It's easy to get caught up with the newest and hottest restaurants opening around town, but there are so many longtime/family restaurants that anchor our neighborhoods that deserve a second look.
Strings Homemade Meatloaf
Even though I've lived in Sacramento for more than 15 years, I'll admit I've driven by Strings Italian Cafes too many times without really taking the time to understand what they have to offer. So here's a Q and A with Strings Italian Cafe owner Al DeCaprio to tell us why we should stop by soon.
1. What's the concept for Strings Italian Cafe?
Strings Italian Cafe offers a variety of quality Italian dishes in a casual dining atmosphere at very reasonable prices. Our menu consists of many traditional pasta dishes such as Fettuccine Alfredo, spaghetti with Strings homemade meatballs and pizza but we also have an extended fish and chicken category. This allows for our price points to start at $10 with the majority of our menu items in the $14 - $16 category. All entrees come with your choice of unlimited house salad or soup and fresh garlic bread. Because of the variety on the menu and the reasonable prices our customer base goes from 18 to 80 and everything in between.
2. Can you tell me a little about the history of Strings Italian Cafe?
Strings the Pasta Place was the original concept in 1988. This concept was designed with a very limited menu focusing on fresh pasta entrees. But as people's tastes and expectations have evolved over the years, we have expanded our menu dramatically, especially in the fish, chicken and pork categories. With that came a name change to Strings Italian Cafe. Growing up in a big Italian family so much of what happens revolves around food. Many of the dishes and ingredients that we use today were used by my grandmother and mother. It worked then and it still works now. Customers who come to an Italian restaurant are expecting a warm and friendly atmosphere with good food and service. And I believe that we provide this.
3. If my family is a first time visitor to Strings Italian Cafe, what would you recommend we order?
That is a tough questions! I believe there are many unique and great dishes on the menu, and of course people's tastes vary when it comes to red or white sauces. But if I were to recommend 5 dishes they would be:
- Cioppino – shrimp, scallops, white fish & mussels served in a zesty cioppino sauce with a side of garlic toast.
- Pasta Siena – shrimp and chicken sautéed in EVOO, pesto, garlic, red chili pepper tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, penne pasta and a touch of Alfredo and hint of curry.
- Lasagna Pastry – Our meat and cheese lasagna baked in a onion, garlic pastry shell and served with meat and Alfredo sauce.
- Salmon Anello – Salmon fillet baked in a black truffle sauce with portabella mushrooms and finished with a touch of Alfredo sauce.
- Zoodles – fresh Zucchini ribbons sautéed with onion, garlic, fire roasted tomatoes and tossed with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives & capers and topped with fresh basil. This dish is gluten free & vegetarian.
4. Strings Italian Cafe has more than 20 locations. Are they all the same, or is each unique?
Under the Strings umbrella there are 20 restaurants, with a new one opening in Manteca in May of 2016. Nineteen of these restaurants fall under the Strings Italian Cafe concept. Our restauraunts stretch from Yreka which is near Mt. Shasta, to Visalia, and Berkeley to Sacramento. Two years ago we entered into a partnership and opened a restaurant in the downtown area at 7th and N called Strings Urban Kitchen. This restaurant features a full liquor license with a slightly different menu and a completely new decor package. The restaurant was designed by the owner-operator to be more appealing to an urban community. The restaurant that is opening in Manteca will be called Strings Bar & Grill. This restaurant is much larger and will feature a variety of steaks on the menu along with a full bar & lounge in addition to a large dining room and exclusive private dining room for parties.
5. Does Strings Italian Cafe offer any specials?
Every Wednesday night Strings offers an all you can eat pasta night which includes salad or soup and bread. The price varies from store to store but is approximately $8.75. We do have a Kids eat Free on Sunday & Monday's after 4:00 when accompanied by an adult. And of course we offer a Senior discount of 15% off of the entree.
6. Is there anything else somebody should know about Strings Italian Cafe before they visit?
If they haven't been to Strings in a while they will be surprised at the quality and selection that is now being offered.
Strings Italian Cafe can be found online at http://www.stringscafe.com/home or at 4848 Madison Ave, Sacramento, CA