Sandwich with the side of cole slaw and French dip. It was delicious.
Then, I wandered the quaint old town and had an excellent espresso at a homey coffeehouse, Steady Eddy's, across the railroad tracks on the shady town park, which stretches to Putah Creek. A rebuilt, historic trestle bridge -- now for bicyclists pedestrians only -- crosses the creek and lies alongside another historic bridge, this one a concrete arch span for cars, built in 1907.
The Putah Creek Cafe is a sister restaurant to the better-known Buckhorn steak houses (there's one across the street at this intersection of Winters' Main Street) and in Marin County. All are known for their Angus beef.
I can now vouch for the excellent beef. Next time I'm going to get to Putah Creek Cafe a little earlier and try the breakfasts, which I hear are scrumptious. And, I'll leave room for a piece of pie.

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