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Daily Dining News: How Bad Service Can Ruin a Meal

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In this week's Sunday review, Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson illimuniates the effect good (or bad) service can have on a dining experience.

Bidwell Street Bistro, surely, is not a terrible place. But it offered a poor restaurant experience on two out of three occasions. It happened thoroughly enough for me to feel compelled to play back that "video" here, going over the missed opportunities and botched fundamentals.

Poor service puts everything else in a restaurant under the microscope. It makes us notice more readily the basic missteps with the cooking – how the cassoulet was seriously underseasoned, how the macadamia-crusted halibut was seriously overcooked, how the fluffy and bland white bread made us recall Wonder Bread rather than a crusty and tasty hand-shaped baguette.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

Bob Shallit: Lyon's restaurant in Sacramento, the last in nation, to close - The nation's last remaining Lyon's restaurant, at 30th and J streets in Sacramento, closes its doors Sunday afternoon, with construction work starting the very next day to convert it to a Mel's Diner. A spokesman for the Bay Area group that bought the Lyon's operation in 2009 says a $700,000 remodel will take about two months, with an opening of the new Mel's in late May. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

Food Families Unite: A First Look At The Sactown Dining Collective - When we think of dining out in Sacramento any number of great restaurants can come to mind. How often do you suppose Sacramento is the city of choice for those who live just outside its borders and beyond? The fact is, Sacramento is not currently a dining destination. Given the option most would drive to wine country or San Francisco, as they have managed to build reputations for themselves in regards to culinary creativity. Some will tell you they travel to these destinations because of the other attractions- such as beaches, museums and sightseeing. Others will tell you they make the drive solely for the food offerings in these particular areas. Andy Soto in the Examiner.

Counter Culture: Dingus McGee's a nostalgic Placer Co. favorite - For a certain dining demographic, nostalgia is always the go-to dish. For instance, Placer County is now abuzz over the return of Dingus McGee's, housed since Nov. 18 in the gorgeous space once occupied by another iconic dining destination, Headquarters House. For context, here's a helping of history as told by Danielle Nelson, co-owner (with husband David Nelson) of the resurrected Dingus and the adjoining Gator Creek golf course...Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

As American as Fajita Pie - From Chicago to Disneyland, Mexican food has taken a surprising path to U.S. dominance. Gustavo Arellano in the Wall Street Journal.

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