Broderick Roadhouse, Restaurant Review
Broderick Roadhouse is located in the heart of downtown Walnut Creek on Locust Street in the space formerly occupied by Hubcaps Diner. The space was transformed from a diner to a roadhouse complete with full bar, wood beams, rustic pendant lights, and bits of Walnut Creek history. Born from a food truck, Broderick opened its first restaurant in West Sacramento in 2012. Broderick Roadhouse describes itself as a burger joint that loves vegans and vegetarians. All the food is made from scratch. They are open seven days a week and offer a special brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday.
We visited Broderick on a Wednesday evening in late June. We arrived at 6 pm and got the last booth for the four people in our party. Shortly after we arrived the crowds began to form and the wait continued until we left around 7:30 pm. The open ceiling caused it to be quite loud but it seemed appropriate given the roadhouse theme. Our waitress was very friendly and efficient and was able to answer all of our questions about the menu. The manager also stopped by to say hello and made sure everyone was happy.
We started with a round of drinks. They have a selection of 12 craft beers on tap ($7) as well as several signature cocktails ($9) and wine. Since it was very hot, we opted for the cold beer and tried the Anderson Valley Summer Solstice, Mosaic Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Anchor Steam California Lager and the Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin. The beers were nice and cold and paired well with our shared appetizer of bacon mac and cheese made with a combination of bleu, gruyere and cheddar cheese, applewood smoked bacon served crispy over a bed of arugula in a mini cast iron pan. The arugula was fresh and it was like having a salad with the mac and cheese.
In the spirit of trying as many menu items as possible, we each ordered a different burger or sandwich with a side of hand-cut french fries that you could upgrade with one of six options. Overall, there were some hits and misses from this inaugural dinner–I ordered the El Charro burger with pickled jalapenos, fried onion crisps and spicy steak sauce. For spicy food lovers like me, this was heaven! I had the garlic fries which were tossed in garlic aioli, garlic and herbs. They were very good, but the aioli made them kind of heavy. Another hit was the boar burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, fried egg, fried onion crisps, house apple butter and gorgonzola mushroom fries. The fries, again, were kind of heavy with the sauce. The buttermilk fried chicken sandwich came with bacon and Sriracha bleu cheese sauce on an artisan bun with the naked fries. The only “miss” was the Ocean City sandwich with Maryland blue crab cake and creole aioli on an artisan bun. This diner has been searching for the perfect crab cake, and unfortunately, this was not it. Everyone agreed that the naked fries were the way to go as they were the best french fries we had had in years!
We had a bunch of meat eaters in our group but there are many options for the vegans and vegetarians including salads, vegan mac and cheese, a no egg salad sandwich, and an optional veggie patty on the burger or sandwich.
The burgers are huge and none of us saved room for dessert (this is why I cannot quit my day job and become a professional restaurant critic!) We all agreed we would return to try other items on the menu, including dessert and one (or more!) of the five “boozy shakes” made from frozen custard and various liquor. Our waitress recommended the strawberry shortcake boozy shake with pinnacle cake vodka, strawberries and whipped cream.
Next time you are hungry and feel like a burger and fries, I recommend stopping by the Broderick Roadhouse.