Small, homey Calistoga offers a pleasing combination of high-end California cuisine and simpler yet still delicious fare. If you need a break from rich, expensive food, a great place to stop for a meal sits right at the corner of Lincoln and Highway 29.
Buster’s Barbecue and Bakery (1207 Foothill Blvd., 707/942-5605, $4–10) brings unpretentious barbecue to Wine Country. At this walk-up eatery, you may find lines at lunch and dinner time—mostly locals looking for a good, quick meal. The simple fare includes huge hot dogs, homemade barbecued tri-tip sandwiches, barbecued pork, and chicken.
You’ll also have your pick of traditional sides (baked beans, slaw, potato salad, cornbread, and such) and Southern-style baked goods. The sweet potato pie is a reputed local favorite. Portions are huge, the quality rocks even for Wine Country food, and when they say that the “hot” barbecue sauce is serious, they really mean it.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition