Are you looking for a great breakfast or lunch in Citrus Heights? Do you like to enjoy your meal in a rustic, "old school," ski lodge-like dining room? If that's what you're looking for, head over Lodge Coffee Shop, and enjoy a delicious breakfast or lunch, served by friendly staff.
As with all of my reviews, 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: If you think Lodge Coffee Shop looks like a ski lodge from the outside, wait until you see the inside of the restaurant.
Lodge Coffee Shop is appropriately named, as the building is constructed like a ski lodge, complete with a very steep-pitched roof, to ward of the snow that Citrus Heights almost never gets. If you transported the building to Lake Tahoe, it would fit right in, but in the Sacramento Valley, The building is a bit of an oddity, which makes for a rather eye-catching appearance. Inside, the decor is that of a ski lodge, as the dining room features rustic knotty pine paneling, exposed beams, flagstone, a very high ceiling, and is "old school" in every way. There is one oddity that you won't find at many Tahoe area ski lodges, as in the rear of the compact dining room there is an aquarium, filled with rather large, colorful goldfish. I must say that Lodge's decor is very attractive.
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, you're faced with counter, and a sign that welcomes you, and invites you to seat yourself. There is nothing fancy about this restaurant! The dining room is to the left of the photo.
Photo: It's a little after one in the afternoon on Monday, May 22, 2017, and I'm in the mood for lunch. It's a good thing I arrived by one, as the restaurant closes at an early 2 o'clock every day. Today, the dining room is sparsely seated, and I had my pick of places to seat, but I chose to sit at the counter. The gentleman wearing the cowboy hat is enjoying a breakfast of pancakes and eggs, as breakfast is served anytime the restaurant is open. You know Lodge Coffee Shop is serious about breakfast!
The only server on duty today, Amy, is behind the counter. I first met Amy back in July, 2008 - the old article follows - so she's been at the restaurant for quite some time. Next time I visit, and if I have the pleasure of her company, I plan to ask her when she started. Yes, nosey me...
The dining room reminds me of a mountain ski lodge, circa 1960, hence the name of the restaurant. Note the rustic, dated, "old school" decor. If you're expecting a modern restaurant, you've come to the wrong place. I really like the out-dated decor, as it lends to the folksy atmosphere. Lodge Coffee Shop caters to locals, many of whom dine at the restaurant at least once a week.
Photo: I scanned the menu and had planned to order a burger and fries, but when I saw the "Lunch Special" board, I went for Fish and Chips, as that really sounded good on this hot Monday afternoon.
Photo: Family photographs, menus, posters and other memorabilia decorate the wall behind the counter. The entrance to the kitchen is shown in the center of the photo. The counters, and the restaurant in general are quite cluttered, which lends to the rustic atmosphere.
Photo: I love the aquarium in the rear of the restaurant. Today, I noted it was down to only two goldfish. I ordered fish and chips... hmmmmm... did my fish come from the aquarium?
Photo: A fellow patron, who was sitting at the counter, took a break to go outside and enjoy a cigarette, as I snap his photo from my seat at the counter, looking through the window that definitely cries for a washing. Before he left his seat at the counter, and his half-eaten meal, he made great pains to let Amy know that he was going out for a smoke, and not to touch his meal, and that he wasn't going to "stiff" her. I got a laugh out of that.
This gentleman is a regular diner, as he and Amy bantered back and forth, and she gave him a bad time. He asked her if she was familiar with Big Bend National Park, but I didn't hear the rest, as I got up to snap a photo of the aquarium.
Photo: My friendly server, Amy, delivers my basket of fish and chips with a smile. After placing my order, it only took about 15 minutes to arrive. During that time, when Amy wasn't wiping the counter or serving other customers, we had a bit of time to chit-chat. Of course I introduced myself, and told her that I'd been here several times previously, but that it had been awhile - nearly 4 years but I didn't tell her - since I'd had the pleasure to visit the Lodge.
As per the conversation with the gentleman about Big Bend National Park, Amy asked me if I knew where the park is located. Of course I know! I described its location in Texas along the Mexican border, some of the many attractions, and what the scenery is like. I think I impressed her, as she got out her cell phone and "googled" Big Bend. I asked her if I looked like an ambassador for National Geographic and she just laughed.
Photo: Amy snaps my picture, as I prepare to enjoy a basket of delicious fish and chips. The photo gives another look at the "old school" decor of the restaurant.
Photo: My order of fish and chips arrived steaming HOT from the kitchen, along with a nice large bowl of tarter sauce. The chips were so good they didn't need ketchup, but I used it anyway, as ketchup brings out the kid in me when I eat chips.
The single large piece of fish was breaded, and perfectly deep fried. The batter was golden and crunchy, and the fish was moist and tender inside. The fish was fried perfectly and wasn't salty or greasy. Delicious.
The chips were thick cut steak fries, which I must admit, are my favorite kind of fries. Like the fish, they were fried perfectly, and weren't salty or greasy. Perfect! Such a great lunch at Lodge Coffee Shop!
We've visited Lodge Coffee Shop before! Let's go back in time to Friday, July 25, 2008 and enjoy breakfast at the Lodge. You'll note that our charming hostess, Amy, was working on this Friday morning when I posted the article.
Photo: It almost never snows in Citrus Heights, and Lodge Coffee Shop would be more home at Lake Tahoe, but Tahoe's loss is our gain.
Photo: Dan and David enjoy breakfast, as I look towards the breakfast counter and the kitchen in the background, behind the Coke cooler. Compare this photo of the decor behind the counter, and the photo near the beginning of this article and note how little has changed in over 9 years.
We were greeted by Sarah, the friendly waitress on duty, who invited us to sit anyplace we wanted. Since there were five of us, we choose a spot in the middle of the dining room, and pushed a couple of tables together to accommodate us. The tables are already set, complete with place settings, menus, condiments, and upside down coffee cups that are waiting to be filled with the best coffee west of the Mississippi. I didn't make that up, as Lodge has a certificate on display that features a smiley face and states, "Best Coffee West of the Mississippi," signed by John, Joe, Bob and Bob. I'm not sure who these coffee gurus are, and I neglected to ask the restaurant staff, but whatever the case, Lodge Coffee Shop serves delicious coffee. Let's see... how many cups did I drink?
Lodge Coffee Shop is open seven days a week, from six in the morning until two in the afternoon, which brings smiles to members of The Sacramento Breakfast Club, as Lodge is focused on delivering a quality breakfast. Any item on the menu is available any time, so anytime is breakfast time at Lodge Coffee Shop. Of special interest is a weekend lunch menu, with items only offered on Saturday and Sundays. Lodge is a one-of-a-kind, locally owned and operated restaurant, and the menu caters to the tastes of the locals.
Photo: Sarah takes our order. Note the exposed wood beams, similar to the interior of a restaurant at a ski lodge.
The breakfast menu features a vast array of classic breakfast dishes, and specials, which caters to every taste. The menu holds a few surprises, unique to Lodge Coffee Shop, such as the "Eggs Pancho," which is a breakfast entree that I'd never seen before in all of my years of enjoying fine breakfast. Drum roll please... "Eggs Pancho" includes two scrambled eggs topping a hamburger patty, covered with chilies and beans. Diced onions are available upon request, and a slice of American cheese can be added. Hash browns and toast are included, and a bowl of breakfast gravy can be ordered. When I walked in the door, I was in the mood for a chicken fried steak, but when I spotted the "Eggs Pancho," I changed my mind, as I had to give it a try. Dan also opted for "Eggs Pancho," David chose his one his favorites, corned beef hash, and Brad and Mark each ordered chicken fried steak. All of ordered hash browns, and Dan and I each ordered a bowl of gravy on the side.
Photo: Amy pours coffee; she kept our coffee cups full of delicious coffee. Note the a-frame walls and the flagstone in the background; the restaurant really looks like a ski lodge inside and outside.
When I told our waitress Sarah, about our mission, as breakfast affectionados, and introduced today's members of The Sacramento Breakfast Club to her, and she was very quick to point out to us that everything on the menu is made in-house, from fresh ingredients, and served hot from the kitchen, as management does not believe in heat lamps. She was quick to point out that they're especially proud of their breakfast gravy, as it's made from their special recipe and features chunks of homemade sausage. Her words brought smiles to our faces, as there is nothing that we love more than homemade gravy with breakfast. The Sacramento Breakfast Club seemed to be on the way to the jackpot...
Photo: Today's Sacramento Breakfast Club members, from left to right: Eric Rench, the author and webmaster, David Demario, Mark McIntire, Brad Holther, and Dan MacLeod. Photo taken by Sarah; for her friendly service and putting up with all of my questions, I tipped her $10.00 for a $54.00 tab.
Our breakfast arrived in a timely manner, served to us by friendly Sarah and Amy. We were impressed with the quality of the food, the attractive presentation, and the quantity. If you're packing an appetite, you won't be disappointed, as the portions are huge. Our orders of toast arrived on a collective plate; I've never seen toast served that way before. As promised, the food was prepared as ordered, fresh, piping hot, satisfying and delicious. My breakfast of "Eggs Pancho" was simply delicious, as the eggs, chili and hamburger patty were cooked perfectly, the side of hash brown potatoes were a crispy, golden brown, and the home made gravy was thick, and included chunks of sausage, just as Sarah had promised. Dan and I both agreed that the "Eggs Pancho" breakfast was both exotic and delicious, and definitely something different. All of us raved about our food, and we agreed that we had sampled another winning restaurant.
Photo: My breakfast of "Eggs Pancho," complete with delicious coffee and a bowl of homemade sausage gravy. Note the chunks of sausage in the gravy; it was delicious!
Combine rustic decor, friendly, efficient service, delicious food at reasonable prices, and home-grown menu choices, and Lodge Coffee Shop works out to a winning combination. Their menu is printed with the restaurant's motto: "A Friendly Place and Delicious Taste." With a motto like that, who couldn't help but to love Lodge Coffee Shop?
Lodge Coffee Shop
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