Update: Friday, October 29, 2010, and once again, it's meeting time for the Sacramento Breakfast Club, which happened nearly every other Friday. Almost exactly to the day, minus about three, it had been two years since we'd held a meeting at Venita Rhea's, and since it was Matt's turn to choose the meeting location, and since neither he, nor his lovely wife, Sarah had attended a meeting at Venita's before, Venita Rhea's seemed like a logical place to hold today's club meeting.
Photo: Venita Rhea's features a prime location, in a small, upscale shopping center, in Rocklin, CA. The temperature was a beautiful 50 degrees on this late fall, Friday morning, and we were tempted by the fine outdoor, patio dining that Venita's offers, we opted to enjoy our breakfast inside the attractive dining room.
Venita Rhea's is one of those breakfast and lunch restaurants that seems too good to be true, and only the stuff that dreams are made of, but it's real - a brick and mortar restaurant, that is open for breakfast and lunch only. Venita's is located in small, upscale shopping center in the charming town of Rocklin, a half hour east of Sacramento, yet worlds away, and not too far to be considered a meeting place for our club.
Photo: As soon as you walk in the door, you see the sign above the counter that says, "Welcome to Venita Rhea's." And you're certainly welcome, as Venita Rhea's is a super-friendly restaurant!
Photo: Dan grins as Michelle takes his order. Dan mentioned that he was remembering the days he spent in Burns, Oregon, back during his Cold War warrior days in the 1950's, which made him grin, 50 years later...
Venita Rhea's has it all, including a squeaky clean, comfortable dining room, friendly, efficient, and accommodating staff member, and breakfast cuisine to-die-for; it's the sort of place where you'd feel proud to take your new girlfriend on your first breakfast date, or a place you'd want to take mamma for breakfast on Mother's Day. Venita features innovative, basically California, e.g., "Rocklin style" cuisine, and their menu features choices that will bring a smile to your face. Don't take our word for it, check out their innovative web site, with their complete menu, where a link to their web site is included at the end of this article.
Photo: Smile Judy! She does! She smiles, as she's about to refill Sarah's coffee cup. Judy kept the coffee cups full, and the "creamer" in us supplied with creamer. By the way, Venita Rhea serves delicious coffee.
Photo: In one fell swoop, Michelle poses with Matt's complete breakfast of chicken fried steak, covered with gravy, and his side dish of eggs, English muffins, three eggs, and home fried potatoes.
You feel at home when you enter the restaurant, and the first thing you notice is a sign posted above the breakfast counter that states, "Welcome to Venita Rhea's." Second, you're greeted with a friendly smile, in our case Judy, who will invite you to set where you want to seat, but in our case, as we walked in, Dan and Bev had already picked out a large table, in the exact place we'd held a club meeting almost two years ago. The walls are decorated with murals, and the dining room is comfortable, and sort of reminds me of a bistro place, but the decor definitely shouts California! ... perhaps harkening back to Rocklin's quarry mining days. It's definitely clean, comfortable, and super-friendly... and the staff is absolutely wonderful, and treats you like family.
Photo: Michelle holds Sharlene's order of San Francisco scramble, and Bev's order of bacon, eggs, biscuits and potatoes, as Judy smiles and seems to agree that all is delicious at Venita Rhea's, which it is!
Photo: Sarah's breakfast of omelet, hash brown potatoes, salsa, and, of course coffee, and husband's Matt's coffee, scrambled eggs, English muffin, home fried potatoes, and a separate plate featuring his main order of chicken fried steak, covered with home style sausage gravy. The parking lot post mortem meeting pronounced this breakfast as... delicious!
Today, we had the pleasure to have Michelle as our hostess and server, along with Judy, who attended to our every need and kept our coffee cups full. As we were seated, Michelle placed menus, and glasses of ice water on our table - which is a nice touch - and took our drink orders. As we waited for Matt and Sarah to arrive, we were able to check out the attractive decor, especially the colorful mural, depicting scenes from California history, on the wall near our table. Sharlene and Bev ordered special sweet, pumpkin-cinnamon flavored drinks, topped with whipped topping, while in the true ex-military style sort of guys we are, Dan and I opted for plain ol', delicious coffee, which is our de facto beverage of choice. Venita's menu offers something for every taste, and it's fresh, innovative and offers something for every breakfast taste. Shortly after Matt and Sarah arrived, friendly Michelle took or orders, and while we waited for our orders to arrive, Judy kept our coffee cups full, and made us feel welcome at her fine restaurant.
Photo: Do you like meat loaf and eggs as your breakfast entrée? It's a California, a.k.a, West Coast thing... At Venita Rhea's you get an optional third egg for free, fixed any way you like it. My breakfast of eggs, meat loaf, covered with delicious gravy, hash brown potatoes, sourdough toast and... coffee... refilled constantly by friendly Judy. Oh baby! ... breakfast at it's best!
Photo: Today's breakfast club members, from left to right: Dan MacLoed, Bev MacLeod, Sharlene Rench, Eric Rench, your web master, editor and photographer, Sarah Donnelly, and Matt Donnelly. Photo was graciously taken by Judy... thanks!
Michelle brought the food to our table, and lots of it. If you have an appetite, then Venita Rhea's is the place for you, as the food is not only delicious, but there's plenty of it. If you order an egg combination dish from the menu, such as Dan, Matt and I did, the standard egg fare is two eggs, but if you're in the mood for something extra, the third egg is free, but as the menu states, "The fourth egg will cost you a little somethin' extra." Well, who eats four eggs, besides a hungry linebacker or a trucker, which none of us are... I was in awe of Matt's chicken fried steak, which arrived on two complete plates; one plate with nothing but the steak topped in delicious sausage gravy... I could go on and on about every entrée we ordered, but they all looked, and in the post mortem parking lot meeting, were good. In my case, I ordered my main dish of meatloaf, covered with gravy, hash brown potatoes, three eggs, over easy - keep in mind that the third egg is a "freebie" option - and sourdough toast. Meatloaf for breakfast, covered in gravy! Ohhhhh baby! Sharlene ordered a "San Francisco" scramble, which she offered me a taste - yum-yum, good!
Photo: I pay Judy for our delicious breakfast, and marvel at her chrome-plated, 1950's cash register, who actually has mechanical buttons, and dispenses money in drawers, and offers nothing in the electronic world. If the electrical power dies, Venita Rhea's is still in business...
All together, our dining experience at Venita Rhea's it was the sort of place where we love to hold club meetings. We loved the light and breezy California-style decor, the wonderful cuisine, the huge quantities, the attractive presentations, and the reasonable prices. We basked in the friendly, attractive service, and we absolutely fell in love with Michelle and Judy, who made us feel like family. Venita Rhea's is highly recommended by members of the Sacramento Breakfast Club.
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