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Rivers Edge Café and Espresso is located in a small, upscale shopping center, near the busy corner of Watt Ave. and La Riviera Dr., and as the name implies, the cafe is very close to the American River, and Sacramento's famed American River Parkway.  The shopping center is beautifully landscaped with lots of maple trees, which make it seem almost park-like, but the trees are a good thing, to provide shade during Sacramento's scorching summer months.

Photo:  We didn't choose to dine outside today, but we could have, as it was a mild, sunny March morning, and Rivers Edge offers outdoor dining.

Friday, March 19, 2010 it was Matt's turn to choose the location of today's meeting, and Rivers Edge was his choice, as we had fond memories of our last visit to the restaurant, and all of us were in the mood for some of their stuffed hashbrowns, which seems to be an exclusive of River's Edge.  To digress a bit, before last year's visit to River's Edge, none of us had ever heard of stuffed hashbrowns, let alone had the opportunity to enjoy them... Now that we're "in the know" with regards to stuffed hashbrowns, our club members were anticipating a delicious breakfast of the aforementioned delights...

As I walked in the door, and arrived at the "Please wait to be seated" sign, I received a cheery "Mornin'" from friendly Shannen, who would be one of our waitresses.  She asked how many we were expecting, and I told her we were expecting eight or ten members, so she and the other waitress, Nikki, put three tables together to accommodate our group.  She asked me what I wanted to drink, and I told her coffee - is there anything else?  As she brought my coffee, I think she must have noticed my camera, and it must have jogged her memory, as she exclaimed "Oh you're Eric from the Sacramento Breakfast Club!"  How'd she know that?  I was dumbfounded, as she wasn't our waitress during our last visit, so I asked her how she knew.  She said that she'd Googled "Sacramento River Edge Cafe" and came up with my write-up, and she also mentioned that David had told her about it, as he's a frequent patron of the restaurant on his own.  Wow... today I received my fifteen minutes of fame!

Photo:  Nikki and Shannen are behind the espresso counter, with the kitchen to the right of the photo.  Photo gives an idea of the decor, complete with fishing rods, muzzle loading rifles, western paintings, and a high-def television, tuned to C.N.N., which nobody was paying any attention to.

Photo:  Shannen (left) and Nikki strike a pose for me, after they recognized who I am and what I do.  Shannen hurriedly applied lipstick before this photo was taken.

Since the ladies knew what I was up to, I decided to take a few photos, starting with Shannen and Nikki, as I absolutely love to take photos of beautiful women.  Both ladies were behind the espresso counter, chatting with a customer seated at the breakfast bar, and I walked up to them and announced that I was going to snap their photo.  They both smiled and posed, but just before I pressed the shutter, Shannen asked me to hold on a moment, and she walked over to the counter in front of the kitchen and pulled out a tube of lipstick and touched up her lips.  I got a laugh out of that!

As I waited for the rest of the club members to arrive, I got a chance to look around the restaurant, enjoy a leisurely cup of delicious coffee, and surf the World Wide Web on my phone.  The decor of the restaurant impressed me, as it is light, airy, and it gives the illusion of an open, spacious feeling.  That's probably due to the fact that the walls and fixtures are painted in pastel colors, and two of the walls are composed of floor-to-ceiling windows, which allow natural light, and a view of the outside landscaping.  The dining room is quite large, and features mostly tables, that give the appearance of spaciousness, with a few booths near the perimeter, and an espresso bar near the front door.  If you're a fan of espressos mochas and blends, it's a grab 'n go operation, as you bypass the restaurant entirely, and just deal with the espresso bar.  I got a laugh at the rod and reels that decorate the wall above the kitchen... does that mean the staff catches fresh fish from the American River? Muzzle loader rifles and cowboy paintings decorate the walls as well, which help to add a rustic touch.  If the weather is nice, there are several tables outside for patio dining, under the shady maple trees.

By the time the gang arrived, I was ready to order from the extensive and complete breakfast menu, but I had to hold off until everybody else had decided what they wanted to order.  Rivers Edge Café and Espresso's menu has been upgraded since our last visit, and it offers a vast array of choices.  If it exists for breakfast, chances are you'll find it on River Edge's menu.  Call me "menu-challenged" or whatever, but I could not find stuffed hashbrowns on the menu, and when Shannen came around to refill my coffee cup, I asked her if they still had them, and she said that they do.  (I was beginning to get a little scared...)  I asked her where they are on the menu, and she showed me... yes, they are listed as a separate item.  Read on...

If you're a coffee drinker, Rivers Edge is the place to be, as the coffee is both delicious and plentiful.  Kin, who seems to a jack-of-all-trades came around every few minutes and refilled our cups.  Cream is provided in a little stainless steel pitcher that is constructed in such a way that the cream doesn't drip when you pour it, which is a nice touch.  Rivers Edge serves some of the best coffee in town.

Photo:  Shannen takes Brad's order.  Shannen is a very efficient waitress, and a super-friendly person, but Brad must have said something exceptionally stupid to make her grin like she's doing in the photo.

Photo:  Kin fills Sarah's coffee cup.  Kin kept the coffee flowing, and he helped bring our meals to the table, with a smile.

Actually, when it comes to stuffed hash brown potatoes, the menu offers them as a solo entrée.  Menu items come with your choice of hash brown potatoes or country fried potatoes, and if you order hash browns and are willing to add a couple of bucks, you can get your hash browns stuffed.  Today I ordered linguica, eggs and hash browns, and of course I ordered mine stuffed, so did Dan, David, Sergio, Brad, Mark and Matt.  Seems to be a guy thing...

It took the efforts of Shannen, Nikki and Kin to bring our breakfasts to the table, and each of them made several trips.  You will not go away hungry, as the portions are big enough to satisfy the appetite of a lumberjack.  My breakfast arrived on a round plate, which appeared to be about 16 inches in diameter, and everything, including the toast, was on the plate, which made a very attractive presentation.  Speaking of portions, at most restaurants when you order linguica and eggs, you get a single helping of liguica; at Rivers Edge, you get two pieces.  I have a gigantic appetite for breakfast, but between the two pieces of linguica sausage and the stuffed hashbrowns, I could barely finish my breakfast.  But I managed to do the deed, and I left the restaurant with a smile on my face for my worthy effort.

Photo:  Nikki places Brad's order of a chicken fried steak, smothered in gravy, just the way Brad likes it.

Photo:  Shannen places Bev's order of an egg white omelet, toast and country fried potatoes on the table.

Rivers Edge Café and Espresso serves a quality breakfast, as the food is perfectly prepared, exactly as ordered, composed of fresh ingredients, and features an innovative and attractive presentation.  By looking at your entrée, you can tell that the staff takes pride in what they do, and the meals that they serve, as the presentation makes the meal almost too pretty to eat.  Well, almost... Good food doesn't last very long when the Sacramento Breakfast Club comes to visit.  All of agreed that our breakfasts were outstanding!

What about the stuffed hash brown potatoes?  For starters, the hash browns were cooked perfectly, as they were golden brown on the outside, and chewy on the inside, and not greasy. The hash browns are stuffed with pieces of bacon, Cheddar cheese and a dab of sour cream, omelet style, which makes stuffed hash brown potatoes almost a meal by themselves.  The stuffed hashbrowns are sooooooooooooo good that they should almost be illegal. Well, almost... The stuffed hashbrowns alone are worth a trip to River's Edge, but when you factor in the fast, friendly service, the comfortable surroundings, the reasonable prices and the large portions, it means that the Sacramento Breakfast Club has found a winner in Rivers Edge Café and Espresso.

Photo:  Check out the attractive presentation of my order of linguica, eggs, toast and stuffed hashbrowns, and the huge quantity of sausage.  The meal tasted even better than it looks in the photo.

It was interesting to note that Shannen and Nikki seemed to know everybody who walked in the door, as everybody was greeted by the standard "Mornin'" but to many individuals, they added personal touches like "We missed you last Friday," or "Haven't seen you for a couple of weeks," and they greeted many of the customers by name.  Between the espresso bar and the restaurant, Rivers Edge is a hangout for the locals, and by the time our breakfast meeting was adjourned, the place was packed with happy diners.  Shannen and Nikki also are some of the friendliest gals that we've run into during the years that we've been holding regular club meetings.  Besides being friendly, they're good at what they do, and they're also very easy on the eyes.

Photo:  Today's breakfast club members, from left to right, Eric Rench, your webmaster, author and photographer, Dan MacLeod, Brad Holther, Mark McIntire, Lisa McIntire, David DeMario, toasting the camera with his coffee cup, Matt Donnelly, Sarah Donnelly, Bev MacLeod and Sergio Gaona.

The members of the Sacramento Breakfast highly recommend Rivers Edge Café and Espresso as a wonderful place to enjoy breakfast.

Rivers Edge Café and Espresso
8740 La Riviera Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95826
916 362-2221

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