Lumberjacks occupies a location on Howe Avenue, approximately half way between Fair Oaks Avenue and Hurley Way, previously occupied by a restaurant that was so short lived that I couldn’t even remember its name without being reminded. And I drive past it twice a day. Lumberjacks is harder to miss, guarded as it is by a larger than life ax-wielding statue dressed in plaid and denim.
As the fourth in a four-location Northern California chain, it carries the same log cabin and hearty portion themes as its partner properties. Although I’m not sure “hearty” is quite accurate – the portions might be better described as heart-threateningly enormous. This is a restaurant that serves a one pound “Big Redwood Burger” on a bun about the size of a large dinner plate. If you have teenagers on the football team, with bottomless appetites, or a small child who has promised to eat everything on his plate and who needs to be taught a lesson, this is the place to go.
We ordered pot roast and turkey, both of which came with half a pound of meat and an entire loaf of bread on each of the platters. The pot roast was tasty, although slightly tougher than I might have preferred. The turkey was described as “fresh roast,” but appeared to be neither. That said, if you go in expecting classic diner style food in portions that will give you enough for dinner as well as lunch the next day, you should be satisfied.
Even the desserts are huge: I bought a berry cobbler (which surprised me by having walnuts in it) to go and had to eat it in two sittings. While the dinners are in the typical $12 range, the desserts seem quite inexpensive at $4-5 compared to other restaurants that often seem to price desserts at about twice that.
In comparison to the entrees, the salad bar seems somewhat puny and might be more accurately described as a side-salad bar. It’s certainly not the kind of salad bar that represents a meal option in and of itself. It might benefit from a couple of simple additions like coleslaw or potato salad to bulk it up.
We went a second time to try the breakfast and I think that’s probably my preference – but then I’m a big fan of breakfast food at any time of day. Portions are again huge – all the omelets, for example, are made with four eggs, and that’s before you’ve added the typical breakfast sides. The largest “Ultimate Breakfast” includes two slices of French toast, two eggs, four strips of bacon, four sausages, half a pound of ham (!), and hashbrowns. I tried a somewhat smaller breakfast scramble and still gave up in my attempt to finish it. In fact I felt equally full after eating the leftovers the next day. The orange juice was one of the tastiest and freshest I’ve had in a while (as well as the largest) – as was the pleasantly mild strawberry lemonade we had with dinner.
It’s worth noting that the breakfast specials that are advertised on the large sign outside are limited to weekday mornings before 11am.
The whole restaurant continues the outdoorsy feel with log furniture (except for a very ordinary looking room that can be booked for parties) with DVD copies of lumberjack competitions playing on multiple flat screen TV’s. I’m not expert enough to be able to determine if the music playing was country or western or both.
According to an overheard conversation, Lumberjacks is busiest on Fridays and Sundays, although eating breakfast at 5pm last Sunday was fairly relaxed. If I was to make a single suggestion, it would be to improve the photography on the company website, which doesn’t do the meals any favors.
1030 Howe Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95825
Sun – Thurs: 6am until 10pm
Fri – Sat: 6am until 11pm
Breakfast served all day