This is the third of four reviews of some of the best breakfast spots in Sacramento. FlapJacks Diner offers takeout, considered an “essential service” during Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Walking into FlapJacks Diner (2721 El Camino Ave.) on an overcast Sunday morning on March 8, I didn’t know what to expect. On Google Reviews it has 4.4 stars, even though it’s located in a mostly abandoned strip mall.
Parking was easy in the mostly deserted lot, but the spots closest to the restaurant were full.
As soon as my parents and I entered, we were hit by the warm atmosphere of the restaurant, along with its old-timey feel. The restaurant was crowded, too, with people in almost every booth. However, we didn’t have to wait for a seat.
The waitress quickly took our drink orders once we had a table, and she was friendly and approachable.
As a lover of all things chocolate, I ordered the hot chocolate ($2.79) while my parents ordered coffees ($5.58 for both). Surprisingly, the drinks came in clear mugs, which my mom said she liked but my dad thought was off-putting. I thought a porcelain cup would match the classic feel of the place better, but the glass was a nice look as well.
We had mixed reactions to the drinks themselves. My hot chocolate was warm and chocolatey, but my mom described the coffee as “watery and underwhelming.” They were only provided with packaged half-and-half as well, which didn’t contribute to the taste either.
Soon, we began to flip through the menu, which has flapjacks, waffles, eggs and crepes. Interestingly, the restaurant offered kielbasa, a Polish sausage that doesn’t usually appear on menus.
My rosy view of the hot chocolate was diminished as I finished it – the chocolate syrup had sunk to the bottom, and it became overpoweringly sweet. It was really filling as well, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to eat a full portion after it.
Those fears were confirmed once our orders arrived. My parents had both ordered flapjacks ($6.79), my mom’s with fresh strawberries on top ($2.49). I had the waffles ($7.69), and everything arrived at our table quickly. The warm syrup came in little clear cups, which was charming.
The portions were huge. Each plate was maybe a foot wide, with a plastic cup of butter that almost reminded me of vanilla ice cream because it was so fluffy and soft. My waffle was a perfect golden-brown, and when I cut into it, the inside was light and soft. It was subtly sweet on its own, but the addition of butter and syrup made it even better. However, the butter made it a little salty. Overall, it was a really good waffle, the kind I would commit a minor crime for.
Meanwhile, the sausage I ordered with it was salty and at best mediocre.
The flapjacks, on the other hand, were the star attraction. They almost tasted like the waffles and were probably from the same batter, but putting them in pancake form somehow improved the taste. My mom’s addition of strawberries cut through the sugar and butter and helped balance the flavor. The eggs were “done to perfection,” according to my mom, and my dad agreed they were done extremely well.
The bill came to $47.42, including tax, but we weren’t able to finish more than half of any of the main plates we ordered.
However, I thought this was a really nice local spot to get breakfast with friends.
—By Samhita Kumar