Quality Southern-style cuisine is difficult to find in California, and in the Sacramento metro area, it's darn near impossible, with one exception: Stagecoach Restaurant. It's a well-kept Sacramento secret, cherished by local residents that Stagecoach Restaurant serves authentic Southern-style food, and that their menu offers choices that can't be found anywhere else in town. Like many of the finer restaurant destinations of the Sacramento Breakfast Club, Stagecoach Restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch only... but what a way to start out your day! To start out the new year right, Friday, January 8, 2010, we held the first club meeting of the New Year at Stagecoach Restaurant, at Latasha's suggestion.
Photo: Stagecoach Restaurant is packed on this foggy Friday morning. Covered, outdoor dining is offered on the side of the restaurant, but there are no takers on this chilly morning in January.
Stagecoach Restaurant is a local hang-out; despite the fact that it's only a few blocks from busy Highway 99, the restaurant is mostly patronized by local residents, who appreciate delicious food. The decor of the dining room is a throwback to the 1960's and 1970's, complete with Formica breakfast counter, wood paneled walls, bull horns and lots of framed pictures on the walls. As you walk enter the restaurant, you'll notice a sign that, in our opinion, clearly states the mission of the restaurant: Breakfast served all day, every day! A mission statement such as that will put a smile onto the face of any breakfast lover.
The main dining room is a mixture of tables and booths, which aren't really suitable for a large group, such as the Sacramento Breakfast Club. Since we had a rather large turnout of club members, we were seated in a separate dining room at the rear of the restaurant, where we were able to push together three tables to accommodate today's club member.
Photo: The main dining room is cozy, and quite rustic inside. The entrance to the kitchen is at the extreme right of the photo.
Photo: Christian and Kathy joke with Dan and Bev at our table. Photo was taken before the other members arrived, as Dan, Bev and I were the vanguard of today's meeting.
I have never seen a restaurant menu, like the menu at Stagecoach Restaurant, as, in addition to all of your California favorite breakfast choices, the menu includes such Southern favorites as fried catfish filets, red snapper filets, and fried meatloaf. Sides include homefried potatoes, buttered grits, fried grits with molasses, rice and gravy - you can choose between sausage, turkey, or homestyle gravy with you rice. These are every day items featured on the menu. Our friendly waitress, Christian, was happy to point out the daily specials, printed on the white board behind the breakfast counter, that included such mouthwatering choices as Philly-style pork scrapple and eggs, one pound bone-in ham steak and eggs, Stagecoach fried trout, grilled Spam and eggs, and S.O.S. gravy over biscuits. Absolutely incredible! I was in a state of shock, and "breakfast overload.." my mind was whirling like a blender... what to choose? Stagecoach offers many choices, and they even have a separate menu for seniors, with smaller portions, smaller prices, and more "conventional" offerings.
I had been "Googling" Stagecoach Restaurant on the Internet, as I wanted to read what others had written about the restaurant, and I quickly zeroed in on fried catfish and eggs for breakfast. I have never eaten fried catfish for breakfast, nor have I even imagined catfish for breakfast, and despite the alluring choices written on the white board, I settled for catfish and eggs. As an aside, I regularly dine on kippers and eggs for breakfast; check out my recipe on another section of this Web Site.
Photo: Christian points to one of the white boards that feature today's breakfast and lunch specials. Check out the photo of Tex Ritter, just behind Christian's head. I forgot to ask Christian if Tex had dined at Stagecoach.
Photo: This group of locals was sitting next to us, as I was taking photos, and the gentleman in the center, looking at the camera, requested that I take their photo, which I was only too happy to oblige.
In talking with staff members Christian and Kathy, I learned that Stagecoach Restaurant is locally owned and operated - no surprise there - and has been in the same location for many years. On this Friday morning, the restaurant was packed - Stagecoach has built quite a reputation by serving great food, offering gigantic portions, at very reasonable prices. The restaurant was filled with local residents - Christian and Kathy knew many of the folks by name.
Despite the fact that the restaurant was very busy, or orders arrived quickly. The portions are HUGE and each order requires at least two plates, so Christian and Kathy made multiple trips to accommodate today's nine breakfast club members. At Stagecoach, it's not just about huge portions, as the food is delicious, attractively presented, and served with a smile.
Photo: Christian is ready to set DeAnn's plate of pork chops and eggs on the table, as Latasha strikes a serious pose.
Photo: My breakfast of fried catfish, eggs, potatoes, along with a side of biscuits and gravy. The toast was brought as an accident, and I somehow managed to polish it off as well.
Photo: You get a lot of food at Stagecoach Restaurant, as this photo illustrates. All this food was just for four of us.
So what about catfish and eggs for breakfast? My breakfast arrived on a huge platter, and featured a large filet of catfish, breaded in cornmeal, and deep fried, Southern style, to a golden brown. The breading was light, tender and tasty, and the white meat was juicy and cooked perfectly. The catfish filet was placed on a leaf of Romaine lettuce and a slice of lemon for presentation - a nice touch. On the side was a cup of tartar sauce. There were plenty of perfectly cooked homestyle potatoes, and my three eggs were cooked as ordered, over easy, and they were cooked perfectly. My order of biscuits and gravy were on another plate, and, yes, the order included TWO biscuits, covered in creamy, sausage gravy with lots of chunks of sausage. It was all that I could do to finish my meal, despite the fact that I have a huge appetite and I was extra hungry the morning of our visit. Incredible!
I complimented fellow breakfast club member Latasha on her excellent taste in choosing today's restaurant, as Stagecoach Restaurant is a winner in every respect. In addition to the unique cuisine, Stagecoach features friendly service in a Southern, diner-style atmosphere, huge portions, attractive presentation, at very reasonable prices. You will not leave Stagecoach Restaurant hungry, and you will leave with a smile on your face, and quite possibly enough leftovers for another meal.
Photo: Today's Sacramento Breakfast Club members, from left to right: DeAnn Harris, Latasha Banks, Sergio Ganoa, David DeMario, Matt Donnelly, Dan MacLeod, Bev MacLeod, Brad Holther, and Eric Rench, your author and webmaster. The gentleman in the foreground wearing the black hat was a member of the party next to us.
I've never seen another restaurant like Stagecoach Restaurant in the state of California, and there probably isn't another place like it on the West Coast... as this restaurant would be right at home in Macon or Montgomery. I can't wait for a return meeting... let's see... what to order? .... Spam? S.O.S.? .... perhaps scrapple? ...
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