My friend Russ Salazar thinks the Red Apple Café, on the south side of Highway 50 about half way between Placerville and Camino, is one of the best kept secrets around. Not only is it clean, neat and serves good food, it has a huge outside patio with a large shaded area and tables with umbrellas that give you a multi-mile view overlooking Newtown Road, the Placerville Airport and Weber Creek.
As we walked in a couple of weeks ago, we were immediately greeted by the owner, a smiling Sabrina Choe, who yelled to us, “Take a seat anywhere and I will be with you in a minute.”
We told her we first wanted to try the patio to see if it was too hot to eat outside, being it was in the high 90s. Although it was tempting, we decided to forego that and eat inside.
As we were heading back inside Russ looked back and then turned to me and said, “This is like some guy’s ideal patio.” I have to agree, it is beautiful. It would be a wonderful place for breakfast on a summer’s day and lunch, except on the very hottest days.
Back inside where the temperature was much cooler and delightful, we picked a table, sat down and started looking over the menu.
I have always loved the way the Red Apple Café is decorated inside. I am a collector of, among other things, odd kitchen utensils and the restaurant is decorated with a lot of them, giving it a very homey and quite friendly feeling.
In a couple of minutes Sabrina came by to take our order and chat. She is one of the most energetic people I know and what she has done with the restaurant since taking it over just a few years ago, is amazing. Usually she is wearing a Charles B. Mitchell Winery hat, but that day, she said it was “Just too hot.”
We, as usual, were taking way too long deciding what to eat, so we asked her for a recommendation. She replied that the Goldminer Burger was a good choice, and quite popular. She also mentioned that we could still get breakfast.
While still trying to make up our minds, we talked with her about menus and how others are sometimes confusing. She told us that you have to make them simple and tell people exactly what they are getting by listing the ingredients, something she does quite well.
We finally decided on the Goldminer Burger (avocado, bacon, Cheddar cheese and mushrooms) and the Teriyaki Aloha Chicken sandwich (pineapple, mushrooms, teriyaki sauce and cheese on a toasted bun). For sides we skipped the waffle fries and went for potato salad and Red Apple Café coleslaw.
When the food arrived the kitchen had missed our request to cut the sandwiches, so Russ took over, cutting both the sandwiches in two and dividing up the sides so we could both try everything. I think he likes to do that.
Right off the bat I loved the burger. Not only do they use an excellent grade of Angus beef and good bacon, the buns are made right there. The chicken sandwich also tasted great, with the pineapple and teriyaki sauce combining for a nice tang. It too was on one of their fresh buns.
Russ agreed with me on the sandwiches, but he was really delighted with the potato salad. “This is how I like it, with celery, olives, onions and not too much dressing,” he said. I agreed that it was really good. The cole slaw was also good, but the potato salad is something special.
The menu at the Red Apple Café starts with breakfast: traditional morning fare including omelets, scrambles, skillets, pancakes and waffles, four kinds of Benedicts and lots more. For lunch the menu includes a list of anytime appetizers, along with a number of hot sandwiches including burgers, chicken sandwiches, a Reuben, Philly cheese steak, French dip and several more, including their special Korean style sandwiches that we really enjoyed on our last visit.
There is also quite a list of delicious looking cold sandwiches, along with soups and salads. The Golden Delicious Endings (desserts) include classic apple pie, “Fruits of the Forest” pie (mixed berries, apples and rhubarb), caramel apple crunch pie, apple almond strudel and more. You can even buy a whole pie to go.
Sabrina told us. “We make as much of the food as we can from scratch, using the best ingredients we can get. We try our best to make good food for you at a good price.”
To accompany your meal, in addition to wine and beer, they have coffee, coffee drinks (espresso bar), milk, soda, tea, and even milkshakes.
The Red Apple Café is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., serving breakfast and lunch, and on Friday through Sunday, from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.
They are not serving dinner at this time, but Sabrina has hired a new manager who is working with her on the menu and hours. They plan on opening for dinner this September.
They also serve a wonderful Sunday brunch on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
As you can tell, there is a lot going on at the Red Apple Café, so for updates and more information give them a call 530-626-8144. You can also visit their facebook page for more information.
Oh, almost forgot, they have a small banquet room that would be ideal for a group event.