7:10 p.m. Saturday: Best Cowboy Food 


If the Bay Area's delicious but snooty food is getting you down, Cattlemen's is a good antidote. Forget arugula, porcini, or truffles, because Cattlemen's is all about meat, potatoes, and cowboys. The restaurant, which looks like the inside of a barn-cum-lodge, is decorated with the stuffed heads of buffalo, wildcats, and other Western animals. Throughout the restaurant and bar, there are wagons, saddles, and branding plaques from local farmers and ranchers, which all give the place the feel of a lodge in Montana. Before dinner, head to the bar and sit by the big stone fireplace. It's a perfect place to sip a cold beer or nurse a drink, especially on cold, rainy evenings. Because weekend nights get very crowded at Cattlemen's, the best time to come is midweek. The menu is simple and almost entirely devoted to meat. There's sizzling prime rib, sirloin, 24-ounce T-bone steaks, and tender filets mignons. Cattlemen's meat is delivered weekly from Harris Ranch, then aged on the premises and cut by the restaurant's own butcher. All the beef is served with salad, baked potatoes, hot sourdough bread, and ranch-style beans. If fat and cholesterol aren't too much of a worry, try the two-pound porterhouse steak, which is served smothered in Cattlemen's "tumbleweed onions" battered and then fried to a perfect crunch. After dinner, don't miss the homemade cobblers: three-berry or apple-peach. Now that protein is back and carbs are out, the lines at Cattlemen's are bound to get longer.

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