Freshman Emily Asperger enjoys chocolate chip pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream at Ettore's Cafe and Bakery. (Photo courtesy of Asperger)

BODACIOUS BREAKFASTS: Ettore’s cafe doesn’t disappoint

This is the second of four reviews of some of the best breakfast spots in Sacramento. Ettore’s offers takeout, considered an “essential service” during Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Etorre’s (2376 Fair Oaks Blvd.) has been open for 35 years and is one of Sacramento’s oldest cafes and bakeries.

Ettore’s founder, Ettore Ravazzolo, was born in Zurich, Switzerland. After spending his childhood in foster homes, he decided to become a chef.

At 20 years old, he made his dream a reality and moved to the United States to create Ettore’s Cafe and Bakery. 

Upon entering the simple, rustic cafe, on March 1, I was shocked by the number of people packed inside the restaurant at 10 a.m. on a Sunday.

Ettore’s is the kind of restaurant where you order at the counter then wait for your food to be ready.

The chaos of people trying to get in the correct line to order either food or desserts was a bit overwhelming. I found myself having to get around a lot of people just to get in line to order.

Finding a place to sit was just as hard: Every booth was taken, and all the tables inside were filled with people. I was forced to sit at a table outside, which, despite the covering and portable heaters, was quite cold and made the experience less enjoyable.

Despite how busy the restaurant was, the food was hot and came quickly. I waited for only 10 minutes.

The menu had a wide variety of foods, with the average price of the main dish being around $12.

I started my meal with Ettore’s classic hot cocoa ($3); however, the rich flavor kept me from finishing it. For those who like a rich, sweet hot cocoa, this is for you. But for me, it was a bit too chocolatey.

Other drink options include coffee ($2.50-$4.25), various fruit juices ($4.25) and tea ($3).

The first dish I tasted was two chocolate chip pancakes with a heaping amount of homemade whipped cream and freshly cut strawberries on top. The pancakes also came with a small cup of warm maple syrup, and the plate was drizzled with strawberry sauce.

The pancakes were light, fluffy and delicious. I especially enjoyed the mountain of whipped cream on top. It was dense and sweet, more like a scoop of ice cream than light, airy whipped cream. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, skip the whipped cream.

For those looking for a healthier option, I recommend a breakfast sandwich. There are a variety of options, and you can even personalize your sandwich. 

I ordered a ham, swiss cheese and egg croissant, which came with a cup of freshly cut fruit.

Initially, the sandwich didn’t impress me. It appeared that I could make it at home. But I soon changed my mind.

The croissant was perfectly cooked and delicious, and the eggs and ham combination tasted amazing. 

Before leaving, I knew I had to try one of Ettore’s hand-made breakfast pastries. 

By the time I finished the main course, most of the pastries were gone. Fortunately, I was still able to order a breakfast alphorn ($4.25), a puff pastry filled with sweet whipped cream and shaped like a funnel mimicking a real alpine horn.

The alphorn was very filling and sweet, a theme I was starting to notice. It was covered in clear sprinkles and had a little chocolate circle with Ettore’s emblem on it. It was light, airy and flaky, but very messy. The cream inside was very dense and sweet, but I found it rather tasteless. If you are not a fan of sweet pasties, I don’t recommend getting an alphorn.

Overall, my experience at Ettore’s was great, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a delicious, relatively inexpensive breakfast.

Service: ★★★★★

Atmosphere: ★★★★☆

Food: ★★★★★

Prices: ★★★★★

Overall: ★★★★☆

By Emily Asperger

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