Restaurants & Bars

Richmond - Alvarado Bar & Grill – Basic bar food & a few twists – Tri-tip, hot roast beef sandwich w/gravy, brownie sundae

rworange | Jan 25, 200707:00 PM     5

Yes, I ate here finally.

- Tri-tip sandwich with fries (good)
- buffalo wings (ok)
- brownie sundae (who doesn’t like a brownie sundae?)

It’s along the lines of place like Tommy’s Joint and bar/hofbraus and a little old-time diner chow … basic American food … meat & potatoes with gravy.

They serve breakfast starting at 6am and then switch to lunch at 11 am which has sandwiches, salads, appetizers soup & dessert. At 4 pm they add one dinner special … only one … otherwise it is the lunch menu. The dinner special includes soup, salad & bread.

Through the end of February there’s a real deal … a free appetizer with lunch or dinner entrée (pick up a green flyers on table between bar & restaurant to get the special)

My nine buffalo, uh, drummettes, were free … normally $7.95

The menu describes them as “wings fried golden brown, toasted in red pepper sauce and served with ranch dressing & celery.”

No celery. One piece of romaine lettuce garnished the plate. It was blue cheese dressing. Could have been the meaty part of the wing. Seemed like drummettes.

I’m not an expert on buffalo wings. These were pleasant enough and the spice was not in your face. It seemed like there was red oil involved in the spice.

The tri-tip was soft roll with the juices from the thick slices of tender tri-tip as the only condiment. The fries were of the McDonald’s cut and sprinkled with seasoned salt … $7.95 (with free buffalo wings … a deal).

It was good, but the problem is both the fries and the tri-tip were over-salted. The next time I’ll ask for no salt.

The brownie sundae ($4.50) was enough for 2. Two triangular scone-sized chewy brownies were drizzled with chocolate syrup and had a scoop of ice cream on the side with a topping of aerosol whipped cream. What was really good about the brownies were the pieces of butterscotch mixed in.

Nothing trendy or fancy, just a decent all-American food. Nice for the Richmond/San Pablo area … good if you are near San Pablo Dam Road & the Casino & the hospital.

There are little twists here and there. The dinner for Friday is fish & chips. However the fish is grilled balsamic marinated salmon. The flyer is different than the menu. The flyer says beer-battered cod.

The Sunday special is Mediterranean chicken breast with apricots, dried plums, olives & capers. On Wednesday dinner is sage-roasted turkey with sweet potatoes. Dinners come with soup, salad & bread.

Breakfast is basic too with simple omelets, scrambles, eggs & breakfast meats, pastries, bagels, breakfast sandwiches & buttermilk pancakes ($4.95/half stack $3.95)

The twists are
- pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon butter & maple syrup ($6.95/half stack $5.95)
- Baked apple French toast

For lunch there is also an open-faced hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes as well as the hot roast beef. The server said the gravy is really good.

Other sandwiches are: meatball sub, club, deli, tuna pita pocket, patty melt, 1.3 lb burger, grilled chicken breast, & veggie burger.

There’s penne pasta with a choice of sauce: marinara, meat, pesto or creamy gorgonzola.

Salads include cobb, ceasar & house.

There’s clam chowder & soup of the day.

Other appetizers: beer-battered onion rings, bruscetta, fried calamari with marinara sauce, garlic bread and mushrooms stuffed with Italian sausage, cheese & herbs.

Full bar with basic cocktails. Bottled beer of the basic type. Blue Moon Belgium & Sierra Nevada were as fancy as it got. Wine is on order and it is something like Sutter House red or white right now … that might not be it exactly … but in that class.

It is unlikely they will have draft beer soon. The waitress said the pipes running along the ceiling needed a lot of work. Really, that’s all I know. Don’t know how the whole draft beer thing works, but it is too complicated & expensive at this time to fix.

Other desserts are chocolate thunder cake & NY cheesecake (both $3.75)

The lights are low. Turns out the place has the ambiance of a decent Asian restaurant, nothing fancy but nice. There’s a long bar with two hi-def TVs on either end. There’s a big screen TV on one wall of the dining room. During lunch it was softly playing big band music while the screen displayed info about the song / and the musician … Ted Heath … Bunny Berger, etc.

They are still working on the restaurant but the work doesn’t get in the way.

It is by the chef for Biaco's Deli and Catering in El Sobrante, Scott Tuffnell. Bianco’s is a nice little Italian deli in El Sobrante.

I like Alvarado Grill. There are lots of good ethnic restaurants in the area but not enough serving basic American food except for chains like Denny’s. Every now and then you need a hot roast beef sandwich with gravy & mashed potatoes.

Alvarado Bar & Grill
12889 San Pablo Ave (corner of San Pablo & McBride)
Richmond, Ca

It's in the same location where the Alvarado BBQ was located. Big parking lot in back of restaurant.

Daily: 6 am – 10 pm (but it is new … so that is subject to change)

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