Restaurants & Bars

The Red Onion – Outdoor Patio Overlooking Pinole Creek ... Pies

Krys | Mar 13, 200511:17 PM     5

“These pies are NOT like mom used to make…these are BETTER.” ... see link below.

The bottom line after exploring my new location is at which restaurants will I be a regular customer. My top choice in breakfast spots will be The Red Onion in Pinole.

I ordered the vegetarian omlette with home fries (hash browns available). A thin golden three egg omlette was wrapped around fresh sliced mushrooms, fresh spinach, chopped tomatoes, and chopped red onion. Veggies were sautéed with lots of minced garlic. There was also melted jack cheese with the veggies.

The sautéing solved the problem with most veggie omelets … sogginess. That garlic just put the flavor over the top. Also there was an even distribution of ingredients. You didn’t get that pocket of tomatoes or section of cheese. Each bite had a little of all the contents. This is probably one of the better veggie omelets that I have ever ordered and it will be hard to order anything else … but I’ll give it a try.

Home fries were classic – Small pieces of diced russet potatoes, skin on, nicely browned and finished with salt and pepper. No onions, etc to distract from the pure potato experience.

There was a choice of toast or biscuit. The brown biscuit had more of a dinner roll like flavor and texture. It was good though.

This is a burger joint, but there are four pages of breakfast items. Every Red Onion is independently owned. I never thought I would try another Red Onion after my mediocre experience at the El Sobrante location (owned and run by someone else).

However, every time I asked about restaurants in Pinole, someone mentioned Red Onion. Skeptically I stopped by during the week. The place was packed with people waiting for tables or takeout. The menu was extensive.

They actually do make their own pies and I had a piece of a great banana cream, with big chunks of bananas in banana pudding with a flakey crust and topped with whipped cream. Pie menu is at the discretion of the chef. It was cream pies on the day I stopped by. There was chocolate cream and another type, but my mind stopped paying attention when I heard banana cream. You can buy a piece or a whole pie.

There’s buttermilk and banana pancakes. Regular French Toast or Sourdough French Toast (both with vanilla and cinnamon). Pancakes or French Toast can be topped with blueberries or strawberries.

The dish that I will never order but have to admire is called “Only at Red Onion” … a 13” plate covered with homefries or hashbrowns, 4 eggs any style, 6 pieces of bacon or 6 sausage links or 4 sausage patties with choice of toast or biscuit. They probably don’t even call an ambulance after someone eats that … just toss the body in the bushes near the creek.

The corned beef hash is calling my name. It is described as “a nice 6 oz portion of our tasty corned beef with bell peppers and red onions”. You can get this by itself or as part of a mega breakfast.

They have a Pork Chop Special, Chicken Fried Steak, Chorizo scramble, breakfast quesadilla, and a Breakfast burrito.

The have a section of Red Onion Omelets like the vegetarian with a combination of ingredients. Another section on the menu is called “Run of the Mill” omelets which have one filling. You can add anything you like for an additional charge.

They have daily specials, a senior menu and a kid’s menu.

The surprise for me was the patio. I was sitting at the counter about to order my breakfast when I noticed umbrella covered tables out the window. Landscaping around the patio is courtesy of Mother Nature with wild grasses, bushes, and trees. A few yellow and purple wild flowers tried to get some attention. There was a hummingbird feeder hanging on a tree. The birds in general seemed very happy as there was quite a bit of chirping going on. A local school is on the other side of the creek, but is blocked by the trees.

This is a burger joint, so some supplies are stored in the patio area. But it is clean and very relaxing sitting next to all the greenery and listening to the creek and birds. There’s about 6 tables outdoors.

I’m going to have to go back and try lunch or dinner. It seems like it would be pleasant to be out on that patio on a warm summer night.

A sign by the door says

No gimmicks. No Frills.
No beanie babies … just good burgers.

Judging from the crowd I saw, I think quite a few people agree. This link below talks about some bikers stop at Red Onion. The burgers sound terrific and they really liked the pie. A few pictures with a little of the patio.

The Red Onion (Right near Tennat exit of I-80)

PINOLE, CA 94564-1427



6 am – 9 pm Thurssay and Friday
7 am – 9 pm the other days

Breakfast served until 1:30

Link: http://www.davemadsen.com/pinole/

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