Time out: The Greenhouse Café is just right

By From page B4 | April 12, 2013

Greenhouse Cafe

EMILY COLEMAN serves two of the popular menu items at the Greenhouse Café in Placerville — a turkey club sandwich and French toast. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

Restaurant: The Greenhouse Café

Address: 2864 Ray Lawyer Drive in Placerville

Phone: 530-626-4081

Hours: Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Well, I believe most of El Dorado County knows that after 22 years at the Broadway location (we moved here on Dec. 7, 1991 — thank you, Mike Raffety), the Mountain Democrat will be moving offices to the old Blockbuster building over on Ray Lawyer Drive at the end of this month. Therefore I thought it might be prudent to gastronomically investigate some of the choices over that way.

The first stop on my quest, if you will, took me and a friend to the Greenhouse Café, 2864 Ray Lawyer Drive. I have heard tell of its breakfast specialties and the wonderful omelet’s in particular, from a variety of acquaintances.

I was told that I couldn’t go wrong with the unique version of eggs Benedict (made with grilled thick-sliced ham, perfectly poached eggs on creamy hollandaise sauce and served on a toasted English muffin) or the huevos rancheros (refried beans, homemade salsa, cheddar cheese and two over medium eggs, topped with even more homemade salsa, avocado, sour cream and, for effect I presume, a solitary olive).

But I was stopped dead in my tracks by something on the menu called “G-Pops.” Hmmmnnn, never heard of a G-Pop before. My curiosity piqued, I decide these G-Pops warranted further investigation and placed my order. My friend, in a decidedly festive mood, decided to go with lunch and the appropriately named gobbler sandwich.

The gobbler, you may have already guessed, was a turkey sandwich. What made this sandwich spectacularly unique, however, was the fact that it was served on a grilled French roll, with lettuce and tomato and yes, cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving on a bun, if you will, and served with crispy shoestring French fries to boot. My friend, well, gobbled it down in record time, cleaning his ample plate to the china in the process.

My G-Pops came hot and steaming to my table, a large portion of scrambled eggs with ground beef, onion, mushrooms and spinach. I chose the hash browns and sourdough toast as my sides, and after spotting some home fries on an adjacent diner’s plate I immediately wished I had ordered some of those. The hash browns were good, don’t get me wrong, but those home fries looked spectacular. The G-Pop scramble was really good. You can just tell when something is made with quality, fresh ingredients, and this dish certainly made the grade.

The menu was my favorite kind, one that knows what it is, and by that I mean — it is not too large and not too small; it is just right.

As they say, for the young at heart (or the not so hungry), the Greenhouse Café offers mini lunches and breakfast items such as a cup of soup, dinner salad and a serving of grilled French bread, or simply a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with applesauce. There are five selections of melts, which I also hear are quite good, and six homemade and hearty salads, should you feel the urge.

Each day also features special items not on the menu and on the day I was there I noticed a plate of ground beef tacos being delivered to a table.

Moving is always a difficult thing to undergo. Knowing that there is a great local restaurant within walking distance makes it a heck of lot easier.

The Greenhouse Café is located at 2864 Ray Lawyer Drive in Placerville. The phone number is 530-626-4081. It is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Earle Camembert

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