Cricket Country Kitchen was one of the first restaurants visited by members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club, after the club was founded and organized, back in April, 2006. We've enjoyed many great breakfast at Cricket, and it's been quite a ride over the years. Friday, June 11, 2010 was a bittersweet day for the club, as it was both a good and bad occasion, the good being, Hey! Breakfast at Cricket's! ... and the bad, was that it was to be the last meeting as members of the club for Latasha, Sergio and DeAnn, as they had accepted work transfers to the east coast. We'll also be "semi-losing" Matt, as he will be transferring to the day shift, which will make enjoying breakfasts on weekday mornings difficult.
Photo: Cricket's is located on busy Auburn Blvd., and features plenty of parking. Yes, they feature $4.95 lunch specials.
Promptly at 0730, the newest member of the Sacramento Breakfast Club, Robert Kipperman, showed up at my place, hungry, and ready for breakfast. We piled into my car and made the short 15 minute drive to Cricket's, walked in the door, and Dan and Bev were already waiting for us at a large table in the dining room, in the rear of the restaurant.
Cricket Country Kitchen is a unique, one-of-a-kind restaurant, as there is really no place else like it in town. Every time we visit the restaurant, we marvel at the decor, as there's nothing else that can compare. As you walk into the restaurant, you're greeted by a couple of mannequins that look like they're refugees from the Adams Family; then you notice the funky wood paneling, straight out of the 1970's, and the fact that practically every surface of the walls is covered with something - stuff like mounted animal heads, stuffed animals, photos, paintings, posters, even fishing tackle and a jackalope! Funny, every time we visit Cricket's I notice something different attached to the walls or ceiling, and I know that nothing has changed, but there is so much to notice that you'll probably never see it all. It's weird, cluttered, funky, and sooooo Cricket! The practical side of me thinks it must be a nightmare to keep clean, but the place is clean and spotless, if you just look past the clutter. You just have to love the decor at Cricket Country Kitchen!
Photo: This is what greets you when you walk in the front door - the cashier's station, and the blackboard advertising the daily specials. The kitchen is to the far right. Notice the funky decor and the refugee from the Adams Family to the right of the photo.
Photo: Terry serves guests at a table next to us in the dining room. This existing light photo shows the cluttered decor, and the large model trail suspended from the ceiling is in the upper right corner of the photo.
Robert and I sat at the large table with Dan and Bev, and our lovely waitress, Kara brought menus and coffee. At Cricket, the coffee is served in a insulated, pour-it-yourself decanter, and when you run out, you take the lid off of it and place the lid upside down, to signal the wait staff that you need more coffee. As long as you adhere to protocol, you'll never run out of coffee. By the way, the coffee at Cricket's is delicious.
The back dining room at Cricket's is quite interesting, as it's decorated in the same, crazy, way as the rest of the place. It's separated from the front dining room by a partition, where the cash register is located, and when Kara or one of the other live bodies isn't near the register, it's staffed by one of the Adams Family rejects. The rear dining room has several large tables, to accommodate a group such as the Sacramento Breakfast Club, but the most memorable feature of the dining room is the model train is hung from the ceiling, and runs around the dining room. So as you're enjoying your ham and eggs, you're treated to the sound of the clickety-clack of the model train... almost like enjoying breakfast on a railroad dining car. Almost anything is possible at Cricket's!
Photo: Terry and Heidi pose for my digital camera. They recognized us as regular patrons, and members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club.
Photo: Dan seems to be in a trance as he hugs Latasha, on her last meeting as a member of our club. Dan is actually drinking coffee in the beer glass, but it does look like a Mudslide or something like it.
Photo: Terry and Kara pick up some of our food from the kitchen. Note the fact that the paneled walls are covered with just about anything you can nail to a wall, and check out the jackalope above the kitchen counter.
We expecting 8 or 10 club members today, but we ended up having one of the larger turnouts, with 16 folks showing up for today's club meeting, which added up to one of our larger member turnouts. For the last time, DeAnn brought her charming mom DeAnna, and her little daughter Sydney, and of course Latasha and Sergio were there - also for the last club meeting. We'll miss y'all, but now you've got a mission in life - start a East Coast Breakfast Club in the Atlanta area.
Cricket Country Kitchen is open for breakfast and lunch only, and their menu features a wide array of breakfast choices, as well as many lunch goodies. True to form, I have a tendency to gravitate to chicken fried steak, and today was no exception. Cricket's menu features two varieties of chicken fried steak, a regular one, of 6-oz or so, and their behemoth "Mr. Huge" which features an 11-oz chicken fried steak! It's gigantic, it's big, it's "Mr. Huge," and too much steak for me, as I normally go with the regular steak. We checked out their specials, and today Cricket's featured a 5-oz Harris Ranch steak, two eggs, potatoes and toast for $6.95, which proved to be popular with today's club members.
Photo: Kara brings some of our food to our table.
Photo: The Harris clan, left to right, DeAnna, DeAnn and Sydney. Sadly, this was the last meeting for these fine people, as DeAnn accepted a transfer to the East Coast and her mom, DeAnna will be following her.
Photo: Latasha, Dan and Robert enjoy breakfast. Check out Dan's "Mr. Huge" chicken fried steak. Robert ordered the Harris Ranch Steak breakfast, and Latasha ordered a waffle and bacon.
After Kara took our orders, we sat around and talked, and checked out Cricket's funky decor. Cricket's is a favorite of the locals, and the place was quite full on this Friday morning. Cricket's does not need to advertise in the local media, as they've crafted a solid reputation for quality food, good value, and a fun place to enjoy a wonderful breakfast, so any advertising is spread using the old-fashioned, word-of-mouth method, by satisfied clients. During the time we waited for our orders to arrive, Kara and Terry kept the coffee decanters full, and one of the other waitresses, Heidi, came around to chit-chat, as she recognized the Sacramento Breakfast Club. We seem to leave an impression everywhere we go...
Before we knew it, our meals arrived. As we've come to expect from many previous visits to Cricket, our meals arrived hot from the kitchen, not warmed-up from a heat lamp, perfectly cooked to order, and attractively presented. I'm not quite as hungry, or adventurous as some of the other members of our club, so I was served a regular sized chicken fried steak, covered with Cricket's delicious breakfast gravy, with two fried eggs, homestyle potatoes, and biscuits and gravy on the side. For me, that's enough food to keep me going for the rest of the day, but my appetite isn't what it used to be. The Harris Ranch Steak Special proved popular, and Dan ordered his "Mr. Huge," which he couldn't finish. David ordered the classic Rootie Hoop Potatoes, which is actually a vegetarian potato scramble, covered with eggs and gravy; I've ordered it before and it's delicious.
Photo: My delicious breakfast of chicken fried steak, home style potatoes, two fried eggs, coffee and sourdough toast. Cricket's produces a delicious breakfast.
Photo: Today's breakfast club members, from left to right, Ambert, Sarah and Matt Donnelly, Sergio Gaona, David DeMario, Eric Rench (standing), Bev MacLeod, Latasha Banks, Dan MacLeod, Robert Kipperman, Diana and Brad Holther, DeAnna, DeAnn and Sydney Harris, and Nicole Donnelly. We had sixteen members today, which was an excellent turnout.
As in previous visits to Cricket's, we weren't disappointed, as the food was delicious, the price reasonable and the portions were huge. Cricket's is a fun place to enjoy breakfast, as the decor is just plain crazy, the staff is friendly, and they will laugh and joke with you and treat you like a member of the family. We've been to Cricket's many times before, and we've never been disappointed in the service, the atmosphere, the quality and the quantity of the food, and today's visit was no exception, as everything was wonderful. Cricket's is the sort of place where you can go to relax, hang out with friends, and enjoy a superior meal. There is everything to love about Cricket Country Kitchen, and nothing to dislike. In one word, Cricket's could be described as... wonderful!
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