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Cheap Eats: Fat Maddie’s Grille

It's a family affair at this homey, all-American grill in San Ramon.


Yelp photo from Scotty D.

With its blue-plaid tablecloths, decorative wooden shutters hung on the walls, and Mason jar glasses (not to mention the goat’s head logo on the front door), Fat Maddie’s Grille gives off a cozy, country vibe.

That was the idea, says Kelli Stephanos, who opened Fat Maddie’s in October with her daughter Toni. The aim was to offer a homey and affordable dining alternative that still gets diners in and out in a half hour or less. The menu is packed with comfort food and an impressive range of sandwiches, including Pete’s linguiça (oregano, garlic, and lemon-marinated spicy linguiça on a Dutch crunch roll for $5.25), grilled crab and cheese ($8.25), and shrimp and cheese sandwiches ($7.25).

Burger options ($5.45–$6.95) are just as plentiful. Check out the patty melt–style Cali burger: a 1/3-pound patty topped with chipotle sauce, cheddar cheese, bacon, and avocado, grilled snugly between two sourdough slices. You can add a drink plus fries, soup, fruit, or salad to any burger (or one of several gyro options) for $2.75. If you’re not in a hurry, Maddie’s offers a few robust dinner choices, including fried chicken ($9.95), bacon-wrapped smoked pork chops ($10.95), and even a 10-ounce New York steak for $12.95.

Y’all come baaaaah-ck now: The restaurant’s colorful name is inspired by the Stephanoses’ beloved pet goat, Maddie. “We don’t tell her she’s a goat,” says Stephanos.

Family values: The budget-friendly atmosphere at Fat Maddie’s is no accident; the Stephanoses raised three daughters in the area and know how costly it can be to eat out as a family.

Coming soon: The restaurant hopes to eventually open its doors for breakfast service.

Fat Maddie’s Grille, 2005 Crow Canyon Place, San Ramon, (925) 355-1975, fatmaddiesgrille.com. Lunch and dinner daily.

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