“Onion soup sustains. The process of making it is somewhat like the process of learning to love. It requires commitment, extraordinary effort, time, and will make you cry.”
— Ronni Lundy
One day last week I had a business meeting at noon and we ended up at the Buttercup Pantry, 222 Main St. in Placerville. It has a very nice menu and is quiet enough that you can easily talk. I had the soup and salad, which was very good, and yes, it turned out it was a perfect place for a meeting.
Two days later I was asked to select a restaurant for a lunch with my major professor at California State College at Fullerton (now a university), Dr. Bayard Brattstrom.
He is an authority on reptiles and amphibians and was in town for a meeting of the California/Nevada Amphibian Task Force of the Northwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.
Although we have communicated now and then, the last time I saw him was in 1968 when I graduated, so we had a lot of catching up to do.
I took him to Buttercup Pantry, where we both had a delicious albacore and avocado sandwich that comes on a croissant (I took half of it home) and a delightful hour plus chat.
For more than 25 years the Buttercup Pantry restaurant and bakery, has been owned and operated by the Huston family. Bob Huston has decorated the place with an amazing collection of antique signs, equipment, vehicles and more. Without the food, it would still be a first class museum.
The menu at Buttercup Pantry is huge — seven pages long — and has something for everyone. It starts with breakfast, which you can order anytime: traditional, buttermilk pancakes, malted Belgian waffles, French toast, a variety of Benedicts, skillet specialties, omelets, huevos rancheros and the famous “Hangtown Fry.” They also have weekday breakfast bargains, served until 11 a.m.
The list of salads is amazing, which is followed by the famous all you can eat soup (three choices, list changes daily, but repeats weekly) or soup and salad bar. Looking for something light, try a half a sandwich or just a side salad or bowl of soup.
Under “Going to the dogs” are a number of quarter pound Miller all beef franks, including the “Salty Dog,” which is wrapped in bacon then beer battered and deep fried and served on a garlic cheese French roll with barbecue sauce on the side (I have to try that).
The list of hearty sandwiches takes up a whole page and includes anything from an Asian chicken wrap to a hot pastrami Reuben. The list of burgers under the heading “Buttercup Pantry Burger Shack,” includes a basic burger, a Whisky Creek western barbecue bacon burger and anything in between. The same page also has quite a list of pasta dishes.
The dinner menu includes steaks, lots of seafood, several chicken dishes, meatloaf and liver and onions, just to mention a few of the items.
For dessert the Buttercup has over a dozen different, fresh made fruit and cream pies, which you can purchase whole or by the slice (strawberry rhubarb: yum). Like the pies, they also bake fresh cinnamon rolls and apple strudels daily.
The restaurant is open daily from 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information call 530-621-1320. Ask about the banquet room for larger groups and the senior menu. They are also online at buttercuppantryhangtown.com.