Buckaroo Diner started as the food truck Ol’ Buckaroo. It evolved into a restaurant located in a building that once housed a 1940s saloon and tavern in the mountain town of Three Rivers, California. Before it came to town, high-quality restaurants in the area were scarce. Since it opened its doors, it has become a local hit.
While indoor dining is available, the big draw for this location is the river that runs within view of the outdoor patio, where plenty of seating is available. Past droughts have caused the river to dry out, but currently there is a good chance the water will be flowing in spring and summer. You might even get a show as groups riding the rapids pass along their course.
Once you’ve absorbed the view, grab a drink. The Chili Fresca Champ Cocktail combines a mix of cucumber and chile with lemon and champagne. Its flavors are bright and refreshing and it gets spicier as you drink it.
The brunch menu is fairly small. But every choice is exceptional. You may even wish there were fewer options: deciding which to order wouldn’t be so difficult.
Chilaquiles is a must. Fried tortillas are mixed with slow-cooked black beans and pork so tender that it literally melts in your mouth. It’s drizzled with a creamy sauce and layered with sliced avocado. The eggs on top are done to perfection, their whites tender but fully cooked, their yolks runny but kept on the griddle just long enough that they become creamy.
A Brown Butter Waffle has crisp edges with a thick, cakey interior that is rich and sweet to the point of being decadent. Make it chicken and waffles and it arrives topped with boneless chicken thighs fried golden brown.
The Organic Fried Egg Sandwich takes what could be an ordinary breakfast sandwich to a new level. Those same perfectly cooked eggs are stacked on a buttery bun with thick bacon and cheddar cheese. It comes with crisp breakfast potatoes, but you can substitute waffle fries served with herbed aioli if you choose.
Make sure you stop by the wall in the sun room on your way out to catch up on the history of the old saloon and tavern once located in the same spot. Here you will find a vintage menu that lists cocktails for all of 50 cents and two kinds of beer: Western for 25 cents Eastern for 30 cents!