Priest Station Cafe is located at the 2100 foot-level, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, about 25 miles west of the entrance to Yosemite National Park, near the small town of Big Oak Flat. Priest Station Cafe is more than it's a fine restaurant, as Priest Station also includes a small store, and several comfortable cabins, which offer a quiet night's rest, and an awesome view of the foothills, and the San Joaquin Valley in the distance. And... the food is wonderful...
As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: Priest Station Cafe is located at the top of Priest Grade, on Old Priest Grade. If you're not familiar with this part of Tuolumne County, at the top of the grade, the road diversifies into "Priest Grade," and "Old Priest Grade." The old grade is a lot more "fun," if you like a narrow, twisting mountain road, with lots of slow curves, but if you're pulling a trailer of any size, it's not recommended.
Today is Thursday, July 04, 2019, just after the 8 o'clock morning opening time, and I've arrived to enjoy a delicious breakfast with an amazing view of the surrounding foothills, and the valley in the distance.
Priest Station was founded as a miner's supply store in the early 1850's - the restaurant is located in California's Gold Country - and later became a stagecoach stop, hotel with a restaurant. After a series of owners, and fires, the only original structure left from the 1800's is the well. Today, Priest Station, along with the restaurant, is owned by the 6th generation of family who founded it.
Photo: The inside dining room is small, cozy, very clean, and decorated with murals of the Sierra Nevada mountains, along with nearby Yosemite National Park. On this perfect Thursday morning, I chose to dine outside, but during the winter, when Priest Station regularly receives snow, dining inside is a better choice.
Photo: The cafe staff is hard at work, behind the small counter getting breakfast orders filled, as the restaurant is moderately busy on this holiday morning, shortly after opening. Note the Yosemite Valley mural painted on the wall.
Photo: The dining room offers a view of the patio, along with the nearby mountains, through the many windows. The dining room is light, airy, and very colorful, thanks to the murals painted on the wall, and the beautiful foothill scenery outside.
Photo: I definitely took notice of the great condiment selection on the counter. It's the "pick your choice and take to your table" method, which works for me. I took note of the bottles of Cholula hot sauce - one of my favorites - and grabbed a bottle to take to my table, on the outdoor patio.
Photo: The large, shaded patio offers a breathtaking view of the nearby mountains, and the San Joaquin Valley in the distance. Priest Station Cafe is perched at the top of Old Priest Grade, and offers a great view of the lovely foothill scenery, as you enjoy your meal. Talk about a meal with a view...
Photo: The breakfast menu features everything a connoisseur of breakfast could wish for! I looked it over, and settled for bacon and eggs, which always works, especially when you have such a gorgeous view.
Photo: Meet Audrey, my friendly and cheerful server, who brings my breakfast to my table with a smile. I was one of the first diners on this 4th of July morning, and my breakfast arrived about 15 minutes after placing my order.
Photo: Thanks, Audrey, for taking my photo, as I'm getting ready to enjoy breakfast with a smile. The background of the photo gives a clue of the beautiful view you'll enjoy as you dine on the patio.
Photo: From the "Two Egg Breakfast with Meat or Not," I went with bacon, eggs, hash brown potatoes, and sourdough toast. The bacon arrived on top of the eggs which made for a mouth-watering presentation.
If you order meat, you get to choose between two slices of bacon or sausage. If you don't choose hash browns, you can order fruit or country potatoes. All the common types of toast are yours to choose from, and you get your two eggs cooked the way you choose. I ordered my eggs cooked over easy, which is my de facto standard way to enjoy eggs with my breakfast. I ordered sourdough toast, which is my favorite variety of toast.
The trademark of a fine chef is cooking eggs, "over easy," when you order your eggs cooked that way, and my eggs arrived, as ordered, cooked perfectly, over easy, just the way I like them. The "plating" was very interesting, and perhaps the two, thick, juicy, perfectly cooked strips of bacon added to the delicious taste, as they arrived on top of the hash brown potatoes. Speaking of hash brown potatoes, they were cooked to a golden brown on the outside, and chewy, white, and simply delicious on the inside. The sourdough toast was hot, buttered and delicious.
I would not call the portions "huge," but I would say this breakfast will satisfy 95% of breakfast appetites, unless you're an N.F.L. linebacker, longshoreman, or Paul Bunyan himself. The breakfast was delicious, satisfying, and represented a good value, especially considering the remote location of the restaurant.
Priest Station Cafe serves delicious food, the staff is friendly, the prices are reasonable, the patio is comfortable, and the view of the foothills, and the distant San Joaquin Valley and Old Priest Grade is breathtaking. For great food with an awe-inspiring view, head to Priest Station Cafe, located near Big Oak Flat, CA
Priest Station Cafe and Store
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