Buttercup Grill and Bar — Walnut Creek
Buttercup Grill and Bar, 660 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek, (925) 932-2763, www.buttercupgrillandbar.com. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
This retro spot serves up big breakfasts, soups, salads, pastas, sandwiches, burgers, steaks, seafood, and ribs, as well as a munchies menu and drinks at the dozen-seat bar.
For starters, the warm spinach and artichoke dip, served in a sourdough bread bowl with bright green bits of fresh spinach and hints of garlic, hits this classic out of the park ($7.99). Sandwiches are a specialty. Check out the classic prime rib French dip au jus on a roll, with fries ($8.99); a nouveau patty melt with sliced avocado, Jack cheese, mushrooms, and tomatoes on grilled sourdough ($7.99); or the portabello mushroom sandwich, with pesto mayonnaise and a side of Caeser salad ($8.59).
For those cool winter days, keep an eye on the menu of tasty house-made soups (cup, $3.59; bowl, $4.99). Or else, treat yourself to a generous hunk of upside-down apple walnut pie served warm for only $4.29, or traditional hot chocolate with real whipped cream ($2.49).
Best bet: Sandwiches.
Cheapest thing on menu: House-made soup ($3.59).
Most expensive: Prime rib, 12-ounce cut ($17.99).
Spiciest: Cajun-flavored anything, including eggs Benedict, chicken, and burgers.
Healthiest: Vegetarian black bean chili ($6.59).
Kitsch appeal: Vintage California posters, sturdy lamps with wood-carved bases, and overhead fans reinforce a retro feel, but the stylish wood chairs with curved backs lend a modern touch.
Kid-friendly? Yes. Junior Citizen menu with breakfast ($3.99) and lunch and dinner ($4.99–$5.99).
Speedy eats? Yes.
Big parties? Yes, reserve ahead.
Alcohol? Full bar. Wine by the glass from $4.75 to $5.75; three beers on tap ($3.95).
Outdoor seating? Large patio area in front.
Credit cards? Visa, Mastercard, American Express.