For as long as I can remember, I've loved the Sierra Nevada mountains, and since I live near the base of the mountain range, I spend a lot of time in the mountains. Enjoying the mountains definitely builds up an appetite in me, and there's no better way to start a trip than to enjoy a delicious meal at a great restaurant. If you're traveling east on U.S. Highway 50, shortly after crossing the El Dorado County line, you'll arrive at the small foothill town of Shingle Springs, home to the Train Station Coffee Shop.
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 a little past 11 on late Saturday morning, March 16, 2019, and I've arrived at Train Station Coffee Shop, located in Shingle Springs, CA, for a late breakfast or an early lunch. Since the restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch only, anything on the menu is served any time the restaurant is open.
The restaurant gets its name - I assume - as it's located across Mother Lode Drive from the station of the El Dorado Western Railroad, a historical railroad that runs between the foothill towns of Shingle Springs and El Dorado. On Sundays, the railroad offers train rides for a very nominal donation to their museum.
Photo: I walked in to a very busy restaurant on this late Saturday morning, where nearly every table was seated. I counted four servers, one cashier/table cleaner and two chefs working the restaurant, and lots of customers. Note the small four-seat counter at the rear of the restaurant, and the window to the kitchen.
The decor is "funky" and could be described as "Americana," diner, or just eccentric. Whatever description you use, the decor works, and it definitely defines Train Station Coffee Shop.
Photo: The lunch menu features all of your favorite burgers, sandwiches and salads. Everything on the menu looks delicious! Since it was late morning, and I hadn't had the chance to eat breakfast, I debated between breakfast or lunch, but lunch and a cheeseburger won out.
Photo: One of the friendly servers, Janie, waits on a table and takes breakfast orders. There is a second, smaller dining room, parallel to the main dining room, and it can be seen through the two open doorways in the rear of the photo.
Photo: In days gone by, Shingle Springs was noted as a mining and lumbering town, but those industries are in the past, and today the town largely lives on tourism from nearby Highway 50, and it's a "bedroom" community to Sacramento. The toy logging truck and toy logging train are part of the restaurant's decor.
Photo: The restaurant is noted for having tee shirts from local business tacked to the walls.
Photo: I sat at the counter, and I was able to take a peek through the window to the kitchen and watch the chefs at work. When an order is ready, the chef places it on the window counter where it is picked up by one of the wait staff and taken to the customer.
Photo: Meet Lisa, my friendly server, who delivers my burger to me with a warm smile. I got to know Lisa, and Janie, another server, as we got to chatting about a mutual interest: Food. I made Lisa's job easy, as she only had to pick up the burger from the kitchen window, just behind her, and place it in front of me on the counter.
Photo: Thanks, Lisa, for snapping my photo, as I prepare to enjoy my delicious cheeseburger and an order of fries. Although the restaurant is a "coffee shop," I opted for ice water, as I occasionally get burned-out on coffee, and ice water is my drink of choice, 99% of the time. I also get burned-out on paying $2.00+ for a cup of coffee...
Photo: From the "Burgers and Such" section of the lunch menu, I ordered a cheeseburger, along with fries, which is a good place to begin. You get the choice several varieties of cheese, and the choice of several sides, but I like to keep things simple, so I went with pepper jack cheese, along with fries.
The cheeseburger arrives open face, which makes for a stunning presentation as you can "see it all." It starts with a half pound of ground beef, cooked the way you like it. The default is medium, which works in my book. The burger sports a slice of perfectly melted cheese, and the bun includes lettuce, tomato and onion. The large, fresh bun is toasted and lightly buttered. There weren't any condiments, such as mustard or mayonnaise on the burger - they were available on the counter - but after taking a bite into my burger, I decided to forget the condiments, as the burger didn't need any "enhancement," as it was stand-alone delicious. To my surprise, the cheeseburger included two pieces of bacon, which wasn't described on the menu! An added bonus...
One half pound of sheer cheeseburger serendipity! The burger was juicy and cooked perfect, the toasted bun was fresh, the lettuce, tomato and onion were fresh, and the cheese was melted, and enhanced the delicious burger. The fries were deep fried to a golden brown on the outside, and were chewy and tender inside, just the way I like them.
This was a delicious cheeseburger and fries lunch!
Photo: I cut my cheeseburger in half so I could get a good look at the goodness. Oh yes! This cheeseburger was delicious!
Train Station Coffee Shop has it "all," including delicious food, friendly staff and a comfortable, "funky" dining room. The restaurant is unique, and is a favorite of mountain-bound travelers, and a favorite eating spot for Shingle Springs locals.
When you're on your way to the mountains, Lake Tahoe and beyond, and if you're in the mood for a delicious breakfast or lunch, in a restaurant with lots of local color, do yourself, and your stomach and pay a visit to Train Station Coffee Shop, located in Shingle Springs, California. Great food, great staff, and a great restaurant!
Train Station Coffee Shop
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