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New Food Review: Fat Maddie's Barrelhouse and Bistro


Photo by Nicole L. yelp.com

Without sacrificing its farmhouse charm, this second Fat Maddie’s—a standout family restaurant among downtown Pleasant Hill’s sea of chains—is all grown up. With a full bar, modern and art deco lighting, a spacious patio, and contemporary bistro accents, it’s a cut above the San Ramon original. The menu showcases classic salads and sandwiches, as well as down-home entrées—many with a Southern flair, and all reasonably priced. Maddie’s fried chicken, whether tucked into bread with aged cheddar or served alongside whipped potatoes, is both moist and crunchy. A generous bistro fillet, offered au poivre or sliced and presented over house-mixed lettuces with blue cheese, is supple and sublime. Both the seared salmon topped with a mango salsa and the sautéed shrimp over lightly cheesy grits could have had more zing, but all our dishes—sampled during opening week—proved satisfying. Check out the mint and berry lemonade, craft beers, and semi-private booth for six. 45 Crescent Dr., (925) 849-4482, . Lunch and dinner daily. $$

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