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Putah Creek Cafe

1 Main St., Winters, CA - (530) 795-2682
Posted By Michael Stern on 7/1/2000 12:00:00 AM
Offspring of the fancier Buckhorn Steak and Roadhouse 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 on weekend nights, 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.

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 and locally grown walnuts. You can get a nice chicken-fried steak with a hunky biscuit or warm bread pudding with espresso sauce. 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.

And don’t walk away without at least one apricot bar. They are made by manager Janet Valadez from locally grown fruit.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

This plate features two porky sausage patties, two perfectly cooked eggs and some of the best peppery sausage gravy we have ever had.
"This plate features two porky sausage patties, two perfectly cooked eggs and some of the best peppery sausage gravy we have ever had."
Cliff Strutz





Known on the menu as Em's Chicken Fried Steak, it is a thin breaded Angus beef steak covered in that superb sausage gravy.
"Known on the menu as Em's Chicken Fried Steak, it is a thin breaded Angus beef steak covered in that superb sausage gravy."
Cliff Strutz


Excellent steel cut oatmeal!
"Excellent steel cut oatmeal!"
Cliff Strutz


The marionberry pie is full of sweet, intense fruit.
"The marionberry pie is full of sweet, intense fruit."
Cliff Strutz


Not too fiery, but bright with spice and color, Putah Creek's bowl of red comes with hot buttermilk biscuits -- ideal for mopping the last of the tasty chili from its broad bowl.
"Not too fiery, but bright with spice and color, Putah Creek's bowl of red comes with hot buttermilk biscuits -- ideal for mopping the last of the tasty chili from its broad bowl."
Michael Stern


Santa Fe Mexican corn pie is made of roasted chilies, two cheeses, coarse corn meal and sweet corn, topped with sour cream and sided by a rainbow of tortilla chips and a cup of salsa fresca.
"Santa Fe Mexican corn pie is made of roasted chilies, two cheeses, coarse corn meal and sweet corn, topped with sour cream and sided by a rainbow of tortilla chips and a cup of salsa fresca."
Michael Stern


Of the baked goods we bought to go, the chewy apricot bar was our favorite.
"Of the baked goods we bought to go, the chewy apricot bar was our favorite."
Cliff Strutz


The raspberry apple pie was tightly packed with many layers of fruit.  Thanks to the raspberry juice, the apples had turned purple!
"The raspberry apple pie was tightly packed with many layers of fruit. Thanks to the raspberry juice, the apples had turned purple!"
Cliff Strutz


We liked the relaxed atmosphere of the Putah Creek Café interior.
"We liked the relaxed atmosphere of the Putah Creek Café interior. "
Cliff Strutz


Artist R. Crumb used to live in Winters, and he is said to have spent many mornings hanging out inside the Putah Creek Cafe having long breakfasts and sketching on napkins.
"Artist R. Crumb used to live in Winters, and he is said to have spent many mornings hanging out inside the Putah Creek Cafe having long breakfasts and sketching on napkins."
Michael Stern



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