A Side Trip to Danville

Whenever I am in the US, my time with my cousin and good friend S has always been short – only a few hours for either lunch or dinner depending on how our schedules connect.  On my recent trip to the Bay Area, we made it a point to spend a couple of days together starting with a mini family reunion at her parents’ home in San Ramon and ending with lunch I immensely enjoyed in downtown Danville.

Just 30 miles east of San Francisco, Danville, the heart of the San Ramon Valley was a pleasant surprise.  As with many towns, it features various interesting shops, art galleries and upscale eateries.  One such eatery is Sideboard, a neighborhood café at the old Danville Hotel.

It spells quaint the minute I walked in with its charming French country décor.  One gets a choice to dine on wooden tables and cozy chairs indoors or on the mosaic tiled patio tables outside – which we chose despite the chilly weather.

A perfect choice for summer but if like us, one still prefers to sit outdoors on a cold winter’s day, they offer heater stands and thick woolen blankets to keep one warm.  Having a meal at Sideboard is like having dinner at your good friend’s home as the owner Ford Andrews goes around talking to diners as if we are his long-lost friends.  The self-service style is evidence to the friendly casual atmosphere it has come to project.  And the food is comforting and personal.  Ford’s wife Erin uses regionally grown produce, which she personally hunts for at the Farmer’s market nearby or at the Ferry building in San Francisco.  What we had that day:

A must try!  Fried Brussel Sprouts.  One after the other, I just kept popping these gorgeously fried babies into my mouth.  The best dish I had here.

I went for the comforting Pulled pork sandwich while my brother chose this delectable bowl of Chili (a favorite of his).

The scones, he said, went so well with the chili, he asked for second servings (of the scones), which Ford gladly gave.

Also not to be missed is their famous burger made from Prather Ranch beef.

This homemade Banana bread and a mug of Blue Bottle coffee is the perfect cap to a wonderful lunch.

My visit to Sideboard had me wishing I lived in the area so I can make it my regular go-to café – a great place to kill time with a good cup of coffee and terrific homemade desserts. Thank you S for taking me there.   🙂

Useful Info

Sideboard Cafe
The Danville Hotel
411 Hartz Ave.,
Danville, CA
(925) 984-2713

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