Dining News: How Requested App Saved Me 20% at Formoli's Bistro


Requested, a smartphone app that helps you save money during off peak hours and helps you get a table at peak hours, is starting to show real momentum in Sacramento.

I had downloaded the app several months ago, but hadn't tried it out until this past Sunday.

At about 4 p.m., we were looking for a restaurant to eat at that night. On our list of places to go included Empress Tavern and Localis, but neither were open on Sunday.

So we turned to Requested App. At a minimum, it (like Open Table) shows what restaurants have availability that evening. But as part of that process, not only did it show us what restaurants had space, it also showed which restaurants were willing to give us a discount to dine in on a slow night.


We ended up choosing and making a reservation at Formoli's Bistro, a restaurant with a stellar reputation, but one that we generally consider too far since it's all the way in East Sac. (I know...East Sac isn't that far, but distances are relative though.) It was a restaurant that we weren't originally considering, but the 20 percent discount got us in the door.

When we arrived, we informed the hostess that we had a reservation via Requested.

They seated us quickly. We noticed the restaurant was about half full that evening, so the dollars we were spending were dollars that they weren't getting otherwise.

We decided to order the seafood gumbo and the pork chop. As expected, they were top notch. The gumbo was creamy and didn't skimp on the seafood, and the pork chop was literally the best pork chop I've ever had. It was succulent throughout, and the corn salsa below it provided a great, spicy bite.


At the conclusion of our meal, the waiter presented us a "bill," though it was more of a listing of the things we ordered to make sure their system recorded it correctly.


The app took care of calculating the discount, adding tip (which by default is set at 20 percent, though you can adjust it within limits) and billing my credit card. No need to do math or wait for the waiter to come over, collect your credit card, swipe it and return with a receipt for you to sign.

As a quick aside, the discounts are dynamic. What discounts are available depend demand. It may change by day of the week, time you're going out, etc. You may not receive the same discount I got on Sunday.

All in all, I was very impressed with the Requested system. It performed as advertised, helped restaurants fill empty chairs and helped me save a couple bucks. I'll be using them again.

You can download the Requested App here and save $10 off your first use. (Disclosure: I'll also get $10 when you use it.)

For more information, visit RequestedApp.com.

More News:

New brewery plans to team up with Old Soul Co. in midtown Sacramento - Midtown Sacramento could be getting another craft brewery, with an application into the city for establishing one in a building on L Street. Big Stump Brewing Co. would occupy 2,950 square feet at 1716 L St., in a building owned by the operators of the neighboring Old Soul Co. coffee operation. Ben van der Meer in Sac Biz Journal.

Bubbling hot - From the team behind Heat Shabu Baru comes Boiling Avenue (943 Howe Avenue), a softly opened hot pot hot spot. The space is bright and modern with industrial touches, and the menu specializes in mini, personal-sized fusion hot pots. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review. (Second Item.)

New company enters local coffee scene - Satisfying your coffee craving will soon get easier. A new local company called Brass Clover plans to offer ready-to-drink bottles of cold-brew coffee from local roasters. The company will begin by partnering with Old Soul Co. and hopes to work with other roasters on a rotating basis, according to Randall Echevarria, who owns Brass Clover with his husband, Monte Hudock. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

New Fat’s corporate chef brings breadth of experience - Fat’s Asia Bistros in Roseville and Folsom always have covered a lot of culinary ground, starting with Chinese favorites from Sacramento father ship Frank Fat’s and radiating out to other countries’ cuisines. New Fat Family Restaurant Group corporate executive chef Lin Chen has taken that concept deeper and farther, adding Singapore laksa spicy noodles, Rendang Padang (Malaysian) beef stew, gado-gado Indonesian salad and (Indian) lamb vindaloo to the bistros’ new fall/winter menu. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Amid craft brew boom, mobile beer canning business is crushing it - The idea came to them while they were still in graduate school for business administration in the Bay Area. With so many new craft breweries up and running, Lindsey Herrema and Jenn Coyle zeroed in on a business plan that would help more startups with little infrastructure to package their beer in cans and, consequently, increase their profile in the marketplace. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: How Requested App Saved Me 20% at Formoli's Bistro" »

Half Off at Masullo Pizza via Amazon Local


Once a year or so, Masullo gives you the opportunity to eat their amazing Neapolitan-style, wood-fired pizza at a discount.

Today's that day.

BTW: If you don't know why you should try Masullo, Chris Bianco, owner of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, is one of America's pizza masters. Bianco said in 2012 that Masullo is one of his 11 favorite pizza places in the country.

Free Pretzel All Month, 25 Cent Liter Mug (with Beer Order) on Thursday at Midtown Biergarten


The Oktoberfest beer keeps flowing and Thursday you can Keep The 1 liter Glass when ordering a Oktoberfest beer for just...

Posted by Midtown BierGarten on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Midtown BierGarten's Oktoberfest celebration is in full swing.

Tonight, you'll be able to keep the 1 liter mug that you ordered your Oktoberfest beer in for just 25 cents extra.

In addition, you can get a free pretzel all month with beer purchase. Click here for more info. 

Midtown Biergarten is located at 2332 K Street, and can be found online at http://beergardensacramento.com/.

Dining News: Now Open Downtown - Triple Double Sports Bar


Triple Double Sports Bar, which replaces the Zokku at 4th & J, opened earlier this week, reports Sactown Mag's Tori Masucci Cummins.

Nathan Hilderbrand—a native of New Orleans who has held stints in acclaimed restaurants there, including Commander's Palace and The Ruby Slipper Café —will serve as Triple Double’s executive chef, taking over for former co-owner Trevor Elliott who, along with his wife Kristina, has left the team...

The restaurant includes an oyster bar framed by pendant lights and colorful abstract murals by local artist James Goodchap that depict famous sports figures like Joe Montana, Serena Williams, Muhammad Ali and Oscar Robertson (the basketball great holds the record for the most triple-doubles in NBA history).

Read the entire story in Sac Mag.

Sac News & Review's Janelle Bitker has more on the menu:

Small plates, salads and sandwiches hover around $9; the most expensive entree—pulled pork-stuffed hush puppies with braised greens, slaw and cracklins—costs $22. Southern influences dot the menu: pork cheeks come braised over grits; fried brussel sprouts over Pimento cheese; Caprese salad with fried green tomatoes; and a shrimp po’boy with creole remoulade. Dessert options include deep fried Oreos stuffed with foie gras. The chef and ownership team have roots in New Orleans, but don’t expect to see any gumbo or crawfish etouffee—yet, anyway.

Read the entire story in Sac News & Review.

The new restaurant's facade is a more modest version of what the owners said they would have when I talked to them in April. Back then, they said the street-facing side would have CPI Paneling, which will allow Triple Double to display messages on via a LED grid, and the interior ambiance will be "a little industrial with a southern influence.

That original vision is still visible on the Web site TripleDoubleSacramento.com.


When I drove by the restaurant this week, it looked like the exterior had been painted, but no extensive renovation had been done.

Still, the outside appearance of a restaurant is way down on the list of things that will make or break this restaurant. The owners seemed like very nice people, and I hope they succeed.

Triple Double is located at 419 J Street, and can be found online at http://tripledoublesacramento.com/.

More News:

Sean Derfield, owner of two Sacramento bars, gradually healing after light-rail collision - Beyond that, Derfield knows what the future looks like. Once he began to heal and his mind cleared, he took stock of his life and decided to make serious changes. In addition to the saloon and bustling beer bar, Derfield owns the shooting arcade River City Shooting Gallery. Erika Derfield, a first-grade teacher at Cosumnes River Elementary in Sloughhouse, does the books for the three businesses. “In the hospital, I told her that working 85 hours a week is over. Owning three businesses, you’re constantly going 24/7. But that’s why I have employees and I never used them to the fullest extent,” Sean said. “I need to delegate more and enjoy life, take more vacations and stop saving the money for that rainy day.” Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Brews brothers? New beer operation to team with coffee roaster - Another company is looking to enter Sacramento’s fast-growing brewpub business with plans for a 3,000-square-foot taproom and brewing operation behind the Old Soul coffee shop in midtown. In an application with the city, backers of Big Stump Brewing Co. said they hope to operate a 10-barrel brewing operation at 1716 L St. in vacant space owned by the coffee company. Big Stump would sell its craft beers to customers at the brewpub and also market its products to area bars and restaurants, according to the application. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

Triumphant brunch: Fried chicken & cheddar biscuit, Roxy Restaurant and Bar - I have gone to Roxy for brunch three times in the last few weeks. I admit it—I'm smitten. Brunch is usually a restaurant horror show of surly servers, tipsy patrons and greasy food slathered in broken hollandaise. Not so at Roxy. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

A sweet spin: Horchatte, Nido by Magpie - For a refreshing, nuanced spin on an iced latte, order the horchatte ($4 for a small). The base is Nido's housemade horchata—the Mexican rice milk-based beverage—which is slightly sweet and toasty from a bounty of cinnamon. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Bistro 103 - Located in historic Auburn, this New American restaurant that opened in February has just added a new weekend brunch menu with farm-to-fork dishes like decadent bananas Foster pancakes topped with flambéed sliced bananas, cinnamon sugar, walnuts and butter; or the savory braised beef cheeks eggs Benedict. In Sactown Magazine. (Third item.)

Continue reading "Dining News: Now Open Downtown - Triple Double Sports Bar" »

Dining News: Another Restaurant Says No to Postmates


Much like Uber and other sharing economy companies, Postmates, while growing quickly, is creating its fair share of enemies along the way.

The latest restaurant to announce it will not take orders from Postmates or other third party delivery companies is The Rind. Here's what they posted on Facebook late last week:

Dear Cheese Fans, due to concerns regarding THIRD PARTY DELIVERY SYSTEMS, including POSTMATES, we will be denying orders via these platforms.

We have recently discovered that Postmates has been delivering our product without our consent, thus delivering at less than the high standards that we believe you deserve. Additionally, we have been BULLIED recently by their representatives in our small restaurant in front of guests and lied to on the phone. This does not represent The Rind.

Yes, we all love a good delivery system, however we made a choice to not deliver in an effort to provide you a consistently delicious and beautiful product. Additionally, because Postmates has us on their platform in part because you love us, it is because we love you that we will have to deny Postmates as a delivery system in order to meet our mission. They may or may not take us off their platform permanently, so I apologize if you see us on it and think we are working with them. We are not.

I have spoken to a representative and was informed that if an order is initiated and then denied, you will not be charged! We apologize for the confusion, and we hope you will continue to support us as we strive to consistently do what we have been doing for the past 2.33 years!

Thank you all for your support and understanding!

Sincerely your cheesiest friends in town,

Sara & Steve

In the comments to that Facebook post, The Rind clarifies that they do allow take out for their food, just not through Postmates and their ilk.

We are happy to do take out to guests and have been since day 1. Giving to a third party loses any assurances of food safety and quality control, thus the primary reasons to focus on giving the food directly to you instead of them. Thank you for understanding.

While I have great respect for the restaurant owners and they can run their business however they want, I'm not sure I understand why they would allow a customer to do take out while not allowing a third party to deliver the food for me.

I understand that there are foods that do well when delivered (burritos, sandwiches, cooked Asian food, etc.) and foods that don't do well (anything raw, charcuterie, cheese plates, etc.). The customer has to understand that when they order from Postmates. If their order is ruined, Postmates is to blame and not the restaurant's fault.

I also hear the argument that food is meant to be eaten the second it's served, but let's be honest - there are many reasons that doesn't happen. A friend will bring pizza over to your house, and it's 20 minutes old when you dig into it. You may grab lunch to eat at your desk, but get an important phone call delays your meal for 30 mins. A co-worker brings in doughnuts and bagles to share with the office and it sits for 2 hours before you see it. It happens all the time, and I don't see a flood of complaints blaming restaurants for the diminished food quality due to the passage of time.

I asked Postmates to comment, and a spokeswoman said that they are acting as an agent of the customer who is requesting a service. In addition, they are driving volume and revenue to restaurants who would otherwise not be able to serve that customer.

Thus far, the list of restaurants that I've seen who won't have said they prefer not to work with Postmates are:

  • The Rind
  • Kru
  • Fish Face Poke Bar (Technically, owner/chef Billy Ngo questioned "the safety of a third party transporting raw fish to customers" but hasn't explicitly said that they won't. I'll check during open hours.)
  • South
  • Mother
  • Pushkin's

Many of the restaurants on that list are very successful and probably don't need the extra revenue. I'll continue to eat in at those restaurants. But for us consumers, we can bring our delivery dollars elsewhere to restaurants who want our business and who will take our money.

Previously: Postmates Not Loved by Many Sacramento Restaurants

* Updated at 10:08 p.m. reflecting uncertainty over Fish Face's status.

More News:

Magpie Cafe: Free bird - In July, Magpie flew its cramped coop on R Street and opened a new location on the corner of 16th and P. The current space is not only larger, but more open, with lots of windows and a high ceiling...Fortunately, many of the stand-out menu items are still available. The California farmstead cheese plate ($16) has always been outstanding. You get five California cheeses paired with fantastic dried figs, fresh seasonal fruit (lately figs and nectarines) and plenty of crisp toasts. Ann Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Hot, hot and cold - Watch out for a new food truck from Hot Italian chef and co-owner Fabrizio Cercatore...It won’t be a mobile Hot Italian, rather, a Passione Pizza truck...Cercatore said he anticipates the food truck allowing him to offer more pizza crusts at events, including whole wheat and gluten-free. He’s currently working on sprouted grain as well. He’s working on a lot. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

The Sommelier & The City: “Let Me Introduce Myself” - Apparently, telling the guy you’re dating you can’t meet up until 1 am on a Tuesday night because your business dinner (with four men in tailored Italian suits) went three hours longer than anticipated (due to copious amounts of rare and very expensive Champagne) doesn’t really go over well. Who could blame this Vino Vixen for NOT turning down free spectacular wine (that costs as much as my monthly salary) with men that have the power to skyrocket my career? Come on, most men can’t even turn down a free room temperate can of Coors Light, let’s keep it real. I digress… to put it simply, dating a Sommelier is hard. Jienna Basaldu on Girls on the Grid.

Eat, drink and give back - Speaking of restaurants, downtown’s Mayahuel is the site of one of the area’s cooler fundraising events: #Network4Cause. One evening nearly every month, the eatery’s banquet room/tequila museum is made available for a different nonprofit organization to bring in guests and generate some cash. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee. (Second item.)

Bloggers conference here in 2016 - Riding the momentum of its burgeoning farm-to-fork reputation, Sacramento has landed the International Food Bloggers Conference – and all of that potential exposure in cyberspace – for July 2016. The conference, which attracts 300-plus attendees who routinely blog, tweet and use other social media to chronicle their food experiences, is considered the latest coup for the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: Another Restaurant Says No to Postmates" »

15 Most Popular Cowtown Eats Posts of September 2015


The top 15 most popular posts (separate from the Top 15 Happy Hours list) of September 2015 were:

  1. 32 Sacramento Restaurants Opening in 2015
  2. 13 Places to Get Bottomless Mimosas in Sacramento
  3. Dining News: Fish Face Poke Bar Announces Second Location
  4. 15 Most Popular Sacramento Happy Hours of 2014 
  5. Dining News: And the Winners of the Sac Burger Battle Are... 
  6. Dining News: Meet & Eat to Replace Crepe Escape on Freeport 
  7. Dining News: What's Replacing Bistro Michel? 
  8. Dining News: Maria, a Server at Dad's Kitchen, Needs Your Help 
  9. Dining News: Farm to Fork Restaurant Weeks Menus Thru Sunday, Sept. 27 
  10. Dining News: Fire Ravages Morgan's Bar & Grill in East Sac
  11. Dining News: Empress Begins Her Reign 
  12. Dining News: RIP Sushi Paradiso 
  13. Dining News: More on Malt & Mash at 7th & K 
  14. Dining News: Carpaccio at Localis 'Flirted With Best-Thing-I-Ever-Tasted Status' 
  15. Dining News: Blackbird to Reopen by Oct. 23

This list is ranked by the popularity of each post on Cowtown Eats.

Related Posts:

Last month's Most Popular Happy Hours and Posts