The right breakfast place attracts loyalties and lines like no other sort of restaurant. Finding Katrina’s is left us wanting an excuse to come back to Auburn. It may be the perfect morning break on the way to Lake Tahoe. It’s certainly worth the drive from Sacramento.
The two must-try dishes are lemon yogurt pancakes and corned beef hash, the first deliciously sweet, the other sensationally savory.
The pancakes soft and spongy … without syrup, mind you. The texture comes from the yogurt in the mix. They are rolled up like lemon sugar crepes and finished with a dusting of powdered sugar. The lemon flavor is intense and doesn’t taste at all artificial. A three-cake order looks daunting, but they’re so light and airy, you might consider ordering a second round.
The kitchen is not joking around with corned beef hash. While everything else we tried was a lighter, fresher take on diner breakfast, the hash is large-flavored and uninhibited. It’s classic diner-style hash with tiny cubes of oily potatoes, minced onions and shredded cured beef — seasoned just right.
You don’t see the New Orleans classic Eggs Sardou out here often. But since California is where artichokes grow, we thought we’d give it a go. It isn’t as transcendent as the others dishes, and the spinach isn’t as creamy-rich as true Creole versions. However, we do appreciate the lighter garlicky fresh spinach in its place. Breakfast potatoes that come with the eggs are gently seasoned and sautéed rather than oily and fried.
Katrina’s is a cute place with food good enough that the whole menu probably deserves exploration. We can’t imagine not returning for that one-two punch of sweet lemon pancakes and briny corned beef hash.