Steppin’ Out – Danette’s Brick Oven Pub

Danette'sI’ve known Danette Inman for a number of years and would always see her when I ate at the Diamond Springs Hotel, where she was an outstanding server. I also see her when she drives by me on the road while going to or coming from work (she always flashes the lights, so one day I blew her a kiss, but later found out her husband was driving. She still tells that story).

If you know her you realize that she is full of energy and moves at a rapid pace that I call living two lifetimes in the space of one. She is always doing something new while an “average” person would still be thinking about it. She is amazing.

Several months ago she and her husband, Tom, purchased the Brick Oven Pub at 2875 Ray Lawyer Drive in Placerville and decided to do some upgrades to it, including a hood and fryers. “If you are a pub, you should serve pub food,” she told me, “and you need fryers to do it.”

When the upgrades were done, she invited me to come by and try the food, so I called my friend, Russ Salazar, and we stopped by.

I got there a few minutes late, so (smiling as always) she first asked me if I got lost and then what we would like to try. We decided on a small meat pizza and let her decide on the rest.

While the pizza was being prepared, she brought us a sample of fried pickles and their hand dipped onion rings, along with a couple of dipping sauces. Russ was fascinated by the fried pickles, which, like the onion rings were not oily and very good. I think if there had been enough of them, he would have just had those for lunch. Both were excellent and I am very picky about onion rings.

Those two appetizers were soon followed by two small bowls of that day’s homemade soup, Cheesy Broccoli. I’m not a big soup person, but we both agreed it was very rich and had an outstanding flavor.

Next to arrive were two servings of the beer-battered fish and chips, their number one selling menu item. They use hand cut cod for their fish and, for their fries, freshly cut Kennebec potatoes, a potato developed in Maine especially for chips and fries.To make sure you can taste the great flavor of the fish, Danette goes to the trouble of making the accompanying, not too “mayonaissey,” tartar sauce that is light and doesn’t overpower its delicate taste.

Needless to say, I really liked the taste and the freshness of the fish and potatoes and even used the tarter sauce as a dip for my fries.

Our pizza was delicious and well worth the wait. The was thin and crisp and covered with lots of pepperoni, sausage, salami and ham. I took the two slices we didn’t eat with me, intending to enjoy them later. Then I ran into a friend who had skipped lunch and, well …

We were obviously full at this point, but then Danette brought us a dessert designed by her daughter, a chocolate calzone. It was decadently delicious and in spite of my best intentions, I finished it.

The menu at Danette’s Brick Oven Pub includes a nice list of appetizers like hot wings, potato skins home breaded chicken tenders, the fried pickles, garlic bread, pizza bread, the onion rings and hand-cut garlic and regular fries. Under “Eat Your Greens” you will find a Caesar, Chicken Caesar, BLT Caesar, Buffalo Chicken, Italian Artichoke, Chef, Sesame Chicken and Spinach and Apple salads.

The Black Angus half pound burgers, cooked to order, include a Cheeseburger, Pineapple Teriyaki Burger, Pastrami Burger, Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Burger, Patty Melt, Mushroom Swiss Burger, Bacon Jalapeno and a very, very popular Home Nut Burger (next time I will try that). They all come with your choice of homemade fries, side salad or Caesar salad.

Sandwiches include Homemade Meatball, BLT, Mile High Club, Reuben, French Dip, Grilled Veggie, Garlic Chicken Melt and Teriyaki Chicken Melt. For lunch only (until 3 p.m.) you can get a half of a menu sandwich or a build your own sandwich with salad or homemade fries at a special price.

Their pizza selections are endless. They have the normal combo, Hawaiian, Margherita, etc., along with some unique ones, and you can build your own from five sauces, eight meats and 19 toppings.

They make their own pizza sauces, cook their own sausage, hand bread the onion rings, chicken tenders and fish, make their own soups and dressings, hand make meatballs, make the burger patties to order and hand form their pizza crusts. Danette is a believer in quality and freshness, and it shows.

Assisting Danette in the kitchen is Chef Keith Erickson, Sous Chef Will Patterson and her “dessert designing” daughter Danae.

Thirty beers on tap, four big-screen televisions, live music Wednesday and Friday nights from 6 until 9, Pub Trivia on Thursdays at 7 and Happy Hour daily from 3 until 6 and all day Sunday.

Open daily, except Monday, from 11 a.m. For more information call (530) 622-7420.

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