There are a many things in this world that we love, and two of them are: 1) Breakfast (of course!) 2) Airplanes. Wouldn't it be nice if it was possible to combine the two? No, I'm not talking about eating an airplane, nor am I talking about enjoying the discusting stuff that the airlines dispense for breakfast in the friendly skies. What I mean is, how about a resaurant that caters to the taste of pilots, locals, and other breakfast lovers, and enjoys watching a moderately busy general aviation airport in action while from a commanding view, while eating breakfast? Now let's add a third thing that we love: S.O.S. for breakfast! Does a restaurant like this exist in Sacramento? Yes! It's Aviator's Restaurant, located in the terminal building of Sacramento Executive Airport.
Photo: Aviator's Restaurant occupies most of the second floor of the airport terminal building, and offers an excellent vantage point to observe a busy general aviation airport in action, and enjoy a great breakfast!
Friday, November 20, 2009 was a special Friday for the members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club, as today was charter member Dan MacLeod's last day at work, as he was fortunate to be able to engineer an early retirement from his "real" job. Four charter members of our club, including your author, have served with the United States armed forces, and if you've ever served in any branch of the service, what entrée do you associate most with breakfast? S.O.S. of course! Editor's note: S.O.S. goes by many other names, including "same old stuff," and many other less-than-flattering names. S.O.S. is one of those dishes that you grow to love, or hate, but in the case of Dan, Brad, David and I, we're in the "love" category, as we love the dish. During the week prior to our visit, Brad came up with the idea that we should pay a déjà vu visit to Aviator's, and arrange in advance a breakfast of S.O.S. Brad made the proposal at our previous club meeting, and it was unanimously adopted by all members, although only three of us were planning to partake in the de facto military standard breakfast entrée.
Photo: Inside the main dining room. The room is surrounded on three sides that offer a great view of the runway, and lots of airplanes. As the photo illustrates, the restaurant was quite busy today.
Since Aviator's Restaurant caters to pilots, pilot-wannabees, ex-military folks, and anybody else who appreciates a good breakfast, it seemed logical to us that S.O.S. would be included on their menu, but it isn't. During our visit to Aviator's the previous year, we asked the waitress if it would be possible to order S.O.S., since we didn't see it on the menu. She replied that since they have all of the ingredients on hand, all it would take would be a simple phone call in advance, requesting x-number of orders of S.O.S., and we'd practically have our orders waiting for us when we arrived. We took them to their word, and the day before, I made the call to Aviator's, told them that we'd be in about 08:30 in the morning, and they said that they'd have S.O.S. ready for as many of who wanted it for breakfast, as they always have all of the ingredients on hand. Editor's Note: S.O.S. is really simple to make, and it makes good use of leftovers. Perhaps that's why it's so popular in the military! Check out my recipe for S.O.S. by clicking on this link.
Aviator's Restaurant is located in the terminal building of Sacramento Executive Airport, near the pilot's lounge, and the dining room feature's a bird's eye of the field, so as you enjoy a delicious breakfast, you can watch airplanes take off, land, taxi, refuel, and do the things that airplanes do. If you're an affectionado of general aviation, this factor alone will draw you to the restaurant, as you have an outstanding vantage point which allows the diner to view a busy general aviation airport in action. The decor is quite pleasant and cheery, and naturally features an aviation theme. We were especially impressed with the splash guard topping the soup and salad bar, as its a canopy from a defunct fighter jet, which is a nice touch. Practically any seat in the restaurant offers a fine view of the airport in action, which is just what we had in mind.
Photo: This couple occupies a booth next to the window, which give you an idea of the great view you get. Note the outdoor dining, on the terrace.
We had a large turnout for today's meeting, so our friendly waitress, Rebecca, suggested that we enjoy private dining, and a banquet room near the kitchen. We didn't even know this room was here... the room had one large table that fit all ten of us, with a couple of chairs to spare. The only bad thing about the room is that we were sort of isolated from the rest of the restaurant, and the room didn't afford a view of the runway, and the airport in action. But, you can't always get it all...
Photo: Head cook Chick, with Eric, your photographer, webmaster and author.
Members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club really appreciate fast, friendly service, and we definitely received the royal treatment from Mary, our friendly waitress. Besides private pilots, we noted that most of the other customers were locals, and regular patrons, as Mary greeted many of them by first name, and she seemed to know many of the customers. So add "catering to the tastes of the locals" to the impressive list of credentials owned by Aviator's Restaurant. We also couldn't help to notice that the restaurant was quite busy, and nearly full, which definitely says something about the place.
I mentioned to Rebecca that I'd called the previous day, and that three of us were planning to order S.O.S. I was rewarded with a blank stare, and she asked me what S.O.S. was. Now what? Dan and I started telling her about it, but she admitted that she'd never heard of it, but she said that she'd summon Chick, the head cook, as he was the guy that was going to prepare it for us.
Photo: I poked my nose inside the kitchen and snapped a photo of Rebecca getting our orders together. Part of our order waits on the counter. I used existing light photography, as I wanted a candid shot, which is difficult to achieve using flash.
Photo: Chick spotted me taking photos, and pointed out our orders which Rebecca was in the process of bringing to our table.
Chick knew exactly what S.O.S. is and how to make it. He asked what liked in it, besides, of course, the ground beef, flour and milk. We like it like its served in the military, complete with chopped onions, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of nutmeg, so we requested these ingredients. He asked us what sort of bread we wanted, and the three of us all requested sourdough, which is a departure from the military. Then, we requested country style potatoes on the side, and the whole plateful topped with two fried eggs.
As our orders were being prepared, I took the opportunity to look around the restaurant, and check out some of the aviation action. If you like to watch general aviation in action, Aviator's Restaurant is the place for you, as you're afforded an outstanding vantage point as you enjoy your delicious meal. I even took the opportunity to sneak a peek into the kitchen, and snap a few photos, of Aviator's kitchen in action.
Photo: I asked Rebecca to pose for my camera, as she delivered two plates of S.O.S. to the table.
Photo: My delicious breakfast of S.O.S., country potatoes, topped by two fried eggs. Note the bowl of gravy on the side, which was an added bonus. I applied them to my potatoes... yummy!
We've been to Aviator's before, so we knew what to expect in the presentation, quality and quantity of the breakfasts, and we weren't disappointed. But now you ask, what about our custom-made breakfasts of S.O.S.? The three of us who ordered S.O.S. agreed that it was simply delicious, naturally it was much better than what we'd enjoyed in the military. The S.O.S. was creamy, expertly blended, and cooked perfectly, and made the perfect topping for the sourdough toast. You could just taste the Worcestershire sauce and onions, as they complemented the dish rather than overpowered it. It has been a long time since I've enjoyed such a wonderful breakfast of S.O.S.!
Chick came out to visit and to solicit feedback for his version of S.O.S.. Naturally, we were all compliments and smiles, and we truly meant it when we told him that it was some of the finest S.O.S. that we'd ever had the pleasure to enjoy. In talking with Chick, we learned that he's retired phone company, so between the S.O.S. and his previous career with at&t, that certainly created a bond between us.
Photo: Today's Sacramento Breakfast Club members, from left to right, Dan MacLeod, Bev MacLeod, Matt Donnelly, Jeff Brown, Sergio Ganoa, Cindy Barlow, David DeMario, Brad Holther, Mark McIntire, and Eric Rench.
Aviator's Restaurant is definitely our kind of restaurant, as it features everything we love, plus a view as good as it gets of general aviation in action. For delicious food at very reasonable prices, friendly, efficient service, and fascinating surroundings, you owe it to yourself to visit Aviator's Restaurant. Highly recommended by members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club!
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