Carol's Restaurant, located in the city of West Sacramento, CA, is an iconic eatery, that's been serving hearty breakfast and lunch to both tourists and locals, since 1988. Carol's is family owned, family operated, a one-of-a-kind restaurant, and the kind of restaurant that I absolute adore.
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: Carol's is located on West Capitol Avenue, in downtown West Sacramento, CA. It's about 1:30 in the afternoon on Saturday, June 22, 2019, and I've arrived at Carol's Restaurant hungry, with the idea of enjoying an amazing lunch.
Carol's offers patio, sidewalk dining, surrounded by a fence, so diner can enjoy a beer while dining outside, and adhere to the laws of the State of California. Since the temperature was in the low 90-degree mark, I considered dining outside, but the 30+ mile and hour winds made the decision to dine indoors a breeze, so to say.
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, you're greeted by friendly staff and a "Please Wait to be Seated" sign. Since I was dining alone, I sat at the counter, to the right of the entrance. The main dining room is to the left.
At any rate, as soon as you walk in the door, a friendly staff member will greet you, and welcome you, with a warm, friendly smile.
Carol's Restaurant really worked for me, as I'd spent much of the morning and early afternoon hiking, and taking photos of ships at the nearby Port of West Sacramento.
Photo: Carol's features a comfortable counter, which is a great place to enjoy a meal, especially when you're dining alone. You can relax, chit-chat with the staff, enjoy whatever is playing on the television monitor - today it was Fox News - and enjoy your meal at a leisurely pace.
The chair that is pulled out, near the center of the counter, is where I was sitting. Yes, that's my camera case on the counter.
Today's visit to Carol's was nearly a déjà vu moment, as I'd previously visited this fine restaurant back in May, 2009, when I was a member of the now defunct Sacramento Breakfast Club. Click on this link to review my visit with the breakfast club.
Photo: No, it's not "Betty's Diner," but Betty's diner figure is alive and well, placed behind Carol's counter.
Photo: The dining room on this early Saturday afternoon is busy, despite that it's only an hour until the restaurant closes. Carol's Restaurant is the go-to breakfast and lunch restaurant for West Sacramento locals, and many Sacramentans, cross the river to enjoy the fine cuisine served at Carol's.
Over the years, Carol's has achieved quite a reputation in the greater Sacramento area as a restaurant that's friendly, serves great food, and treats their customers like family. The major news/magazine television show, Good Day Sacramento, frequently broadcasts live from Carol's, with interviews of diners enjoying their meals, occasional eating contests, and showcases the amazing breakfast choices the menu at Carol's has to offer.
Photo: Carol's Restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch, and they're serious about breakfast, as selections from the breakfast menu are offered any time the restaurant is open. This is only one page from the extensive breakfast menu, which includes "Carol's Specialties."
Although it was early afternoon, I couldn't decide if I wanted breakfast or lunch. I had my heart set on a burger, but then I started to waiver when I looked over the breakfast menu. Just in passing, I mentioned my dilemma to my friendly server, Matt, and he suggested that I order the "Breakfast Burger." Perfect suggestion. Done deal.
Photo: I sat at the counter, so I could watch the friendly staff in action, and chit-chat, as time permitted. Carol's is a "hangout" for the locals, as the folks seated at the counter with me knew all the staff by name, and engaged in friendly conversation with the staff.
Photo: Friendly Rachael, who served me, along with Matt, takes an order for another table. Like Matt, she provided friendly and efficient service. Carol's Restaurant treats their customers like members of their family. In a sense, we're all family at Carol's!
Photo: Meet my amazingly friendly server Matt, who delivers my "Breakfast Burger" to me with a smile. Along with co-server Rachael, Matt welcomed me, and treated me like family.
Photo: As per my request, my friendly server, Matt, took a photo of my smiling face, as I prepare to enjoy a "Breakfast Burger" along with potatoes. Even though it was early afternoon, I couldn't decide if I wanted breakfast or lunch, so I settled on this delicious burger, It was a good choice!
Photo: Since I couldn't decide if I wanted breakfast or lunch, I split the difference and went for the "Breakfast Burger," which is one of Carol's specialties. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed such a burger, but it was a long time comin' and time had finally caught up with me.
The menu describes the burger as, "one third pound Angus beef patty, served on a toasted bun, with two fried eggs, bacon, grilled white onions, tomato, American cheese and mayonnaise. Served with potatoes or fruit." Doesn't that sound like a good cure for a hangover? Perhaps this awesome burger should be renamed as the "Hangover Burger?" As much as I love fruit, it was a no-brainier to opt for potatoes as my side dish, especially when Rachael told me the potatoes would be seasoned and fried. You have the option to have the patty cooked "your way," so "my way" turned out to be medium, which is my de facto standard. You get choices at Carol's Restaurant!
The "Breakfast Burger" starts out with a third-pound Angus beef patty, cooked to your specification. It's placed on top of a fresh, toasted, sesame seed bun that's lightly coated with mayonnaise. Bacon, cheese, tomato slice, along with onions are placed on top of the meat patty, and then it's placed on the bun, and it's all sandwiched together, and held in place with a decorative, yet functional toothpick.
Of course I chose potatoes rather than fruit, and the potatoes arrived on the side, seasoned, lightly deep fried, flavorful, and just plain delicious. I did apply some "Tapatio" hot sauce on my potatoes, as I absolutely adore hot sauce. In retrospect, I wish I had ordered a side of gravy for the potatoes. I'll be looking forward to a future visit.
Once you bite into your "Breakfast Burger" - it's BIG so the operation requires two hands - you won't put it down until it's finished! The burger is juicy, tender, flavorful... I'm running out of adjectives, and there's a perfect bun-to-meat ratio. The bacon, cheese, onion, tomato and mayonnaise enhance the burger, but nothing is overpowering, and all ingredients work together to make an outstanding breakfast burger, which will be a sure-cure for any hangover, no matter how many shots you've enjoyed during your night on the town.
I'm not going to label this amazing burger as breakfast or lunch, so I'll just say "brunch." Whatever way you look at it, the "Brunch Burger," along with the side of potatoes, served at Carol's Restaurant is simply amazing! All ingredients are fresh, perfectly prepared, perfectly cooked, and will make for a "brunch to remember." No wonder Carol's Restaurant has been business for 30+ years, as tourists and locals know they have a jewel of a restaurant in Carol's, located in downtown West Sacramento.
Photo: I opened up the "Breakfast Burger" so I could see all of the goodness inside the bun. Look at the perfectly fried egg, the cheese, and the tomato and onion on the bun. Note the cheese is perfectly melted, which is the mark of a superior chef. The presentation is beautiful, but the taste is even better. I absolutely adored the burger, and I loved the potatoes.
The "Breakfast Burger" is a classic "hangover burger," and would make a perfect cure for a hangover. I didn't have a hangover, as I'd been hiking all morning and hadn't enjoyed alcohol in a couple of days, but I did have an appetite, so the "Breakfast Burger" worked for me.
If you can't decide whether you're in the mood for breakfast or lunch, go for the "Breakfast Burger" at Carol's Restaurant, and say "hello" to an amazing brunch!
Carol's Restaurant is a restaurant that I love, as the food is delicious, the staff is friendly, the portions are large, and the dining room is comfortable, but non-pretentious. Carol's has been dishing out amazing breakfast and lunch for over 30 years, so you know they're doing all the right things...
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