Restaurant remix

Two local restaurants (Paesano’s and Paragary’s) just scrapped two of their outlets (Hukilau and Icon) for the increasingly popular counter service restaurant with Pronto and a new Cafe Bernardo (not to cause confusion with the midtown branch, this one’s been labeled R15, for its cross streets).

When I visited both I was impressed as you can be with a reincarnation. The new Cafe Bernardo is much more open than the original, and has added a few new items to the menu (the mushroom burger and grilled PB&J stood out). I stuck to an old favorite, the grilled chicken pizzetta.

They don’t serve pizza at Pronto, but they do have some amazing rotisserie chicken that satisfied, and their panini and salads look incredibly good. Apparently PB&J does well in focus groups, as Pronto also has its version, the “PB&J Panini”.

They should both serve as good local spots for the growing population of downtown residents.

7 Comments so far

  1. Amanda (unregistered) on September 20th, 2006 @ 8:20 am

    Sweet-thanks for the heeads up…I live by both of them and have been going to the older Cafe Bernardo for years…after reading this, I REALLY want some PB&J!!

  2. cd (unregistered) on September 20th, 2006 @ 9:09 am

    Bernardo keeps points for keeping the amaretto french toast, but loses points for scrapping the chopped salad. I thought that was a staple, but found it gone when i retuned to sac. Bummer.

    Does anyone find it interesting – possibly bad – that most of the down/midtown restaurant scene is dominated by 2, maybe 3 restaurant groups?

    I love the Paragary Empire as much as the next girl, but are our original eateries really all that original? If blindfolded and served something from Spataro and Esquire, could you tell the difference?

    And Centro sucks. There, I’ve said it.

    (p.s. so does Zocolo, though it is pretty)

  3. Amanda (unregistered) on September 20th, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

    Zocalo sucks??? What are you talking about??? Yummy chips and salsa and a BEAUTIFUL restaurant…one of my FAVORITES…it’s like I don’t know you anymore!!! Ha ha…everyone is entitled to their opinion…but I know more than one person who could eat at Zocalo’s EVERY DAY!!! Who owns Ink? I thought it was part of the Paragary empire, but I guess I’m wrong…

  4. Erik (unregistered) on September 20th, 2006 @ 3:31 pm

    Ernesto Jiminez, owner of Ernesto’s, Tortugas and Zocalo’s (none of which have particularly outstanding food) is getting together with Paragary’s to spawn a local chain restaurant ove child in Roseville: Mas Mexican.

    Ink is owned by the same guy who runs Hangar 17.

    Are there any local restaurants that aren’t part of a local group? (Chop’s is owned by 4th Street Grille folks) I guess it’s good that so many locals are successful, but they do tend to play it a little safe in my opinion.

  5. Amanda (unregistered) on September 20th, 2006 @ 4:34 pm

    Wow…this is some HARD Zocalo bashing…too much for me to take!!!! I like Ink, but hate Hangar 17…weird!

  6. cd (unregistered) on September 20th, 2006 @ 11:30 pm

    Yeah, I originally thought Ink was linked to Paragary’s, but I guess that was just a presumption I based on it having taken over Twenty-Eight which was, in fact, Paragary’s white table cloth joint, right? Never ate there.

    And I have yet to eat at Paragary’s itself. Go fig.

    Love Ink though.

    As for Zocalo, let me clarify – I can hang with the scene-yness and it is gorgeous and a nice addition to the Capitol Ave Restaurant Ghetto, but the food gets a bit too cute for my tastes. I like Ernesto’s enough – but my favorite Mexican joints in Sac aren’t nearly as formal as either of those. Say, I feel a post comin’ on . . . .

  7. BigEater (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2006 @ 1:58 pm

    I prefer my mexican food without the stench of cologne reeking forth from some Zocoloser. The food is garbage.

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