Friday, October 1, 2010 it was Sharon's turn to choose the location of today's meeting of the Sacramento Breakfast Club, and her attention was focused on Folsom, CA for good reason, as she and her husband were to get off night the night before, and they wanted a restaurant close to home, so they could grab a few hours of sleep. During the week preceding the club meeting, she, her husband Jim and I discussed the situation at work on numerous occasions, so a few days before the scheduled meeting, we let our fingers do the surfing and googled in the key words "folsom ca breakfast restaurant," and Early Toast was one of the first restaurants that came up. We read a few of the reviews of the restaurant posted on various web sites and came to the conclusion that since Early Toast is open for breakfast and lunch only, that they must be serious about breakfast. That's about all we need to know to choose a breakfast restaurant, so we made plans to hold today's club meeting at Early Toast.
Photo: I had to kneel down to take this photo, in order to keep the sun out of the lens of my camera, and I got a few strange looks from the staff members when I walked in. All was well when I told them what I was up to.
Early Toast is located in an ultra-modern, super-clean shopping center, in an upscale, suburban neighborhood on the east side of Folsom, CA, which is located about 20 miles east of Sacramento, the state capitol of California. The restaurant is located in a corner building, next to a very major supermarket, and offers outdoor dining, ample parking, all at a premium location.
Early Toast has one of the most attractive dining rooms that we've seen during in the three years or so that we've been holding club meetings. The dining room is ultra-clean, ultra-modern, bathed in natural light, and very spacious. It features an open floor plan, with low partitions dividing the room into several sections. The room has very high ceilings, which lends a striking, dramatic look to the interior. The tables and chairs all match, and they are very clean and attractive. You won't be sitting on something sticky when you sit down at Early Toast, as this restaurant is absolutely spotless. Perhaps the most striking feature of the dining room is the large breakfast counter and the open kitchen. The restaurant has the feeling of a sports bar, but it isn't even close to a sports bar, nor does it pretend to masquerade as a sports bar.
Photo: The attractive breakfast bar and the open kitchen in the background. These staff members seemed surprised when I snapped their photo. The lady in black is our server, Holly.
Photo: Holly takes Dan's order of Country Fried Steak, gravy, fried potatoes, eggs and sourdough toast. Notice the attractive tables and chairs, and the abundance of natural lighting. That's a fireplace behind David.
The breakfast menu is not gigantic, but it covers all bases, and features all of your favorites, plus many creative entrées, such as Huevos Rancheros, Chorizo and Eggs, Eggs Florentine, Crab Benedict, Folsom Style Omelet, or a Greek American Omelet, just to name a few. Early Toast is not a diner, nor does it serve diner cuisine. Matt, Jim, Sharon and I already knew what we wanted, as we'd surfed Early Toast's excellent web site, where their menu selections are clearly posted, along with the prices. I never stop wondering why all restaurants don't publish their menus online, as the web offers 24/7 browsing for your dining pleasure.
As our friendly waitress, Holly took our orders, I explained to her who we are, what we do, and the mission of the Sacramento Breakfast Club. Allow me to digress a bit, as before I entered the restaurant, I took a couple of outside, and when I entered the restaurant, I got some strange looks from a couple of the staff members. After all, who takes exterior photos of a restaurant, except for some food-crazed breakfast junkie like your author. Holly was pleased that we wanted to publish our breakfast experience on our web site, and asked me for the url, which I gladly gave to her.
Photo: Holly brings our breakfasts to us on one of those small portable tables like you see in steakhouse restaurants. She's holding David's breakfast of link sausages, scrambled eggs and pancakes.
Photo: Sharon is all to eager to accept her attractive plate of chorizo, eggs, beans and tortillas, as Holly hands it to her.
The majority of our plates were brought to our table on Holly's first trip from the kitchen, as she carried the plates of food on one of those small, portable tables, like the ones common in steak houses. In the 40 or so breakfast restaurants we've visited in the greater Sacramento area, this was a first, and naturally, I had to record the occasion with a photo. One by one she placed the plates in front of us, and then made a couple of trips to the kitchen to fetch the remaining plates. She matched each plate correctly to the club member who had ordered the meal - how she can remember all of that is beyond me - folks, that's skill!
The presentation of the plated food and easily be described in one seven-letter word: Elegant. Our meals arrived on square plates, which added to the attractive presentation, with cloth napkins and heavy-duty flatware on the side, which made the plated food look even better.
I ordered the Biscuits and Gravy Combo Plate, which included two large biscuits, covered in sausage gravy, two strips of bacon, two link sausages, and two eggs, in my case, the eggs were cooked over easy, which is my favorite way to enjoy eggs. The presentation of my meal was beautiful, and my breakfast was delicious. The gravy was very rich, very full-flavored, with chunks of sausage, and it completely covered the fresh, in-house made biscuits. Ymmmmmm! The sausage and eggs were perfectly cooked, and the bacon was cooked to my liking, which is a little on the chewy side. I rarely order bacon, as most restaurants cook it to a crisp, as I prefer my bacon on the "rubbery" side. I neglected to specify to Holly how I like my bacon cooked, and I was pleased to find that it wasn't over cooked, but it wasn't on the raw side by any means. The was one of the most memorable plates of biscuits and gravy that I've enjoyed in a long time.
Photo: Sharon's breakfast of beans, corn tortillas and chorizo, mixed into the scrambled eggs. Sharon especially liked the beans... oh do they look good!
Photo: Here's my attractive platter of biscuits and gravy, fried eggs, bacon and link sausage. Check out the chunks of sausage in the gravy... this breakfast was fantastic!
Jim and Sharon went south of the border, as Jim ordered Huevos Rancheros, with beans and tortillas on the side, and Sharon ordered Chorizo and Eggs, with beans and corn tortillas on the side. I had considered ordering the chorizo plate, but the biscuits and gravy plate won out, and after checking out Sharon's breakfast, I almost, but not quite, regretted my choice. Both Sharon and Jim assured me that their breakfasts tasted as good as they looked.
The portions were ample, but not huge, and would more than satisfy the appetite for most people, with the exception of linebackers, lumberjacks and truck drivers. In my case, I left with a very full stomach, but not stuffed, as my breakfast was just the right amount for me.
After breakfast, outside the restaurant in the parking lot, we held the customary post mortem meeting to compare notes - it seems that today's breakfast club members were in complete agreement. We noted:
Our meals were some of the best that we've had the pleasure
Photo: Today's Sacramento Breakfast Club members, from left to right: Matt Donnelly, Sarah Donnelly, Sharon Angelo, Jim Angelo, Eric Rench, Dan MacLeod, Bev MacLeod and David DeMario.
We congratulated Sharon, as she picked a winner of a breakfast restaurant. Early Toast is highly recommended by members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club.
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