Dining News: Best Intersection for Food in Sac


Many try to determine who the best restaurant in Sac is, but with so many top tier restaurants, it'll be hard to come to a consensus.

If you're to believe recent national surveys, however, the best intersection for food is not in dispute. It's the corner of Franklin Blvd. and 3rd Ave. in Oak Park where Pangaea Bier Cafe and Gunther's Ice Cream are located.

An analysis by Business Insider did an analysis with FourSquare to find the best place for ice cream in every state, "taking into account Foursquare users' likes, saves, shares, tip sentiment, and more."

According to their ranking, the best ice cream in the Golden State is found at Sacramento's own Gunther's Ice Cream Shop. Per Business Insider:

CALIFORNIA: Gunther's Quality Ice Cream features a new specialty flavor every month, from eggnog in December to Bailey's Irish Cream in March. The Sacramento shop is also known for its sorbet-like fruit freezes, a combination of icy fruit flavors in a huge cup.

Read the entire story in Business Insider.

But having the best ice cream in the state doesn't mean it's the best intersection for food in Sacramento. Across the street is Pangaea Bier Cafe, which The Daily Meal deemed the 96th Best Burger in America. Per The Daily Meal:

If you like a good beer with your mammoth of a bacon cheeseburger, than Pangaea Bier Cafe is the place for you. With a long list of rotating craft ales — both local and international — you’ll have your pick for creating a great burger and beer combo. Whether you’re into saisons, IPAs, or pilsners, the Pangaea Burger is sure to make a great mate. For this beloved sandwich, an all-Angus beef patty is grilled to your preferred temperature and topped with bacon, Cheddar, lettuce, onions, tomato, and house-made pickles and sauce. The brioche bun is perfectly domed, crispy fries come on the side, and the whole plate is quite a sight to behold.

Read the entire story in The Daily Meal.

Pangaea Bier Cafe and Gunther's Ice Cream can be found at Franklin Blvd. and 3rd Ave.

* Photo via Pangaea's Facebook Page.

More News:

Last call for Downtown Plaza restaurants - Shoppers and movie goers to Downtown Plaza have a lot fewer choices if they get hungry or thirsty during their summer excursions to the Sacramento mall. As construction of the Kings’ new arena kicks into high gear, all food and drink providers in the mall’s west end are in the process of shuttering except the Starbucks. Debbie Arrington in the Sac Bee.

Try it: Café Bernardo's Pancakes - Who doesn’t love pancakes? Warm, fluffy flapjacks can be smothered with butter, drizzled with maple syrup, or both—there’s no wrong way to eat a pancake. Café Bernardo keeps it simple and delicious with their fresh buttermilk pancakes. Barbara Harvey in Sac Mag.

Beer Run: Bike Dog gets bigger - “What I can tell you,” he said, via email, “is that we secured the (building) next to us ... which doubles our footprint and will allow us to modestly expand the tasting room (and have access to two more bathrooms). But more importantly it will allow us the space to install a bigger cooler to support the two new tanks we have on order (50 percent total tank capacity growth). Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee. (Second item.)

Pho Viet: Pho real, pho real - Usually when a restaurant tries to tackle two different regions’ cuisines, that’s a sign that quality isn’t really a big focus. But Pho Viet, located on Auburn Boulevard in Citrus Heights, serves both delicious Chinese and Vietnamese food to families, couples, college students and a surprising number of people stopping in solo for a quick bowl of pho. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

Sacratomato Week Celebrates All Things Tomato This July - Midtown’s Sutter District is spreading the tomoato-love this July with the return of Sacratomato Week, a week-long celebration of the the multi-colored, multi-flavored globes of fruit that epitomizes summer. Taking place July 20-25, the 2nd annual Sacratomato Week will give us city dwellers an eating frenzy of one of the Sacramento agriculture region’s signature commodities. Bethany Harris in Sac Press.

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Dining News: 'Chef Gabriel Glasier creates art at Cask & Barrel'


Cask & Barrel (disclosure: they're a valued advertiser) has been doing amazing things over on Del Paso Blvd.

I was there several weeks ago and Chef Gabriel Glasier described how his recipes aren't measured in ounces or minutes, but rather are so precise that grams and seconds are used.

When developing his Hangtown Fry recipe, he says he ended up eating 50 eggs that weren't quite what he wanted before he nailed the recipe.

So it's no surprise that others are also noticing what's going on at Cask and Barrel.

Here's a snippet of Carla Meyer's review in the Sac Bee:

Its dishes do not seem transitory. They wedge themselves into memory. You will think often of the meats’ tenderness, of the appetizers’ visual allure and of the local, seasonal ingredients Glasier uses. You will think of these things because nearly every restaurant you visit after this one will seem expensive by comparison...

Even if Cask & Barrel grows busier, Glasier said he will not change his 40-seat model. Here’s hoping that’s true. For me, Cask & Barrel has ruined that other restaurant model – the one charging a lot for quality ingredients and pretty presentation. It needs to stay as is.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

More News:

Organizers cancel – then un-cancel – Davis Beer Week - We’re doing a lot of writing – and rewriting – here in the newsroom this afternoon, fresh off the news that organizers opted to cancel Davis Beer Week, then, in a matter of a few hours, reverse course and say the event is back on. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Food truck owner’s dog fatally shot in Sacramento home burglary - The owner of Drewski’s Food Truck is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot and killed his dog and business mascot during a burglary of his home Saturday night. Cathy Locke in the Sac Bee.

Downtown Plaza's west end empties out. Now what? - In the food court, Gyro Supreme's last day of business is Tuesday and a sign at Panda Express says it's open through July 3. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Don't Miss The Dish: Zabuton - Zabuton. When I saw a dish by that name on Grange’s menu recently, I almost passed it by, figuring it for some sort of fish. But when the server came to take our order, my curiosity got the better of me, and I asked about it. Turns out it’s beef—and absolutely delicious. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.

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Instant Reaction: Sammy's Restaurant & Bar at Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights


Walking into a restaurant in a casino, I'll be honest. I had low expectations.

I thought it would be smoky, dingy, dilapidated, and noisy. And I thought the food would be an afterthought since they had a captive audience of gambling, let's say, enthusiasts.

So when there PR person (and a professional acquaintance) e-mailed me about driving 30 miles round trip to sample their food, I agreed to do it as a courtesy.

When I got there, though, my view totally changed. I was wrong, and pleasantly surprised.


First, there was no smell of stale smoke wafting through the air. Second, the casino is only a card room, which means the quiet sounds of cards shuffling and not the loud cacophony of slot machines. The room was modern, clean and well lit.

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Dining News: Maui-Based Coconut's Coming to Sacramento


Coconut's Fish Cafe, a fast casual restaurant based in Maui, is coming to Sacramento, reports Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Coconut's serves items such as salads, fish tacos and entrees that combine fish and brown rice. "This is all about eating healthy with profiles and flavors that really explode," Phillips said. He prides himself on a "California cuisine take on Hawaiian culture food." The casual restaurants cover about 3,000 square feet and have an island theme.

Coconut's currently has four locations: two in Texas, and one each in Hawaii and Arizona. Phillips said he's sold 11 franchise locations, with more on the way.

Read the entire story in the Sac Biz Journal.

Lest you think the restaurant is mediocre a Wahoo's copycat, the restaurant has received high scores for its food, including a 27/30 from Zagat. As a point of reference, The French Laundry received a food score of 28/30 from Zagat.

The owners hope to open a location by the end of the year.

Disclosure: My wife used to work with a member of the family who owns and runs the growing chain.

More News:

News on MARRS - Over at the neighboring Block Butcher Bar, you can expect a slightly revamped menu coming soon....Now, A llyson Harvie is the culinary director of Block and LowBrau, and she’ll be adding a few new dishes on top of two desserts she started serving a few weeks ago. Harvie has held posts at formidable San Francisco restaurants, such as Citizen Cake, Ragazza and Absinthe. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Garden to Grill: Step up your meatless game - While the savories are hit or miss, the baked goods are really pretty good. Enormous “Creamies” feature two large cookies sandwiching a vegan “cream” filling. The chocolate-mint version is a satisfying pairing. A creamsicle-flavored cupcake one day had vanilla filling and a light orange-flavored frosting. One benefit of gluten-free baking is that sweets are usually quite tender. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Starbucks says it won't close Downtown Plaza store, for now - Despite the many business closures in the works, it appears Sacramento's Downtown Plaza will continue to offer a caffeine fix, at least for the time being. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: Bacon & Butter, Magpie Close...For A Week


Those who were planning to spend the upcoming holiday weekend standing in a lengthy line for Bacon & Butter will have to find new plans.

Bacon & Butter announced last week that they'll be closed through Tuesday, July 7 for scheduled maintenance on their kitchen floors.

The restaurant, helmed by chef & owner Billy Zoelin, opened at its current spot in Sept. 2014 after a lengthy renovation of a building that used to be a Chinese restaurant.

Coincidentally, Magpie Cafe is also closed through July 6, as part of a planned move from their home of 5 years on R street to their new location at 16th & P.

The existing space will become Magpie's Nido Bakery Cafe, and will be open over the next month.

Magpie's new location is in a more modern building with more space, a newer kitchen, a bar and a large patio in the shade.

Click here for more info.

More News:

A fuzzy fizz: Cudera Napa Valley (2014), Ruhstaller - The line between wine and beer tastes fuzzy. Not literally fuzzy, of course, but Cudera is the product of grape must and wort co-fermented with both wine and beer yeast. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Dining in the dark - Remember that scene in Wall-E, where the futuristic humans are strapped into hovering recliners whilst watching TV and gorging on food? Well, there’s a movie theater in Rocklin that feels a like a step toward that type of sedentary civilization. Studio Movie Grill (5140 Commons Drive in Rocklin) provides food service in the middle of watching a movie, the seats are huge and recliner-like, and all you need to do is press a button on your chair to order another margarita. My wife and I heard about it a few months ago and finally made the trek out east to investigate this new dystopia. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

Gelato shop joins Market Square at Arden - A locally owned gelato shop has opened a second Sacramento region store. This week, Miabella Gelato & Coffee marked the grand opening of its new location at Market Square at Arden Fair, the entertainment complex that includes Dos Coyotes Border Cafe and a movie theater. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: Update on Triple Double, Replacing Zokku Near Golden 1 Center


When Triple Double was announced at the end of March, they were planning for a July 1 opening.

Now that their expected opening date is near, and Sonya Sorich has an update for us in the Sac Biz Journal.

"You will see significant changes in the next three weeks," said Kristina Elliott, the restaurant's controller. "When we're done, it's going to look unbelievable..."

The goal is to open around Aug. 1. "We want to put a stamp on 'we were here first,'" Kristina Elliott said, referring to the many new businesses expected to enter downtown in conjunction with the new arena, which is scheduled to open in fall 2016.

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

More News:

Moo Moo's Burger Barn plans Rocklin location - Don't have a cow over the deluge of new burger restaurants coming to the Sacramento region. One of the newest additions, Moo Moo's Burger Barn, is scheduled to open this fall...It's expected to open Oct. 1. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Sarom’s Southern Kitchen knows jambalaya - The dynamic is counterintuitive: Sarom Doeuk is a Cambodian cook-businesswoman with a background in doughnut shops, who now runs a restaurant specializing in Southern-style cooking and down-home barbecue. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Little Cactus Special at Nopalitos rules! - It's easy to complain that Nopalitos only serves breakfast on weekdays. But don't be a damn whiner. Instead, show up late to work at least once a month because you just had to have the classic East Sac spot's Little Cactus Special. Nick Miller in Sac News & Review.

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Dining News: What San Francisco Mag Says You Should Do in Sacramento


Every city has a local magazine that suggests easy day or weekend trips. We have Sactown Mag and Sac Mag that ably fill that spot locally. But it's always interesting to know what outsiders think are the highlight of your town.

San Francisco magazine recently ran a story on what to do in Sac. Here's some of what they suggested:

Ruhstaller: Celebrated local brewery, Rushtaller (SIC), has a a taproom and beer lab to test out new craft brew recipes downtown (available by appointment) where you can sample their specialty beers and limited releases made from local hops and barley, like their cold-brewed Kenyan coffee-infused ale.

Temple Coffee: The third wave coffee buzz has hit Sacramento hard, with nearly a half-dozen new shrines to caffeine opening over the past few years. If you only hit one, make it Temple Coffee Roasters, the Blue Bottle of the Central Valley.

Grange: A modern restaurant and bar packed with locals (a rarity for hotel restaurants), who come for the dinners that source ingredients from the Sacramento region’s bounty of farms and brave but familiar dishes like ahi tuna with sweet breads and pork served three ways (loin, smoked belly, chicharron) with apricot.

Read the entire story in San Francisco Magazine.

More News:

The Chef's Table buys Rocklin coffee shop - The managing partners of The Chef's Table in Rocklin have purchased a coffee shop next to the restaurant, which they plan to incorporate into their existing business. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Coconuts for the cure: The Alchemist, Liquidology - I have a new addiction and it is the juice at Liquidology in East Sac. The shop is located dangerously close to my work, the juices are smartly packaged and with an arrangement of both mainstay and special seasonal products available, it feels like every time I have the need to juice they've got me creatively covered. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

The Rind - This well-loved cheese bar in midtown is building a side and front patio (pictured below) that will seat about 24 people total. Tori Masucci Cummins & Jessica Rine in Sactown Mag. (Fifth Item.)

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