Excellent | Worth a Detour
Putah Creek Cafe
Review by: Michael Stern
Putah Creek Cafe in Winters, CA | What to Expect
Offspring of the fancier Buckhorn Steakhouse across the street, the Putah Creek Café is the town gathering place for locals and a destination diner for bicyclists from Davis and breakfast fans all the way to wine country.
Dinner is served Thursday through Sunday, and lunch every day, but breakfast is an especially enjoyable time to visit. That is when a diverse crew of local customers occupy the counter and tables for newspaper-reading, morning conversation, coffee, and more coffee. When artist R. Crumb lived in Winter (before moving to France), he was a regular part of the scene, having long morning meals while he sketched on notepads and napkins.
What to eat at Putah Creek Cafe
The oatmeal served by this farm-country kitchen is the real thing, long-cooked and coarse-cut, served with a dish of brown sugar and (optionally) raisins, bananas, and locally grown walnuts. You can get a nice chicken-fried steak with a hunky buttermilk biscuit or brioche French toast sprinkled with powdered sugar. The breakfast we like best is known as the Putah Creek Scramble. It is a version of what Tex-Mex cooks know as migas – eggs scrambled with a corn tortilla, cheese, chilies, and crumbled chorizo sausage. The shreds of tortilla are mostly softened as they cook and become little earthy flavor cushions for the chili and chorizo; and the parts of tortilla that get sizzled crisp on the griddle serve as a wicked corn crunch among the creamy eggs.
The lunch menu is broad. In particular we recommend the sirloin beef sandwich: slices from a dry-rub-seasoned and slow-smoked tri-tip piled into a bun with sweet grilled onions. The dreamy dessert is sourdough bread pudding served warm in a puddle of cream and your choice of espresso or caramel sauce.
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