Savoring Breakfast at Folsom Cafe
by Dan Vierria
(published September 13, 1996, Sacramento Bee)
Folsom's Lake Forest Cafe is among the few remaining
great breakfast restaurants in the
Inside a homey house of 100-plus years, there are pancakes that can be topped with pure maple syrup, warm blueberries or sautéed, spiced apples; mammoth swirls of fresh-baked cinnamon and pecan rolls, which are even more tantalizing after soaking up a dollop of butter; and more than 40 three-egg omelets, folded with everything from simple herbs to more exotic combinations like lox, onions, and cream cheese or shrimp, crab, avocado, tomato, and cream cheese.
These are big breakfasts with bold flavors and little thought given to dining’s current low-fat trend. Omelets are prepared in butter and served with either fried potatoes or fresh fruit and toast. Pancakes aren’t just pancakes, but applesauce ‘n’ honey whole-wheat pancakes and oatmeal pancakes. If you prefer eggs, they can be paired with kosher salami and pastrami, along with the more traditional ham, bacon, or sausage.
Lake Forest Café mixes its old-fashioned fare with some Jewish breakfasts. The house specialties include matzo-bry a la bunya (flatbread and eggs), lox, eggs and onions, chicken livers and eggs, kosher beef salami or pastrami and eggs and cheese blintzes served with strawberry preserves and sour cream.
Popular Mike’s potatoes, Lake Forest Café’s signature dish, is a wonderful combination of homestyle potatoes, onions, avocado and tomatoes smothered in cheese and topped with sour cream. There are also versions of Mike’s potatoes with your choice of ham, sausage or bacon and Mexican Mike’s, which is topped with guacamole and served with a flour tortilla and picante sauce.
Food: Four Stars (out of four)
Ambience: Four Stars
Where: 13409 Folsom Blvd., 985-6780
Best bites: Omelets, Mike’s potatoes, applesauce and honey whole-wheat pancakes, pecan and cinnamon rolls.
Of note: Lake Forest Café is
open only for breakfast and lunch and only five days a week – Wednesday
through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
with 40-odd seats, it’s best
Skip this breakfast? You’ll be sorry
Where: 13409 Folsom Blvd., Folsom, 985-6780
Hours: 7 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. Wednesday – Sunday
What you’ll pay: $6-8
Recommended bites: Pretty much everything
By Ed Murrieta
Bee Staff Writer
Being, for the most part, a nocturnal beast, the chances that I can make it to a restaurant early enough to order breakfast are as rare as a perfectly cooked porterhouse.
But it is well worth setting the alarm clock to the single-digit a.m. hours and losing a winks to make it to Lake Forest Café, long a breakfast mecca in Folsom.
Lake Forest Café has a bed-and-breakfast feeling, with the bric-a0brac, antique décor of its two dining rooms and 15 or so tables in a cozy house that dates back more that 100 years.
The menu features an impressive variety of three-egg, cooked-in-butter omelets – 40 in all – ranging from the basic to a number of meat-filled offerings (with bacon, ham, sausage or turkey), and veggie, fruit and seafood omelets.
There also are Kosher-style house specialties of potato lakes, matzo-bry a la bunya (matzo bread cooked with eggs, blintzes and lox and eggs.
The food is fresh and nicely presented and portions are sizable, if not downright huge.
I liked the omelet with fresh strawberries, pineapple and cream cheese. The fruit is warm but not overcooked, and tucked inside a fluffy omelet with the cream cheese, which has just started to melt.
The mushroom, zucchini, green onion and Jack and cheddar omelet is equally fresh and tasty.
The lox and eggs is a delight, bursting with thin strips of soft, pink smoked salmon and onions. It’s served with a toasted bagel.
The French toast is another good choice. It’s made with your choice of raisin egg bread or bran and honey bread. We chose the raisin egg bread and were pleased not just by the warm, sweet flavors, but by the toast itself. This French toast is thinner than most, not soggy, and it holds up well all the way through.
All breakfasts are served with wonderful home-style potatoes or fresh fruit and toast, making for whopper of a meal.
A bit of advice: On weekends, it’s best to arrive before 9 a.m. or you may find yourself reading papers on the front porch or on the lawn as you wait for a table.
While breakfast is what distinguishes the Lake Forest Café, the sandwich menu is impressive too; try the pastrami Philly cheese with onions, mushrooms and bell pepper, baked ham or knockwurst on sourdough rye.
I liked the jerky turkey sandwich: mostly tender pieces of white-and-dark turkey (real turkey meat!!!) marinated in a smoke, tangy jerky-teriyaki sauce and sautéed with bell peppers and onions. It’s served on a whole wheat onion roll with Bermuda onion and lettuce. It comes with a side of potatoes, a red cabbage salad with a light, semisweet dressing and fresh fruit.
Also good, but a bit pricey for a salad (even considering the large portion) is the deviled shrimp salad, a tossed salad filled with sweet shrimp, finely chopped celery and diced tomatoes.
It’s staggering to have this many choices so early in the day but the task of choosing from the vast menu is much preferred