Any given Sunday
The yellow Grand Opening sign still hung on the fence and could be seen from the Mount Rose Highway, blowing in the wind on a sunny Sunday morning. Inside, Sunrise Café was packed with what seemed like the post-church brunch demographic, and it is to this overwhelming crowd that I attribute the café’s shortcomings. We waited near the entrance as frenzied servers swooshed by us on the way to waiting and probably very hungry customers. Finally noticed, we were shown to our table.
The walls are a cheerful yellow, and the high ceilings are painted black, accenting the wrought iron, smiling suns hanging above the doors and the numerous colorful paintings. The tables are not too close together, so we felt cozy without being squished.
For our beleaguered server confronted with our picky and needy brunch party, it was death by a thousand details. In contrast, I imagine, to most of our fellow diners, our heathen preference would have been for Bloody Marys all around, but, lo, their liquor license hasn’t come through yet. When we eventually ordered waters for “everyone,” our server awkwardly asked our friend Rob if he wanted any with his coffee—the same coffee that was never refilled. Once empty, we found grounds from the pot muddying the bottom of the mug, which also had a chink out of the rim. We saw this as a fitting metaphor for the restaurant: functional but in need of a little glue.
The food, however, was great. I had the Baja omelet, with shrimp, spinach, tomatoes, avocado and Jack cheese ($10.95), and gladly recommend it. They weren’t kidding about the avocado—nearly an entire one rested on my omelet when it was served. The shrimp were large and not overcooked. I spiced mine up with Tabasco as per my preference, but it might have been fine for someone with a more sensitive palate. My husband had the California omelet with mushrooms, avocado and Jack cheese ($9.95) and was equally pleased. The portions were so generous we took enough home for dinner and required no lunch in between.
Rob went for the French toast royale, served with bacon or links and two eggs ($8.99). It was good but not all that different from what one might find at a restaurant chain.
It was a bit pricey, but I reminded him that part of what I pay for is to get away from just such chains. I will gladly fork out another dollar or two to sit in a place as small and homey as the Sunrise Café.
Of course, lunch is on order as well, with offerings such as burgers (classic cheese, $8.50), sandwiches (chipotle chicken sandwich with a marinated chicken breast grilled and topped with avocado and cheese, $8.99) and salads (Cobb salad, $9.75; taco salad, $8.99). They also offer “signature flavors,” such as the sunrise burrito (scrambled eggs with chorizo, onions, peppers, tomatoes and cheese, $8.95) and the chile relleno con huevos ($9.95).
In short, it’s a place I will return to … eventually. The food was worth it, but the service needs to get a little better organized, and they realize that. Our server, always polite while forgetting the syrup, coffee and waters, asked our pardon and thanked us for our patience on our way out. If you want to try Sunrise Café soon, go when they aren’t rushed. Or you can just wait a month or two. Time is on your—and their—side.