Roadside places like this can get away with being pretty substandard when they're the only option visible for desperate travelers. There's an attempt at the roadside traveler charm with faded postcards from far-flung visitors, but the place is really threadbare and the food isn't good. Most of the other customers were off-putting gross hicks even though the restaurant is trying to keep a welcoming vibe.
I could forgive a bit more if this place had counter service ordering. I had the most clueless and incompetent waiter I've ever had. You should have at least eaten at a restaurant before in order to be qualified to wait a table.
My brisket had no smoke ring and was obviously not smoked. The outside of it was blackened like grilled tri-tip and then it was clearly finished in the oven. Mac and cheese was indistinguishable from Kraft white cheddar mac-n-cheese. Iced tea was from institutional concentrate. My wife's veggie burger was a basic frozen garden burger which she doesn't mind but I don't know about other vegetarians. Onion rings seemed handmade and were fine.
Don't let a monopoly roadhouse hold you hostage because you need a restroom. There are other options a mile or so into Cloverdale on the same road that runs parallel to 101 but isn't visible from the freeway. Hamburger Ranch isn't good by any stretch. Driving through Cloverdale, it seems like a nice town these days so don't let this horrible dive color your impression. There are better options including ANOTHER barbecue place just up the road.
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