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The Sacramento Breakfast Club appreciates a good breakfast, one that is composed of fresh ingredients, is cooked to perfection, features an attractive presentation, a good value, and a breakfast that is served in clean, attractive surroundings, by friendly, attentive people.  Oh yes, no chain restaurants need apply, as the breakfast club appreciates local cuisine, not a generic, corporate, one-style-fits-all type of menu.  We feel that the qualities we look for in a good breakfast restaurant are very reasonable, as we appreciate a good breakfast, and we like to feel that we're getting our money's worth.

Left:  Charlie's sign originally attracted David into their restaurant.  Right:  Check out the garden in front of Charlie's Cafe, that advertises their country cookin', which is the sort of breakfast that The Sacramento Breakfast Club craves.

You may recall back in March of 2007, we visited Charlie's Cafe, and wrote a rave review article about the restaurant, as we were truly impressed by everything that the restaurant has to offer.  We have a tendency to go back again and again to restaurants that especially impress us, and June 29, 2007 found us entering the door to Charlie's again.

Charlie's Cafe is a local, one-of-a-kind restaurant, that moved to their current location in 2006, and the restaurant reflects the taste preferred by the locals, as its locally owned and operated by charming business partners, who, go by the name of Charlie and Dave, who have owned the business since 2003.  The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6:00 AM until 2:00 PM, and Sundays from 6:30 AM to 1:30 PM, and they serve only breakfast and lunch, as they close in the early afternoon.  Since The Sacramento Breakfast Club prefers breakfast over all other meals, a huge green flag rises in our mind when we visit a restaurant that serves only breakfast and lunch, as that's an indicator that the restaurant really knows its core business, which naturally, is breakfast.  Of course when we see pickup trucks, motorhomes and semi-trucks around a restaurant, that's also an indicator that fine cuisine will be served, but that's another matter.

Photos:  The very "family-friendly" dining room at Charlie's Cafe, features tables placed in the middle of the restaurant, and booths lining the walls. There is ample seating for large groups of people.

Charlie's food is beyond description, as it's that delicious, and Charlie's features huge portions, attractive presentations, and a gigantic bang for your hard-earned buck.  There are many reasons why the food served at Charlie's Cafe stands head and shoulders above the competition, and we feel we know why for these reasons:

a)  The food is created from fresh, locally-produced ingredients and everything is made fresh, on-site
b)  Nothing comes from a can, as all ingredients are fresh; I repeat fresh, and you can really taste the difference
c)  The staff are fun and friendly people, and radiate the fact that they enjoy what they're doing, and it shows
d)  The restaurant staff treat you like family, and make you feel truly welcome and wanted

Left:  Charlie brings Dan his delicious breakfast.  Right:  Charlie sits next to Dan, as David gives "thumbs up!"

David arrived at Charlie's a few minutes before  Dan and I, and had picked out a booth, and as Dan and I walked in, Jeanie greeted us and asked us if we wanted coffee, and pointed us to where David was sitting, already enjoying a delicious cup of coffee.  Dan and I looked at each other and remarked, "Huh?  How'd she know who we are?..." Simply amazing!  Naturally as I walked by the kitchen, I had to give a thumbs-up to friendly Jessie, the professional cook, and as in his usual demeanor, he waved back with a very friendly smile.

Photo:  Today's core Sacramento Breakfast Club members, from left, to right:  David DeMario, Eric Rench (the author, duh?) and Dan MacLeod, all night shift employees of the new at&t.  Photo taken by Charlie; thanks...

During our current visit, we were served by co-owner Charlie herself, and she was assisted by Cheryl, and Jeanie, who had waited on us during our during our previous visit.  These friendly gals have photographic memories, as they remembered The Sacramento Breakfast Club from our previous visit; they were no doubt impressed by my digital camera, and the fact that I'm quite creative at making a fool out of myself.

After Dan and I were seated and had traded a few friendly insults with David, Jeanie filled our mugs from her bottomless coffee pot, and we began the task of picking our breakfast from Charlie's extensive breakfast menu. Oh, I forgot to mention that David had already asked Charlie to place a menu on the table for each of us, which was a nice gesture.  One word of caution:  The task of deciding what to order is almost daunting, as everything, I mean everything on Charlie's menu is delicious.  But daunting is good is a good thing, and really all you'd have to do is close your eyes and place your index finger on something, as every item on Charlie's men is good.  I like to eat something different every time, but my breakfasts must contain, at the bare minimum, some sort of potatoes with breakfast gravy, and Dan and David are of the same mindset as I am, although Dan's doctor has advised him to cut down on the carbs, so now Dan seems to favor cottage cheese or tomatoes as a side dish. Dan decided on the gigantic Charlie's Burrito, with tomatoes on the side, and David and I opted for the same thing: Messy Jessy,  which is concoction of sausage, scrambled eggs, onions, bell peppers, placed on top of a freshly made biscuit, and topped with Charlie's delicious gravy, with a choice of homestyle potatoes, hash browns, cottage cheese, or tomatoes on the side.  As per the usual protocol, David and I chose the homestyle potatoes, and I ordered extra bell peppers and onions in mine.

Left:  As Dan takes my photo, I can't help but to clown around with a beautiufl woman, as I'm an incurable romantic, or maybe, just a flirt.  Right:  Jeanie stands behind the counter next to the kitchen, with a larger-than-life smile on her face.

While Jeanie went to send our orders to the kitchen, Charlie came over to chat with us for a bit.  She was proud to tell us that she makes the biscuits herself, from scratch, and excitedly explained to us Charlie's policy on using only fresh ingredients, and how everything is made in-house, including their delicious, homemade sausage patties. (See our previous visit for our opinion of Charlie's homemade sausage patties...)  She said that they are proud of their unique home style cooking, and how much they appreciate our business, and she really means it.  Jeanie came around every few minutes, with a smile on her face, and a bottomless pot of delicious coffee in her hand.  Cheryl visited our booth many times, just to chat, and all of us remembered that she'd last served us a few weeks ago, during another, undocumented visit to Charlie's.  

Left:  Dan's huge breakfast burrito, called Charlie's Burrito, with sliced tomatoes on the side.  Yes, he managed to finish his breakfast.  Right:  Dave and I ordered the Messy Jessy breakfast, of scrambled eggs, diced bell peppers and onions, served over a biscuit, covered with gravy, and homestyle potatoes on the side.  Ymmmm!  Delicious!

I asked Charlie to take a photo of The Sacramento Breakfast Club, which she gladly did, and then she encouraged me to take a photo of her sitting next to Dan, while David cheered them on, and finally Dan took a photo of the author, doing what he does best, with a beautiful and attractive woman sitting close to him.  Charlie is a friendly, talkative, outgoing person, and the perfect ambassador to a wonderful restaurant, such as Charlie's Cafe.

Left:  Jeanie beams a smile, as she refills our coffee cups from her bottomless pot of delicious coffee.  Right: Charlie proudly displays a chicken fried steak and eggs that she is about to deliver to another customer.

In a matter of minutes, Charlie delivered our breakfast entrées to our table.  Dan's breakfast burrito was GIGANTIC, and covered with salsa and sour cream, with sliced tomatoes on the side, which made for a stunning presentation. Placed in a dish to the side was a bowl of country gravy, which Charlie explained to Dan, although he'd requested his burrito to be covered in gravy, she'd purposely placed the gravy on the side, to allow for a better photograph, as she knew I'd take a photo of Dan's meal.  Way to go, girl!!  David and I had both had opted for the Messy Jessy, a local creation of Jessie, the friendly head cook, which consists of scrambled eggs, diced onions and bell peppers and sausage, placed on a in-house made biscuit, and topped with chunky, country gravy, with homestyle potatoes on the side.  The presentation is attractive, the portions are huge, and the food tastes beyond delicious.

Left:  Sheryl Hickison, the restaurant manager says "I'm gonna spray you with whipped topping if you take my picture..." but I took her photo anyway, despite her warning,  as Jessie looks on as he prepares orders from his spotless kitchen.  Right:  All that master cook Jessie has to do is to wave his arms, and the food will turn out great, as illustrated in this photo. Notice that Jessie has a smile on his face, as per his usual demeanor.

After my meal was served, I really didn't get a chance to immediately dig in, as I was busy engaging Charlie in pleasant conversation about her business, The Sacramento Breakfast Club, and just about anything that you could imagine.  I requested her to take a photo of the breakfast club,  which she readily agreed to do, and then all of us did a bit of clowning around, as I took a photo of her sitting next to Dan, while David cheered us on, and then Dan took a photo of me sitting next to Charlie, doing what I do best when I sit next to a beautiful woman.

Left:  Satisfied customer Bill asked me to take his photo.  When I asked him what made him so satisfied, he pointed me to his empty plate, sitting on the counter, as mute testament that he'd enjoyed his entire meal.  Right: Co-owner Dave, and Yolanda, show me how the Charlie's Cafe keeps their dishes clean.  When I write restaurant reviews, nothing gives me more pleasure to be allowed "behind the scene."  More power to Charlie's Cafe!  Thanks to co-owner Charlie, I was able to take these photos.

Dan, David and I managed to finish all of meals, as when it comes to breakfast, we're the "take no prisoners" kind of guys, and we left Charlie's feeling very full and contented, with a huge smile on our faces.  Charlie's serves one of the best breakfasts that money can buy, and I can't think of enough adjective superlatives (Translation:  College English 1A, meaning I don't know how to describe how much better it can get...) to describe how delicious their food is.  It's obvious that Jessie, the friendly and talented cook, takes pride in what he does, as the food is cooked to perfection, and the presentation is stunning.  You can tell that a lot of skill, t.l.c., smiles and love goes into the meal, and when you combine all of that with the efficient, non-intrusive, and very friendly service, well...  the whole breakfast dining experience at Charlie's Cafe is... well... priceless.

Do yourself a favor, and pay Charlie's Cafe in Citrus Heights, California a visit.  You'll be glad that you did.


Charlie's Cafe
8000 Auburn Blvd.
Citrus Heights, CA
916 726-4772


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