Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

Down by the river

Who says California doesn’t have seasons?
Sacramento River

For the month of April, we had our fair share of Spring storms. Mother Nature has also made wet weather somewhat convenient for folks who had outdoor plans for the weekend. After listening to thunder crashing outside of the newsroom, I found my car dusted with hail.

Hail in Sacramento

By the end of the work week, the stormy weather moves out of our area and leaves behind a sunny weekend.

Ginger Mojito and beer

Earlier this month, we took advantage of the warm weekend weather with dinner on the patio at Pearl on the River. We had a shaky start to our dining experience, but the delicious food and our thoughtful server transformed it into enjoyable evening.
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Pizza and Beer

Both add up to good times in a college town. That’s especially true for Woodstock Pizza in Davis.

Before that – I want to give folks a heads up about pairing beer with a good cause. This afternoon, Sudwerk’s hosting a Beerfest. It’s a Celebration of All Things Beer. You can taste brews from Northern and Central Cali breweries. There’s also food, live music and the tours of the Sudwerk Brewery. Best of all, the ticket sales go to the non-profit group: “Citizens Who Care.” I’m thinking about going. How about you?

Woodstock in Davis
Let’s go back to Woodstock…

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Hello April

Waking up to sunny skies and windy weather.
Feels like spring.
Palm Trees in Sacramento
On Tax Day, some liquid relief from those tax forms: Tres Agaves is opening a new location in Roseville on that day. Yum! After paying Uncle Same, a Tequila flight may help!

Later this month, I’m also looking forward to the live broadcast of “This American Life.” Capital Public Radio carries the Chicago-based show on Saturdays. Each week, the show produces some amazing stories revolving around one theme. Those stories always hit a nerve. They’re often funny, sad, insightful and deeply personal.

So…on April 23:

Ira Glass will host an actual episode of the radio program, performed onstage by some of our favorite contributors. Dan Savage, Starlee Kine, and Mike Birbiglia will tell stories. David Rakoff and Dave Hill will conduct a ‘special investigation.’ Plus a new cartoon by Chris Ware, additional visuals by Arthur Jones, and a very special appearance by Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! The performance will last around two hours. We’re going to capture the whole thing with a bunch of HD cameras, and send it live* to movie theatres all over the country.

Sacramento will have several theaters carrying the live broadcast:

  • Natomas Marketplace
  • Sacramento Downtown Plaza 7
  • Sacramento Greenback Lane 16
  • Sacramento Stadium 14

Tune in!

Brunch with Daffodils

The countdown is on to Earth Hour.

This green campaign wants people around the world to vote for Earth at 8:30 PM, local time.

For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. – from earthhour.org

We’ll see how that works out.

Brunch at the Tower Cafe
Back in Sacramento, I celebrated the first weekend of Spring at the Tower Cafe. This delightful garden foodie spot has its own connection to green-friendly traditions. In 1990, it opened for business on Earth Day, April 22.
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Hello Brother! Hello Sister!

That’s the greeting from the sweet lady who took care of us on our lunch date in Rancho Cordova.

Curried Fried Rice from the Bodhi House

After taking a deep breath, I inhaled cinnamon and other spices drifting off this plate of Curry Fried Rice. It’s fried up with garbanzo beans, tofu and veggie ham. It’s just one of the tasty vegan entrees we sampled at the Bodhi House.

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Local gifts at a big box store? Who knew.

While making an infrequent bulk-supply run at Costco the other day, I was surprised to see for sale gift cards for the Paragary Restaurant Group – that’s places like Paragary’s, Spataro, Esquire, and R15.  The cards, sold in packs of two $50 cards for around $75, give you a discount on a night out and give you a chance to support a more-or-less local business. (I say more-or-less not because there’s any question that it’s local, just because I think “local business” conjures up an image of a more struggling mom-and-pop operation than Randy Paragary’s Sacto restaurant mafia.)

I didn’t expect to find the local fare among the many gift cards Costco offers at a discount (stuff like movies, Starbucks, etc).  Good idea though.  And who doesn’t appreciate a discount – the Dow just fell below 8000! Ack. Be frugal. Happy Slim Holidays.

Does new hotel establish new ethic? Or rely on old jokes?

So, the Citizen Hotel will open soon and in case you haven’t heard about it yet it is THE coolest thing to happen in Sacramento, potentially ever. It’s so cool the room number signs are cool. So are the lampshades. Seriously, this hotel will outcool you, skinny-jean wearing Midtowner, and you, suit-wearing Capitol staffer, in like 3.2 seconds after it opens on November 30th. In fact, since its first weekend is already booked solid, it’s probably already out-cooled you.

From what I read and hear, little remains of the old building’s interiors – which is probably good since when I went to my optometrists office there, it was overrun by crickets (good luck) and other crawly things (bad luck).

But there’s something about The Citizen Hotel that bothers me, just a little. Something more insidious than its ubercool (hey, I like ubercool), something with a bit more bite . . . . (more…)

Ikea Yogurt

Move over Big Spoon, there’s a new yogurt craze in town.  It’s Yogurtagogo.  If you can get past the name, you’ll find some tasty treats that fit right into the Midtown landscape.  Seemingly based on the Big Spoon business model – Y-agogo adds a certain amount of “hip” that fits it’s 18th and L location to basic structure: enter, grab the one-size-fits-all-appetites container, fill and mix flavors from 6 flavor options, hit the topping bar, and pay by weight.  (At 43 cents/ounce, it’s more than a normal Big Spoon, but less than Big Spoon Raley Field.)  The store itself is still minimalistic, like Big Spoon, decor wise, but with a mod, Ikea design flair.  Where Y-agogo might win some fans, however, is with its fresh-fruit topping options and its “tart” yogurt flavors that much more closely match what actual, non-frozen yogurt tastes like. If you don’t like regular yogurt, you may not like the tart flavors.  Regular fro-yo tastes just like ice cream, for the most part. This does not. Prepare your mouth accordingly.  I happen to love yogurt, so I’m down with the tart flavors. I’ve heard of some non-fans already though.  They DO, however, have more traditional, ice-cream like fro-yo flavors, if that’s more to your liking – and plenty of the traditional chocolate, candy, junk foody toppings as well.  They also get bonus points for frequent buyer cards and accepting credit/debit cards. (Does Big Spoon? I didn’t think they did, could be wrong.) 

Y-agogo should do gangbusters in Midtown. I love that its closer a stroll than Big Spoon. And, for dessert options, it kicks the pants off the consistently, heartbreakingly disappointing Rick’s.

And, for any SoCal transplants or Disneyland lovers, I give you this tip: you ever have one of those Dole Pineapple Whips from the Tiki Room snack bar? (You know what I’m talking about.)  Y-agogo has a non-dairy pineapple flavor substance that’s JUST like a whip. And it is my crack. I love it. Never take it away. High-five, Yogurtagogo.

Overdue Review: Tuli Bistro

Tuli

 Or is it Bistro Tuli? Eh, whatever. It’s tasty. Maybe not as fall-all-over-yourselves-in-a-rush-to-get-there tasty, but tasty.  Full disclosure – it’s taken me a month – er, okay, nearly two months – to get the photos uploaded and get around to writing this. In the restaurant business, that’s like 15 dog years or something. I am walking/driving/cycling by it regularly, though, and still see people there, so this is probably still good information. If not, feel free to advise me in the comments section.

More after the jump.

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A snack between posts

While we here at Metroblogging Sacramento hunker down to deliver our requested take on Sacramento’s true top restaurants (once we determine our metrics, of course), here’s a run down of some of our past restaurant reviews. I’m sure I’ve missed some/many, from our archives, but this is what some quick archive scanning and targeted googling has yielded. More to come!

Zelda’s
Ella
Bistro 33
Gaesorn
58 Degrees
Suzie Burger
La Terraza
Famous Kabab
Daphne’s Greek
Capitol Garage
Mana Sushi
Plum Blossom
R15
Tamaya

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