French Toast with a Twist: Derricks Grille At Black Gold GC
Maybe two minutes after we sit down for lunch on the wraparound terrace at Derricks Grille – the popular in-house restaurant at Black Gold GC in Yorba Linda – I hear all I need to hear from the next table. Everything is really good here,” a man says to his three friends. “I’ve never had a bad meal. And I’ve been here a lot.”
Frankly, the view sold me even before that. Our corner table is perched 30 feet above the 18th green and pond, with a stunning westward panorama to our right that encompasses seemingly most of Orange County all the way to the ocean. Every outside table is occupied this Saturday afternoon, and there’s a 200-plus person wedding party reserved for the late afternoon and evening. Really, the only available tables are two inside by the bar. But why not be under the sun on this peaceful day? Besides, there’s a lively vibe to the terrace which is located on the backside of the upscale, 20,000-square-foot clubhouse.
It’s crazy to think that this restaurant and golf course sit on what was once an oil field. That’s where both the course name and the restaurant name come from — oil rigs … are also referred to as derricks. And at the height of production here, there were more than 100 derricks on property. Today, however, people come to find their riches within the flavor.
Going over the two-page menu, our friendly waitress tells us that the most popular breakfast order is the Eggs Benedict. A close second is the “Rock” French Toast, which she describes as “like nothing you’ve ever seen.” Sold. Yeah, it may be lunchtime, but my two companions and I decide that this is a must-order appetizer.
Within 10 minutes, the French toast arrives. It’s one of those items that as the waitress carries it to our table, every person she passes en route stares and asks in amazement what they’re looking at. It’s a large block of baked brioche loaf oozing with warm nutella inside and topped with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, bananas and strawberries – an oversized aesthetic presentation that also doesn’t disappoint with flavor. Staffers tell me they call it “the birthday cake,” and I can understand why. It tastes fantastic – nice and warm, with a great blend of sweet and fruity – and is more like dessert than anything else. Yet I can easily see it as a pre-golf breakfast with coffee. But although it’s filling, we still came for lunch.
While the popular fish tacos and tuna melt are highly recommended, we each go in our own direction. My sister-in-law orders the teriyaki chicken bowl. It’s not overloaded with sauce, and the brightly colored veggies are fresh and crisp. The grilled chicken is done to tender perfection, she says. My wife decides on the full harvest salad with grilled salmon, which she said is cooked just to her liking – neither overdone nor undercooked. And I opt for the turkey stack on a whole wheat ciabatta roll. Everything on it is fresh – right down to the avocado and tomato. The bacon’s a nice touch, as are the fries.
I love the menu’s wide variety of options – for both breakfast and lunch. Sprinkled throughout is a lot of what I deem comfort food. “We like to change things up as much as we can,” says Rob Armendariz, the executive chef and food and beverage manager. “There’s also a lot of Asian influence on the menu. That started about four years ago – my first year here. We looked at it as a nice amenity to the golf course. We had a good menu at the time, but we had so much more to offer. So why limit ourselves? I started exploring things that people like to eat. People eat Asian food often, so why not have that kind of comfort food for them to come and try? When people came to Black Gold to play golf back then, they’d mostly bring their own food or just not stay to eat. Now when they come to Derricks, they may start off with our spicy sushi and then eat some things that they’re more familiar with. So that kind of opens up the door a little bit.”
Lucky are the locals living in the surrounding subdivisions, as Derricks is a neighborhood centerpiece. While Armendariz says that a lot of people mistakenly think the upscale Black Gold is a private course, the golf facility and restaurant are open to the public. “We naturally have golfers as customers and want to take care of them,” he says. “But we’re also trying to open up to outside customers and let them know that they’re welcome here.”
So even if you’re not enjoying 18 holes, you’ll still be able to be on property and strike gold.