I went to Chico for a class. When I asked the instructor for a great breakfast joint, he said Mom's and one other place were the best in town. I went to Mom's and found it to be WAY above average for a place serving breakfast.
The ambiance was warm and cozy, which is a Really Good Thing on a cold December morn, but it also be appropriate at any other time of the year.
But it was not the ambiance that set Mom's apart from the ordinary, it was the food. This was NOT truck stop food. The offerings had a touch of class. I had a vegetarian hash (or something like that--I forget the actual name) which was truly delightful and quite original in my wanderings. Any time you find something original and tasty, you are dealing with a chef or meal planner that actually puts some thought into the cuisine. That is always a good sign.
The coffee was also above average. That is always a pleasant bonus, especially while traveling.
The very minor downers included (1) no Tabasco sauce (although there were a plethora other hot sauces to choose from), and (2) no bread with the meal. For me, bread is not only a necessary taste accompaniment for a meal, but a functional necessity as well. How else are you to push food bits onto the fork, or sop up the orts at the end of the meal? I did leave a note on the comment card about the lack of bread, so perhaps this will be taken care of in the future.
Anyway, the entire dining experience was FAR above average.
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