Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Time out: Breakfast shines at the Golden Waffle

KMK_0097 ec

THE GOLDEN WAFFLE CAFE in Placerville serves waffles and breakfast from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

Restaurant: The Golden Waffle Café

Address: 1449 Broadway in Placerville

Phone: 530-642-9322

Hours: Open every day from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Breakfast is served all day.

Confession time.

I, and you may find this hard to believe, am a regular cup-o-joe Joe. The thought of spending more on a cup of coffee I cannot even pronounce than I do on my breakfast disturbs me.

It makes absolutely no sense, financial or otherwise. If it’s black, and strong, and comes with free refills I am one happy, albeit quite jumpy and twitchy, little camper.

The Golden Waffle Café (formerly the Waffle Shop) was the recipient of the Mountain Democrat’s 2011 Reader’s Choice Award for “Best Breakfast” in El Dorado County and I thought it was about time I found out why.

I arrived at 7:30 a.m. and the place is hopping with regulars. Don’t ask me how I know they’re regulars, I just do. I’ve done this long enough, I can tell; something in the eyes, I think.

I am greeted and seated by Kathy, who is quite cheerful, almost too cheerful for 7:30. I am instantly suspicious of anyone that is happy at this time of the morning.

I ask Kathy how long she’s worked at The Golden Waffle Café and she said, “Sixteen years, honey. I’m an oldie, but a goodie.”

She takes our order and heads back to the kitchen. OK, she’s authentically happy. I guess you’d have to be to work at the same place for 16 years. Anyway, I know what I’m going to get, what I have to get — waffles.

There are 12 waffle specialties on the menu, but I zero in on the waffle combo, which comes with a sizeable homemade waffle with two eggs any style — I get over easy — and a choice between four crispy strips of bacon or four sausage links. I take the links and I’m glad because they are cooked really, really well.

It is so easy (as I am sure some of you home chefs can attest) to burn or overcook sausage, and these are just perfect; juicy and tender and packed with flavor.

The eggs are as I ordered them and the waffle, as it should be, are stunning. It is crispy on the corners, soft and fluffy on the inside and not dense in the least.

All is as it should be, life is good.

My cup is filled once again by the affable Kathy and then yet again by the owner himself, Santos.

He is an imposing figure, 6 feet 1 inch at least. He looked taller to me. Once he speaks to you you’ll quickly realize you are in the presence of a very gentle man who has worked his tail off to get where he is today.

As I’ve said before it is very important to me that an owner takes the time to interact with his patrons and be open to any constructive criticism they may have. In this case, I had nothing but good things to say, but could really tell that if I had a suggestion he would take it to heart.

Santos tells me that business could be better but he’s holding his own.

His location, just up the road from the corner of Broadway and Schnell School Road, is fine on its own. He gets his fair share of the locals but I have a feeling that if people knew that he was serving food like this he’d be jam-packed each and every day.

Do yourself a favor and go see Santos and his wife Alva. They’ll appreciate it and so will your taste buds.

The Golden Waffle Café is located at 1449 Broadway in Placerville and its phone number is 530-642-9322. It is open every day from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Breakfast is served all day.

Earle Camembert

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