First Bite: Expect a Flock
Plucked Chicken and Beer in San Ramon is a prototype for chicken-inspired fare.
Jumping on three hot trends—poultry-branded restaurants brandishing a chicken-focused menu; innovative sandwiches; and self-serve craft beer on draft—Plucked Chicken and Beer is bound to be a prototype for multiple locations to come.
Opened by the team behind the wildly successful Sauced BBQ and Spirits—which, after debuting in Livermore five years ago, now boasts four locations—Plucked shares Sauced’s smart concept and design, but is more modest in scope and size.
With its fast-casual approach (order at the counter and get buzzed when your order is ready); pour-your-own, pay-by-the-ounce local draft beers (two out of the dozen on tap are made by Sauced Brewing Company); and cauliflower stand-ins for the poultry-averse, Plucked appeals to a wide-ranging demo.
Our Sticky Chicky came on a light-and-buttery brioche-style bun, loaded with thick rings of pickled jalapeño—practically demanding chilly beer–relief (the sandwich pairs well with Livermore’s Altamont Beer Works lager). Plucked’s plump pieces of fried free-range chicken are best showcased in the tacos enriched with avocado-cream, and are especially tasty when enjoyed with a hazy brew from Oakland's Ghost Town Brewing. (Lecherous Haze IPA is a nod to the Oakland psychedelic rock band Lecherous Gaze.) The cauliflower nuggets, prepared buffalo style and accented with shredded parmesan, offer all the satisfaction of meat and call out for green ice tea and a big cup of Strauss soft-serve ice cream.
The faux-rusty, barnyard decor is imminently hip. But feel free to bring Fido, get your food to go, and savor it on the park benches nearby.
3191D Crow Canyon Pl., San Ramon, (925) 380-6981, pluckedchickenandbeer.com. Lunch and dinner daily.