For anyone finding themselves in need of a good, but casual, meal in California’s Gold Country, the choices might be more limited than one would expect. One restaurant to consider is Mel’s Diner, located on Highway 49 in Auburn. Although located in a less-than-scenic area of Auburn, Mel’s Diner is a safe choice for good food and good service at reasonable prices.
The atmosphere at Mel’s Diner is themed around the movie American Graffiti. Checkered floors, red vinyl booth seats, and mini juke boxes make up the bulk of the décor. The restaurant itself is very clean, comfortable, and brightly lit. Keep in mind though, that when Mel’s Diner is busy, the noise level from music and chatter can be less than relaxing.
Service at Mel’s Diner is timely, friendly, and courteous. The staff is competent and attentive. Patrons are not rushed to order, and food is brought out to the table in a reasonable amount of time once it is ordered. Waiters and waitresses don’t appear to rush diners to finish up and get out in order to make room for waiting guests.
The main thing this restaurant has going for it is the quality of the food they serve. During a recent visit, each member of our group ordered different dishes including a turkey dinner, a cheeseburger, fish & chips, chicken strips, and even a hearty breakfast platter (breakfast is served all day long). Everyone in the group received their food at the same time, which is always desirable. Despite the diversity of the meals ordered, each member of the group expressed total satisfaction with every element of their meals. Portions are large, and most meals are served with one or more sides of choice (no problem substituting at Mel’s). Kids meals are served in adorable boxes decorated to look like cars from the 1950’s, and each one includes a drink and a small pack of cookies.
Another great reason to try Mel’s Diner is that the prices are very reasonable. A turkey dinner which included mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, salad, and cornbread cost only $10. Kids’ meals are priced at around $4. Although beverages and tip must be factored, Mel’s Diner is still a good value for the quality of service and food provided.
Unfortunately, Mel’s Diner is not located in the more charming, historical are of the city. The physical address of the restaurant is 1730 Grass Valley Highway (Highway 49) in Auburn, California. Mel’s is open 24 hours! For more information, call Mel’s directly at (530)823-6357. Those who wish to can also check out Mel’s Diner online at their website or on Facebook.