Nearly every small airport in the western United States that caters to general aviation has a restaurant near the runway, as general aviation pilots are a hungry crowd, and have outstanding taste when it comes to fine cuisine, particularly "old school" diner "comfort food." Besides great taste in food, pilots love to "fly and dine," as it's a lot of fun to fly to an airport, with a destination restaurant in mind. Runway Cafe, located at the Woodlake Airport, just outside of Woodlake, CA, is a destination for pilots, locals, and everybody who appreciates an amazing breakfast or lunch.
As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: It's early afternoon on Sunday, May 09, 2021, and I've arrived to a very busy Runway Cafe, located in Woodlake, CA to enjoy one of the best breakfasts you can find in Tulare County.
Much to my chagrin the restaurant was SUPER BUSY, but since I'd been on vacation, and after checking my calendar did it occur to me it was Mothers Day. No wonder this fine restaurant was so busy!
Photo: Runway Cafe features a lovely patio, which overlooks the Woodlake Airport, owned by the City of Woodlake, and FAA-designated as O42. The small airport has a single runway, and caters to general aviation, and small airplanes. I you like airplanes and great food, you can't beat Runway Cafe's patio!
Photo: As you enter the restaurant from the patio, you'll notice aviation decor, as the walls are decorated with everything aviation and everything related to airplanes. You'll notice photos of every kind of airplane, but with a very heavy emphasis on general aviation, as this small airport caters to private pilots, and small aircraft. What more could you ask for in a restaurant that is a 1-minute walk from the runway of Woodlake Airport?
After you've marveled at the aviation decor, you'll notice the small counter, with four seats, and the window to the kitchen. Truly an "old school" diner any way you look at it.
Photo: Today was Mothers Day, and the restaurant was super busy, as expected. The dining room furniture is mostly tables, with booths lining the walls. There is a small counter with four seats, which looks into the kitchen, and provides a great dining experience, especially if you're dining by yourself, as you can watch the "happenings" of the restaurant, and chit-chat with the staff.
Photo: Just behind the small counter is the window to the kitchen, where completed orders are placed for the serving staff to deliver.
Photo: I sat at the counter and had a great view of the kitchen, the busy chefs at work, and the great meals they prepared, ready for the serving staff to deliver.
Photo: As I sat at the small counter, I enjoyed a great view of the kitchen, and the busy chefs at work, preparing the fine diner cuisine that makes Runway Cafe famous.
Photo: Runway Cafe is serious about breakfast, which is the favorite meal of private pilots, and the first page of their menu features "old school" breakfast diner classics, and everything a breakfast lover could ever hope for. I looked over the menu and my eyes stopped on the "Breakfast Combos," and I went at the "top," with the "1/2 Ham, 2 Bacon, 2 Link Sausages and Eggs." How could breakfast get better?
Check out the complete menu for both breakfast and lunch that Runway Cafe offers by clicking on THIS LINK. No worries, as it's easy to get back here, to the main article.
Photo: I love to sit at the counter, especially when there is a window to the kitchen, so I can watch all of the action that is happening in the restaurant.
Photo: On this late Sunday morning - Mothers Day - the staff was super busy, so I didn't get a chance to chit-chat, or even ask for their names. The two servers were taking care of the busy dining room along with the patio.
Photo: Cobb Salad, waiting for one of the friendly staff to pick up and deliver.
Photo: Cheeseburger, along with a side of curly fries. Hamburgers and cheeseburgers at Runway Cafe come with everything that you dream of to make your burger experience complete.
Photo: My hostess set my "Breakfast Combo" on the counter, and reached out with the biscuit and gravy, as she answered a call from the kitchen. The restaurant was so busy that I didn't ask for another photo. Great service!
Photo: Thanks to my hostess for snapping my photo, as I get ready to enjoy my "Breakfast Combo" at Runway Cafe. How can you "fly by" a breakfast like this?
Photo: I had my sights on breakfast, and I was hungry, so from the "Breakfast Combos" section of the menu, I went with what the menu labels as "1/2 Ham, 2 Bacon, 2 Link Sausages and Eggs." The menu also goes on to describe this, and other breakfasts under the "Breakfast Combos" sections, "Served with two large eggs AND your choice of hash browns OR country potatoes OR fresh fruit AND your choice of biscuit and gravy OR toast Or English muffin." Any breakfast combination sounds good to me, but how can you beat biscuit and gravy for a side?
The meat... oh my goodness! This "lumberjack filling" breakfast includes a half grilled ham steak, two slices of bacon, and two sausage links. I was expecting small sausage links, but NO, the sausage links were large, thick, tender and juicy. I didn't specify how my meat was to be cooked, but it arrived perfectly cooked medium - just the way I like it - which brought a smile to my face. I "assume" if you desired your meat cooked differently, all you'd have to do is ask as you were placing your order.
Hash brown potatoes were absolutely perfect, cooked to a golden brown on the outside, with some of the "strings" crunchier than others, and tender, white and chewy on the inside. The mark of a great chef is to fry eggs over easy - as ordered - and my eggs arrived perfectly, over easy as I ordered. The chef at Runway Cafe has talent!
The biscuit was fresh, a little crispy on the outside, but perfectly tender inside, and was simply delicious. It was easy to tell the biscuit was made fresh, in-house, as it was "softness goodness." The sausage gravy was creamy, flavorful, and had lots of chunks of sausage, and made for a perfect "side dish" to a perfect breakfast.
Quite a breakfast at Runway Cafe! Three kinds of meat, perfect hash brown potatoes, along with biscuit and gravy. Life, or breakfast just doesn't get any better...
Runway Cafe serves delicious "comfort food" and diner cuisine to pilots, locals and those who appreciate a fine meal that sticks-to-your-ribs, at a fair price, served by friendly staff. Whether you're flying or driving, and you're interested in great food, Runway Cafe, located in Woodlake, CA, should be your destination of choice.
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