Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Sugar Pine Café
Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom
Tourist-village diner breakfasts tend to be rib-sticking but mediocre. Sugar Pine Café achieves something greater. From a first bite of the signature dish, biscuits and gravy, you know there’s baking talent in the kitchen.
The biscuits are oven fresh with firm crust and fluffy middle. They have a slight yellow tint that hints at buttery richness. Their rustic shape forms peaks and valleys on the plate, reminding us of our surroundings in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Gravy tops these mountains like fluffy snow. It is flavorful gravy with hints of sage and black pepper. This is a plate of biscuits and gravy that you can make a meal and not get bored.
An egg scramble is cooked nicely with thick curds of egg. Toppings of mushrooms, scallions, and cheddar make for a pleasantly earthy combination. Best of all are cheese grits on the side — cheddar but not at all gluey. You taste quality corn meal in every bite, the cheese only complimenting it and the cream smoothing it out. When these stunning grits cool, they set into custard-like consistency.
We also like the cranberry scone, loaded with sweet dried cranberries. Like the biscuits, it has a hard outside and soft middle and is free of the choking dryness that so often afflicts scones.
Many tempting muffins are on display. Blueberry is rich with lemon zest and generously filled with plump berries. The curious “donut muffin” is like a county-fair apple cider donut, dusted in cinnamon sugar and stuffed into a muffin tin. It’s a fusion something like the cronut, but better. The best muffin of all is sour cream cinnamon crumb, which is both swirled with cinnamon and topped with a cinnamon crumb. Sugar Pine baked goods don’t need the excellent homemade whole fruit preserves on the table, but you should find a way to taste them.
All the baked treats go great with coffee. It’s tough to find a diner serving a bottomless cup of really good coffee, but this is one of them. It is dark, rich and flavorful.
We grabbed a lemon bar for the road. This little chunk of pound cake was a wonderful souvenir from our new favorite breakfast place. It has the flavor of a lemon square, the richness of a blondie, and the light texture of chiffon cake.
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Breakfast, Lunch|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|