“I have been managing Kids Inc. (the bake shop on the Delfino ranch) for 12 years,” said Robyn Delfino the owner of Apple Blossom Coffee House at 4077 Carson Road (at the corner of Carson and Larsen roads) in Camino. “When this coffee shop came available, about two and a half years ago, I though ‘why not.’ Kids Inc. is only open from September through Thanksgiving and this is a year-round business.
“Over the years we perfected the crust recipe at Kids Inc., and people love it. We use it here and I have Alejandro Lopez, who has been their baker for ten years, doing the baking. He opens for me in the morning and is also my Barista.
“My secret to great food is ‘Quality, Quality, Quality,’ it has to be perfect every time. There is no substitute for that.
“We make everything we can right here, but (as I saw) the kitchen is very, very small. What products we buy, we only buy the best.
“The previous owners here kept the place open from 7:30 until 10. We wanted to add lunch, so every day but Wednesday and Sunday, we are open from 7 until 2. On Wednesday we close at 11 and don’t serve lunch. On Sunday we are closed.”
While I was talking with both Robyn and Alejandro, I took the opportunity to try a few things. Intentionally I met with them on a Saturday because the soup of the day for Saturday is French Onion, one of my favorites.
That soup, if done properly is fantastic. If done improperly, it is often salty and flavorless. Theirs is fantastic.
It came in a large cup (handy for drinking the last drop) and had the large croutons with Parmesan cheese on top, along with bread on the side. It was as deep in flavor as its brown color, the onions were tender and it was not salty, nor did it need any.
“We put salt on the table for people,” added Robyn. “We would rather undersalt and leave it up to the customer than over salt.”
Robyn then offered me their signature coffee drink, the Caminoccino, which is blended with ice. “What flavor do you want,? she asked, verbally giving me a list. When she reached caramel, I said “Yes.” I then mentioned that butterscotch is one of my favorite caramel-like flavors, and she said, “We make an oatmeal butterscotch cookie. I will bring you one.”
I am not a big coffee drinker and really loved the Caminoccino, a drink first invented and named by the previous owners. They use only premium, handcrafted coffee from Vaneli’s in Rocklin, which makes all the coffee drinks better.
The cookie was delicious and very well made.
Robyn then mentioned that they now made a gluten-free scone and brought me one along with a regular scone, to compare.
“We have one customer who’s wife put him on a gluten-free diet,” she said. He comes in nearly every day and loves them. We buy the best, Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour, to make them.”
The regular scone was made to my liking with a bit of texture and a great scone flavor.
When I baked bread for my family I added gluten flour to keep everything together, so I never really know what to expect in a gluten-free bread.
The flavor was good, but I thought it tasted a bit under baked. That may be a characteristic of gluten-free products, since everyone else loved them.
Another special that they have on Saturday only is a goat cheese and asparagus quiche. I love quiche and theirs was excellent: nice crust, a great delicate flavor and well made. It came with a small container of Alejandro’s house made salsa, which spiced it up a bit.
In addition to their coffee and coffee drinks, the breakfast menu includes a Breakfast Empanada, a Frittata (with bacon on Saturday); Croissant or Bagel with Coffee Cup Egg or Frittata, Coffee Cup Egg, Assorted Bagels (cream cheese, butter or PB&J), Extra Fancy Bagels and, on Saturday only, the Quiche.
If you want something sweet, they also have seasonal fruit pie and Empanada, the scones, a Chocolate or plain Croissant, assorted muffins, assorted cookies and Cinnamon Roll (while supplies last).
For lunch you can choose from several bagel sandwiches, including the Coffee House Bagel Sandwich, Pizza Bagel Sandwich, Camino Reuben (yum!) Or Bird Bagel Sandwich. If for some reason your child at school forgot his or her lunch or you need one or more for a meeting, they can quickly put together a Coffee House Lunch Boxes for you.
The soups and specials include: Monday: Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder, Tuesday: no soup but beef or chicken tacos; Wednesday: no lunch served; Thursday: Sausage Lentil Soup; Friday: Chicken Tortilla Soup and on Saturday, the spectacular French Onion Soup.
Finally, they have an Apple Blossom Salad, mixed greens topped with a sprinkling of cranberries, walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese with their signature apple/honey vinaigrette on the side. Diced apples replace the cranberries in season.
Again, Apple Blossom Coffee House is located at 4077 Carson Road in Camino and is open Monday and Tuesday from 7 until 2, Wednesday from 7 until 11, Thursday through Saturday from 7 until 2 and closed on Sunday.
For more information give them a call at (530) 644-0284.
By the way, if you are a fan of the movie and TV show M.A.S.H., you will easily remember the address: 4077 Carson Road.