A couple of weeks ago I stopped by Poor Reds, a landmark in the town of El Dorado, to pick up a couple of t-shirts for my son and one of his friends. It had been a while since I had been there, and a few years since I had written something about the place. I knew they had added to the menu, but, as a friend of mine would say, Wow!
My failing mind recalls that a few decades ago, their lunch menu had only their famous pork dip, a hamburger (“You want cheese on it, you bring it!” they would yell at you), a ham sandwich and a steak sandwich, which wasn’t really a sandwich, but a large steak with a couple of pieces of bread. Lunches came with a small, green salad (they fancied it up with a slice of pickled beet at dinner) and some great fries that still had the skins on them.
For dinner you had a choice of their famous ribs, chicken, a couple of steaks and I think ham, accompanied by a baked potato and the fancied salad.
It was that way when I first visited the place in the mid-1960s, and stayed that way until not too long ago. Now, you can still get those those items, and a lot more.
Added to today’s lunch menu are thing like a prime rib dip, cheese burger, bacon cheese burger, cowboy burger, 8 oz. ribeye, chicken strips and a chef salad. According to second generation bartender, Mike Speegle (Jr.), the pork dip and prime rib dip are the favorites of the lunch crowd. My favorite was always the pork dip, which was better late in the week for some reason.
The new dinner menu has added to it baby back ribs (by far the new favorite over their famous pork ribs), a cheeseburger, chef salad, steak and Bleu salad, an 8 oz. filet, along with a 12 and 16 oz. ribeye.
On Thursday and Sunday, they add a 12 and 16 oz. cuts of prime rib to the menu and on Friday and Saturday, a lobster dinner, along with combinations of the lobster and any of the three steaks.
The have also added to the menu appetizers, something you used to have to bring with you if you wanted them (lots of purses had cans of nuts in them when they arrived). You can choose from potato skins, chicken strips, buffalo wings, mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, onion rings (you can also get a sampler plate with those last three), fries, garlic fries, cheese fries and Bleu cheese fries.
I understand from Speegle, that Casey Moore, a talented local chef, came up with a number of the new items in the few years he has been working there. I had talked with Moore a few days before, and he too was excited about the new menu.
The bar opens daily at 10 a.m. and stays open until late. Lunch starts at 11:30 (noon on Sunday) and continues until 4:30. Dinner is served from the start of lunch hours until closing, which is normally 9, and 10 on Friday and Saturday. You get fries with dinner until after 5 p.m, when baked potatoes are available.
For more information, drop by one of El Dorado County’s most famous landmarks or give them a call at (530) 622-2901.
Oh, remember that for years they only had Bud on tap? Now they have a much greater selection of beers.