What elements make up a great breakfast restaurant? Having sampled 30-something different breakfast restaurants in the greater Sacramento area, the members of The Sacramento Breakfast Club feel that a great breakfast restaurant should include: Good food, friendly and attentive staff, attractive facilities, reasonable prices, bottomless coffee cup, attractive presentation and large portions. The Waffle Barn, located in a small, upscale shopping center on Pleasant Grove Blvd. in the beautiful city of Roseville, California, exceeds all our expectations, so it seemed natural for us to pay them a repeat visit on Friday, May 23, 2008.
Photo: Waffle Barn is located in an attractive, newer shopping center, in West Roseville. If you're up to the task, the restaurant features outdoor dining.
Waffle Barn in Roseville is one restaurant is a small chain of restaurants located in the greater Sacramento area. We as a club tend to avoid chain restaurants, but since Waffle Barn chain is small, indigenous to the local area and owned an operated by friendly local people, it just isn't in the same league with the national, or for that matter, regional chains. The restaurant caters to the taste of local residents, and their menu features four pages of breakfast entr้es catering to any taste and includes many selections more or less indigenous to California's central valley. The decor of the restaurant light, airy, spacious and very contemporary and it features a wall devoted to trophies, pennants and photos of the local N.B.A. team, the Sacramento Kings. The staff is friendly, efficient, but not intrusive, and the coffee is delicious and your mug will never be empty. Waffle Barn is open for breakfast and lunch only, and that is an indication that a restaurant is serious about breakfast. Waffle Barn is everything that the members of The Sacramento Breakfast Club look for in a restaurant.
Photo: A portion of the attractive dining room, with the breakfast counter and the kitchen in the center, to the rear of the photo and the cashier's station to the right of the photo. Sharlene and Bev are sitting at our table, in the foreground of the photo.
Photo: A look into the kitchen shows that Waffle Barn doesn't employ infrared heat lamps, as the food is delivered hot, directly from the kitchen.
Charter breakfast club member Dan MacLeod and his family visit Waffle Barn in Roseville almost every Sunday morning for breakfast, and as we were seated, our friendly waitress, Lisa, recognized Dan and Bev, and smiled and remarked, "Oh I'm not used to seeing you on a Friday, as we always see you on Sunday!" That was my cue to introduce myself, and inform her that we were on a mission, consisting of enjoying their delicious breakfasts and to do a write-up of our experience for this web site. However, the club's mission paled in comparison to the mission that Brad planned to accomplish, as he had been talking all week about consuming a "Barn Size Skillet" breakfast, and getting his name on the wall of fame.
Photo: Our friendly waitress Lisa always kept our coffee mugs filled with delicious coffee.
Everybody has certain goals that they want to achieve in their lifetime, ranging from mundane accomplishments such as discovering a cure for cancer, garnering a Nobel Peace Prize, or being the first man to walk on Mars. Like anybody else, Brad has lifetime goals he plans to achieve, but his ultimate goal in life was much more important than most, as his mission today was to consume a "Barn Size Skillet" breakfast in one setting, in order to have his name placed on Waffle Barn's Hall of Fame. If you're able to eat one of their gigantic skillet breakfast in one sitting, you're name is placed on the wall, next to the cash register, for all to see, and admire your daring and skilful accomplishment. To achieve his lifetime goal, Brad ordered the "Meat Lovers" variety of skillet, which includes two pounds of home fry potatoes, jack and cheddar cheese, diced ham, bacon, sausage, onions, mushrooms, which is topped by two eggs. Brad's a gravy sort of guy, so he ordered a bowl of gravy on the side. Honestly, I don't see how a football linebacker could eat such a breakfast, but Brad was focused on his ultimate goal, and felt that he was up to the task.
Photo: Lisa places my breakfast on the table, as David and Sharlene admire the skilful presentation. Note that the restaurant is very busy, which is status quo for Waffle Barn.
The rest of us are not as accomplishment-driven as Brad is, so we ordered less-exotic selections from the extensive menu. After placing our orders with our friendly waitress, Lisa not only made sure our coffee cups never ran dry, but as she made her rounds, she was always happy to say a few words, and always kept a smile on her face. We really appreciate a server such as Lisa, who is efficient, personable and friendly, but not intrusive. Waffle Barn is a fun restaurant, as it's comfortable, busy, yet not rushed or crowded and the decor seems to inspire spirited conversation. If you're a Sacramento Kings Fan, you'll love the sports memorabilia.
Photo: Brad is saying "Can I really eat all of this? as Sharlene grins her encouragement. Note the mountain of potatoes, which make the two fried eggs seem to almost disappear.
Today's meeting included all six core members, and when our meals arrived, we were served not only by Lisa, and two other servers! Efficiency at it's best... Of course the foot arrived hot from the kitchen, as Waffle Barn doesn't employ heat lamps, and our meals not only smelled delicious, but looked delicious as well. An old dining clich้ says that you should taste the meal with your eyes before you eat it, and the presentation we enjoyed did not disappoint us, as the presentations is skillfully arranged and very attractive.
Photo: Core members of The Sacramento Breakfast Club, from left to right: David Demario, Bev MacLoed, Dan MacLoed, Brad Holther, Sharlene Rench, and your author and webmaster, Eric Rench.
Presentation aside, the rubber meets the road when the fork meets the plate, and Waffle Barn didn't disappoint us, as the food was cooked to perfection, fresh, and delicious. Combine the ample portions, attractive presentation, reasonable prices, with the fast and friendly service, and you have a breakfast restaurant that stands out from the crowd.
Photo: My breakfast of Polish sausage, home fry potatoes, eggs over easy, coffee along with biscuits and gravy. Note the potatoes are thinly sliced lengthwise, which is somewhat of a rarity.
Unfortunately, Brad left the restaurant a sad and broken man, with most of his breakfast in a box, as he was unable to finish his meal, and achieve his lifetime goal. Because of his failure, his name was not placed on the Hall of Fame, which seemed to be a great disappointment to him. In fact, he was only able to eat about a third of his giant breakfast, so he fell far short of his goal, and he failed to accomplish his mission. As we left the restaurant, Dan and I consoled him, and urged him to undergo counseling, and to ramp-up his personal training schedule, and attempt to complete is mission during a future visit. We pointed out that many other sportsmen have tried and failed to consume the mountainous plate of food in one sitting, so Brad is not alone in his failure.
Photo: Brad failed to achieve his goal, as he could only eat about a third of his mountain of food. Sharlene is offering encouragement, and urging him to eat "just one bite more..."
Photo: It was Dan's turn to pick up the bill. Note the skillet-shaped plaque mounted on the wall in the middle of the photo; it's the Hall of Fame, and it's plastered with the names of champions, who successfully ate their skillet breakfast in one sitting.
We left the restaurant with full stomachs and smiles on our faces, and vowed to hold a future breakfast meeting at the restaurant. We've been to Waffle Barn before, and we'll visit the restaurant again, as it has everything that we look for in a breakfast restaurant, and is highly recommended by all members of The Sacramento Breakfast Club.
The bottom line is: Take our word, visit the restaurant, and enjoy their friendly service and wonderful cuisine. You'll be glad that you did.
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