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Friday, September 4, 2009, we decided to kick off the Labor Day weekend by calling an "emergency" meeting of the Sacramento Breakfast Club, due to the fact that David was on vacation, and it had been two weeks since the previous meeting, and we were getting hungry for a good breakfast!  When an "emergency" meeting is called, we suspend normal club protocol, and hold our meeting at a restaurant that we've previously visited, and we attend the meeting "dutch treat."  We had been talking about visiting Lodge Coffee Shop for the last couple of weeks or so, so it seemed appropriate to hold our "emergency" meeting at Lodge Coffee Shop.

Photo:  You don't have to take a drive to Lake Tahoe if you want to eat in a ski lodge-like building, as the Lodge Coffee Shop is authentic in just about every way.

You don't have to take a trip to the mountains to enjoy ski lodge atmosphere, as Lodge Coffee Shop is appropriately named, because the building is constructed like a ski lodge, complete with a very steep-pitched roof, to ward of the snow that Citrus Heights rarely receives.  If you transported the building to Lake Tahoe, it would fit right in, but in the Sacramento Valley, it's a bit of an oddity, which makes for a rather eye-catching experience. Inside, the decor very much resembles a ski lodge, as the dining room features rustic knotty pine paneling, exposed beams, flagstone, and a very high ceiling.  

Photo:  This existing light photo was taken from our table, looking toward the front of the restaurant, with the breakfast counter and kitchen in the background.  The dining room is quite compact, and can seat, perhaps, two dozen diners.  Today, Sarah was the only server on duty.

My wife Sharlene and I were the vanguard of our group, and as we walked into the restaurant, we were greeted by Sarah, the friendly waitress on duty, who remembered us from our visit, of fourteen months ago!  We chose a spot in the rear of the restaurant, near the aquarium filled with goldfish.  Actually, if this building was a ski lodge, this is where a cheery fireplace would go, but at Lodge Coffee Shop, the space is populated with goldfish.  I joked to Sarah that now I know their fish is fresh, and I related an experience of mine that I had a few years ago in Mexico, at a restaurant in the state of Tamaulipas called La Bocatoma, where we were able to choose our fish from a pond in back of the restaurant.  The tables are already set, complete with place settings, menus, condiments, and upside down coffee cups that are waiting to be filled with the best coffee west of the Mississippi.  I didn't make that up, as Lodge has a certificate on display that features a smiley face and states, "Best Coffee West of the Mississippi," signed by John, Joe, Bob and Bob.  I'm not sure who these coffee gurus are, and I neglected to ask the restaurant staff, but whatever the case, Lodge Coffee Shop serves delicious coffee.  Let's see... how many cups did I drink?

Photo:  I catch Sarah making toast. She remarked when she saw the flash, that she thought somebody had entered the restaurant, but then she remembered it was only me, doing what I do best, taking photos.

Lodge Coffee Shop is open seven days a week, from six in the morning until two in the afternoon, which brings smiles to members of The Sacramento Breakfast Club, as Lodge is focused on delivering a quality breakfast. Any item on the menu is available any time, so anytime is breakfast time at Lodge Coffee Shop.  Of special interest is a weekend lunch menu, with items only offered on Saturday and Sundays.  Lodge is a one-of-a-kind, locally owned and operated restaurant, and the menu caters to the tastes of the locals.

Today was a first for our club, as today's members consisted of four married couples.  Gee, it's nice to have the wives participate in our club meetings, so the talk doesn't degenerate to the usual Monday morning quarterbacking about the craziness at work, or retelling old war stories.

Photo:  Sarah brings a portion of our orders to the table.  She had to make three trips to serve the eight of us.

The breakfast menu features a vast array of classic breakfast dishes, and specials, which caters to every taste. The menu holds a few surprises, unique to Lodge Coffee Shop, such as the "Eggs Pancho,"  which is a breakfast entree that I'd never seen before in all of my years of enjoying fine breakfast. "Eggs Pancho" includes two scrambled eggs topping a hamburger patty, covered with chili and beans.  Diced onions are available upon request, and a slice of American cheese can be added.  Hash browns and toast are included, and a bowl of breakfast gravy can be ordered.  

Sarah remembered our club protocol from our previous visit, so she was quite nonplussed when I whipped out my digital camera and started snapping photos.  Today was Diana's first visit, and she seemed slightly surprised at my antics, but her husband Brad was quick to fill her in on Sacramento Breakfast Club protocol.  I asked Sarah if their gravy was still the same as our previous visit, and she was eager to point out that they're especially proud of their breakfast gravy, as it's made from their special recipe and features chunks of homemade sausage.  Her words brought smiles to our faces, as there is nothing that we love more than homemade gravy with breakfast.  

Photo:  Brad seems eager to dig into his chicken fried steak, covered with gravy, just the way he likes it.

Photo:  Today's Sacramento Breakfast Club members, from left to right:  Bev MacLeod, Dan MacLeod, Sharlene Rench, Eric Rench, Diana Holther, Brad Holther, Matt Donnelly and Sarah Donnelly.

Our breakfast arrived in a timely manner, served to us by friendly and efficient Sarah.  We were impressed with the quality of the food, the attractive presentation, and the quantity.  If you're packing an appetite, you won't be disappointed, as the portions are huge.  Our orders of toast arrived on a collective plate; I've never seen toast served that way before.  As promised, the food was prepared as ordered, fresh, piping hot, satisfying and delicious. My breakfast of "Eggs Pancho" was simply delicious, as the eggs, chili and hamburger patty were cooked perfectly, the side of hashbrown potatoes were a crispy, golden brown, and the home made gravy was thick, and included chunks of sausage, just as Sarah had promised.  

Today's meeting was a first-time visit for Matt, Sarah, Bev, and Sharlene, and the ladies were impressed with every aspect of the restaurant. Sharlene was especially impressed with her "Lodge Special Breakfast," as she doesn't have the voracious breakfast appetite that many of us have, as her breakfast consisted of one pancake, one egg, and two slices of bacon, which was just right for a petite breakfast appetite like her's.

Photo:  My breakfast of "Eggs Pancho," with biscuit, side of gravy, and a mug of the best coffee west of the Mississippi River.

Combine rustic decor, friendly, efficient service, delicious food at reasonable prices, and home-grown menu choices, and Lodge Coffee Shop works out to a winning combination.  Their menu is printed with the restaurant's motto:  "A Friendly Place and Delicious Taste."  With a motto like that, who couldn't help but to love Lodge Coffee Shop?

Lodge Coffee Shop
8191 Auburn Blvd.
Citrus Heights, CA 95610
916 725-7165

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