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The 5 Dollar Diner was the way the members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club rang in 2011, specifically our first meeting of the New Year was held on Friday morning, January 7, 2011.  

Photo:  It's a cold, foggy morning in early January, 2010, as I photograph the attractive building that houses 5 Dollar Diner.  At 40 degrees with an 80% humidity dewpoint, it's not surprising that nobody cares to dine outside on the patio!

5 Dollar Diner is a new concept in dining, as the BASE  price of every item on their menu that is posted on their web site is five dollars or less.  The choices are also somewhat limited... but for five dollars??  The printed menu offers many other choices, and the $5.00 entrées are outlined in RED. For a breakfast example, for $5.00, you get two eggs cooked any way you want, hash browns, bacon, ham or sausage, and a piece of toast.  Extras, such as a second piece toast, coffee, gravy and additional meat are naturally priced more, but for $5.00, you're getting a good breakfast that hovers just above fast food prices, and offers so much more in quantity and quality.  The menu is somewhat limited, but it offers all of the basics, and you can't beat the price.  5 Dollar Diner is open for breakfast and lunch only; see their web site to get an idea of what their menu offers.

Photo:  Nothing has changed inside, since the restaurant morphed from Ernie's Coffee Shop into the 5 Dollar Diner.  Really, the only changes were to the name of the restaurant, the sign outside, and the $5.00 selections on the menu.  Click on the hyperlink to read the article that we published last year about Ernie's, and see if you can see any differences...

Photo:  Our friendly waiter, Greg, takes Robert's order of ham and eggs.  check out the photos on the wall, the snow shoes and the old time kerosene lanterns that decorate the dining room.  There's even an undecorated Christmas tree in the corner.  Everybody except for Jim and Tony are bundled up to combat the foggy cold morning.

If you're a regular reader of the adventures of the Sacramento Breakfast Club, you may note that 5 Dollar Diner looks a whole lot like Ernie's Coffee Shop, which we visited back in July, 2010,  You're right - it's the same restaurant, same friendly owners, same good service and the same delicious food.  But the menu, the format, and the mission of the restaurant changed, and now Ernie's has morphed into 5 Dollar Diner.  Ernie's Coffee Shop still operates their fine restaurant in South Lake Tahoe, which we have yet to visit.

Essentially, nothing in the dining room or on the menu has changed since the Ernie's Coffee Shop days.  We were treated to the excellent, friendly service of Greg, who remembered us from our previous visit, and even remembered the booth where we sat!  Aside from the red highlighted $5.00 entrées on the menu, even the menu appeared to be the same.  If you loved Ernie's, you'll love 5 Dollar Diner.

Photo:  Greg places Sharon's order of pancakes on the table in front of her, while Jim and Matt discuss the stock market, and other interesting issues.

Photo:  My $5.00 breakfast entrée of sourdough toast, two sausage patties, homestyle potatoes, complete with diced peppers and onions, and two perfectly cooked eggs over easy.  The coffee, of course, was extra, but in the hour and a half were there, I probably drank six or eight cups - I'm a HUGE lover of coffee - and the total cost of my meal, including the  entrée, coffee, and state sales tax, came to a measly $7.19.  I gave Greg a 10-spot and told him to keep the change.

So by the time you order your $5.00 breakfast entrée, spend a couple of dollars for unlimited cups of their delicious coffee, include a generous tip, and pay state sales tax, you're looking at well under $10.00 for a quality breakfast, served by friendly people, in a clean, comfortable dining room.  Their quality breakfast is priced at only a couple of dollars above that greasy fast-food stuff, composed of dubious ingredients, packaged in a box, presented in a paper bag, and prepared by indifferent, 20-somethings, who'd rather be texting on their iPhones than offering a quality product.

Photo:  Today's club members, from left to right:  Eric Rench, Robert Kipperman, Jim Angelo, Matt Donnelly, Sharon Angelo, David DeMario, and Tony "The Weasel" Godsey.  The photo was graciously taken by our great server, Greg.

So what do members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club have to say about 5 Dollar Diner?  During our post mortem meeting in the parking lot, all of us agreed that the restaurant is a winner.  We all agreed that the food is delicious, the service is great, and the portions were just right - enough to fill you up and keep you going, but not large enough to make you feel bloated, or to take half of your meal home in a box.  The members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club always appreciate a restaurant that offers good food at a great price, and 5 Dollar Diner certainly fills that description.

5 Dollar Diner
707 East Bidwell
Folsom, CA 95630
916 984-8333

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