Jenn's Cafe is a small "mom and pop" restaurant, located in the small Butte County city of Oroville, CA, and is a favorite among the Oroville locals as a "go-to" restaurant to enjoy breakfast or lunch.
As with all reviews 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 just a little after 07:00 in the morning on Monday, August 17, 2020, and I've arrive at Jenn's Cafe, located in Oroville, Ca, as server Theresa is wiping down the patio tables, as per state guidelines in order to control the COVID-19 virus.
Photo: Jenn's Cafe is basically a small "mom and pop" diner, which is open for breakfast and lunch, and is a favorite of the Oroville locals. Thanks to the current state mandate, banning indoor dining, the counter is empty and all dining is enjoyed outside on the spacious patio.
As you enter the restaurant, you'll notice the counter, with the eight seats, and a few small tables in the compact dining room. Jenn's Cafe is a small, compact and cozy, diner, and before the COVID-19 days, much of the dining actually happened on the patio. Thanks to the virus, and the state, as of this writing, all dining is enjoyed outside. No worries on my part, as I prefer to dine outside.
I'm assuming if it wasn't for the virus, the counter would be packed with Oroville locals, ready to enjoy breakfast.
Photo: The breakfast menu at Jenn's Cafe offers all of your breakfast favorites and features something for every breakfast lover. I was slightly surprised at the "price of admission," as the prices seemed a bit on the steep side to me.
Photo: Although I didn't eat lunch at Jenn's Cafe,the lunch menu looks great, and features many choices that would work for me. A small glass of juice for $4.00? Yikes!!
Photo: The server working the restaurant, Theresa, chit-chats with a friendly, local diner, on the patio. Despite difficulties that I encountered during my visit to Jenn's, I have to admit the patio was very pleasant. The weather was perfect, and Theresa made sure all the tables were clean, orderly and sanitized.
Photo: Theresa serves customers, who obviously seem to be locals, as she is very friendly with them.
Photo: As my server, Theresa brought my breakfast to my outdoor table, I was greeted with a not-so-friendly plea of "Please don't take my photo."
Prior to ordering my breakfast, I presented her my business card, and I explained that I was going to take photos for my web site and for Yelp. She agreed to taking photos and all seemed good.
I'm sorry, Theresa, but if you were "camera shy," why didn't you tell me before I ordered my breakfast? I made my photography intentions clear, both for this web site, and for my posting on Yelp. If you would have told me you didn't want your photo taken, I would have wished you a pleasant day, and moved on to another restaurant.
Photo: Thanks, Theresa, for snapping my photo as I prepare to enjoy breakfast on the patio. Theresa was friendly enough and I appreciate the fact that she took my photo.
Photo: From the "Traditional Breakfast" section of the "Breakfast Favorites" section of the menu... I went totally "traditional" which always works in my direction.
For my beverage, I chose ice water, which was free, as coffee was priced at $1.95 ... I'm sorry... I'm getting priced out of coffee.
The menu describes the breakfast as, "Served with two eggs and choice of one side: potatoes and toast, or two pancakes, or waffle or two slices of French toast, or full biscuits and gravy." Easy choice of the side for me, as I'm a total fan of biscuits and gravy, which is a great way to get my day started.. The "base" breakfast was priced at $13.65, but as the menu reads, "With choice of ham, chicken fried steak, or corned beef hash, or burger patty, or Polish sausage... $14.20." Alright, I went with Polish sausage, and paid the extra few cents, as Polish sausage is one of my favorite breakfast entrees.
It's a traditional breakfast in every sense, as it includes everything a breakfast lover could hope for, but at $14.20 plus tax seems very much on the steep side to me.
The showpiece of my breakfast was Polish sausage. The Polish "sausage" I enjoyed was actually a half Polish sausage, split lengthwise, and perfectly grilled. The chef has talent when it comes to cooking Polish sausage, but it's too bad that management is passing off a half sausage as a "Polish sausage."
I ordered my eggs fried over easy, which is my de facto standard, and my eggs arrived perfectly cook, over easy, just as I ordered them. The mark of a good breakfast chef is to cook eggs, perfectly over easy, as ordered, and the chef at Jenn's Cafe has talent when it comes to cooking eggs, as ordered.
The "full biscuits and gravy" was one biscuit, cut in half, and smothered with delicious breakfast, sausage gravy. The gravy was perfectly cooked, with just the right texture, and included lots of chunks of sausage, which is what breakfast gravy is all about. Delicious, but the word "full" implies a lot more than one biscuit cut in half. Perhaps I speak a different version of English?
The hash brown potatoes were plentiful, which was in a stark contrast to the rest of the meal. Jenn's Cafe's hash brown potatoes are of a different variety than I'm used to, as they were a bit on the "long" side and very well deep fried to a golden brown, in some cases, to a VERY golden brown, a little too much for my liking. No worries, as ketchup did the trick, along with mixing my perfectly cooked eggs over easy on to the hash brown potatoes, to make for a great breakfast.
As a side note, I "opened up" the restaurant at 07:00 in the morning, and my breakfast took about 40 minutes to arrive. I wasn't in a hurry, as I was heading on a camping trip to Lassen National Park, but I was a little bit surprised at the slow service. Maybe it takes time to open up the restaurant? I don't know...
Despite the slow and indifferent service, don't you think $14.20, plus tax, is a bit too high for a "traditional" breakfast?
Photo: Is this August 2020, or August 1990? What restaurant in the year 2020 actually charges $.75 if you choose to pay with a credit or a debit card? Jenn's Cafe charges $.75 for the privelege of "swiping" your credit card... and I haven't seen a "charge" like this on my restaurant check for many years. I paid for my breakfast using cash. Who charges $.75 for simply swiping a credit card? Jenn's Cafe charges...
Alright, here are a few complaints on my part: I get it that some people don't like to have their picture taken, and I respect that. But... when I plainly state my intentions, before placing my order, and you agree, why back out? Just say "no thank you" in the first place, and I'll wish you a pleasant day and movie on. Another issue was that I felt the portions were on the "slim" side for the price of the breakfast, especially since the breakfast included only one half of a Polish sausage. I wasn't particular fond of some of the over-cooked hash brown potatoes, and the credit/debit fee - should I have chosen to pay using that method - seemed so "1990's." Note that I was NOT in a hurry, but the 40-minute wait from order-to-breakfast-'served seemed excessive.
The check posts a cheery "Thank You," along with a friendly sunflower, but in my book, it's "You're welcome," Jenn's Cafe.
After the somewhat "spotty" service, the less-than-perfect breakfast, the sky-high price, and the surcharge, should I have chosen to pay using my credit card, not to mention the 40-minute order-to-eat-delay... I'm sorry but I'm less-than-enthusiastic about Jenn's Cafe, located in Oroville, CA.
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