The 20th choice on the omelette menu reads: "Create your own omelette and we'll create the price according to the customer's attitude." Now that's a bold and gutsy statement, but a true statement indeed, from the menu of Sutter Street Grill, in historic, downtown Folsom, CA, and it more-or-less sums up the folksy, old-fashioned atmosphere that you'll be treated to during a visit to Sutter Street Grill.
Photo: Sutter Street Grill is located in a Gold Rush-era building, on Sutter Street, in the heart of historic old town Folsom.
You've probably heard of Folsom, CA, due to its most famous landmark, Folsom Prison, officially known in California "state speak" as California State Prison, Sacramento. Yes, Folsom is the prison that singer Johnny Cash immortalized in his 1968 smash country hit "Folsom Prison Blues." But the City of Folsom is a lot more than a prison town, as it's a delightful place to live, work, and most importantly, it's a delightful place to eat breakfast. And it's home to one of the most highly-rated breakfast restaurants in the area, the Sutter Street Grill.
If you ask almost any Folsom resident to recommend a breakfast restaurant, about eighty-nine percent of them will recommend Sutter Street Grill. The restaurant has received rave reviews from radio stations and newspapers, and its probably the most popular restaurant in Folsom for breakfast. Members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club have been talking about paying a visit to Sutter Street Grill for the past year or so, but for many reasons, something always precluded a visit, but all things changed on Friday, March 6, 2009, as the Sacramento Breakfast Club finally had the chance to hold a club meeting at Sutter Street Grill.
Photo: The view when you walk into the restaurant takes you back to a simpler time, as the decor is very old-fashioned, but yet very comfortable and inviting. The breakfast counter and kitchen are to the right of the photo. You'd almost think it was 1909, rather than 2009. Did they have the Internet in 1909?
Sutter Street Grill is located in a refurbished Gold Rush-era building, on it's namesake street, Sutter Street, which is the main street in historic, old town Folsom. If it wasn't for the neon sign in the window, you could close your eyes and almost imagine that it's 1909, rather than 2009. As you walk into Sutter Street Grill, you will definitely get that "old time feeling," as the decor is pure Victorian era, complete with high ceilings, period ceiling fans, waistcoating, and tongue-and-groove paneling. The wall decorations are pure Victorian nostalgia as well, as there are many framed photos taken in and around Folsom in bygone days, old-time high school sports pennants, and shelves decorated with antique bottles, coffee pots, soup bowls, plates and other memorabilia from distant days. The breakfast club members, all of whom work for the major telecommunications company in Northern California, were especially amused by a non-working replica of a wooden, wall phone from the early 1890's, mounted on one of the walls of the dining room.
Sutter Street Grill is open for breakfast and lunch only, which elevates the restaurant to elite status in the eyes of the members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club. The menu offers a large assortment of breakfast favorites -- there is something for every taste and appetite -- and reflects the taste the local residents. Actually, we weren't surprised by their menu, as we'd been surfing their web site for the last week or so, and we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to order, but we were happy to see that they have a couple of white boards that advertise daily specials, in least in my case, altered the dynamics of what I had planned to order for breakfast.
Photo: Looking across the dining room from our table shows some of the period decorations. Note the photos of Folsom, in earlier times, the shelves decorated with old-fashioned bottles and appliances, and the wall-phone replica, to the right of the photo.
Since we expected quite a crowd for this breakfast meeting, David had made reservations for the club, as we wanted a table for ten, because we were expecting most of the regular members, plus a couple of guests to attend today's meeting. Waitresses Stacy and Lorna, with the help of jack-of-all-trades Raul, moved three tables together, which provided ample room for today's meeting. Soon we were doing what we do best, chatting, drinking coffee, and trying to decide what to order from the extensive breakfast menu. So many wonderful choices...
Lorna and Stacy paid us regular visits, to refill our coffee mugs, and to see if we were ready to place our orders. Since I'm the webmaster of this web site, and I photograph, write and publish the articles about the adventures of the Sacramento Breakfast Club, I'm sort of the de facto spokesman, so when we hold a club meeting, I usually am elected tell the staff who we are, what we do, and why we take so many photos and ask so many questions. I introduced myself, and the club to Stacy, who had actually heard about us, and she commented that she was happy that we decided to hold a meeting at her restaurant. I made the comment that I already knew that the restaurant would get an outstanding review, due to the family-friendly atmosphere, the interesting decor, the attentive service that we'd already received, and the warm, fuzzy feeling we got from just being in the place. I told her that we had confidence that our breakfast would be absolutely delicious! Later, I would find that to be a true statement.
Photo: Stacy arranges silverware at the window to the kitchen. Note the whiteboard, to the right of the photo that reads "Chorizo and Eggs," and the low-tech order wheel, that's used to give order to the kitchen.
On this Friday morning in Folsom, Sutter Street Grill was the place to be, as the place was very full. Notice that I didn't use the word packed, but practically every table was filled, plus several of the stools at the breakfast counter. Not bad for a weekday morning, as not too many restaurants can make this claim! Sutter Street Grill is a very popular restaurant with Folsom locals, and I've heard that weekends can be very busy... Despite the fact that the restaurant was quite full, our coffee mugs never went empty, as Raul, Stacy and Lorna were very attentive to our coffee needs.
Speaking of coffee mugs, we'd heard that a trademark of Sutter Street Grill is their mis-matched coffee mugs, and that's a fact, as coffee is served in mugs that don't match. The restaurant seems to have an endless array of coffee mugs, and the collection is so diverse, that it looks like they were purchased at different intervals from different thrift stores. (That's probably true... ) My mug was rather interesting, as it bore the corporate logo of a national chain restaurant, which in the grand scheme of things, would be a competitor to Sutter Street Grill.
Photo: Stacy writes "Welcome Sacramento Breakfast Club" on the whiteboard, as Lorna takes Dan's order.
I was leaning toward ordering pork chops for breakfast, but I noticed that the white board advertised chorizo and eggs as a Friday special, which I couldn't resist, as I absolutely love chorizo, and it's a little hard to find, unless you dine at a Mexican restaurant. While I was pondering the menu, I noticed that the names of many of the staff members are printed on the menu, which is a nice touch, as Sutter Street Grill prides itself on being a family restaurant, and they consider their staff to be members of their extended family. While I was taking all of this in, Lorna stopped by to ask if we were ready, and when most of us said "yes," she began to take our orders.
While Lorna was taking our orders, Stacy wrote on the whiteboard, "Welcome Sacramento Breakfast Club." What a nice thing to do... nobody has given us a welcome in writing before. Nice touch, and kudos to Stacy, and Sutter Street Grill.
Photo: Lorna delivers Matt's omelette to him. Matt ordered Number 20 on the menu, which reads: "Create your own omelette and we'll create the price according to the customer's attitude." I forgot to ask him what was in it, but whatever it was, Brian and Brad seem very interested.
Somebody always seems to put their foot into their mouth during club meetings, and today it was my turn to be awarded the booby prize, which made the second week in a row for me. When came my turn to place my order, as Lorna was writing my wishes on her order pad, I mentioned to her, and I quote myself, "Say, you're on the menu... " (Names of staff members are printed on the menu) which was a poor choice of words on my part, as it insinuated the old "coffee, tea, or me" adage made infamous during the early days of airline travel. What I meant to say was that "I saw your name on the menu," but it didn't come out that way, and members of our group were quick to notice the faux pas that I'd made, and I was rewarded with "the needle," and a round of laugher for the second week in a row! Caveat: Everybody and anybody is fair game while attending a meeting of the Sacramento Breakfast Club! Lorna was quick to react, as she replied "I'm not on the menu," which brought another round of laughter from the club members. At this stage of the game, there was no way that I could dig myself out of the hole that I'd placed myself into, so I simply ordered a delicious breakfast of chorizo and eggs over easy, country style potatoes, a biscuit, and a side of gravy. Oh yes, I had my coffee mug refilled my for probably the 11th time that morning...
It took Lorna multiple trips to bring our orders to the table, after all, today's meeting had nine of us in attendance, and each breakfast order seemed to require at least two dishes. By the time every order arrived, the table was quite full, but that didn't stop Raul from bringing another round of delicious coffee. Or orders ran the full gamete of the menu, and I didn't get a chance to quiz everybody on their menu choice, but I did note that a total of six of us, which equates to a majority of two-thirds, ordered gravy on the entree, or a dish of gravy on the side. Gravy with breakfast is a trademark of the Sacramento Breakfast Club.
Photo: Mark cuts up his chicken fried steak, as he and David's plates of biscuits and gravy help to frame the photo. Members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club are fond of biscuits and gravy...
To backtrack just a bit, at the time I placed my order for choirzo and eggs, I asked Lorna how it was presented, and what came on the side. She told me that chorizo is scrambled with the eggs, and a stack of corn tortillas is served on the side. Don't get me wrong, I love corn tortillas, but I was in the mood for country style potatoes, along with gravy, not to mention that I wanted my eggs fried, over easy, so I requested a "regular" breakfast, with chorizo served on the side, as would be done with a slab of sausage or ham. When I requested a substitution, Lorna was only too happy to cheerfully fulfill my request... When my order arrived, it was prepared exactly as I'd requested it, with the chorizo cooked separately from the eggs, and served on the side. My eggs were fried over easy, just the way I like them, the country style potatoes were chunky, cooked to a golden brown, with oregano sprinkled on them, which added to the taste and the presentation. A side dish with a huge biscuit, a small container of whipped butter, and a bowl with my side order of gravy rounded out my breakfast.
Photo: Now this is a breakfast! My breakfast of home style potatoes, eggs over easy, chorizo, a giant biscuit, whipped butter, and a bowl of gravy. I spooned gravy over the biscuit and potatoes, which made the delicious breakfast even better.
I loved my breakfast, and so did everybody else. All the hype and rave reviews that we'd heard about the place are true, as Sutter Street Grill served us an outstanding breakfast. The food is delicious, the ingredients are fresh, the food is made-to-order, the presentation is attractive and the portions are big, so you won't leave hungry. Despite the fact that the restaurant was very busy, the wait staff was personable, attentive and very friendly, but not obtrusive, and the coffee kept coming ... which is very important to coffee addicts like the majority of the members of our club are. Everybody loved everything about the restaurant, and during the customary after-the-meal autopsy of the breakfast, held in the parking lot across the street, Sutter Street Grill was awarded a big two thumbs up from all breakfast club members.
Photo: Today's Sacramento Breakfast Club members, from left to right: Eric Rench, author, photographer and webmaster, Matt Donnelly, Mark McIntire, David DeMario, Dan MacLeod, Sharon Angelo, Jim Angelo, Brian Gardiner, and Brad Holther. Note Dan's upraised coffee cup; he always like to toast the photographer. Photo was graciously taken by Lorna.
Sutter Street Grill is the sort of restaurant where you really feel at home, and the charming decor, the warm atmosphere, the fast and friendly service and the hearty food will keep you coming back again and again. The food is delicious, reasonably priced, and you won't leave hungry. After spending a couple of wonderful hours, enjoying a top-notch breakfast, now we know why Sutter Street Grill is the breakfast restaurant of choice for Folsom locals.
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