Dining Out

J's Café
(916) 446-7456
1004 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

By Michelle Tyler

Every lunch seems to be a mission. Whether we are heading to one of our favorite spots, or hunting down a new one, it seems as though my friends from work and I always want to find the best lunch. Many factors are considered. Is it delicious? Is it cheap? Does it come with a side and drink? Will there be something everyone can find on the menu? These factors all play a role in the best little food joint.

It was our very first time stepping into J's Café. The smell of deep fried food filled the air. We jumped into the 12 foot line starring over shoulders to peek at the menu. A few of the menu combinations caught my eye immediately: Hot Pastrami Sandwich (7.25), Home Made Fish and Chips (6.95), Mushroom Cheese Burger (6.95) and Grilled Cheese Sandwich (5.45). All of the combos came with steak cut fries and a 16oz soda. I absolutely love cheese, so I decided to try the Grill Cheese Sandwich combo. The restaurant looked like it maybe had eight or so tables. Every table was full of people devouring their food. I took that as a good sign.

When the food arrived, my group of friends and I sat down and all stuck a big steak fry down our throats. These fries are good. I mean real good. They were crispy on the outside, but nice and soft on the inside just as a fry should be. It was time to try the cheese goodness in front of me. I could see the cheese oozing out on every side of my sandwich. I took a big sip of my soda and went in for the bite of the year. As my friends asked me how it was, I managed the only word I could say without ruining the moment, "good." Did I mention how much I love cheese? I hadn't seen so much cheese on a sandwich since the last time I made a grilled cheese sandwich-more cheese than bread!

I looked over to see the most fulfilled eyes from all of us. One friend, Katie, ordered the Mushroom Cheese Burger. I could see the sautéed mushrooms piled onto the 1/3lb charbroiled sirloin patty. As Katie put it, "Normally, I have two problems with most mushroom burgers, one they use Swiss cheese and two the mushrooms all fall out before I have taken my first bite, but J's Cafe's Mushroom Cheeseburger has jack cheese on it and they have melted the cheese in a way that prevents the mushrooms from falling out. The Mushroom Cheeseburger was so big, I had to almost unhinge my jaw to get the burger in my mouth. It came with all the fixins, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle, and what looked like thousand island dressing. It was perfect!"

Kathy, sitting to the right of me, had a turkey burger (less fattening) with all the goodies including jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and mustard. With a huge grin on her face, Kathy stated, "I can eat here and not feel like I am cheating on my diet. I'm going to be totally satisfied. This is delicious."

I guess the main message I am trying to get across to all of you deep-fried lunch loving folks is TRY IT. It is reasonably priced, yummy, and there is something for everybody! We are even adding it to our short list of favorite lunch spots, so maybe we'll see you there!

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