Block Butcher Bar

Dining News: Now Open - V. Miller Meats Butcher Shop in East Sac

V miller meats

V. Miller Meats, owned by Eric Veldman Miller, who had been Chef de cuisine at Mulvaney's and Matt Azevedo, who had been Chef de cuisine at Restaurant Thir13en and Tuli, opened in East Sac on Tuesday.


The butcher shop will focus on whole animal butchery and all of their poultry will be sourced from local farms. They'll also feature fresh and cured sausages, charcuterie, cold cuts, stocks and other creative cuts. 

I stopped by today on my way home from work and found a store with a steady flow of traffic. Since they've said they will have less popular cuts of meat, I went specifically to try to buy materials to make roasted bone marrow at home for dinner. A Bon Appetite article I found said I should find beef femur bones since they're the straight and have a large amount of marrow. (I had previously visited Taylor's, but the items were out of stock.)


I was helped by Eric himself and he quickly produced a femur, sliced it in half lengthwise via his band saw and sold me .73 pounds at $4.99 a pound. Eric said that they were actually selling many unusual cuts of meat, but hadn't sold many pork chops yet on their opening day.


Work was still being done on the butcher shop, and shelves in which they could make charcuterie had not yet been installed. It was evident, though, that the modestly-sized shop was clean, paid attention to detail and will become part of the East Sacramento community.

V. Miller Meats is located at 4801 Folsom Blvd. and can be found onine at

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Better than Hostess: Hand pies, Nido by Magpie - If you grew up with Hostess fruit pies and fried McDonald's pastries, you might hanker for a healthier version now. Hightail it to Nido by Magpie on R Street. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

This company thinks Sacramento diners need a new breakfast option - There's been talk of a cupcake bubble. A sushi bubble. Even a brewery bubble. But at least in Sacramento, a breakfast bubble has yet to arrive. That's according to Robert Maynard, CEO of Famous Toastery, a North Carolina-based eatery. Maynard wants to eventually have 10 Famous Toastery locations across Sacramento, Placer, Yolo and El Dorado counties. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Orchid Thai - The midtown outpost of the original Lincoln location began serving a one-of-a-kind brunch menu on Oct. 10. Stop by on a Saturday or Sunday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to try one of their eight Thai-influenced American brunch favorites like chicken and waffles with seasoned panko-crusted chicken on a fluffy waffle topped with palm syrup and mangos, or the two eggs cooked in an omelet-like fashion wrapped around fried rice. Heather Kemp and Johanna Pugh in Sactown Magazine. (Second Item.)

Counter Culture: Q’bolé in Historic Folsom - The trio of chicken street tacos was a delish snack, the moist and tender pieces of fowl topped with cilantro and onion, squeezes of lime and spills of salsa. A simpler but equally satisfying dish was by special request – a plate of cilantro rice and black beans. Lime and salsa added more yum. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: Now Open - V. Miller Meats Butcher Shop in East Sac" »

Dining News: 5 Things to Know about the 'World's Biggest Pop-Up Pub' on Saturday


While the annual Georgia/Flordia rivalry game has been dubbed the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party, Sacramento will host the World's Biggest Pop-Up Pub this weekend. Here's what you need to know about it.

1. Who's Putting It On?

Bend, OR-based Deschutes Brewery, probably best know for their Mirror Pond Pale Ale, is bringing their Street Pub - Crafted for Community tour to Sacramento. According to the Sac Bee, the pub tour has also visited Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis and Denver before making Sacramento its final stop.

2. Sounds great. When and where is it?

The event will be held on Capitol Ave. between 17th and 19th Streets on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 2 to 10 p.m. Don't forget to bring a jacket. The high temperature on Saturday's expected to be only 68 degrees.

3. How much does it cost? Can I bring my kids?

The event is free and family friendly.

4. Will they have food and music?

Absolutely. Deschutes Brewery's corporate chef has partnered with Brock MacDonald of Block Butcher Bar and Wesley Nilssen of de Vere's Irish Pub to creat dishes that pair with their beer. The event will also feature local bands Humble Wolf, Hans and the Hot MEss and Drop Dead Red.

5. Who does the event benefit?

The proceeds from the event go to Runnin' 4 Rhett, named after Rhett Seevers, a boy with cerebral palsy who passed away at the age of 7. Their mission is to LET RHETT’S STORY INSPIRE those who feel defeated, UPLIFT those who feel down and ENCOURAGE all to take that first step, and MOVE INTO LIFE.

You can learn more by visiting

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Taste: Delicious Cold Brew Coffee Delivered to Your Door Every Week Via Seasons Coffee - Coffee geeks rejoice. Local coffee roaster Seasons have found a new way to get quality coffee into your hands without you even leaving the house. And while $19 for a 64-ounce bottle may seem on the pricey side at first glance, do remember you pay close to $5 for a subpar macchiato or blended shit drink at Starbucks. Eddie Jorgensen in Submerge Mag.

Pachamama Coffee Bar opens in East Sac - The Pachamama Coffee Bar opening in East Sacramento is not owned by your average coffee company. Indeed it is owned by 140,000 small and independent coffee farmers who organized to form Pacha Co-op in 2001. Mollie Maison in Valley Community News.

Three Mile Brewing in Davis Sets Opening Date - Construction is underway at Three Mile Brewing, the small brewery and taproom going into the Court N’ Cedar courtyard at 231 G St. Joe Runner, one of the owners, said they’re shooting to open on Friday, Jan. 15. Wendy Weitzel in the Davis Enterprise.

Casual seafood eatery coming to Roseville - A restaurant that's billed as a "New England-style lobster shack" is entering the dining mix in Roseville. Old Port Lobster Shack is filling a spot in the Olympus Pointe Retail Center at 1565 Eureka Road. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Continue reading "Dining News: 5 Things to Know about the 'World's Biggest Pop-Up Pub' on Saturday" »

Dining News: 'Dining Experience Disappointed Overall' at Iron Horse Tavern

Iron horse tavern

Iron Horse Tavern is very popular. I've tried to eat dinner there about six weeks after it opened, and was told the wait at about 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday evening was 45 mins. (We opted to eat elsewhere.)

But is it good? The Sac Bee's Carla Meyer gives her verdict.

There’s just that one hitch to the obvious success of Iron Horse, which serves American comfort food with Asian and Mexican inflections and marks another expansion move by brothers Mason, Alan and Curtis Wong (Cafeteria 15L, Ma Jong’s, Mix Downtown) and their corporate chef, Christian Palmos. Although there were bright spots during our visits, and the space impressed, the dining experience disappointed overall.

Several dishes at Iron Horse were under-seasoned, most notably the beef short rib “strogi.” Though the rib meat was cooked well, giving in easily to a fork, the pappardelle noodles below it lacked flavor beyond that of unsalted boiled water...

It’s hard to think of another new restaurant in recent history whose popularity stood in such contrast to its food quality. It’s not as if the place still just draws first-timers. A friend told me she’s visited Iron Horse several times, and although the food does not impress her, she returns because pals want to meet for drinks and appetizers.

When considering its whole package, it’s not that hard to see why Iron Horse would attract repeat customers. Prices for specialty cocktails (all $10), appetizers ($13 or less) and entrees (most below $20) are reasonable even without happy-hour discounts (half off appetizers, $3 off specialty cocktails), and the food portions are substantial.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

To punctuate the fact that people seem to love Iron Horse, Good Day Sac's Cambi Brown recently tweeted about her love of the restaurant.

While we're on the subject of Iron Horse Tavern, their new location at the Sacramento airport is now open. I can never get the names of the terminals straight, but it's in the non-Southwest terminal.

Iron Horse Tavern is located at 1800 15th St. (R & 15th streets), and can be found online at

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Paragary’s new chef promoted from within - Paragary’s restaurant has promoted executive sous chef Paul DiPierro to chef de cuisine, the position recently vacated by Scott Ostrander, who has taken a job at the Inn at Park Winters...A Rio Americano High School graduate, DiPierro received his formal training at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in St. Helena. Before Esquire Grill, he worked at St. Helena’s acclaimed Restaurant at Meadowood and at Sacramento’s The Kitchen. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Scott Ostrander is a Chef on the Move - Yet, Ostrander yearned to stretch even further with his vision of using unique ingredients. He recently accepted the job as executive chef for Inn at Park Winters, a special events facility with its own farm. Ostrander has nostalgia for those early days in his career, when he picked fresh basil for his menu, but plans to take the concept to all-new levels. He’s excited to work with ingredients that might include cover crops, edible weeds or flowers from herbs that have gone to seed — items often discarded in traditional restaurant kitchens. Amber Stott in Comstocks Mag.

Carolina’s Mexican Food - Hungry downtowners will have another place to go south of the border when Carolina’s Mexican Food opens its sixth location at 9th and J streets across from Cesar Chavez park at the end of October. In Sactown Mag. (Third Item.)

Block Butcher Bar - The midtown charcuterie hot spot Block Butcher Bar is expanding with lunch service, which is slated to start Nov. 1. In Sactown Mag. (Fourth Item.)

Sacramento Bee reporter’s work appears in ‘Best Food Writing 2015’ - This past April, Sacramento Bee food and wine writer (and now “critic at large”) Chris Macias spent a day with Tim Hanni in the wine educator’s Napa Valley home and discovered a few fascinating things. For one thing, Hanni is an iconoclast whose views are at odds with California’s surprisingly conservative wine culture. For another, the certified Master of Wine is a recovering alcoholic who hasn’t had a swallow in 23 years, yet has found a way to flourish in a profession that’s all about swirling and tasting. Macias’ profile of Hanni is included in the just-published “Best Food Writing 2015,” edited by Holly Hughes, the 16th edition of the anthology (Da Capo, $16, 320 pages). Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: 'Dining Experience Disappointed Overall' at Iron Horse Tavern" »

Dining News: The Bowl by 33rd St. Bistro Owners On the Move

VmillerOriginal site site of planned The Bowl restaurant in March 2015. V. Miller Meats, a whole animal butcher, is still on track to open in the building.

The Bowl, a planned East Sac restaurant by owners of 33rd St. Bistro, the Haines brothers, is moving closer to 33rd St. Bistro, reports Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

Changes are afoot at the former Larry’s Comfort Shoes site at 48th Street and Folsom Boulevard, where developers planned to put in a butcher shop and a Haines brothers-operated eatery called The Bowl.

The butcher shop is still a go, according to Ken Fahn, a partner in a group that owns the building. But The Bowl will likely open instead at another Fahn-owned building at 32nd and Folsom.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

I've tried in previous months to get more information from SRO, the Haines brothers company, about the new restaurant, but they've always declined to elaborate. It appears that they're continuing to be coy, with the building's owner telling Shallit that the concept for the restaurant is "a trade secret."

* Updated references from Bistro 33 to 33rd St. Bistro.

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The Future of Farm-To-Table - Sacramento Public Library recently named “The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food” its 2015 One Book selection. In the book, author Dan Barber questions the farm-to-fork movement and raises a red flag about the American way of farming. A James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of two acclaimed farm-to-table restaurants (Blue Hill in New York City and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in upstate New York), Barber will be in town Oct. 6 for a library event. He recently talked with us by phone. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.

Local Eateries Celebrate Pear Month With Unique Dishes - Did you know that August is Pear Month in California? Farm-to-Fork restaurants in the Sacramento area are celebrating by offering 16 menu items highlighting California pears! Ten restaurants are participating in a Farm-to-Fork Pear Recipe Contest held by the California Pear Advisory Board in partnership with Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork program. Aimee Darville in Girls on the Grid.

Dining review: Brasserie Capitale off to promising start - Once Brasserie Capitale gets past its growing pains, it should become just as entrenched a presence on K Street as Ella, Esquire Grill or Mayahuel. The food’s already practically there, and the setting is so inviting that it’s a treat to spend a few hours in this brasserie. At least when that’s the plan. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Feast Q&A: Temple to open first shop in Davis - On a journey through Indonesia at the turn of the millennium, Sean Kohmescher became captivated by the ornate Buddhist temples he came across there – focal points of spirituality and community togetherness visited several times daily by members of its surrounding village to refuel, converse, pray, and read. In 2005, Kohmescher decided to introduce a touch of Southeast Asian tradition to Sacramento, opening Temple Coffee Roasters as a hub for rejuvenation, camaraderie and caffeine. Brenna Lyles in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: The Bowl by 33rd St. Bistro Owners On the Move" »

Dining News: Empress Tavern Sets Opening Date


Empress Tavern, Sacramento's most heavily anticipated restaurant, will open at the end of the month, the Sac Bee's Chris Macias reports on Twitter.

Empress is latest effort by Chefs Michael Thiemann and Matt Masera, the team behind the always packed vegetarian restaurant Mother on K Street. The restaurant, located in the basement of the Crest Theater, is expected to focus on rottisserie meats such as smoked prime rib, turducken and porchetta. The bar will be focused on gin, with several local beers on tap and a charity tap, where proceeds go to a local charity. Click here to see a longer menu preview in the Sac Bee.

While prices have yet to be revealed, Thiemann also says that the price point will be below that of the nearby Ella.

The Empress management and staff has long been hired and trained. On a recent visit to Mother, the Empress bar manager was keeping busy by running the cash register, waiting for Empress to open.

The team behind Mother has other concepts in the pipeline, including Maiden, an ice cream parlor, and Queen's Market, a fish shop.

When Empress Tavern opens, it will be located at 1013 K Street, and can be found online at

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Chef changes at Pangaea Bier Cafe - Chef Robb “Rossi” Venditti quietly left Pangaea Bier Cafe earlier this month to launch a new catering company with chef Aimal Formoli of Formoli’s Bistro, according to Pangaea’s new chef Brett Stockdale. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Morgan’s on Main - Jeff and Kellie Morgan, the husband-and-wife team behind the Woodland-based hospitality company Yolo Eats, will open this new restaurant in downtown Woodland in the fall. According to Yolo Eats general manager Brett Gardenhire, Morgan’s on Main (which takes over the space previously occupied by a steakhouse called Hoof and Fowl) will invoke an “old-world industrial feel [and] a modern wood approach” with wrought iron and saddle leather accents, wooden table tops and suspended beams in the dining room. In Sactown Magazine.

Pop-Up Dinner at Block Butcher Bar - Monday Supper is back at Block Butcher Bar on Monday, August 3. Monday Suppers offer a pop-up dinner experience at Block’s intimate hideaway where Chef Allyson Harvie presents a 4-course meal paired with spirit-forward cocktails by Bar Manager, Karina Martinez. We spent the last 5 days with Chef Allyson and Karina as they prepared for Monday Supper, from farmers market trips to hanging tomatoes and testing cocktails. Susan Yee in City Scout Magazine.

Continue reading "Dining News: Empress Tavern Sets Opening Date" »

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.

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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.

Continue reading "Dining News: Maui-Based Coconut's Coming to Sacramento" »

Dining News: Introducing Broadway Coffee

Broadway coffee

In a continued sign of the revival of Oak Park and Broadway in general, Broadway Coffee is opening at 32nd & Broadway in Oak Park in the first half of June, with an official grand opening in July.


I e-mailed with the owner Charles Bergson recently so he could tell us a little more about his new business.

1. Will you roast your own coffee, or get it wholesale?

Wholesale coffee and will be serving Temple Coffee. 

2. How will you be different from the nearby 40 Acres location?

Broadway Coffee is a community oriented coffee house serving the Oak Park community and the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses.   Our pricing and fare will reflect market prices for service to  residents , businesses, churches and establishments throughout Oak Park.   We also plan to stage cultural and educational performances including music, community forums, and art.

3. Will you be serving food? If so, what types?

Broadway Coffee will be serving coffee, specialty coffees, and teas with pastries, light foot fare consisting of sandwiches, ready made salads.

4. If you have a full kitchen, is there anything notable about the chef?

Broadway Coffee will not have a kitchen as we are designed to be a coffee house with the state of art coffee house equipment.  The General Manager, Jimmy Gayaldo, has extensive experience in the Sacramento area’s food and restaurant industry.  Mr Gayaldo has managed establishments such as McCormick and Schmicks and Carver’s Restaurants.

5. Have you worked in or owned a restaurant before? If so, how did that experience inform what you're doing now? If not, what made you want to open a cafe?

This is my first restaurant endeavor.  I have served in the public arena for nearly forty years including the U.S. Navy and a range of public agencies, including diverse communities such as the cities of Malibu, Compton, West Hollywood, Monterey Park, and East Palo Alto.  Having advanced these communities through the public arena, my focus now will be to advance the Oak Park community through the business arena.

6. There seems to be renaissance in that part of Broadway. What made you choose that location?

There is a revitalization in this Oak Park section of Broadway - the Oak Park Brewery just opened, Arthur Henry’s opened last year, there are many condominiums under construction or completed construction.  There are also other new project under development as well as potential new commercial enterprises.     The Broadway Triangle Development, also located in this vicinity, is close to completion and is composed of 22 row houses and nearly 10,000 square feet of retail space.  I choose this area to open this business as it fits the profile for a community based coffee house and Broadway is a busy street.

If you're in the area, check out this new small business.


Broadway Coffee is located at 3200 Broadway, and can be found online at

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Add these dining options to your calendar - Looking beyond midtown, there's a new dining option in West Sacramento. Sancho's Tacos & Burritos opened Wednesday at 4055 Lake Road, suite 140. In addition to standard tacos and burritos, the menu includes items such as nachos, quesadillas and rolled tacos. Learn more on the restaurant's Facebook page. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Baker raises the bar – s’more - There’s a new bakery in Davis, delivering an addicting version of a campfire favorite. Earlier this month, Davis resident and 2004 UC Davis grad Jenn Cheng launched S’mores Bar. It doesn’t have a storefront, but offers free delivery in Davis. Wendy Weitzel in the Davis Enterprise.

The hottest trend in craft beer today is ... a root beer float? - Screw Nelson, Pliny and Heady—craft-beer geeks these days are all about dat root-beer float! Sad but true. There’s a new root beer that’s the talk of the craft world, and it finally arrived this month in Sacramento.  Nick Miller in Sac News & Review.

East Meets West: Indo Cafe spices up Old Sacramento’s food scene - It’s a quiet morning in Old Sacramento, and sunlight spills into the streets of the popular tourist destination, warming the wooden sidewalks and peeking under the roof of Indo Cafe’s covered patio, just a spike’s throw away from the railroad tracks. From the tiny kitchen in the rear of the cafe comes the steady thunk of a knife on wood as Tessa Scaife prepares vegetables for the lunch crowd. Michelle Locke in Comstocks Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Introducing Broadway Coffee" »