Best meat and gravy heaven

Bud’s Buffett

A typical lunch hour at Bud’s Buffet.

A typical lunch hour at Bud’s Buffet.

Photo by GAVin McIntyre

On a warm Wednesday afternoon, the savory aroma of roasted meats lures hungry foot traffic off the busy sidewalk on 10th Street and into a line that stretches from one end of the eatery back to the front door. Inside Bud’s Buffet, the ambience is reminiscent of a lunchtime cafeteria, what with its loud chatter, modestly decorated dining area and fast-paced assembly line.

Since 1988, this old-fashioned lunch spot has been revered for its thick portions of peppery pastrami, baked ham, barbecued pork, and corned and roast beef (just to name a few) packed into soft French rolls. Here, the menu is simple: specialty deli sandwiches, cold Italian pasta and macaroni salads, and hot daily lunch specials that rotate during the week, like lasagna and spaghetti served with side salads, or chopped steak served with Bud’s signature mound of mashed potatoes and gravy. Recommended on the specialty hot sandwiches menu: the spicy “Diablo” with roast beef, melted pepper jack cheese, housemade chipotle sauce and jalapeños. Or, try Bud’s classic Reuben with deli-sliced pastrami, Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut, spicy brown mustard and Swiss cheese.

Despite its lunchtime rush, the steady ebb and flow of customers makes this afternoon lunch stop a quick place to enjoy a filling meal, but bear in mind Bud’s is only open during the workweek from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

1016 10th Street, (916) 443-6905,