There are plenty of calm, well-orchestrated breakfast experiences at restaurants around town. In other words: without much character. The menus are predictable, portions are adequate, the servers lack a sense of urgency, the patrons chat quietly, the children at the neighboring tables are well-behaved.
Then there’s the Sutter Street Grill, whose motto is “Good Ol’ Home Cookin’” and whose vibe reflects the high energy and edge of the Old Folsom of once upon a time — raucous, bountiful and unabashed. Somehow, the restaurant staff manages to create order out of what at first look appears to be chaos, or something close to it.
Lunch is fine (burgers, French dip, Italian sausage sandwich), but the specialty is the belly-busting breakfasts — pork tenderloin and eggs, Belgian waffle, outstanding French toast, scrambles, chicken fried steak, flapjacks, homemade biscuits and gravy, omelets and more. The kitchen understands the concept of thick-cut “crisp bacon.”
We sat at the counter last Saturday morning, listening to the din and scanning the eclectic crowd of diners. That could be Gabby Hayes sitting over there, or maybe a gold miner taking a break from his claim up in Hangtown.
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Coffee cups were constantly refilled, tables quickly bused, menus handed out with a flourish, servers scribbled orders in their ticket books, forks and knives moved in a blur of plate-to-mouth. Welcome to what breakfast should be.
We were undecided whether to split the No. 19 — a three-egg omelet with avocado, mushrooms, spinach and jack cheese with hashbrowns, thick sourdough toast and a side of bacon (pictured) — or the Jailhouse — six slices of bacon, two links of sausage or a slab of ham, two eggs, potatoes and a biscuit with gravy.
In the end, we ordered both. Then we went to the gym.
Sutter Street Grill, 811 Sutter St., Folsom; (916) 985-4323, www.sutterstreetgrill.info. Hours: 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 7 a.m.-2 p.m. weekends.