Located in the small Sierra foothill town of El Dorado, Cafe El Dorado is a hidden gem of a restaurant, and a treat for an amazing breakfast or lunch! Included with any meal is unlimited cups of coffee, amazingly friendly service, and lots of country charm.
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: Cafe El Dorado, in keeping with the Sierra foothill community, is as rustic as it gets, both inside and outside. It's a little after 1:00 in the afternoon on Sunday, March 31, 2018. We've just enjoyed a two-hour train ride on the El Dorado Western Railroad, and we're hungry, to now it's time for brunch.
Photo: The rustic dining room greets you as soon as you enter the restaurant. The dining room is actually divided into three sections, with each section separated by a low partition. Note the bar at the rear of the photo, where the staff mixes Bloody Marys and Mimosas for your dining enjoyment. If you prefer, you can also sit at the bar.
Photo: My friend and I sat in the main dining room, which is paneled in knotty pine, which is native to the area. All dining rooms feature tables as there are no booths in this fine restaurant. On this early Sunday afternoon, less than an hour before closing time, the restaurant is nearly full of hungry diners.
Photo: One page of the extensive breakfast menu, which features everything you could ever desire for breakfast. The lunch pages are equally extensive. Since Cafe El Dorado is open for breakfast and lunch only, any item listed on the menu is available any time the restaurant is open. A great "perk" about this fine restaurant is all meals include a bottomless cup of coffee, which is good news for a guy like me, who loves coffee.
Since it was a little past 1:00 in the afternoon, and I hadn't eaten breakfast today, I flip-flopped between breakfast or lunch, but when my dining companion announced she was going for "Chicken Fried Steak 'N Eggs," I threw the idea of lunch out the window and decided to join her for breakfast. In the end, both of us went for the chicken fried steak.
Photo: If you peek through the swinging doors from the dining room, you can get a peek into the kitchen, and watch the chef prepare your meal.
Photo: There were two friendly servers working the restaurant on this busy Sunday afternoon, and they worked together as a great duo to keep things moving. Friendly Sherry is at the bar, and shows me a Bloody Mary she's just mixed for a customer. The Bloody Mary certainly looked good to me, and I regretted that I had to drive!
Photo: Meet our friendly server Cindy, who brought our breakfast to us with a smile. The restaurant was busy, but Cindy always made the time for small talk, and to keep our coffee cups full of delicious coffee.
Photo: My dining companion Linda and I are all smiles, as we're getting ready to enjoy a delicious breakfast at this fine restaurant. We ordered identical breakfasts, and Linda loved her breakfast as much as I loved mine.
Photo: From the "Eggs 'N Such" portion of the breakfast menu, we ordered identical breakfasts of "Chicken Fried Steak 'N Eggs," which included the signature entree of the dish, a chicken fried steak, two eggs, homestyle potatoes, and a side of biscuits and gravy, instead of toast. How can you eat a chicken fried steak without biscuits and gravy?
The chicken fried steak was tender, juicy, breaded in a flavorful batter, and perfectly cooked to a golden brown. The steak was so tender that the knife wasn't needed, as you could cut it with your fork into bite-size pieces. The chicken fried steak was placed on top of a layer of gravy, with more gravy added on top of it. Speaking of gravy, this is some of the best country gravy that I've enjoyed in a long time, as it was rich, flavorful, and definitely "southern style." After asking one of our friendly servers, Sherry, she confirmed the amazing gravy is made, in-house.
As long as we're talking gravy, a generous helping of country gravy was placed on the freshly made biscuits, which made for an outstanding addition to breakfast.
The two eggs are cooked any way you want; in our case, we both chose to have our eggs cooked over easy, and we weren't disappointed, as our eggs were cooked perfectly.
You have your choice of hash brown potatoes or homestyle potatoes. I lean toward hash brown potatoes, as I've never mastered the art of cooking them at home, so it's always a treat to enjoy them at a restaurant. Linda ordered first, and she decided to order homestyle potatoes, and our server, Cindy, asked if she'd like chopped bell pepper and onion in her potatoes. That was enough for me to switch gears and join Linda in ordering homestyle potatoes with my breakfast!
The breakfast potatoes - which happened to be firm, red potatoes - were cut to just the right size, and fried to a golden brown on the outside, with the inside chewy and tender, just the way we like it. The diced pepper and onion had just a little bit of "crunch," and added a third dimension to these wonderful potatoes.
As an aside, a bottomless cup of coffee is included with every meal at Cafe El Dorado, which is definitely a nice touch for coffee lovers like we are!
As we were enjoying our breakfast, both my friend and I concluded that Cafe El Dorado serves one of the best breakfasts to be found in the Sierra foothills, and one of the best breakfasts that we've had to pleasure to enjoy for a long time.
No matter what brings you to western El Dorado County, whether you're on the way to the slopes, Lake Tahoe, Daffodil Hill, or numerous other fun attractions, plan to stop by Cafe El Dorado for one of the best meals the area has to offer. You'll love the amazing food, the rustic decor, and the super friendly service!
Cafe El Dorado
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