Serving it up man-sized

Photo By David Torch

Ah, Truckee, California—what a great little mountain retreat. Sure, it’s a bit on the touristy end of the mountain town burliness scale, but the crisp air of late fall up in the mountains is a refreshing change from the comparative bustle of The Biggest Little. It makes me want to rise at dawn and eat a well-balanced breakfast.

This is a good time to get up there because, in mere days, the town will be swarming with skiers and snowboarders. All these yahoos from places like Chico walking around, saying “Nice!” and playing NOFX at pain threshold and drinking beer in preparation for driving over to Boreal to spend the rest of the day going up and down the side of a deforested mountain.

But back to breakfast. My father used to say, “Son, you should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” This always struck me as sound advice—though self-evident, because if I were really to eat breakfast like a king and lunch like a prince, I would no doubt be a pauper come dinnertime.

But down here in the Truckee Meadows, I often skip breakfast altogether—or maybe just have a cup of coffee and a bowl of Cheerios. Which isn’t entirely a bad thing; I love Cheerios. I actually had a bowl this morning. The problem was that I was out of milk. Fortunately though, I had some vanilla ice cream in the freezer. I watered a little of it down with cold water and stirred it up and voila—instant milk!

I probably just totally discredited myself, but the above does give a nice example of the kind of breakfast I would never want to eat in Truckee. When I’m up there I want to fool myself into thinking I’m some kind of hungry mountain man who wants a fulfilling breakfast before he goes off, say, building log cabins and killing elk with his bare hands. I want a no-holds-barred breakfast. I want to eat at a place that isn’t afraid to break a few eggs.

The Squeeze Inn, right in the middle of Truckee’s main drag, serves a wild and unruly assortment of omelets. They also serve lunch and other breakfast items, but that doesn’t matter. What does matters are the omelets: Big, man-sized omelets—omelets larger than the hearts of eight dead elk, omelets loaded with fresh ingredients like bell peppers and avocado, omelets with catchy names like “Jeremiah” and “Racy Tracy.”

The service was friendly but not overbearing, prompt but not rushed. When our waitress asked if we were ready and I said, “I think we need another two minutes or so,” she came back to our table about two minutes later. Too often, when you tell your server that you need another couple of minutes to peruse the menu, they apparently see that as an excuse to ignore you for the next quarter-hour. The restaurant itself is comfortable and informal. The walls are covered with the most innocuous varieties of graffiti, stuff like “Frank and Susan McGargle-Weimer! Honeymoon! May ‘91!” and “Johnny and Ed! Bros 4 Ever!”

All of the omelets come with toast and a healthy portion of savory home fries. So you get a good whopping of food. It’ll get your motor running. Even on cold icy mornings. You know, before you head out to the slopes and rocket down the mountain singing Steppenwolf to yourself. You loser.