Norm's Place, Danville CA

Restaurant Review – Norm’s Place, Danville

Norm's Place
Norm’s Place, Danville, CA

Fine dining, it isn’t, but Norm’s Place is  a deservedly popular eating and drinking place that attracts a lot of regular patrons from Danville and beyond.

I find it hard to believe that it was established as long ago as 2004 and this family business has seen many other Danville eating places come and go since then. Their concept was to provide a gathering place where people can just relax and enjoy themselves while getting great, family service and good food and drink. Something along the lines of “a place where everybody knows your name”. This approach has certainly paid off.

It’s a while since I’ve been there in the evening but I visited a couple of times for lunch recently, and so far as I can tell, nothing has changed. Norm’s has a somewhat funky ambiance that can best be described as “eclectic”. It reminds me of many pubs I have known in England, yet the vibe is undeniably American. Still, for many people (including me) it became the de facto replacement for the much missed Crown Pub that was just across the street  until its closure in 2013.

Norm’s Place Not Really A Pub

You won’t find any English fish & chips at Norm’s but what you will find is a  menu that has something for everybody. There is a good selection of finger food snacks or appetizers including nachos, breaded shrimp and wings, plus a varied menu of main dishes from salads, sandwiches and burgers to  salmon, pork chop , steaks and lamb shanks. Some of the entrees are only available in the evening.

The dishes that impressed me most were the Memphis Burger ( a quarter pound burger with barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese and fried onions) and a particularly tasty BLT made with Applewood smoked bacon with aioli and served on sprouted wheat bread. The burger was cooked exactly medium (to order) and seemed like more than a quarter pound to me. Served with good freshly cooked fries as well.

I was there on one January lunchtime when the weather had been dry for a few days and was unseasonably mild. Consequently, we sat outside on the patio, where they have perhaps seven or eight tables. My first outdoor dining of 2019!

I do tend to think of Norm’s as a pub as much as anything else though, so any review would be incomplete without mentioning their beer selection.

Norm’s Place Has A Great Beer Selection

Norm’s has 25 draft beer taps (which, as stated on their website at normsgrill.com, is the most in any Danville bar). These are made up of 10 beers that are always available plus 15 that rotate. Sadly, there are no English ales. Yes, I know they have Guinness but (a) that is a stout and (b) it is Irish, not English. On a positive note though, they usually have Sierra Nevada pale ale, which is my regular #1 choice of American beers, although perhaps surprisingly, it isn’t listed as on e of there core beers.

So as you will gather, I like Norm’s Place a lot. For casual dining in a pub-like atmosphere, it takes some beating. Go for lunch or for dinner. If your taste is anything like mine, you won’t be disappointed.

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