CASH ONLY !!!
Thank goodness I read the old Chowhound posts and found out about that cash only policy.
I tried the following accompanied by Sagres, a Portuguese beer.
Caldo Verde Soup (Kale, Potatoes, Linguiça)
This was the first time I tried this. It is a lovely soup, emerald green and filled with kale, a few potato pieces and a few slices of Linguiça. It was served in a beautiful brown ceramic bowl. I will definitely try this soup again at other Portuguese restaurants.
Bacalhau à Gomes de Sà (Codfish with Potatoes, Onion, Hard Cooked Eggs, Parsley and Olives)
A very nice fried potato based dish with pieces of codfish, onion, and eggs mixed together. It was topped with three types of green olives which were delicious. One olive had a nutty flavor. A oil and vinegar cruet came with the dish. I asked and was told to add extra oil if I liked. No vinegar. I tried a little extra olive oil, but the dish was delicious as it was. I have never tried this before either, but look forward to sampling it at other Portuguese restaurants.
The owners wife, Linda, makes all the desserts. This was a very nice flan which I enjoyed more and more with each bite. There is a picture of it on the website if you click on the word flan.
The owners will be on vacation from February 8th through the 26th. I know the cheesecake will not be available. Im not sure about the Portuguese food.
There are only a handful of Portuguese dishes on the menu. For the most part Grubstake offers American food. The burgers, apple pie and pumpkin pie have been recommend often on Chowhound.
The rail car that houses half of The Grubstake originally served the Key Line that provided transportation between Berkeley and Oakland and San Francisco.
Lots of great photos on the website. Check out the Halloween picture for a giggle. Clicking on the menu link will show some of the interior. The Staff section show some of the bar. The Grubstake is available for private parties.
This is a diner in the best sense of the word. The type of diner we like to remember but never really existed. The pies and desserts are home made by the owners wife. The owner is often in the kitchen cooking up the grub. The food is tasty, generous and a good value. The owners know the customers by their names and who they are. There is a family relationship with the staff. And it is in a real old rail car. It is open until 4 am.
Here are some other GREAT posts on Grubstake that do it far more justice than I do.
Breakfast at Grubstake, Linguiça, house made apricot jam, house made hot sauce
Dinner at Grubstake. This is a great post.
Special dinner at Grubstake. Same poster as the dinner post. Mikeb had a Portuguese friend arrange a special dinner. As the website says Upon advance request, we will prepare any Portuguese dish for which we can obtain proper ingredients.