Some days you got no luck

We’ve got a new convertible and Gail was hungry.  Sounded like a good time to go for a ride to the Delta and find a nice marina to have a burger.  Silly me.

Driving out Hwy 4, the phone rang in the car.  It was the young master, now almost 30, calling from Tel Aviv to wish me a happy Father’s Day.  I was so pleased that I gave the conversation 98% of my attention, and completely missed the turnoff to the Antioch Bridge.  By the time I noticed, we were 5 miles down the road to Brentwood and in a place where I couldn’t turn around.

Once I sorted it all out, it seemed like too far to go back, so I looked for a place in Brentwood to eat.  “best hamburger in Brentwood” took us to a dumpy sports bar in an ugly strip mall.

The door was locked.  My luck was running bad.  Then someone said that door was broken (like they couldn’t put up a sign?) and to try the other one 20 feet away.

We got in.  Sat down at a table in the mostly empty, ugly, fairly dismal bar and the waitress came over and told us the dog couldn’t stay.  That sealed the deal, and we left.

Restaurant #1

Since Gail wasn’t speaking to me anyway, I decided to go back the right way and end up at the delta joint I had planned on.

We went up the road, over the bridge, along the levee and finally turned right on Sherman Island Road.  A couple of bumpy miles later, we were there.  And it was deserted, and wrapped in yellow caution tape.  Completely out of business.  Not a boat in the marina, not a car in the parking lot.  Broke, busted, gone.

Restaurant #2

Back along the levee to the main road.  Cross the bridge into Rio Vista, they must have someplace to eat along the water.  Indeed, a large and well-kept marina, with a big, 2-story restaurant buzzing with people.

We go in.  Ask a waitress how to get out to the tables on the deck.  She says if we want to “get sat” (sic) we have to talk to the hostess.

Hostess says she can seat us, however the kitchen is closed.  There was a Fathers Day brunch buffet, but it is now closed and they are changing over to menu service.  No food for the next 30 minutes.  That won’t do.

Restaurant #3

Google suggested Foster’s Bighorn.  Not on the water, but an old-time bar with a huge collection of mounted animal heads with reputedly good burgers.  If not everything we planned on, at least an experience.

I drove the few blocks.  Parking right in front.  Big sign on the doors:  NO DOGS

Restaurant #4

Burgerlicious gets a decent review.  Turns out to be an unreconstructed 1950’s drive in.  So trashy looking I don’t even tell Gail I had considered it, and keep driving.

Restaurant #5

A few miles up the road is Isleton, a small town established by Chinese who came here to build the railroads.  It’s quaint, quiet and different.  Not much going on, and not a ton of places to eat.  At least Gail was talking to me again.

I see a large Samoan guy standing outside a store, and in my best cool-guy impression ask “hey bruddah, where de best hamburger in the town?”  Ok, so I’m not really all that cool.  He tells me to try The Joint, right up the block.

We park right in front.  Right where Gail can see the application for a new liquor license.  I check.  Yup, no liquor.  After this extended journey, Gail isn’t having lunch without a glass or two of wine.  I’m thinking of one myself.

Restaurant #6

We find Peter’s Steakhouse, an old brick building on the edge of the town. The have liquor.  The kitchen is open.  They welcome the dog.  They have burgers.

Success!!!  On the 7th try.

The decor is eclectic, redneck mixed with classic Chinese.


The restaurant is only 8 or 9 years old, but the carpet has been there for ages.  That Chinese piece of furniture, with all the inlaid mother of pearl, is worth more than the building I think.


The artwork seems totally random.


This is stained glass over the door.  I can’t guess how old it might be.

The food was nothing special, except that there was something on the menu I’d never seen before.  Of course, I had to order it.


This is a crawfish sandwich.  In truth, crawfish is so bland that it is totally lost under the melted cheese and grilled onions.  The fries were good.

And that’s what I did on Fathers Day.  Although things started out poorly, in the end we were both laughing and it was an adventure.  Life is good.


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