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Here's some good news:  If you love breakfast, as much as the members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club do, then you owe it to yourself to enjoy Original Mel's Diner, located on Howe Ave. in Sacramento, which offers the breakfast menu during the entire time the restaurant is open, from 6 in the morning until 11 in the evening.  If you crave breakfast at almost any hour, Mel's is the place to visit.

Photo:  Dan and David pose in front of Original Mel's Diner, on Howe Ave. in Sacramento, CA

Original Mel's Diner is a small chain of restaurants, mostly located in Northern California, which was started back in the 1940's, in the San Francisco Bay area.  The small burger chain was near the brink of bankruptcy when famed movie producer George Lucas selected Mel's Diner as the centerpiece of the movie classic "American Graffiti," which vaulted the burger chain into the national spotlight, and insured the survival of the restaurants. Today, Mel's has morphed from a burger joint into a full-service, family-oriented restaurant, yet Mel's still remembers the roots of their business, as every restaurant features classic black and white tile floors, classic car and movie posters, and a menu right out of the 1950's, including just about every kind of burger that you could hope for and milkshakes, made with real ice cream.  Oh boy!

Photo:  Check out the 1950's style decor of Mel's dining room, complete with neon signs and nostaligc photos.

Our mission to Mel's on Friday, June 15, 2007 did not include burgers or milkshakes, as we are the Sacramento Breakfast Club, and we'd just been turned loose from work for the day, and our visit to Mel's was to enjoy their outstanding breakfasts.  Mel's has three locations in the greater Sacramento area, but we chose to visit the Mel's located on Howe Avenue, as its not far from work, and the location is convieient for the core breakfast club members.  If you're a regular reader of our breakfast exploits, you'll probably note that we normally avoid chain restaurants, and the truth of the matter, the Sacramento Original Mel's is a link in a chain, albeit a small chain of restaurants, but we do make exceptions and in the case of Mel's, the exception was worth the, well... the exception ... the exception to... everything.  Original Mel's is worth it!

Photo:  The breakfast bar, and the entrance to the kitchen at Mel's.  Dan, David and I especially liked the photos of hot rods that adorn the walls.  Note the neon sign that proudly states "Home Style Cooking," which is the absolute truth.

When you enter Mel's, you'll immediately notice many things, such as the black and white tiled floors, the cheery white walls, the classic car models, the classic movie posters on the walls, the spotlessly clean area, but most importantly, the smiling faces of the customers and the staff.  As you walk in, you're greeted by a friendly greeter, who will give you a smile, and if you don't already have a smile on your face, the greeter propel you into a happy mood, so you will, after getting the royal treatment, have a smile on your face.  As for the members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club, smiling isn't a problem, as we're always smiling on to the way to our next breakfast mission.  

Photo:  Our friendly server Casey rings up a customer.  The restaurant is squeaky clean, and the stainless steel fixtures shine.  We love Mel's!

If you like breakfast specials, then you'll want to check out Mel's door, as they have weekday breakfast specials placed on the door, and each special is priced a less than $4.00!  Where in Sacramento can you find a freshly-cooked, full-service breakfast in the year 2007 for less than four bucks?  Only at Original Mel's Diner...

Our friendly waitress, Casey, brought our menus to us, and immediately asked us what we wanted to drink.  Dan, David, and your author all requested ice water, but Dan opted for his favorite drink, besides coffee, a 16-oz V-8, complete with a slice of lemon,  while David and I ordered coffee, from Mel's bottomless coffee pot.  It's unusual for Dan to go without coffee, but his wife of over 50 years has him on a heathy diet, and you know what you have to do when the wife says so...   Anyway, we placed our orders from friendly Casey, and only about 10 or so minutes later, our orders arrived..

Photo:  Mel's is proud that breakfast is served any time of the day or night.  Mel's is a breakfast lover's paradise.

Photo:  We love the nostalgic photos that are hung on the wall, and the neon sign that reminds us of our American Graffiti days, when as teenagers, we used to "drag the main" after school on Friday afternoons.

Core breakfast club member David is a hard-core breakfast eater, so he took the take-no-prisioners approach and ordered Mel's #5, which consists of 2 eggs, 2 patties of country sausage, Mel's Special Grilled Potatoes, and an order of biscuits and gravy on the side.  Dan was a bit more conservative, as he ordered steak and eggs, and instead of potatoes, he opted for cottage cheese and sliced tomatoes, as per his wife's request.  Mel's will be happy to alter their menu to accommodate special diets, even to the extent of "honneydo" diets.  Your author ordered a Louisiana Hot Links Omelette, which consisted of a three-egg omelet, stuffed with diced louisiana hot links, sauteed onions, red and green bell peppers, and Muenster cheese, served with Mel's famous potatoes with, of course, an order of biscuits and gravy on the side.

Photo:  Casey brings Dan his meal, as David looks on.  The staff at Mel's wear custom T-shirts, that are for sale to the customers.  Next time we visit Mel's, I plan to purchase a T-shirt.

Photo:  My order of a Lousiana hot link omelet, Mel's potatoes and biscuits and gravy on the side.  What a delicious breakfast!   Note the slab of melted cheese, place on top of the omelet.  Mmmmmmmmmmmm good!

David and I won't eat a breakfast that doesn't feature potatoes, so I'll tell you a little bit about Mel's Potatoes. What are Mel's Potatoes?  Mel starts with diced, red potatoes that are baked, you know, in an oven, then they grill the potatoes, and that means the potatoes aren't fried on a griddle, deep-fried, or boiled; they're diced an grilled. During the grilling, diced white and green onions are added, and then the potatoes are treated to Mel's "Special Seasoning Salt," whatever that is, to achieve the unique tase sensation of Mel's Potatoes.  Whatever the process, if you love potatoes for breakfast, you'll love Original Mel's.

Photo:  Today's Sacramento Breakfast Club members, from left to right, Dan MacLeod, David DeMario, and Eric Rench, your author and webmaster.

Before, during, and after the Sacramento Breakfast Club's visit to Original Mel's Diner, we had a smile on our faces, due to the delicious food, the friendly service, the nostalgic dining room (we like 1950's cars!!!) the friendly and clean surroundings, and the wonderful people who work at Original Mel's Diner, on Howe Avenue, in Sacramento.  At Mel's, you'll get an outstanding meal, at a reasonable price, prepared from fresh ingredients, and served by some of the frienedliest folks that you'll encounter during any Sacramento dining experience.  We love Original Mel's Diner, and we know that you'll love them to.  Check our Mel's!  Highly recommemded.

Original Mel's Diner
565 Howe Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95825
916 641-7500

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