15 Most Popular Happy Hours of January 2016


Here are the 15 most popular Sacramento happy hours of January 2016 (based on page views) on Cowtown Eats:

  1. BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse (Last month's rank: 1)
  2. Bento Box (Last month's rank: 2)
  3. Chicago Fire (Last month's rank: 3)
  4. Cheesecake Factory (Last month's rank: 7)
  5. Zocalo (Last month's rank: 4)
  6. Hook & Ladder (Last month's rank: 11)
  7. Firestone Public House (Last month's rank: 9)
  8. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (Last month's rank: 6)
  9. Burgers & Brew (Last month's rank: 12)
  10. Fat's Asia Bistro (Last month's rank: 5)
  11. 33rd St. Bistro (Last month's rank: 8)
  12. Lucca (Last month's rank: 14)
  13. Buffalo Wild Wings (Last month's rank: 10)
  14. Blackbird. (Last Month: Unranked)
  15. Broderick Restaurant & Bar (Last month's rank: 15)

Thanks for visiting Cowtown Eats! We had more than 55,000 page views and nearly 23,500 unique visitors.

I also want to give a special shout out to Ernesto's Mexican Food for generously sponsoring Cowtown Eats and keeping the lights on here. 

Thank you all for coming. If you have any tips/suggestions/thoughts, please e-mail me at Darrel@CowtownEats.com

Don't forget to check back daily for new posts and Cowtown Eats resources like the Cowtown Eats on TwitterFacebook and the Sacramento Happy Hour Map.

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Dining News: Skool on K Sets Opening Date

Skool sac

Skool on K, the Sacramento outpost for a San Francisco-based seafood restaurant, is scheduled to open on Friday, Feb. 12, it announced on Facebook.

Here's how Skool describes themselves:

Skool Restaurant - a new Californian fish-focused restaurant that consists of two husband and wife pairs, Toshihiro and Hiroko Nagano and Andy Mirabell and Olia Kedik.

Skools cuisine is fish focused and embodies a variety of unique clean flavored dishes cooked with Japanese ingredients. Skool also offers a variety of meat, gluten free and vegetarian dishes.

We aim to create a bountiful, ever-changing community of great food and company.

The restaurant has yet to post a menu on its Web site, but assuming its menu is similar to its San Francisco sister restaurant, appetizers will start at $8, and entrees will cost between $20 and $30. I wouldn't be surprised if real estate costs allowed the Sacramento restaurant to be a little more affordable. Time will tell.

When it opens, Skool on K will be located at 2319 K Street and can be found online at http://skoolonkstreet.com/.

Previously: San Francisco Seafood Restaurant Opening in Midtown

More News:

Bay Area brewer opening Sacramento taproom in midtown - Berkeley-based Fieldwork Brewing Co. will open a taproom in midtown Sacramento, the company confirmed on its Facebook page Wednesday night. It's scheduled to open this summer at 1805 Capitol Ave., which is next to Zocalo. The new taproom will offer a rotating variety of beers, according to the Facebook post. A listing on LoopNet says the space covers 1,460 square feet. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Expansive - Two local restaurants opened new locations this month. Korean spot YD House opened its second restaurant called YD Tofu House (5609 Freeport Boulevard). There’s no extra emphasis on tofu at YD Tofu House, though. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review. (Second item)

Breakfast of Champions - When you need a sugar rush to start your day. Featuring Sweet Dozen, Ettore’s European Bakery, Nido, Freeport Bakery and Estelle’s Patisserie. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.

Fatties only: King Cake - New Orleans native Charlie Harrison will make one ($15-$25) for Old Soul Co. and Freeport Bakery offers a plain or praline version ($15.95-$20.95). They come with miniature babies baked inside. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Coffee Plus - When you go to a coffeehouse in the morning, generally the most you can expect is a scone or a muffin to go with your pour-over or single-origin espresso. Not so at Old Soul Co., Bloom Coffee & Tea and The Mill. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Skool on K Sets Opening Date" »

Dining News: LA-Based Angel City Brewery Enters Sacramento Market

AngelJust as Sacramento craft brewers are expanding regionally and beyond, craft breweries from other areas are entering the Sacramento Market.

Angel City, whose brewery is located in the Arts District just six blocks from LA's City Hall, was founded in 1997 by Michael Bowe, a homebrewer who won the prestigeous “California Hombrewer of the Year” award in 1995 and 1996.

The brewery has since been purchased by Alchemy & Science, an "independently operating” subsidiary of The Boston Beer Company, which brews Sam Adams.

The two beers hitting Sacramento are the Angel City Pilsner and the Angel City IPA, which received an 85 from Beer Advocate. The Pilsner did not receive a rating from BA. To give you a sense of scale, Track 7's popular Panic IPA has an 86 on Beer Advocate.

Locally, their Web site says the beers can be found at:

  • The Grange
  • University of Beer
  • Rio City Cafe
  • Kupros Bistro
  • Alley Katz

I haven't tried these beers, but it's always good to have more choices.

For more information, visit http://angelcitybrewery.com/.

More News:

Pizza Port arrives - Pizza Port has arrived. One of California’s most coveted craft breweries has made a retail foray into the increasingly crowded Sacramento craft market. I spotted Pizza Port’s distinctive cans recently at Curtis Park Market and Capitol Beer & Taproom. The latter will host a Pizza Port launch party/tap takeover Feb. 11. Hook & Ladder has it on draft. If you’re curious about a brewery that has won numerous medals at World Beer Cup and twice captured “Small Brewpub of the Year” at the Great American Beer Festival, be sure to check out these beers. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Old-school excellence: Biba’s - Now that construction at the nearby Sutter Medical Center has finished (and before construction on both a new hotel and the new B Street Theatre venue begins) it’s the perfect time to rediscover this pinnacle of fine dining or eat there for the first time. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

Simon’s says ‘not guilty’: Former employees accuse owner of stealing tips, unfair business practices - Three former employees have sued the 16th Street mainstay and its renowned proprietor, Simon Chan, in an unfair business practices lawsuit that’s potentially headed for a summer trial, says plaintiffs’ attorney Gaurav Bobby Kalra. Kalra filed the suit on July 9, 2014, in Sacramento Superior Court. The 14-page complaint alleges that Chan made servers pay for customer credit card fees out of their own pockets, garnished their tips to pay undocumented workers under the table, and fired or “constructively discharged” the three plaintiffs after they protested. Raheem F. Housseini in Sac News & Review.

Woodland’s Main Street gains momentum - Foodie experiences have popped up in downtown, including fine dining at Morgan’s on Main, sandwiches and beers at Stack’d and Brew’d, and new ownership of the Savory Cafe. Ellen Garrison in the Sac Bee.

Bumping up minimum wage helps workers, costs businesses and customers - There’s a price to be paid for raising the minimum wage. At one local Mexican food chain, it’s 14 cents a taco. Businesses and nonprofit groups have been adjusting to the state’s new $10 minimum wage since it superseded the old minimum wage of $9 an hour on Jan. 1. Some have raised prices or fees. Others have cut back hours. And many are thinking about the increases still to come. Hudson Sangree and Mark Glover in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: LA-Based Angel City Brewery Enters Sacramento Market" »

Dining News: Vampire Penguin Natomas Sets Opening Date

Vampire Penguin, the fast growing shaved snow and desserts eatery, is scheduled to open its new Natomas location on Feb. 20.

The Natomas location will be the seventh outpost, with locations serving South Sacramento, Downtown Sac, Elk Grove, Berkeley, San Mateo and Reno.

Vampire Penguin also briefly had a store in Davis, but it closed after less than a year.

The restaurant's main attraction its unbelieveably light shaved snow. Much like a Cold Stone, diners can chose their own flavor combinations or choose from specials curated by the staff.

Previously, they had tweeted that they planned to soft open on Feb. 13, but that tweet has been deleted. However, if you're in the area, you might want to check in and see if they're ready a couple days before their official opening.

When it opens, Vampire Penguin Natomas will be located at 3620 North Freeway Blvd (near the Buffalo Wild Wings and Buch Hut Deli) and can be found online at http://www.vampirepenguin.com/.

More News:

The Parlor Ice Cream Puffs - This desserterie with locations in Fair Oaks and Roseville, best known for its melt-in-your-mouth ice cream “puffs,” began serving milkshakes on Friday, Jan. 15. Tori Masucci Cummins and Anna Petkovich in Sactown Mag. (Fourth Item.)

Quick Bites in the Capital Region: 5 hotspots for fast-casual dining - Sacramento is teeming with local restaurants and semi-local chains that aim for value and efficiency. Here are some of our favorites, featuring Thai Canteen,  Buckhorn Grill, Krush Burger, Tako Korean BBQ and Duc Huong Sandwiches. Tyler Forvé in Comstocks Mag.

Meet the folks behind V. Miller Meats - Shank, shoulder, sirloin, riblets and legs. Sausages, porterhouse, spare ribs, tenderloin, chuck, patties and skirt steak. What do these have in common? They describe the by-products of whole animal butchery. Eric Miller and Matt Azevedo of V. Miller Meats recently opened their specialty whole animal butcher shop in East Sacramento. One of only about thirty across the United States, the pair believe that Sacramento is an excellent location because of the rapidly expanding specialty eateries, farmers markets, local farms and culinary shops in the Sacramento area. Corky Oakes in Valley Community News.

Icing on the Cupcake opens in Midtown, long live cupcakes! - Wait, aren’t cupcakes dead? Apparently not quite yet. Icing on the Cupcake opened a new Midtown outpost at (1730 J Street), taking over a chunk from the former Gifted Gardener space. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Counter Culture: Exotic flavors, uncompromising heat at Indo Cafe in Old Sacramento - Jim is from south Texas and works the front of the house. Tessa is the cook who grew up in Tegal, a city in the Central Java Province of Indonesia, and came up in the family restaurant, learning Indonesian and Chinese cooking from her mother. The from-scratch dishes have a distinct homemade feel and are from family recipes. Jim and Tessa source many of their imported seasonings from local Asian and Mexican supermarkets, and many vegetarian dishes populate the menu. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: Vampire Penguin Natomas Sets Opening Date" »

Dining News: Whired Wine at 4th & L Sets Opening Date


Whired Wine whose name is a combination of both WHIte and RED wines, is scheduled to open on Feb. 8, it announced on Facebook late last week.
Sactown Magazine's Tori Masucci Cummins fills in some of the details:

San Francisco restaurateur John Marco and his wife Vicky transformed the intimate space, a former jewelry store, into a wine bar with a modern, industrial vibe and chic details like a central chandelier and colorful paintings by local artists such as Rafael Delgado, and a moniker that combines “white” and “red...”

To that end, Whired Wine will be serving up local craft beers, selections of sake and a small plates menu that includes a panini with brie, pear and prosciutto, or a cheese and charcuterie board with choices like Tartufo salami and Point Reyes Farmstead cheese. Chef Cecil Rhodes, who runs Cecil's Taste Food Truck and formerly served as head chef at Bella Bru in Carmichael, will helm the kitchen.

Read the entire story in Sactown Mag.

2016 will be a very busy year for the blocks adjacent to the arena. I expect many, many other restaurants to open by the time the Kings play their first game at the Golden One Center this Fall.

Whired Wine is located at 410 L Street, and can be found online at http://www.whiredwine.com/.

* Photo via their Facebook page.

More News:

Confidential: Secret menu, Mother - “You should order our kimchi fries.” This is what chef Matt Masera at Mother tells me. Sure. But they’re not on the menu. “They’re on the secret menu.” Nick Miller in Sac News & Review.

Capitol Garage - The popular downtown restaurant debuted a new menu Jan. 18 replete with vegetarian and vegan options. Head chef Raphael Kendall (whose own vegan diet inspired the menu) is dishing out new meatless options like zucchini noodles with roasted carrots, red pepper, and chimichurri, or the carrot hash, topped with sautéed broccoli, rainbow chard and fried eggs. Tori Masucci Cummins and Anna Petkovich in Sactown Mag.

Flatland Brewing Company - This new brewery is set to open Jan. 22 in Elk Grove, replacing Handcraft Brewing Company. With six rotating taps, Flatland’s brews will include a double IPA, an imperial stout, the malty Bavarian Copper, the spicy Czech hop-based saison coined Uprising, and the rich, fruit-flavored Royal Quail with caramel and chocolate. Tori Masucci Cummins and Anna Petkovich in Sactown Mag. (Second Item.)

Police: Man Denied Sandwich at Subway Returns to Assault Employees, Smash Window - Sacramento Police say a man who was denied service at a Subway restaurant returned moments later with some friends to smash a window and attack its employees. According to officers, the man was denied service when trying to buy a sandwich at the Del Paso Boulevard and El Camino Avenue store Sunday evening. He returned a short time later with several other people. Ian McDonald on FOX 40.

Happy Hour Hound: Duke's Plates and Pints - Located on La Sierra Drive, near Watt Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard, Duke’s Plates and Pints is ready to cater to any football fan, hungry patron or happy hour hound. Duke’s is a casual bar that is small enough for you to grab a quick bite by yourself but big enough to meet with your crew on game day. Amy Serna in Submerge Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Whired Wine at 4th & L Sets Opening Date" »

Dining News: Wrap N' Roll Elk Grove 'Closed Until Further Notice'


Just weeks after closing its midtown location to fine tune its concept, Wrap N' Roll Sushi Burrito was forced to close its Elk Grove location after a black Mercedes-Benz with a surprisingly courteous driver crashed through its doors on Thursday afternoon. The Sac Bee has more:

Police said they received a report of shots fired in the area, and the vehicle’s occupants fled the area following the crash.

The vehicle ended up inside the Wrap ’N Roll Sushi Burrito restaurant, but no one was injured. The only customer in the restaurant was at the counter, not in the dining area affected by the crash.

After crashing into the restaurant, three passengers exited the vehicle. The driver apologized to the cashier and all three of them quickly departed before police arrived. Police also say they found one bullet hole in the vehicle.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee and watch a great video of a tow truck pulling the car out of the building.

Wrap N' Roll Sushi Burrito released this update on their Facebook page on Thursday evening:

After an unfortunate incident took place this afternoon, wrap n roll Elk Grove will be closed until further notice. We're just grateful that everyone made it out okay.

In the meanwhile, for those seeking sushi burrito fixes please visit any of our other two locations Make Fish Poke & Sushi Burrito -9015 bruceville road #100 or our midtown location- 1801 L street #70 to be reopened this Saturday post renovations. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience!

I'm glad nobody was hurt and hope the business recovers quickly.

Photo via the Wrap N' Roll Sushi Burrito Facebook Page.

More News:

Bacon & Butter's first supper - The theme for Bacon & Butter’s first-ever dinner service was, naturally, bacon and butter...Executive chef and owner Billy Zoellin headed his usual Bacon & Butter team as well as chef Robb “Rossi” Venditti, the caterer who used to lead Pangaea Bier Cafe, and chef Marty Hutton, who recently left Kupros for the food truck life. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

VIDEO: Baconfest Bites & Brew - Bacon Fest's first-ever bacon cocktail contest is tonight at Bottle & Barlow and Julissa is getting a preview! Julissa Ortiz on Good Day Sac.

Beer Run: Burned out on beer fests? Take it up a notch with Art of Beer - If you’re one of those craft beer fans who’s burned out on beer festivals in the Sacramento area – too many tiny plastic souvenir cups, too many long lines for beers you’ve already seen all over town – maybe what you really need is something a bit more focused. That’s where the Art of Beer Invitational on Friday, Jan. 29, fills a void. It targets the aficionado. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Fifth Annual Art of Beer Invitational - Of all the Sacramento-area craft beer events (and there are a lot!), The Art of Beer Invitational is easily one of our favorites. Going down on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 at The McClellan Conference Center in North Highlands, The Art of Beer brings together dozens of craft breweries with talented artists and tasty eats, all conveniently located under one huge-ass roof. Jonathan Carabba in Submerge Mag.

VIDEO: Out-Of-The-Box Brunch - Nha checks out Fleur de Lis, a new fine dining bar and restaurant in Folsom! On Good Day Sac.

Continue reading "Dining News: Wrap N' Roll Elk Grove 'Closed Until Further Notice'" »

Dining News: Who the Hell are Beers in Sac & What Are They Doing?


If you've been to an event with craft beer lately, you've probably seen the Beers in Sac team pour beers, organizing the event, etc.

My curiosity was piqued last summer during Gather Oak Park, where people wearing Beers in Sac shirts were pouring the beer. They were just at the Fairytale Town event I had gone to several weeks earlier.

I knew they started as a Web site listing the various beers on tap in Sacramento and later added a smartphone app, but it was clear they were much more than that.

So I decided to ask. Here's an e-mail Q and A I did earlier this month with Ted Rozalski, who partnered with Scott Scoville to found Beers in Sac:

Q: How did Beers in Sac start?

A: The original concept was to host a live search engine for all beers currently on tap in the Sacramento region. After a few months of keeping the search engine updated, we decided our time was better spent by covering the happenings in the region as a whole by promoting events and developing content. We still feel, with the right technology and capital, someone will figure out how to properly keep an up-to-date search engine for beers on tap.

Q: From your original vision, what has it expanded to?

A: We originally proposed to have a website that helped users find their favorite beer in the various bars, restaurants, and breweries, but quickly found that there was so much more that had yet to be covered. We slowly started to promote and market for bars, restaurants, breweries, events, etc. Beers In Sac is online-focused, and social media driven, promoting via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

We have delved into content creation, with contributing writers and photographers at Beers In Sac, covering reviews of beers, places, and news. Last year, we teamed up to co-produce a short film documentary on the resurgence of hop farming in the area.

Moreover, as the scene has grown, we realized that there was no central location for the industry to post beer jobs, or for job seekers to get jobs in the industry, thus we created the first ever Beer Industry Job Board, which we are proud to have indirectly played a small part in job creation in the region.

We've also grown our Email Newsletter, which has been a great way to get all the beer discounts, deals, and savings directly to those that want it the most.

Most importantly, as we continued expanding Beers In Sac, we found that the mobile experience needed improvement, so we created the free Beers In Sac app, available on iOS and Android, which allows thousands of users throughout the region to navigate the ever-growing craft beer scene.

Recently, we have started to develop smartphone applications for other industry businesses, for example, we built and managed the CA Craft Beer Summit App for the CA Craft Brewer's Association. And the Summit was amazing, definitely a must see event for next year!

Q: Who are the founders and how is the group organized?

A: Ted Rozalski and I are the original founders of the company, however over the past year, we have grown to include many staff, contributing to the growth and vision of Beers In Sac. This also includes Cicerone and BJCP Certified staff, which has not only contributed to the growth of our company, but ourselves knowledge of beer as well. The company is structured to continue to evolve as the market changes, and our primary goal is to continue to find ways to support the craft beer scene in the region, while informing the public via multiple platforms what's going on in the beer community.

Q: I see people wearing Beers in Sac shirts pouring beer at community events like Gather Oak Park and local fundraisers. How did you guys get involved in events like that?

A: As the Sacramento beer scene evolved, so did craft beer-centric events in the region. We've participated in various beer weeks, Sacramento and Stockton Beer Weeks, which helped give us a platform. We have been receiving requests by various event organizers to manage and curate beer areas. As things progressed, we were able to tap into our user base to find out what beers they wanted to see at events, and thus began to create beer areas that really identified with beer aficionados, as well as the person that was just getting into craft beer.

Gather Oak Park has given us a platform to curate beer areas for other large scale events, and currently, we are running the tasting garden at the Midtown Farmer's Market, which is bi-monthy, featuring a different brewery every month. Other events that we've run is the annual Cafe Au Ale which is a Coffee Beer Competition during Sacramento Coffee Week, the Fantasy Food Truck Showdown which is a Summer-long event series featuring a competition between the best of the gourmet food truck scene, Craft Beer Industry Night at the Sacramento Rivercats which was a unique opportunity for industry folk to gather and socialize together, and countless others.

We're really excited to be bringing the first ever Beer Fest to Elk Grove on May 27th, 2016 benefiting the Runnin' For Rhett Foundation (children's exercise program), and will also be helping organize another Beer Fest in Land Park in June, and Yolo Micro Brewfest at the end of next Summer. Almost every event we participate in, is centered around a Non-Profit, so it's been an incredible opportunity to partner with some great organizations doing amazing things in Sacramento. For example, we helped organize a Beer Fest at Fairytale Town over the Summer called Tales and Ales, and have first hand seen the impacts of the money raised from that event. It's amazing to bring your kids to this children's theme park that has been around for decades, and see improvements being made to ensure that it remains open for the next generation.

Q: Is Beers in Sac your day job? If not, do you guys make any money at this?

A: We are generating revenue via advertising, event management, and promotions/marketing, and are beginning to develop smartphone applications for other industry businesses.

We have outside employment that helps supplement what we do, but this is essentially full-time for us. We also have 1 full-time employee, and 1 part-time employee.

Thanks to Scott and Ted for indulging my curiosity.

Beers in Sac is partnering with Track 7 and the Sacramento Kings for Long Live The Kings, a special Sac Beer Week event on Friday, Feb. 26.

Head to Track 7 Natomas from 4 to 7 p.m. before the Clippers vs. Kings game for a special commemorative Kings/Beer Week engraved stainless steel credit card polished bottle opener, with proof of purchase. Visit Beers in Sac for more information.

* Photo via their Facebook page.

More News:

VIDEO: Bacon Cocktail Competition - Jason Wilde from Bottle & Barlow throws down some bacon-themed cocktails. Amy Carraba on ABC 10.

VIDEO: Tasty treats galore at Sacramento’s Bacon Fest - Sacramento’s bacon fest is underway and Chef Bryan Martinez from Raley’s is here with his entry for the Bacon Fest competition. Deirdre Fitzpatrick on KCRA.

VIDEO: Bacon Fest at The Golden Bear - Bacon Fest is in full swing for the fifth year and Gary is at The Golden Bear checking out their bacon specialty drinks and foods. Check out their Happy Hour Specialties for Friday. Gary Gelfand on FOX 40.

VIDEO: Bacon Fest at V. Miller Meats - Gary has found the source of all the bacon making its way around Sacramento. V. Miller Meats does their best to give every cut of meat the attention it deserves. Gary Gelfand on FOX 40.

VIDEO: Bacon Fest Brunch - Chef Brian Mizner is in the studio from Hook & Ladder is in the studio with loads of bacon. They will be featuring everything bacon -- even bacon cocktails! -- on January 30 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Paul Robins on FOX 40.

Continue reading "Dining News: Who the Hell are Beers in Sac & What Are They Doing?" »