Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Cup For A Pillow

A good cup of coffee makes me want to curl my head upon it like a pillow, is so comforting that I would rest my dreams upon it.
Ashley and I tried to embark down to Old Town for a Rio City Cafe brunch, after dropping a friend off at work for a little later start than usual. The weather has continued to be "underable," a strangely unpredictable mix of sunshine, rain, and the occasional tornado. What we didn't plan on as we drove down to the Old City was the annual Jazz Festival, jacking parking prices up to $8, and making navigation a pain in the collective arse. We decided to make back the way we came, and head to Orphan House instead for a late, dependably delicious breakfast.
We sat outside to catch some sun, and I noticed a familiar name on the menu; the coffee they were serving was an Ethiopia Harrar. The huge international corporation I work for featured a Harrar a while back, and it was totally and completely amazing. Coffee often picks up flavors from the crops that it is grown around, and the three distinct growing regions of coffee tend to have different basic profiles. Latin American Coffees are generally more herbal and chocolatey, a little higher and brighter on the acidity scale. African coffees are darker, and tend to be juicier with more of a citrus flavor. Indonesian coffees are usually earthier, with more spice notes. The Harrar I'd had in the past had a tremendous blueberry flavor, less like a note and more like an overture. It remains one of the most delicious coffees I've ever tasted, so I had to order a cup. I also got the Breakfast Tamales, Ashley got the Avocado Scramble, and we shared a side of bacon. The service was flawless as usual. The family outside with us was interesting to watch... I think it was a dad on a date, somewhat uninterested in corralling his three children.
The gloom decided to roll in a little after we left, so it was nice to catch a little warmth, and the embrace of the sweet tomatillo sauce before continuing my adventure to Old Town the next day.
Enjoying some more sunshine, and with the foot-given ability to bypass all that parking nonsense, I trekked back across town to enjoy the final breakfast destination in Old Town, the Rio City Cafe. The Jazz Jubilee was still ongoing, affording some interesting sights; some of Old Town and the Sacramento Historical Society's re-enactors were wandering about, alongside a lot of middle aged men in flag shirts (Jazz = America). There were tents set up everywhere for different stages, and signs hung about delineated the different stages and "backstage" areas, giving the familiar blocks a slightly surreal backlot quality.

Rio City has an awesome patio overlooking the river and bridge, just... upstream(?) from the Delta King. It was really windy, so I had to weight down my menus with the sugar ramekin so it wouldn't fly into the river. This apparently is an ongoing problem there, and I saw one menu fly to freedom over the railing, while another pair seemed to attack their owner in a bid for escape. I noticed that these were special "Jazz Festival" menus, which seem to be essentially the same as the brunch menu posted on the website, except perhaps with a little less selection. I ordered a mocha, and listened the the bros and beezies behind me relive their drunken night before. Some highlights included;
"You were so drunk, you kept slapping me!"
"Yeah, when I get drunk, I tend to set people straight."
"You weren't setting me straight, you were just slapping me for no reason! It started to piss me off!"
They later chided the slapper for when he ordered a shot of Jameson, suggesting that perhaps he should start the day off with a Bloody Mary, or something. Classy. If it means anything to you, one of them began extolling the virtues of the restaurant, saying it was his favorite place to get breakfast in Sacramento. "I don't give a shit about the food, though." The view was beautiful, and the food was delicious, too. I got the Breakfast Combo, which included a slice of French Toast, potato scramble, sausage, bacon, eggs, and a strawberry. The French Toast was unique, using their house bread (I assume... the rolls were the same bread), which had a fantastic texture. Definitely one of the more notable French Toast experiences in town. It was definitely a belly-filler, too. Overall, a pretty satisfying conclusion to my exploration of what Old Town Sacramento has to offer in the way of morning munchables; an array of very scenic, reliably tasty meals. I'd like to go back to try a non-buffet Delta King breakfast, and Steamers was a nice find, if only for a reliable cup of espresso beverage. All in all, it was a fun month!

Rio City Cafe
Atmosphere: 8/13
Clean: 2/3
Structural: 2/3
Decor: 2/3
Signage 1/2
Service: 1/2

Menu: 3/8
Variety: 1/2
Size: 0/2
Beverages: 1/2
Prices: 1/2

Food: 6/9 pts
Presentation: 2/3
Portion: 2/3
Taste: 2/3

Bathroom: 2/5 pts.
Clean: 1/2
Structural: 0/1
Decor: 1/2


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