Dining Out: Cafe Soleil

This is a great place to go when the weather turns warm: The outside seating is a delight, the people-watching is great and the food is good. The only real problem with Café Soleil is that it gets crowded fast, and the outside seating disappears fast.

The Caesar Salad with garlic roasted chicken ($6.50) is first rate and filling, as is the Oriental Chicken Salad ($6.50). Both are perfect hot-weather dishes. We like to grab a table, enjoy lunch and watch the visitors at the Farmer’s Market, which will start up next month on Wednesdays.

Most of the sandwiches, all tasty, run $5.25, and include roasted chicken, B.L.T., smoked turkey, albacore tuna and vegetarian. The add-ons include cheese and avocado and sides of potato salad and pasta.

Café Soleil serves breakfast from 7 a.m. on, and while the menu isn’t extensive, it’s tasty. The Breakfast Burrito ($4) is a popular pick, with assorted beans and veggies, as is the ham-and-cheese on a croissant ($3). Both are filling, and both can be divided in half and split over two meals or nibbled leisurely during the day.

We’re not big fans of bagels – they weigh heavily in the stomach and seem to preclude eating for the rest of the day – but if you’re into bagels, you’ll like Café Soleil, where they’ve got Noah’s bagels aplenty, including plain, with cream cheese, or jam and butter. They’ve got a selection of bakery items, and at the top of the list are the blueberry scones. The bagels range from $1.50 to $2, and the bakery items go for 85 cents.

What we’ve discussed above are the conventional items, but now comes the house specialties. There’s the Egg Plant Parmesan ($6.50), and while I eschew egg plant in all of its forms, I’ve included it here to show that I’m a foodie at heart and I want to please our readers. There’s enchilada pie with Caesar Salad – try to find that combo anywhere else in Sacramento. In fact, there’s everything with Caesar Salad: You get fish tacos, beef lasagna, carnitas tacos, chicken tacos, chicken quesadilla and veggie quesadilla – all with Caesar Salad. You can also get Shrimp Louie and Chilled Asparagus; all of the above range from $6.50 to $7.

Beverages include the familiar selections, although you can find Italian sodas here, and honest-to-goodness, real fresh lemonade. Yummy.

Café Soleil
917 9th Street, in Cesar Chavez Park
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed weekends.
Phone: 916 444-6422
To fax orders: 916 444-6490

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