Amador Cafe -- A Chic Bit of Business in Pioneer
Sierra Lodestar 10/13/10

Foothill Flavors

A Chic Bit of Business in Pioneer

By Antoinette May Herndon

Take my word for it, the Amador Café & Bakery in the tiny town of Pioneer is one classy operation. Headed up to Tahoe for a mini-holiday recently, Charles and I chanced to stop there for breakfast

I don’t know about you, but when I think of a breakfast coffee shop, I think in terms of function. Generally, they’re friendly and cozy, fast and efficient. You’re in, you’re out, the décor a blur of Formica, chrome and plastic.

Believe me, the Amador Café & Bakery is a world removed from that. We went in expecting same old, same old, our expectations never straying much beyond the hope that the food would be passable and the service adequate. Were we ever in for a surprise!

The Amador Café & Bakery just happens to be capital E elegant . Have you ever been to a casual restaurant where the utensils and napery were stored in antique walnut dressers? I surely haven’t. Think of butcher block tables polished to a silky sheen. Visualize the exotic allure of Chinese chairs made of faux bamboo and painted antique gold. Just contemplate for a minute the romance potential of eating breakfast beneath the sparkling glow of crystal chandeliers. And there’s there’s the unexpected chic of floors covered in red and white square tiles.

I guess that’s it, there just

isn’t anything casual or routine about the Amador Café & Bakery. Here’s this little gem out in the middle of the woods, a sophisticated bistro in a tiny mountain village.

The man behind the magic is owner, Robert Dasch. Robert is a local boy, an Amador High grad who went off to Hungington Beach to seek his fortune. After pursuing his love of art and antiques at the Newport Design Institute, he became for a time an interior decorator. It was fun for awhile, but before long the lure of the foothills drew him back.

“What this area needs is a good café,” he decided and the rest is history. Naturally, Robert being Robert gave the place more than a mere touch of class.

Needless to say, I was charmed by the ambience from the moment we walked in. Charles was more dubious, “Just remember, Antoinette, we’re here to eat breakfast,” He was quick to remind me. You can’t eat the furniture. Is the food going to be good here or not?”

That Charles. He’s so practical.

Well, I’m here to say, the food at the Amador café & Bakery was very good. It started with brewed tea for me ($1.50) and fresh, full-bodied coffee for Charles ($1.75).

I went with the Two Egg Breakfast ($8,25). This included a choice of bacon or sausage, two eggs with English muffin and hash browns. Very, very good.


choice was French Toast Combo— three slices of bread dipped in batter and then grilled with two slices of bacon. ($8.25) Perfecto!

It was a delightful beginning for what turned out to be a great get- away on several levels. But, I can assure you that there was no breakfast restaurant at Tahoe that could match the Amador Café & Bakery for charm and imagination.

I felt there was something magical about the place. It was as though we’d somehow stumbled into Brigadoon. But that scares me just a bit, I’m starting to worry that the little bistro might actually contain some Brigadoon properties. What if the Amador Café & Bakery appeared only to disappear for another hundred years?

Some of you are muttering, “She’s crazy,” while other, kinder souls conjecture: “a mythologist run amuck.” Think what you will, I just have my fingers crossed that the enchanted cafe will still be next time we travel that way.

VITALS: The Amador Café & Bakery is located at 26590 Hwy. 88 #3 in Pioneer. Phone: 295-7794. Hours are Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30, Friday 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Credit cards are accepted.


Robert Dasch is the creative force behind the Amador Café & Bakery

The interior of the Amador Café & Bakery is filled with elegant antiques.