Mel & Faye’s Diner – Jackson, California – Review

Lola and I went back to California’s Gold Country last week and stayed overnight in Jackson. We had wanted to have dinner at Teresa’s Place, but alas, I hadn’t checked to see that it was closed Wednesday nights. Not sure of where else to go, we ended up at Mel & Faye’s Diner, where we had eaten during our previous visit to Jackson (see review below).
Our last experience had been fine, but this time we were a bit more disappointed in our food. I had an excellent peanut butter shake (yummm! $3.50), but Lola’s strawberry shake wasn’t very good, it didn’t taste like strawberry and it didn’t feel as if it had any ice cream in it. She was disappointed.
The burgers were fine, though I wasn’t thrilled with the chewy bacon on mine. We ordered them with onion rings instead of fries, and they gave us *a lot* of onion rings. So many we couldn’t really finish them. Alas, they weren’t as good as the previous time. They were made from plump, fresh onions, but the batter needed more seasoning.
Our bill came to only $22 before tip, so I really can’t complain – and I’d go back again (if for no other reason because the peanut butter shake rocks).

We were staying in Sutter Creek, right outside Jackson (May 2008), and we found ourselves looking for food at 9:30 in the evening. Mel & Faye’s Diner was the first place we found open.
The restaurant is your typical coffeeshop, serving burgers, shakes and other American fare at moderate prices (burgers are around $7-9). The room is quite nice, with booths and tables, and it was still fairly busy at that time of night. It does have the atmosphere of a small town diner, where everyone knows each other (boy, I miss Pring’s). Definitely a good place to have a burger.
And burgers we had. I ordered their sourdough cheeseburger, which came with mayo and a thousand-island type dressing in grilled sourdough bread. It was pretty good but too unwieldy to eat by hand – it was definitely a fork and knife burger. The patty itself was pretty small (it must have been a 1/4 lb at most), and while well done it was juicy enough. It was served with your choice of fries, onion rings or something else I don’t recall – I had the onion rings and I was surprised both by the substantial size of the order and how good they were. They were crunchy and slightly sweet, and while I missed the lack of ranch dressing to dip them in, I thought they were very good. I’d had a substantial peanut butter shake (pretty good, $3.75), and I couldn’t finish all the food.
Lola had the Moo Burger, a double burger with everything, served with fries, and she also thought it was pretty good but definitely a fork and knife burger. She had no complaints about the fries.
Service was good, and the whole experience was quite pleasant. If I was in town, I’d visit again, regardless of the time.
Mel and Faye’s Diner
31 Highway 49/88
Jackson, Ca.
209.223.0853
www.melandfayesdiner.com
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