Friday, February 4, 2011, the Sacramento Breakfast Club welcomed new member Mike Casella to his first breakfast meeting with our club, and as a "welcome to the club" present, we fast-forwarded him to the head of the line and allowed him to choose the location of today's club meeting. Mike lives in the general area of Bella Bru Café, and has enjoyed countless breakfasts there before joining the club, so Bella Bru Café was Mike's logical choice for today's meeting.
Photo: Bella Bru Café is located in an upscale strip mall in the Natomas area of Sacramento, which is north of downtown, and the restaurant is near to Arco Arena, home of the Sacramento Kings basketball team. Forgive me, as I could care less about basketball, as I'm a football fan... but that's beside the point, as Bella Bru offers lots of spacious outdoor dining, but outdoor dining wasn't an option on this chilly Friday morning.
Bella Bru Café is a departure from our usual club protocol, as you could describe the restaurant, in a word, as elegant... when you enter, the first thing that grabs your attention is the full-service bar. It's stocked with everything a boozer could imagine, and rivals some of the bars that I've seen at some of my trips to destination resorts in Las Vegas. My mouth was watering for a Bloody Mary... my favorite (weekend) pick-me-up...but darn... I had to drive home after the club meeting, so a drink wasn't an option. I had to settle for many cups of Bella's delicious coffee... In addition to being a fine restaurant, café, and watering hole, Bella Bru sells baked goods and pastries over the counter. Compared to our usual meeting places, Bella Bru Café is really "foo-foo," but variety is the spice of life, and since Bella Bru serves breakfast, it's a worthy location to hold a club meeting.
Photo: You walk in the front door and you can see the cashier's station, and the baker counter loaded with lots of baked goods, including cakes, muffins, rolls, bread and lots of other goodies.
Photo: Just after opening time, at 0815 on this Friday morning, I snapped a photo of the dining room and the mouth-watering full-service bar. If you look to the left center of the photo, you can see the members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club in the process of holding today's meeting.
OK, thanks to Mike, our usual breakfast pattern was shattered to pieces, as Bella Bru Café differs from our usual meeting locations for some of the following reasons:
The Natomas Bella is one link in a small chain of three
restaurants located in the greater Sacramento area
Photo: Our friendly server, Sarah takes Mikee's breakfast order. Note the awesome bar in the background of the photo.
Photo: Sarah delivers a breakfast burrito to Matt's outstretched hand.
Believe it or not, Bella Bru's breakfast menu does not offer a chicken fried steak, nor is there any mention of any choice offered on the menu that includes gravy! Holy cow! Cops, truckers... fifth wheelers... beware! Part in jest, part in earnest, Dan asked our friendly server, Sarah, if it was possible to order a chicken fried steak, smothered in gravy - it's not on the menu - and Sarah replied with a warm, friendly smile, and told Dan that he was at Bella Bru Café, and Bella doesn't serve chicken fried steak. Typical of Dan to stick his neck out... but Dan had to settle for a smoked salmon omelet, and after our club meeting, he asked me to publish that his smoked salmon omelet was the best one that he'd ever eaten. Score a "biggie" for Bella Bru Café!
Photo: New member of the Sacramento Breakfast Club, Mike, a.k.a., "Mikee," Casella, draws his sword... excuse me... he draws his fork, as he shows the camera that he's about to tackle his delicious omelet. David seems to be quite busy enjoying his omelet, as Bev looks on, quite envious of Mikee, as he draws his sword.
Photo: I ordered Hueveros Ranchers for breakfast, as I'm a gigantic fan our any menu offering that reflects on Mexican or Southwestern influence. The photo is of my order of huevos rancheros... and Bella Bru's Huevos Ranchers are some of the best that I've enjoyed north of the border. Unlike 99% of the rest, Bella Bru allows you to choose how you want your eggs cooked, as most restaurants offer huevos ranchers scrambled. Well... I like my eggs over easy, so that's what I ordered, and true-to-form, my eggs, fried over easy, were placed on top of a bed of corn tortillas, black beans, pinto beans, and salsa. It didn't top there, as the eggs were garnished with shredded cheese, salsa, a avocado strip, and a dollop of sour cream. Oh yes... the coffee was good and plentiful. Great breakfast!!!
Today's meeting location was a definite departure from our usual club protocol, but despite that fact that Bella Bru Café is a bit on the "foo-foo" side, and quite elegant, all of our members had nothing but praise to heap on the restaurant. The food is delicious, the "plating" is elegant, the dining room is comfortable and spacious, the service is great, the full service bar is tempting, and despite the upscale elegance, the prices are very reasonable, and represent an excellent value for your hard-earned dollar.
In my case, as the photographer, webmaster, and publisher, can offer a personal opinion of my breakfast at Bella Bru Café: My huevos rancheros were some of the best that I've enjoyed north of the Mexican border, and my portion was "just right," as it filled me up, allowed me to skip lunch, but I didn't gorge myself, nor did I have enough to take home in a box. Kudos to Bella Bru for serving the perfect portion size.
Photo: Today's members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club, are, from left to right: Sara Donnelly, Matt Donnelly, Eric Rench, Mike Casella, David DeMario, Bev MacLeod, and the grandmaster of our orginazation... Dan MacLeod.
In addition to superior service and delicious food, Bella Bru Café has a great website which illustrates the many events happening at the restaurant, but more importantly, their complete breakfast menu is published on the World Wide Web, for all web heads to surf.
The verdict? ... Bella Bru Café is a winner, and is highly recommended by members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club.
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