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The Ugly Mug Cafe, located in the Placer County foothill community of Loomis, is a one-of-a-kind, family-owned and operated restaurant, which caters to the taste of the locals, and travelers on nearby Interstate 80.  What's not to love about a restaurant that sports such credentials?  There are only two things not to love about this restaurant:  a) Sky-high menu prices... b)  Staff with an attitude.  I'm not going to sugarcoat my "ugly" visit to this restaurant, so in keeping with the name of the place, this review is going to be "ugly..."

As with all restaurant 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 about 06:30 on a rainy morning, January 08, 2018, and I'm at Ugly Mug Cafe, ready to enjoy breakfast. Or so I thought...

Photo:  As you enter the restaurant, you'll note a couple of white boards that advertise specials.  None of them appealed to me, as I was in the mood for bacon and eggs.  There appears to be a full-service bar, which is unusual for a restaurant that is open for breakfast and lunch only.

Photo:  The main dining room of the restaurant is clean, comfortable, and decorated in a "country" theme.  On this early morning in January, the restaurant was lightly seated, with one gentleman at the counter, and a few gentlemen seated at two tables near the front door.  All customers appeared to be regulars, as my server seemed to know each of them by name.  I seated myself at the counter, in the second chair from the left

Photo:  Ugly Mug Cafe is serious about breakfast, as the breakfast menu is extensive.  Note the sky-high prices, such as $9.00 for two eggs, potatoes and toast.  Add bacon, ham or sausage and the price bumps up to $11.00!  If you're a lover of linguica, the price of admission for your breakfast rises to a whopping $13.00, which DOES NOT include coffee!  Imagine this:  If you ordered a breakfast of linguica, eggs, potatoes and toast, along with coffee, by the time you finished breakfast, and added a 15% gratuity and tax, you would have spent nearly $22.00 for breakfast!  Since I was in early, I went with the "Early Bird Special" on the menu, specifically, "The Red Eye" at $10.00, which includes coffee, and is slightly more reasonable, but still very much on the expensive side.

Photo:  My breakfast was ready about 10 minutes after placing my order, which is very fast.  Besides my server, Dianne, there was one lady working in the kitchen, but she seemed to keep a very low profile, as most kitchen staff tend to do.

Photo:  On my request, my server took my photo, as I'm get ready to enjoy my "Red Eye Special."

Not all was "country" roses at Ugly Mug Cafe.  I walked into the lightly-seated restaurant and seated myself at the counter, which I tend to do when I dine by myself.  The server - who refused to have her photo taken - was busy filling bottles of hot sauce, but she took the time to give me a menu, and a glass of ice water.  I asked her name, and she mumbled something like "Dianne,"  but I could be wrong.  This gal is in her early 40's, blonde, average height and build, and quite attractive.  I assume she's been working at the restaurant for quite some time, as she seems to have a routine, and greets many of the regular customers by name.

I gave her my business card, and told her that I'm a die-hard "foodie," and that whenever I go to a restaurant, I take photos to publish on this web site - which receives over 1000 hits a day - and my Facebook page, and it amounts for free advertising, as I prefer to publish positive reviews.  She didn't say anything, and went back to filling bottles of hot sauce, and chatting with other diners, who were obviously regulars.

I got up to take a couple of photos of the dining room, and as I snapped a couple of photos - which lead this article - my server snapped, "Hey, don't take photos of MY customers!"  I told her I was taking photos of the dining room, and a couple customers happened to be there, and that she's agreed to allow photos.  I also suggested she could look in my camera and I'd delete any photos she deemed objectionable.  She walked away in a huff, and resumed filling her bottles of hot sauce.  With the exception of chatting with a few of the locals, filling the hot sauce bottles seemed to be her priorty.

Of course when it came time for her to bring out the food, snapping her photo, which I consider to be he "money shot" of every restaurant session didn't happen.

I should have walked out of the restaurant before my food was delivered, as California State law says you're only obligated to pay for it if you eat it, or begin to eat it.  I guess I'm a nice guy, but I did leave her a very minimal tip, bordering on the insulting side, to get my point across.

Photo:  "The Red Eye" breakfast, which is priced at $10.00 weekday mornings until 10:00.  You get two eggs, hash brown potatoes, choice of meat, toast and coffee.  This breakfast was delicious, perfectly cooked, and the presentation was very attractive.  The portions were on the small side, and although it wasn't a "rip-off," it wasn't a bargain, compared to offerings at other Place County restaurants, such as Granite Rock Grill, or Original Mel's $7.79 New York steak and egg special.

The quality of food is excellent, the presentation was beautiful, and my breakfast was delicious.  I could actually forgive the outrageous prices, but I cannot forgive service with an attitude.  Note to Dianne, and the management at Ugly Mug Cafe:  Leave your attitude at the door!  For cryin' out loud... you're dealing with customers, real people, who's dollars support your job and your business.

Dear reader, if you're looking for my normally upbeat restaurant reviews, I apologize, as publishing an article that "flames" a restaurant is not in my standard style of journalism.  But I feel compelled to publish the truth, and when a staff member greets me with attitude, and makes me feel unwelcome, I feel compelled to publish an article, to reflect my dining experience.

Despite the delicious breakfast, albeit quite expensive at $10.00 plus tax, I'll never return to this dive, thanks to the unfriendly attitude of Ms. Dianne.

Ugly Mug Cafe
3589 Taylor Rd.
Loomis, CA 95650
916 652-5241

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