The Sacramento Breakfast Club has written about many fine local restaurants, and there are many more to be enjoyed and written about, but when we had the opportunity to enjoy breakfast at Eggie's Coffee Shop, we were absolutely amazed at the restaurant! One of our co-workers, who we respect for his excellent taste in food, has raved about the restaurant, and we'd surfed the web and found a couple of reviews, and Eggie's appeared to be the sort of place that we like and the reviews had been very favorable. So on Friday, December 15, 2006, we got our chance to pay Eggie's a visit.
Left: Eggie's is located on bus Fulton Avenue, just south of Arden Avenue, in Sacramento. Right: Eggie's dining room.
Eggie's Coffee Shop is not a chain restaurant, and outside of the Sacramento area, few folks have probably heard of it. It's a locally-owned and operated, mom and pop style restaurant, that has been at the same location for 27 years. Because of the fact that the restaurant is locally-owned, it caters to the tastes of its clientele, which are the local residents of the Arden-Arcade area of Sacramento, CA. If you want to experience the local coffee shop cuisine of Sacramento, pay a visit to Eggie's.
As you walk inside, you're greeted by a "Please Wait to be Seated" sign, but the friendly cashier told us that we could seat ourselves at a booth at the far end the dining room. Surprise! Surprise! Eggie's has a real breakfast counter where singles dine, if they choose to do so... (When I dine solo, I prefer to sit at the counter...) and watch the waitresses hard at work behind the counter. Eggie's is "low tech" in that after a waitress takes your order and writes it on a notepad, she attaches the note to a notch the on one of those big stainless steel wheels used to convey the order to the kitchen staff, just like in a roadhouse restaurant that you remember from your youth. You won't find a computer in Eggie's, nor will you find "institutional food," which is a curse that many of the national chains dish out, as Eggie's prepares their delicious food from fresh,, locally produced ingredients. The decor of the restaurant is rather plain and simple, and could be described as "countyish," in keeping with Sacramento, but it's comfortable, squeaky clean, and the decor and the restaurant staff will make you feel at home. If you live in Sacramento, chances are you'll know the guy at the counter, or the couple in the booth next to you, as the patrons are all friendly, local residents.
Left: Oh yes, Eggie's features a breakfast counter where you can see the waitresses and kitchen staff at work. Right: Serve 'em up Joe, as Eggie's features the real thing in food and customer service.
No sooner had the members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club seated themselves, than Betty, or charming waitress appeared and given us each a menu, and took our drink orders. Naturally, the guys opted for coffee, but Gayle Martin, our newest club member, opted for tea. Eggie's breakfast menu is almost mind-boggling, as it offers a myriad of choices. Personally, I always pass on the pancakes and waffles, as I'm a potato sort of guy, but if pancakes and waffles are your thing, Eggie's breakfast menu features a whole page devoted to that genre of breakfast cuisine. Gayle opted to choose from the variety of pancakes, but Dan, David and I, all being ex-military, chose from the unbelievably gigantic selection of combination plates that basically featured potatoes, eggs and meat. In addition to the printed menu, there are two pages of specials. Wow!
Although we only sampled breakfast, Eggie's is also open for lunch, and the menu features a lunch menu to die for that features such favorites as cheeseburgers and beef stew! Yikes! We noted that Eggie's closes at 3:00 in the afternoon, so they're a breakfast and lunch place, period. The Sacramento Breakfast Club likes that format in a restaurant.
Left: I can't help myself, as I love to photograph folks at work, and this is a classic view of where the kitchen and the serving staff merge. At Eggie's it's a 100% rating! Right: Betty delivers breakfast to the members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club.
As our waitress, Betty, was taking our orders, I got a chance to chat with her a bit. She's been with Eggie's for 7 years, and she told us, to no surprise, that the business is locally owned and operated, and has been at the same location for 27 years. She's the sort of waitress that we really like, as she's friendly, efficient and a nice person, but not pushy or intrusive. I admit that I really like to chat, and flirt just a little bit, with waitresses, as that makes the whole experience just a little bit more worthwhile. I take my breakfasts seriously...
If you like fast service, Eggie's Coffee Shop is the place to be, as or orders arrived after only about a 10-minute wait. As previously mentioned, Gayle chose pancakes, but David, Dan and I chose combination plates, as we love potatoes. All of us ordered homestyle potatoes, which is our favorite, and all of us ordered diced onion and bell pepper on our homestyle potatoes. Eggie's homestyle potatoes are different, in that they're cut in cubes roughly 1/2" in diameter, and they appear to be microwaved before they're fried. The result is a golden, crunchy exterior, with a soft and delicious interior, which results in probably the best homestyle potatoes that I've ever had the pleasure to consume. To top it off, the diced onion and peppers are grilled to the point where they still retain a tiny bit of crunch, but yet they're still translucent and really compliment the potatoes. Note to vegetarians: If nothing else, go to Eggie's for the homestyle potatoes!
Photo: Our waitress, Betty on the left, decorated with a holiday hat, Gayle, David and Dan dig into their breakfast. The editor's fine breakfast, in the foreground, is left untouched, as I'm the man behind the camera.
I had originally ordered British bangers, but at the last minute changed my mind and switched to Louisiana hot sausage. Raise your hands... how many of you have eaten at a restaurant that offers bangers on their breakfast menu? Not many raised hands, I see. Well, Eggies does offer bangers, along with linguica, link sausage, patty sausage, hamburger patty, ham, bacon, and yadda, yadda, yadda. All I can say that their choices are both extensive and varied. Getting back to the subject, I ordered sausage with my potatoes and eggs, David ordered his usual, a chicken-fried stead, and Dan ordered a slab of ham. On the side, I ordered biscuits and gravy, what other side dish compliments a fine meal so well?
When our orders arrived, we were amazed at the HUGE portions, the intoxicating smell and the beautiful presentation. Gayle's pancakes were covered in powered sugar, which almost appeared to be similar to a light dusting of snow. David's chicken fried steak arrived golden brown, coated with crispy, but not greasy batter, and he commented that it was so tender, that all he needed was his fork, and not his knife, to cut it into bite-sized portions. Dan's ham slice was supposed to be about 9 oz, but I have never seen a slice of ham as thick as the slice he was served, as the slab looked to be about 3/4" thick. Wow! My Louisiana hot links came grilled, not fried, complete with attractive grill marks, and I can only say that they were cooked perfectly, and they tasted hot, spicy and delicious!
Left: Dan proudly shows his huge breakfast of ham, potatoes and eggs to the camera. His slab of ham is nearly an inch thick. Right: David's breakfast of chicken fried steak, homestyle potatoes, and eggs, over easy. Note the extra onions and potatoes he ordered on his delicious homestyle potatoes.
The Sacramento Breakfast Club tends to be objective in our restaurant reviews, and we tend to take a very conservative attitude toward the restaurants that we review. If you have ever had the somewhat dubious pleasure to take English 1A in college, you'll be sure to remember the term of "absolute superlative" when it comes to using words to describe certain things. Sure, if you live in Rio Linda, you won't know what I'm talking about, but essentially if you describe something to the maximum, then you've exhausted your vocabulary of positive ways to describe a person, place or a thing. I can apply the aforementioned thought to Eggie's Coffee Shop, as I can't think of enough descriptive pronouns to place upon the description of the place. So, I'll just keep it simple: YOU MUST EAT AT EGGIE'S! Period, end of sentence.
Left: Gayle, David and Dan dig in to their delicious meals. Right: The webmaster's breakfast consists of grilled Louisiana hot sausage, homestyle potatoes, with onions and bell peppers, and a couple of eggs, fried over easy and done just the way that I like them. Not shown are the biscuits and gravy on the side...
Since we don't live in a perfect world, the only negative thing that I can say about Eggie's is that their parking lot is too small, as we had to park about a block away and hike to the restaurant. On an afterthought, maybe that's not a bad thing, as a little exercise both coming and going from the restaurant will help burn a few unneeded calories that you're sure to acquire after a breakfast at Eggie's.
You'll walk away from Eggie's Coffee Shop with a smile on your face, a very full stomach, and a lot of greenbacks left in your wallet. The Sacramento Breakfast Club absolutely loved Eggie's and you will too. Our advice: Just do it! Eggie's Coffee Shop is highly recommend by the Sacramento Breakfast Club!
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