Restaurant: Miss P’s Train Station
Address: 4274 Mother Lode Drive in Shingle Springs
Hours: Open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week
Did you know that the first diner was a horse-drawn wagon that served hot food to the employees of the Providence Journal newspaper in Rhode Island?
Did you know that a fellow by the name of Walter Scott, an employee of the newspaper, looking to supplement his income started by selling cold sandwiches and hot coffee to his fellow pressmen from baskets he prepared at home?
The diner, an American icon borne out of necessity and need, has survived and thrived ever since Scott opened his doors in 1872.
Miss P’s Train Station, 4274 Mother Lode Drive in Shingle Springs, is one of those out-of-the-way places that, once you discover it, becomes an obsession in the best possible sense. It may not have the outward look of what most consider a typical “diner” (stainless steel exterior shaped like a bullet, etc), but the restaurant’s soul simply oozes comfort.
The menu boasts more than 100 items ranging from the expected (biscuits and gravy, various omelets, cold and hot sandwiches and a wide variety of burgers) to the absolutely unique (croissant sandwich, Texas toast and chicken cordon bleu sandwich). It would take a person years to work their way through this fantastically varied menu.
I have passed the Train Station many times before and last week I decided that it was about dang time I stopped to sample its menu.
A coworker by the name of Squeaky accompanied me this time and she was in the mood for some breakfast.
When we arrived the place was just electric. Waitresses were taking orders, bringing bulging plates of delicious dishes to the starving masses, refilling coffees and excitedly chatting with the customers about their day.
I got the feeling that we were the only “newbies” there and that all the other patrons had their very own personal tables and had been coming there for eons.
Our waitress made us feel like we were part of the family instantly and within just a few minutes of taking our orders brought back our food with a smile and a wink that seemed to say, “I just know you’re going to love this.”
Does anyone remember the television sitcom, Alice? The waitresses are like that, only no one suggested I kiss my grits. Every employee I encountered was friendly, knowledgeable, comfortable and happy to be working there.
Squeaky loved her breakfast: two eggs perfectly cooked, generous portion of steaming country potatoes (complete with green peppers, onions and some “secret spices”), toast and coffee. She remarked that the potatoes, which are usually just an accompaniment to the eggs, were stars in their own right.
I love breakfast and when I get to have it during the week, which is rarely, I usually splurge with the two eggs, potatoes, bacon (or sausage, depending), and toast and jam. I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to my eggs, which I always order over easy, and the preparation of the perfect sample, as most cooks will tell you, is anything but.
Here they got it exactly right. Everything was delicious but the real pleasure here is taking the time out of your day to sit down, read the paper, talk to your neighbor and just “be.”
I could feel the stress melt away and the pounds come on, and on this occasion I was absolutely OK with that.
Miss P’s Train Station, 4274 Mother Lode Drive in Shingle Springs, is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week and the phone number is 530-677-6287.