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For the last couple of years, I've driven by Lodge Coffee Shop every few weeks, on my way to other places, and being the breakfast addict that I am, I'd been making mental notes for The Sacramento Breakfast Club to pay the restaurant a visit.  For unknown reasons, our visit to Lodge seemed to get pushed to the back burner, but on Friday, July 25, 2008, the Breakfast Gods smiled upon us, and granted us a visit to Lodge Coffee Shop.  Hallelujah!

Photo:  It almost never snows in Citrus Heights, and Lodge Coffee Shop would be more home at Lake Tahoe, but Tahoe's loss is our gain.

Lodge Coffee Shop is appropriately named, as the building is constructed like a ski lodge, complete with a very steep-pitched roof, to ward of the snow that Citrus Heights almost never gets.  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 is that of a ski lodge, as the dining room features rustic knotty pine paneling, exposed beams, flagstone, and a very high ceiling.  If you didn't know any better, you'd think that you were in a restaurant in Squaw Valley, rather than Citrus Heights.  I must say that Lodge's decor is very attractive.

Photo:  Dan and David enjoy breakfast, as I look towards the breakfast counter and the kitchen in the background, behind the Coke cooler.

We were greeted by Sarah, the friendly waitress on duty, who invited us to sit anyplace we wanted.  Since there were five of us, we choose a spot in the middle of the dining room, and pushed a couple of tables together to accommodate us.  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?

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.

Photo:  Sarah takes our order.  Note the exposed wood beams, similar to the interior of a restaurant at a ski lodge.

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. Drum roll please...  "Eggs Pancho" includes two scrambled eggs topping a hamburger patty, covered with chilie 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.  When I walked in the door, I was in the mood for a chicken fried steak, but when I spotted the "Eggs Pancho," I changed my mind, as I had to give it a try. Dan also opted for "Eggs Pancho," David chose his one his favorites, corned beef hash, and Brad and Mark each ordered chicken fried steak.  All of ordered hash browns, and Dan and I each ordered a bowl of gravy on the side.

Photo: Amy pours coffee; she kept our coffee cups full of delicious coffee.  Note the a-frame walls and the flagstone in the background; the restaurant really looks like a ski lodge inside and outside.

When I told our waitress Sarah, about our mission, as breakfast affectionados, and introduced today's members of The Sacramento Breakfast Club to her, and she was very quick to point out to us that everything on the menu is made in-house, from fresh ingredients, and served hot from the kitchen, as management does not believe in heat lamps.  She was quick 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.  The Sacramento Breakfast Club seemed to be on the way to the jackpot...

Photo:  Today's Sacramento Breakfast Club members, from left to right:  Eric Rench, the author and webmaster, David Demario, Mark McIntire, Brad Holther, and Dan MacLeod.  Photo taken by Sarah; for her friendly service and putting up with all of my questions, I tipped her $10.00 for a $54.00 tab.

Our breakfast arrived in a timely manner, served to us by friendly Sarah and Amy.  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, chilie 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.  Dan and I both agreed that the "Eggs Pancho" breakfast was both exotic and delicious, and definitely something different.  All of us raved about our food, and we agreed that we had sampled another winning restaurant.

Photo:  My breakfast of "Eggs Pancho," complete with delicious coffee and a bowl of homemade sausage gravy. Note the chunks of sausage in the gravy; it was delicious!

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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