Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Is it really a mom’s world, Raley’s?

Have you noticed Raley’s new marketing campaign?  It’s a mom’s world, apparently, and we’re all just shoppin’ in it.

This ad probably wouldn’t have bothered me 6 months ago.  But then something happened.  I became a mom myself. (more…)

Five Guys – so the East Coast can feel better about not inventing In-n-Out

Okay – here’s a post guaranteed to highlight my native SoCalness.  I may as well get my biases out in the open at the start: I think In-n-Out is the burger to beat.  I think people from NorCal are slow to embrace In-n-Out because it comes from SoCal and therefore must be suspect.  Anyway….

So President Obama likes Five Guys and there’s now a Five Guys open in Natomas – gotta give that a try, right?  The place gets excellent reviews and has been creeping west after starting in DC.  How’s the burger? It’s a solid B.

What kind of place is Five Guys?  It’s In-n-Out without the Palm Trees out front, right down to the super basic (but we have our own lingo!) menu. And the red and white color scheme.

A note to first-timers: where In-n-Out defaults to burger meaning burger and something with “double” in the title indicating there are two meat patties in the double-double, at Five Guys, the burger has two patties and the “little” burger, I imagine, has one patty.  I’ve never eaten a double-double so I’d have never ordered a two-patty burger from Five Guys but whoops, there it was, two patties.  You make your own burger by specifying the toppings – all of ‘em – that you want. Don’t assume you’ll get anything unless specified. My husband described it as “Subway sandwich style” burger making.

We placed a to-go order over the phone, so know that this review is based on eating a ten minute old burger that endured a car ride.  Our burgers kind of made it home in one piece.  The biggest failure? The bun. Oh, the horrible, squished, waste-of-calories bun.  It was so flat I wished it were one of those half-bun diet-friendly things on sale at the market now because why waste calories on compressed bread?  Five Guys should take some lessons from In-n-Out on this one: either pack your product better or invest in better bread.  Also, it was just plain, untoasted bread.  There’s no heaven like that of the perfectly toasted edges of an In-n-Out burger bun – amirite?

The burger itself was fine.  Tasty.  I don’t know that it was superlative or that I’d place it above all others in its class.  Also – it’s more expensive than In-n-Out. Just sayin’.

The fries are legit.  Thicker cut than most fast food and definitely made from fresh potatoes – you can taste that.  So A+ there.  How you rank them, if you’re a fryfan, is probably going to depend on why kind of fry you’re in the mood for.

Like I said, I give them a strong B grade overall. A tasty burger and one I would gladly eat again, but posing no threat to the current title holder in Cali.

Making it easier to pay the price

A few years ago, I mentioned that Sac should offer online payment of parking tickets.

Guess what? Now they are!

Maybe they have been accepting online payment for awhile and I’ve just been exceptionaly responsible lately – whatever – I’m glad they’ve taken some of the pain out of apying fees.

Take me Down, S[ac] Underground

Did you know Old Sac has an underground? Me neither! But it does!  And you can check it out on a tour by the Old Sacramento Historic Foundation:

[Tours will be given] on Thursdays and Fridays, tours depart every 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; on Saturdays and Sundays, tours depart every 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (although no tours will be available at 2:30 or 3:00 p.m. due to special stage performances in Old Sacramento).

Tours of the underground last approximately one hour and cost $15 for adults and $10 for youth (ages 6-17). Tour check-in is located at the Sacramento History Museum, 101 I Street, in Old Sacramento. Underground visitors will need to be prepared to walk on uneven surfaces in areas that have low ceilings and in occasional small spaces.

I can hang with uneven surfaces (and really, in Old Sac, how many surfaces are even?) but small spaces under centuries old buidlings? Mayyybe.  But if you go, drop your photos into our woefully neglected Flickr pool and we’ll post them on our site.

State Fair Bovine Buzz Kill

Rampaging, Pregnant Cow Shot To Death At State Fair reads the KCRA3 headline.

Wow, seriously? There are so many ways to go with that headline, I don’t even know where to start.

But it kinda makes me want to avoid the fair.  Not out of cow-fear, but out of baby-cow mourning.

We’re totally gay and loving it!

Sacramento beat out cities like Austin, Portland, San Diego, and, would you believe, New York, coming in as the sixth gayest city in America.  The ranking over at the Daily Beast credits our central location (ah, the old “two hours from everywhere” credential!) and status as the state capital as attractive to gay couples looking to avoid the buzz of SF or LA.  Certainly Second Saturday’s epicenter at 20th and K helps keep the community vibrant and at the forefront of Sac social life.  So are you surprised we get such high marks?  We’re above even LA and DC.  Small towns can be more welcoming after all!

Thursday Nights At The Zoo

No, no, don’t adjust your news feeds and readers – this is, in fact, a new post at Metroblogging Sacramento.  Time to brush away the cobwebs and get on with things.  I’m back from an extended maternity leave and trying to, you know, like figure everything out.  If the posts from now on sometimes take on family-friendly theme . . . well, hopefully that’s cool with y’all.

And speaking of . . .  if you’ve ever wondered where all the families go on Thursday nights in July, I think we found them – at the Sacramento Zoo’s Twilight Thursdays.  (No, not that kind of Twilight.  This is strictly Team Giraffe v. Team Red Panda.)

The Thursday events cost no more than regular admission, but the Zoo is open until 8pm, rather than the usual 4pm. Each Thursday through the end of July has its own theme, car show, and dinner special.  Tomorrow is British Night with, of course, British cars, a Beatles tribute band, and a fish-n-chip special.  If the higher prices of Zoo food scare you, bring your own picnic and eat on the lawn by the band.  Don’t like noise? Enjoy a less-crowded, hopefully cool, evening stroll through the zoo – some animals are more animated in the evening hours too.  Last week we enjoyed some Giraffe World Cup soccer (yeah, they were playing with a ball), some red panda antics, and a great view of a chillin’ lioness.

For around $10 – free if you’re a member! – it’s a great way to burn those hours after work but before bedtime.  Even if you don’t have kids.

Slippery

Sacramento meteorologists say we should expect more wet weather this week.
Sigh.

My future garden could use the water. But rainy weather is a pain when I’m trying to stay awake on Eastbound I-80.
[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/9863372[/vimeo]

My solution: drinking plenty of water and singing along with my iTunes playlist. Good times.

Mulvaney’s B&L Rewarded – Justly

My affection and admiration for Mulvaney’s B&L is no secret.  I’d give it the Best-in-Sac title and happily battle anyone championing other venues.  I now have new ammo for my side: the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce awarded it Small Business of the Year.  Even if you’re not a foodie and don’t care much about sustainable or local eating, it’s hard not to appreciate Mulvaney’s vision:

Small business awardee Mulvaney fit the bill on several counts, said Mahood, adding that Mulvaney’s was a unanimous selection.

“Mulvaney’s Building & Loan built a business in a very difficult climate,” Mahood said. “He considers sustainability and local sourcing and he’s given back to the community.”

The New York-born Mulvaney has called the Sacramento area home since the early 1990s. At his midtown restaurant he’s carved out a reputation on dishes that spotlight the area’s abundance of fresh food, culled from fields and farmers markets just miles from the eatery’s doors.

“We’re so blessed. It’s mid-November and I’m looking at the lettuce we’re going to have in three or four days,” Mulvaney said. “What farmers bring through the door will be on the plate that night. I can stand in the field and still see the skyline of Sacramento. It’s a valuable thing.”

And he helps feed the poor.  That’s the kind of business person we need in Sacramento.

Sacramento parking free between Thanksgiving and Christmas

Well, some Sacramento street parking will be free – but it’s still not a bad deal.  Starting the day after Thanksgiving, metered spots between I and L and from Front Street to 29th Street will be free after 4:30pm and all day Saturday and Sunday (but still pay attention to time limits and curb colors, etc).  Even some garages will be free.  Not a bad bonus for keeping your spending money local this holiday season.

Here’s a map of the free parking areas.

By the way, don’t read the comments on the article as your eyes will bleed out of your head.  Do only unhappy people comment on Bee pieces?  Best comment might be that this free parking does nothing to help people who work downtown during normal business hours. Duh. It’s not supposed to. Those people will be down there anyway. I think it’s  a great idea and pretty easy to understand.  I’d love to think people will swarm the Grid to shop and eat now that parking is free (swarm on non-Second Saturdays, that is).  Whatever might help, go for it.

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