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Mark had been up in the mountains hunting deer... Eric was out state on vacation, four wheeling in the Nevada outback... Dan had family issues... Wow!  It had been nearly a month since the Sacramento Breakfast Club had held a formal club meeting, and the time was way past due.   Not mention the fact to officially welcome Latasha Banks as  our newest charter member.  We'd been talking about visiting Original Mel's in Roseville, so for our club meeting on Friday, October 30, 2009, Original Mel's, on Douglas Blvd. in Roseville, was the destination of choice.

Photo:  Mel's is a busy on the last Friday of October, 2009.  I arrived early and managed to snap photos, and reserve a primo setting for today's breakfast club meeting.

Not to date myself, but you may recall a 1970's movie titled American Graffiti, which featured the "drag the main" and diner scene of California's Central Valley, and many of the scene's were shot at Mel's Diner.  Now that I've refreshed your memory, the movie was actually shot at Mel's, on Van Ness Avenue, in San Francisco.  Why the movie crew used a diner in San Francisco, when the story was actually set in the Central Valley is only known to the production crew, but whatever the case, they pulled off a credible job.  Although Original Mel's in Roseville is quite new, it's a direct descendent of the 50-plus year old diner depicted in the movie, and is one of three Original Mel's Restaurants located in the greater Sacramento area.

Original Mel's is a departure from the normal club format, as it is one of a small chain of restaurants, mostly located in the Bay area and the Sacramento area.  Normally we avoid chain restaurants, but we've made notable exceptions to our rule, and Original Mel's Restaurant definitely warrants a departure from club protocol, as this restaurant rocks!  It is true that Original Mel's started out as a car-hop diner (the Van Ness location in San Francisco still is) but many of the restaurants, including the Roseville location, have changed into a family-oriented restaurant, featuring classic American cuisine, at very reasonable prices.

Photo:  Check out the neo-1950's decor that has been updated for 2009, and the squeaky clean breakfast bar and the entrance to Mel's kitchen.  Notice the CD jukeboxes on the counter... Mel's jukebox plays rock 'n roll classics, as well as a very decent selection of country music.  

Photo:  Katie takes an order from a group sitting next to our table.  The kitchen is displayed in the background of the photo.  Note the neon signs, the black and white tile floor, and the 1950's photos... all a trademark of Mel's.

The decor is pure 1950's diner, including an art deco style interior, with black and white tiled floors, complete with neon signs and a jukebox that plays compact disks.  The cheery white walls of the restaurant are decorated with memorabilia from the film American Graffiti, photos of hot rods, diner nostalgia and chrome is everywhere.  The Roseville Mel's location is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and during the wee hours of the weekends, the party crowd packs the restaurant.  However, the party animals are kept in check, as Mel's is a favorite of the Roseville Police Department, so the party animals have a tendency to exhibit their best behavior.  But on this October Thursday morning, we didn't encounter the party crowd, as we enjoyed the company of locals, who appreciate pure 1950's nostalgia, and one of the best breakfasts in town.

Although the Sacramento Breakfast Club holds breakfast meetings, a word about Mel's menu is in order, as it's fantastic!  Besides any breakfast item that you could ever hope for, Mel's menu is full of diner delights, including burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, and blue-collar specials such as meatloaf and chicken-fried steak, served with a big slice of cornbread and your choice of two side dishes.  You can order anything from the menu, at any time of the day, but since we're breakfast guys, we ordered from Mel's extensive breakfast menu. By the way, if you're a lover of breakfast, Mel's is the place to be, as the restaurant displays a large neon sign that announces breakfast is served 24 hours a day!  Way to Mel's!

Photo:  Dan's meal arrives, delivered by Marissa, at the right of the photo.  Notice that we've ordered our meals covered in country gravy, which Mel's was happy to oblige.

We had the pleasure to be served by two charming waitresses, Katie and Marissa, who took care of our every need.  We were impressed that glasses of ice water were placed on our table after we'd ordered coffee, which is a nice touch.  It's interesting to note that all of the guys ordered coffee to drink, and the lone gal, Latasha, ordered a tall glass of apple juice, as she isn't a fan of coffee.  When the apple juice arrived, we gave her a bad time, as it looked like beer... but if it was beer, what the heck, as Latasha had just finished her 8-hour graveyard shift at work, along with the rest of the crew with the exception of your author, who migrated to swing shift a couple of years.

Photo:  Here's my delicious breakfast of chicken fried steak, Mel's potatoes, biscuits and gravy, coffee, and two fried eggs.  Mel's was happy to add extra gravy to the potatoes.

Original Mel's takes breakfast seriously, and their menu reflects their attitude in regards to breakfast:  Serious. Mel's menu features a huge selection of breakfast treats; with a selection so vast that it nearly propels your selection into the difficult category.  Three items on the menu "spoke" to me:  Grilled pork chops and eggs, Chicken fried steak, or Mel's Country Skillet.  After a few cups of coffee, and a bit of soul-searching, the chicken fried steak won out, especially after friendly Katie made it known that I could have my Mel's potatoes covered in gravy.  Wow!  Dan, David, Brad, Mark, Matt and I jumped at the chance, leaving Latasha as the lone, don't-smother-my-taters-in-gravy person.  I suppose that's the privilege of being the only female member present for today's meeting.

Our breakfasts arrived in a timely manner, and we weren't disappointed... Mel's prides themselves on fast, friendly service, and the service was outstanding.  I tip my hat to Katie and Marissa, who are top-notch servers.  Oh yes, the food... it was simply delicious, prepared from fresh ingredients, and delivered hot from the kitchen, exactly as ordered.  After you place your order from Mel's menu, you won't be surprised, as your order will arrive exactly as you ordered it.  

Photo:  The Sacramento Breakfast Club, on Friday, October 20, 2009, from left to right:  Eric Rench, your photographer and writer, Matt Donnelly, Brad Holther, Latasha Banks, Mark McIntire, David DeMario, and Dan MacLeod.

Original Mel's is an outstanding choice for breakfast, as the breakfast menu is not only extensive, but it's in tune with reality, and Mel's backs up the menu by delivering an outstanding breakfast.  Mel's is the sort of breakfast restaurant that we, the Sacramento Breakfast Club, love, and if you're a fanatic about breakfast, you'll also love Original Mel's.

Original Mel's Restaurant
1804 Douglas Blvd
Roseville, CA 95661-2923
(916) 783-6357

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