Café 58, located in Mojave, California, is the sort of restaurant that I absolutely love to write a review about, as it has everything that I love about a restaurant. So, what is there to love about Café 58?
Photo: Café 58 is located on Highway 58, at the corner of "K" St., in Mojave, California. The early November morning sun provides a warm, cheery feeling, as the Tehachapi Mountains loom in the background.
It's a unique and a one-of-a-kind, locally owned and operated
restaurant, in a small, desert town
So what is there to dislike about Café 58? Absolutely nothing... this restaurant is wonderful!
Backing up just a tad, the town of Mojave is hardly a destination for many people, as California State Route 58 has bypassed the town for the last several years, which has definitely had a profound effect on the local economy, as when you visit the town, you'll notice many shuttered businesses, and many homes for sale, perhaps in foreclosure. Mojave has a proud history of being a railroad and a highway town, but the railroad is only a shadow of it's former self, as the trains mostly pass through without stopping, and the main highway has bypassed the town since 2001. Most of the restaurants in town are of the fast food variety, with a couple of sit-down, national chains to serve as anchors, and only a handful of unique, sit-down restaurants, which Café 58 stands as one of the few restaurants that populate that exclusive club.
Photo: The restaurant is clean, comfortable, and very family-friendly, and the wonderful staff will make you feel at home. I love the ceiling fans and the HD television monitors!
Photo: Amber "persons" the cash register, as a guest pays his bill. Note the fall decorations, and the awesome pie case to the left of the photo.
The first time I ate at Café 58 was back in 1979, during one of my first visits to Mojave as an adult, when the restaurant was known as Jerry's. It remained Jerry's until 2006, when the restaurant was sold, and renamed Hillary's. Hillary lasted a year, and the year 2007 brought in new owners, new decor, new focus and the present name of Café 58. I never had complaints about Jerry's, as I ate at the restaurant many times (why didn't I do a stinkin' review?) during many railfanning, four wheeling, and pass-through visits to Mojave. I never had the chance to enjoy Hillary's... Anyway, on Friday, November 6, 2009 when I arrived for breakfast, I was in a state of shock, as I was expecting to enjoy breakfast at Jerry's, and now I was confronted with a new kid in town, Café 58! But, what the heck, as I walked past the two American flags that flank the entrance to the restaurant, and entered the place.
OK, the basic layout was still intact; kitchen and breakfast bar front and center, main dining to my left flank, smaller dining area to my right flank. The "Please wait to be seated sign" was still intact, as I was immediately greeted by a friendly, early 20's waitress named Amber, who suggested that I could seat myself anywhere of my choosing, since there were only a handful of guests at the time of my visit, at a little past seven on this early November morning. I headed to the right, and chose a high table and chairs, with a view similar to a bar stool, which gave me an excellent vantage point to view the operation, and to take photos. Amber immediately placed a menu before me, along with a refreshing glass of ice water, and asked if I wanted coffee, which I replied to with a resounding YES!
Photo: Amber poses at my table, next to my meal, after bringing it to my table. I left her a $5.00 tip for a $7.00 meal, as she was not only beautiful, but very friendly, efficient, and happily tolerated my questions and photos. Way to go, Amber!
Photo: Amber was gracious to snap my photo, upon my request. Ya know, one thing nice about being upper middle age, is that you can call folks like Amber "darlin'" and they don't take offence, nor do they think you're trying to put "the make" on them.
After the coffee arrived, I placed my order of eggs, hash browns and toast, which the menu gave the cutesy-poo name of "Two For The Road." By the way, my de facto standard breakfast order is two eggs, fried over easy, hash browns, or country style potatoes, and sourdough toast. I could eat that breakfast every day... While my order was being prepared, it gave me a chance to look around the restaurant. Obviously the basic layout is the same since the Jerry's days, but the building has been completely redecorated, and the walls sport very attractive pastel colors, framed impressionistic pictures, new furniture, high definition televisions, and a whole lot more. On this November morning, there were only a handful of guests, but all appeared to be either locals, truckers, or members of the RV crowd - all of which are outstanding judges of restaurants, especially restaurants that serve breakfast. Overall, the atmosphere at Café 58 is relaxed, comfortable, and very friendly.
My breakfast arrived within minutes, cheerfully brought to my table by Amber, my friendly, efficient, not to mention good looking waitress. I asked her if she'd mind if I took her picture after she delivered "the goods," and she cheerfully agreed, and she also snapped my photo, upon my request. I mentioned to her that I hadn't been in town for around four years, and the restaurant was Jerry's as of my last visit, so Amber filled me in on the historical details, that I talked about earlier in this article. She also told me that she'd been working at Café 58 for two years, and almost apologized to me that she is a local girl, and had spent her whole life in Mojave. Well, Amber has nothing to apologize about, as if all the girls in Mojave looked like her, or were as nice as her, and if I was single and 30 years younger, I'd bring Amber, or one of her girlfriends home to meet Mama.
Photo: My delicious breakfast, cooked to perfection, exactly as I ordered it. I did add a bit of green Tabasco sauce to my eggs, as I absolutely love Tabasco sauce.
What about my breakfast? In a word, perfect. My meal arrived within minutes, cooked to perfection, exactly as I'd ordered it. You can see by the photo that the presentation was beautiful... the meal was simply delicious, and Amber kept my coffee mug full. Café 58 is definitely my kind of restaurant, as it has everything in a restaurant that I look for, including the local touch, friendly, efficient service, friendly, comfortable atmosphere, great food at reasonable prices. Add the personal touch and the friendly smile of Amber, and you have a winning combination at Café 58.
Update, May 31, 2010: On the way back home from Hi-Desert Roundup, 2010, we stopped at Café 58 for breakfast, as I wanted to impress my son, Matthew, and my buddy Robert to the fact that the place serves a great breakfast, at a great price, not to mention the fact that we'd get to oggle Amber. Luckily for us, Amber was our server, and she actually remembered me from my previous visit, as the guy who took all of the photos; she commented that she'd visited this web site and that she didn't think the photos I took of her were complimentary. I attempted to change her attitude and tell her that she's a "perfect 10," but being a woman, alas, my compliments fell upon deaf ears. Anyway, we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast (why didn't I take photos of the food??? What was I not-thinking?) and got to enjoy Amber's pleasant company and great service. Café 58 in Mojave rules the breakfast world!
Photo: Caught at the Coke machine! I photograph Amber as she fills soda fountain glasses, with the "real thing" on Monday morning, May 31, 2010, which just happens to be Memorial Day, 2010.
Photo: My buddy Robert Kipperman snapped a photo of me, doing my "dirty old man thing" of embracing Amber. Shame on me, as I can't resist having my photo taken hugging a beautiful woman!
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