10 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill, CA | 925.689.6094 | cash only
My co-workers brought me here to welcome me to the new job almost two years ago, so I have fond memories of this place. The two-sided laminated menu proclaims it to be the oldest diner in Pleasant Hill, and it’s definitely a throwback to the old family style diner. The front of the menu is full of breakfast options and on the back are all the varieties of Giant Chef 1/3 lb burgers, sandwiches, salads and a nostalgic diet plate offering a scoop of cottage cheese, a hard boiled egg, sliced tomatoes and crackers with a charbroiled burger pattie for $6.95. The plates are speckled stoneware platters ready to be piled high with old school American cuisine, and everything is cooked exactly how you expect it to be. There is something reassuring when your plate of food arrives and meets your every expectation. It’s not asking for much, but it’s not that common either…
The waitresses are of the old school variety, mature pros with a little bit of sass, who very competently take care of the table. Giant Chef is known for their breakfast which is served all day. This is the Linguica Breakfast served with three eggs, hash browns and buttered toast ($7.65)
My co-worker Victor ordered the full Breakfast with Pork Chops ($9.35), which was a rather large pile of food, but he cracked me up by saying he is the same as a dog; he has one big meal a day. Psst, you can order a mini version breakfast for $6.45, which is one egg, hash browns and only one slice of buttered toast along with your protein of choice.
Here is a Corned Beef Hash Mini Breakfast ($5.65) which is very popular. It is cooked until it forms a crispy skin on the griddle
My co-worker Chris likes it piled onto a buttered english muffin along with some hashbrowns and scrambled egg.
This is Russel’s Hash Breakfast with Giant Chef’s popular housemade gravy. This gravy is often sold out by the time we get here at lunchtime. It’s thick and creamy with bits of sausage and is a fine accompaniment drizzled over a savory breakfast plate.
Let’s move onto regular lunchtime fare shall we? The BLT with Onion Rings ($6.25), is really good. What kills me is that you have the choice of green salad, potato salad, french fries, onion rings or cup of soup with any of the sandwiches. It’s hard enough trying to resist ordering fries, but I can never pass up onion rings. These rings are delicious with a good ratio of batter to onion, which are real slices of onion (not chopped and formed) and fried to a crunchy chewy texture that is just perfect dipped into ranch dressing.
Closeup of the BLT. It is finely constructed, nice proportions, everything fresh. Simplicity at its best.
Besides breakfast, they are also known for their 1/3 lb burgers. They serve a fine Patty Melt shown here with those Onion Rings.
On a lighter note, this is the Spinach Salad ($7.25), which included a boiled egg and a generous handful of chopped bacon, which Rori had with a tangy tomato based dressing.
Once I felt like eating healthy and ordered the daily special, which was Grilled Salmon served with rice, green beans and salad ($7.95). The salmon was surprisingly fresh and juicy, crispy on the outside which was so good with a squeeze of lemon and smeared with tartar sauce. Buttered green beans and white rice on the side.
The salad was fresh and made with romaine (rather than iceberg) and came in a bowl, which I greatly prefer because it keeps the salad contained, rather than that annoyingly flat and small plate where the leaves keep spreading out onto the table..
They’re open for dinner too, offering old school diner classics like Chicken Fried Steak and Chicken Cordon Bleu. It’s a comfortable family style diner serving generous portions of consistently good American cuisine.
Here is the classic moment when my co-workers are unable to resist the lure of staring into their iphones, checking email or playing games. This generally happens several times during the course of lunch…