Friday, August 25, 2006, the “Sacramento Breakfast Club” decided to break with tradition and eat at the Waffle Barn in nearby Roseville, at the urging of Dan MacLeod, one of the charter members of our informal club. After all, today was his turn to pay four our meal, and our "club's" tradition calls for the buyer to pick the restaurant of his or her choice. To us, that seems like the fair thing to do…
The Waffle Barn in Roseville, California is located in the Pleasant Grove Shopping Center, and it is a fairly new restaurant, as the shopping center was built only about three years ago. Normally, it takes many years for a restaurant to establish a reputation and a dedicated clientele, but Waffle Barn has managed to attain that goal in the space of only three years or so. They do not advertise in the mass media, as they have garnered a cheaper and more effective method of advertisement: Word of mouth reviews from satisfied, local customers.
Photo: Waffle Barn, located in the Pleasant Grove Shopping Center in Roseville. Note that outdoor dining is available.
Photo: Today's Special caught the interest of Dan, David and myself. The special was posted in the foyer of the restaurant.
As you enter the restaurant through the double doors, several things of interest will grab your attention: The place is packed with contented diners, even though it's 0900 on a Friday morning, the ceilings are high, the room is light and airy, the tile floor is spotlessly clean, and the walls are festooned with sports memorabilia. Sacramento is the home of the N.B.A. team Sacramento Kings, and the locals are fanatic over the Kings. Waffle Barn is no exception, as there are Kings photos, trophies, jerseys, posters and memorabilia everywhere; walls, shelves, counters, you name it. I’m not a basketball fan, but the sports décor appeals to me, as it lends a fun, festive atmosphere to the restaurant and guarantees to attract locals.
Indeed, attract locals it does. When we walked in the door, we immediately noticed two lines: Folks checking out, and folks, like us, waiting to be seated… at 0900 on a weekday morning? Yes, but the restaurant’s atmosphere, value, quality, quantity, friendly service and festive atmosphere make the short wait worthwhile.
Photo: Looking toward the breakfast bar and into the dining room, you can see that the place is packed with happy diners. Our table was in the corner, just outside the photo in the middle right.
Photo: Photo taken by our friendly server shows us, from left-to-right, David DeMario, Dan MacLeod, Bev MacLeod, Sharlene Rench, and the author, Eric Rench. We are the core members of the "Sacramento Breakfast Club."
I’m not one to waste any time, so in the short time we were waiting to be seated, I couldn’t help to notice a rather interesting display on the wall adjacent to the cashier’s station. It seems that they have a “Hall of Fame” display that features a photo of a huge skillet breakfast, surrounded by names and photos. My curiosity got the better of me, so I asked the friendly cashier what the display was all about. She explained to me that they have a huge skillet breakfast called the “Meat Lover’s Skillet” that features two pounds of country-style potatoes, ham, bacon, sausage, two eggs and lots of country gravy. The total weight of the meal is five, yes five pounds! If you can eat all of that in one setting, you get to have your name placed on the Hall of Fame, and if you want, they’ll take your photo and post it on the display with your name attached. For contestants, there is no time limit on eating the meal, so I suppose if you were attempting to accomplish such a colossal feat it would be a good idea to bring your appetite and throw away your watch.
Photo: Waffle Barn's "Hall of Fame." Eat five pounds of a delicious skillet breakfast at one sitting, and your name will be posted on the "Hall of Fame." Note the photo of the mountain of food that you have to consume to qualify.
Our friendly server’s name was Becky, and she catered to our every need. Dan pointed out to us that Waffle Barn is unique that in addition to Becky, she has an identical twin sister and two other sisters that work there, and it is very difficult to tell them apart. How often do you find four sisters, much less two who are identical twins working at the same restaurant? We didn’t get the opportunity to mingle with Becky’s sisters, but from what I was able to observe, the four girls are very attractive, look almost identical and have award-winning smiles.
Photo: Smiling Becky stands next to us, as I coerced her into allowing me to snap her photo.
Photo: Our meal is served as Dan proudly holds up his plate for the camera.
Bev and Sharlene ordered bacon, eggs and waffles. As we usually do, Dan, David and I ordered the same item, which was the daily special, posted on a whiteboard in the lobby, consisting of a “Meat Lover’s Omelet” which includes a ham and sausage omelet with two varieties of cheese on top of the omelet, homestyle potatoes and a side dish of biscuits and gravy. The menu price is $7.25, but it was on special today for only $5.95; who could resist a deal like that? Naturally for our beverage, we ordered their delicious coffee that is poured from a bottomless coffee pot.
Despite the fact that the place was very busy, our food came to us, piping hot, in less than 15 minutes, brought to us by our charming, efficient, friendly waitress.
At this point, there was only one thing left to do, and that was to devour and enjoy the delicious meal. David and I noticed steam rising from our gravy-covered biscuits; that is the way they arrive at your table, hot and fresh. My omelet was a slice of heaven, as it was cooked to perfection, and was stuffed with diced ham, sausage, peppers and onions, not to mention two varieties of cheese melted on top. The homestyle potatoes weren’t diced or cubed, as they were cut into thin slices and fried just right; a few were golden brown and the rest were well-done, but not crisp or soggy. Everybody raved about their meal, and remarked on the presentation, the quantity and the quality. Dan had to help Bev finish her waffle, and I couldn’t even think of touching Sharlene’s, as I was stuffed from my meal. Fancy words aside, the food is good!
Photo: Check out the "Meat Lover's Omelet," which was the main course of my meal, along with the plate of TWO biscuits, covered by creamy sausage gravy on the side.
The price of the meal reminded us of 1996 rather 2006, as the bill came to only $39.56 for five of us, and that included tax. That’s a bargain, by any standard.
Waffle Barn is a restaurant that you must patronize, as it features a unique combination of delicious food, rock-bottom prices, beautiful presentations, friendly, efficient service, a fun, festive atmosphere, and a very convenient location with ample parking. After enjoying a superb dining experience, I can understand why Dan is a regular customer and recommended it so highly. I cast my vote with Dan’s.
Photo: Waffle Barn can be a busy place on a Friday morning. Notice the sports memoribilia adorning the wall. We were seated at a comfortable booth to the right of the window in the background, behind the guy wearing the red hat. Note that the breakfast bar to the right is full, which is unusual for most restaurants, but ordinary for Waffle Barn. Waffle Barn is truly a fine place to eat.
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