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Email Eric 

Email Sharlene:  







Over the past 15 years or so, I've driven past this restaurant/motel combination countless times, without stopping, but I always wondered what this restaurant would be like, as it is the only restaurant in the small foothill town of Drytown.  A couple of months ago, my favorite morning television news/magazine show, "Good Day Sacramento," ran a segment on this fine restaurant, and I knew I had to stop by, as it looked like the sort of diner that graby my attention.

Photo:  Old Well Motel and Grill is located in historic Drytown, in California's gold country, about 50 miles southeast of Sacramento.  It's the only restaurant in town - the population of the community is under 200 - and the restaurant caters to the tastes of local residents, and everybody passing by on State Route 49.  It's 07:30 on Wednesday morning, May 25, 2016, and I'm ready for breakfast.

Photo:  The small dining room as you walk in the door.  The counter has eight seats - most of them "wiggle" when you sit down, and there are five small tables, to the right, one behind me, none of the tables are shown in the photo. The kitchen can be seen in the center rear of the photo.  I doubt the dining room decor has been updated since the 1960's, but that's ok with me, as I love "unique" restaurants.

As I snapped the photo, the gentleman sitting at the counter jokingly asked if I was a spy.  I told him no, that I was an FBI agent, and I was assigned to surveillance duties in Drytown, and all of Amador County.  He laughed and said there was a sniper on the hill, with a rifle trained at me, and I jokingly replied that I had a Barrett M82 .50 BMG rifle, and a few extra magazines in my truck, which brought a laugh out of everybody.  During my visit, all of the diners were locals, and as you can guess, the topic of conversation revolved around work, hunting and fishing.  My kind of restaurant...

Photo:  The walls of the restaurant are decorated with many photos, mostly of life "back in the day," in Drytown. During the California gold rush, the town had a population of nearly 10,000 people, and on this May day in 2016, the population is less than 200.  There is nothing fancy about Drytown, or the Old Well Motel and Grill.

Photo:  From my seat at the counter, I was able to look into the kitchen, and watch Edwin prepare my breakfast. Edwin, who I assume is the owner, was multi-tasking today, as he was waiting tables, cooking, bussing tables, and working the cash register.  He was a busy man, but he took lots of time out to chat with fellow customers, and he even showed me a video on his iPhone of a tidal wave on a tropical island.

Photo:  My breakfast arrived about 15 minutes after I placed my order.  Edwin is a great guy, and an excellent cook and seemed to enjoy my photo taking, along with my many questions, after I explained my "mission" to him. I ordered Polish sausage and eggs, and he made a point to tell me that I was enjoying Johnsonville brand sausage, which works for me.

Drytown is a very small community, and everybody knows everybody else, including their business.  Since Edwin was working the restaurant alone, and doing all of the cooking duties, when the locals wanted coffee refills, they simply got up, went behind the counter, and helped themselves to coffee.  One of the locals even refilled my coffee cup.  I mentioned to him that Edwin should share his tip with this guy, and it brought a laugh from everybody.  Old Well is definitely a "mom and pop" restaurant!

Photo:  I pose with my breakfast as, upon my request, Edwin snaps my photo.  If you look behind me, you'll see the sixth table in the restaurant, which is a table for two, but it would be better for one.  The seat I was sitting on was "wiggly," and the decor of the restaurant was very dated, to say the least, the food was good, and the atmosphere was friendly, so I enjoyed a great dining experience at Old Well Motel and Grill.

Photo:  The menu at Old Well is very basic, as you can expect, but the menu includes something for every taste. Since it was Wednesday morning, and I was on my way to a camping trip in the Sierra National Forest, Polish sausage, eggs, hashbrown potatoes and toast sounded like a great way to enjoy breakfast.

My breakfast was very basic, like Old Well and the community of Drytown, there was nothing fancy, but it was delicious, and there was a lot of it, which kept me going until dinner.  I almost always order my eggs fried, over easy, which is a good benchmark for a restaurant, as not all chefs, including yours truly, can cook eggs over easy properly, but Edwin "nailed it," as the eggs were perfectly cooked.  The sausage and hashbrown potatoes were perfect also.  The meal included sourdough toast, which isn't shown in the photo.  Old Well Motel and Grill serves a delicious breakfast!

If you're looking for a great breakfast, in a quaint diner, with plenty of atmosphere, check out Old Well Motel and Grill in historic Drytown.  The locals are friendly, the atmosphere is retro, the food is delicious, and you'll leave with a full stomach, and a smile on your face.

Old Motel and Grill
15947 CA-49
Drytown, CA 95689
209 245-6467

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