Wine truly pairs with anything, as is evident at Sonora’s Diamondback Grill where burgers and grilled cheese highlight local vintages.
The Grill has called Sonora home since 1991 and for the past seven years Frank Uzzardo and Lana Smith-Uzzardo have been keeping locals and tourists alike nourished with made-from-scratch American cuisine featuring quality ingredients.
“We make all of our stuff fresh here,” stated Lana. “Nothing comes out of a bag or a box or a can. We have great wines here and a sommelier that comes up with all these different options. We get a lot of knowledge from her and we have really good quality here.”
The dressings, soups, marinades, salsas, compound butters and more are all made from scratch and they smoke their own fish and meats. They find it important to use local products like cheeses from Fiscalini Cheese Company in Modesto, local honey, turkey from Diestel’s local ranch, produce from Kline Family Farm, and Table Mountain Garden.
The menu has been the same for the most part since the beginning with only a few tweaks and daily special changes. The restaurant was a tradition for their family over 20 years ago and they want to keep the same traditions and consistency for future families.
“I like to say if it is not broke don’t fix it,” remarked Lana. “When we took over the business we kept the menu the same with very few changes. So we try to keep it simple. We have a big enough menu that pretty much pleases everybody and a menu that they know.
“We try to keep it as consistent as possible with a few specials.”
February and March are typically a great time for restaurants – in a normal setting without a pandemic lurking – what with special Valentine’s Day menus and corned beef and cabbage specialties from chefs for St. Patrick’s Day. Diamondback Grill is no different with Valentine’s Day specials and in the past an added See’s Candy treat and a made from scratch corned beef and cabbage dinner. Plus, it’s a place you can count on being treated well.
“We get so many compliments on our service,” said Lana. “We have great servers that are friendly, respectful, and honest.”
According to Lana, the Famous Diamondback Grill Burgers are what they are known for and what people love and keep going back for. The juicy half pound burgers are on a sesame bun with all the fixings and a side of fries.
Another guest favorite is the Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Fiscalini Farms San Joaquin Gold, smoked bacon, lettuce and tomato in La Brea Bakery sourdough.
The ribeye is a special on the menu that is a customer favorite along with the salmon. For a lighter option Lana recommends the Grilled Flat Iron Steak Salad that is seasoned with a toasted spice and served with sautéed mushrooms and onions on a bed of fresh greens with Pt. Reyes blue cheese dressing.
“They (customers) rave about our food and they come back for our food and look forward to us being open,” declared Lana. “They ask us all the time when we will be open. That is why we stay busy. It is word of mouth.”
The historic building in Sonora was once a pharmacy and they still have the window that now leads into the kitchen that has ‘Prescriptions’ labeled at the top. It was also a shoe store at one time where the shelves have wine stored instead of shoes. They have big plank wood floors that back in the Gold Rush days miners believed gold fell through those cracks so they would go underneath looking for the gold.
With the fluctuating COVID-19 restrictions, Diamondback Grill has set up tables in the street next to their restaurant that has been closed off for that purpose.
“These servers work so hard and they love their job,” noted Lana. “They really had to sacrifice this summer when we were thrown outside and couldn’t serve indoors.”
The various parades throughout the year in downtown Sonora have been a huge draw for people to enjoy from all over and Lana has high hopes that they will be able to continue that tradition in 2021 and the restaurant can open completely once again to serve their loyal customers and tourists.
“This is a great location,” shared Lana. “I love it. I appreciate our customers being faithful and coming back. They are always calling and when we do open, they come in and bring their families. That is the good part about it and you feel like you are doing something special.”
For more information call 209-532-6661 or visit diamondbackgrillsonora.com. They are at 93 S. Washington St., in Sonora.