The Squirrels – Lafayette California

I love traditional cafe’s, always have. Some of my fondest memories are breakfast meals coated in some non-descript gravy. It’s the first thing on my mind, “Where’s the gravy?”. First on my lunch list would be the Hot Turkey Sandwich, oh man. The older I get though, I find that my body can’t take that much sodium, oh well. It still doesn’t stop me from making a hard left and pulling in to a homey town cafe and ordering up a nice breakfast.
For months I delivered and retrieved Boy #1 from school and would drive right on by The Squirrels, closed in the early afternoon. I knew that some day I would be early enough, and have enough time to stop by and poke my nose in the door. From the outside I could see it had booths, and counter space to sit and enjoy. The tall ceiling sported some cool, hanging, globe-ular lighting, neat! Oh, and the colors. Kinda lightish, brownish, yellowish 70’s inspired vinyl upholstery, trimmed with plastic wood veneer. Put Stimpy in your mind rejoicing, “Happy Happy, Joy Joy !!!”.
An opportunity knocked, and I answered. “Hello Ren.”

I don’t kid myself, I can usually gauge what kind of food I’m going to get served and lower or raise my standards accordingly. This way I can usually leave in a pleased state of mind. Considering the demographics of Lafayette, I figured they’d do just fine. And they do.
I have my persnickety side, just in case you were in doubt. What’s the big deal about making scrambled eggs? I likes them. It truly amazes me how many times I get served a plain omelet instead. Wanna make me even crazier? Take the plain omelet and whack it with a spatula so it’s all cutted up. Those, my good people are not scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs are moved about in a stirring fashion as the curd comes together in a creamy pile. An omelet pan makes this real easy, dammit.
That being said, they did pretty well, don’t you agree? And the British sausages were really good, a bit much for breakfast, but good nonetheless. I ate it all. Plus they serve it with a jar of good spicy mustard, no kidding. Pretty thoughtful if’n you axe me.
If you want Biggles to breakdown to a quivering morass, serve him bacon that was cooked-off hours ago and reheated. That chewy old crap is just plain depressing. That ain’t this, this is good bacon! It’s been patted dry, cooked real nice-like, not salty and easy to eat the 4 strips. If it was cooked off earlier, I couldn’t tell. Not pictured is the french toast breakfast which Boy #1 likes more than Millie’s Kitchen just down the block and around the corner, it was a close call though.
What’s the bottom line Biggles? The bottom line is Squirrels is a solid cafe with good food and good service. It’s clean (so are the bathrooms) and I’d visit again. On our first stint we did about 6 or so visits. Take note, they don’t have anything with gravy, so don’t look for it. As far as price goes, it’s not an inexpensive meal. I think with 2 breakfasts, drinks and tip came to about 26 bux or so. But everything costs more these days, so who cares. If that cost is a deal breaker for you, then you have more to worry about than just eating out for breakfast.
The Squirrels
998 Moraga Rd
Lafayette, CA 94549
(925) 284-7830

7 thoughts on “The Squirrels – Lafayette California

  1. A fine looking breakfast! I’m with you on the scrambled eggs. There is a place near me that puts the eggs on a milkshake mixer then cooks them in clarified butter all nice and fluffy.

  2. Whoa, how appropriate this is. I was having early lunch with an 8-year-old today. He said he wanted a burger so I took him to the Corte Madera Cafe instead of — well, you know. As we walked in, he said, “I smell pancakes!” and so that’s what he had: big plate-fillers, mine with (yes!!) fresh corn, his with (yes) chocolate chips. We sort of hummed as we ate; he read a new book we had just bought. I didn’t have the bacon but I have loved it, before, and it is definitely always crisp and fresh. I applaud these nabe places. I especially admired a sign in one of the boarded front windows telling us that someone had driven into it, it will be fixed, and expressions of gratitude to the constabulary and the fire brigade and hopes for the driver’s health were included. Your spot sounds like it might be that kind of haven, too.

  3. I love this place – have had my fill there many times as it is just a hop and a skip from my home. Love your review and pictures – I’ve read your blog for many moons and you never let me down. I’m with you on the scrambled eggs.

  4. Next time, ask for the eggs “scrambled soft” – that way, they don’t over cook them. A friend taught me that. The rest of the breakfast looks perfect!

  5. Hi everbody! Thank for the kind words.
    Hey Zoomie, ya know, I’m kinda a freak that way. I think I remember being about 5 years old and placing orders for my food. Being quite picky, much of what I ordered was to come plain. More often than not, something, maybe just one thing, was always wrong. A plain burger is mayo & mustard, or some such. I figured, just order what they got and I’ll eat it. I figured, if I order the cheeseburger, whatever it comes with is what the cook or chef wanted. This is how they do it, I’ll eat it. I was less disapointed this way.
    As I got older, I realized that while they are putting together the meal the way they think it should, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s done correctly. One of the major reasons I started grilling & smoking my own meat was I thought they weren’t doing it right or well enough for my tastes.
    And that’s all there is to that.