Cafe Bernardo

Dining News: What the Sac Bee Dining Critic Orders at Chicago Fire


Chicago Fire has become so successful over the years that the local chain is turning into a medium-sized chain, with the addition of an Elk Grove location in Feb. 2016.

So what should you order when you go? This is what Sac Bee restaurant critic Carla Meyer shares what her go to items are and some of her new discoveries.

The Buffalo wings and combination thin-crust pizza are personal favorites for years running. The intensely flavored Great Chicago Fire deep dish pizza and the nicely al dente rigatoni with sausage, both of which we tried for the first time recently, also impressed. Although the deep-dish spinach-mushroom pizza lacks character, its “stuffed” counterpart offers plenty of it, especially when one adds sausage.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

While we're on the topic of Chicago Fire, they held a pizza eating contest, in conjunction with Sliced, the celebration of Sacramento's pizza. Local hero Molly Schuyler demolished the competition by eating a large stuffed pizza by herself in 5 minutes, with the next closest contestants pairing up to eat one in more than 10 minutes.


Chicago Fire's first stuffed pizza eating competition in celebration of SLICED.The winners:1st Place: The incredible...

Posted by Chicago Fire on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Chicago Fire has locations in midtown, Folsom x2, Roseville and soon, Elk Grove. It can be found online at

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Counter Culture: Flat iron steak is an instant classic at Cafe Bernardo - Our hefty steak showed up freshly sliced into long strips, with wine-shallot-infused butter melting on top ($18). We were already thinking about seconds. The fingerling potatoes were tender and satisfying, but the expertly seasoned grilled broccoli was a revelation. Could a cruciferous veggie known mostly for being good for us really taste this good? Yep. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Be a jerk: Beef jerky, Midtown Jerky Co. - But one Saturday I somehow woke up in time for the Midtown Farmers Market and found that Midtown Jerky Co. sells these rad little .8-ounce bags ($2 for one, $5 for three). I tried the peppered and the sesame-citrus varieties, which are most definitely worth a large share of your beef budget for the week. Anthony Siino in Sac News & Review.

Comfort food coming to former Coco's restaurant space - Get ready for a new addition to the dining mix near Arden Fair. Black Bear Diner will fill the spot previously occupied by Coco's Bakery Restaurant at 1830 Arden Way. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Work begins on Washington firehouse rehab in West Sac - Work is underway to create a new bar and restaurant destination in West Sacramento’s Bridge District. Developer Bay Miry said by the end of 2016, the former Washington firehouse at 317 Third St. will become just that. Ben van der Meer in Sac Biz Journal.

A new series of tours takes visitors behind the scenes of wineries and breweries in Placer County - Foodies and oenophiles now have a new reason to head for the foothills. Event company Fork ‘N Road Productions has just launched, offering wine (and beer) tours as well as culinary events that highlight Placer County’s agricultural bounty. Jessica Rine in Sactown Magazine.

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Dining News: Sellands, Paragary, Lowbrau & Star Ginger Coming to Golden 1 Center


Continuing its commitment to support local businesses, the Sacramento Kings and Legends Hospitality announced the initial set of restaurants that will serve fans as they attend events at the future home of the Kings.

Local businesses will include:

  • Paragary Restaurant Group, with brands Centro, Paragary's and Cafe Bernardo likely serving Centro Street Tacos featuring corn tortillas handmade on the concourse, Paragary’s wood fired pizzas and Café Bernardo burgers and shakes.
  • Selland Family Restaurants, likely serving Wood fired pizza with chicken, bacon, goat cheese, jalapeños, mozzarella, parmesan and arugula. 
  • Lowbrau, likely serving Housemade bratwurst with bier cheese and duck fat fries.
  • Star Ginger, likely serving Thai BBQ chicken banh mi sandwich with sriracha aioli, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro and jalapeño.

First, the new arena deserves credit for adding local restaurants into the mix for in-arena dining. I hope the restaurants offer arena-exclusive items that you can't get at their regular restaurant. If I want a standard banh mi from Star Ginger, it'll be more convenient and cheaper to get it at her storefront. The next level will be dishes that can only be purchased at the arena.

What went unsaid today is what restaurants will be near the arena. Many restaurant insiders fear that you may be able to eat at Selland's inside the arena, but will be stuck eating at Hooters or ESPN Zone before or after the game. I hope the Kings continue their commitment to local restaurants as they fill in the space around the arena also.

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Chicago Fire pizzeria chain sails along with Windy City flavor - Schnetz is the 48-year-old CEO and corporate chef of West of Chicago Restaurants Inc. In 2003, he opened his first Chicago Fire pizzeria on Folsom’s historic Sutter Street. Today, his company also oversees Chicago Fire restaurants in midtown Sacramento, Roseville and in the Palladio at Broadstone shopping complex south of downtown Folsom. Combined, the eateries employ about 230. In February, Schnetz plans to open a fifth local Chicago Fire outlet in Elk Grove. Beyond that, he’s contemplating pizzerias in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and locales outside California. Mark Glover in the Sac Bee.

Starbucks unexpectedly closes downtown store ... and plans more alcohol sales in region - In other Starbucks news: here's an update on plans to offer alcohol at additional Sacramento-area Starbucks stores. Multiple locations have already applied to sell beer and wine. According to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control's website, some of the most recent applications include stores at 4033 Cavitt Stallman Road in Granite Bay and 1790 Auburn Ravine Road in Auburn. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Mahoroba Bakery Featured On Public Television - Mahar­­oba Japanese Bakery was recently featured on Public Television’s A Few Great Bakeries. I caught it the other night on KVIE. Yes, I’m a supporter of public television and local businesses. Mahoroba in Sacramento was prominently featured along with some of the finest ba­­­keries in the United States. From the Columbus Baking Company in Syracuse, New York to the Minerva Bakery in Mckeesport, Pennsylvania. Greg Brown on SacramentoLand.

September is Food Literacy Month! - It's a big month for my friends over at the Food Literacy Center. It's Food Literacy Month! That means a lot of activities and money from Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Weeks helping them out. Oh, and they are busy voting for Veggie of the Year too. Catherine Enfield on Munchie Musings.

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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.

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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: New 21st St. Shoki Ramen House Location to Open in 2 to 4 Weeks


Shoki Ramen House may open its new location on 21st St. in just two weeks, the restaurant's Kathy Ueyama told Cowtown Eats in a Monday morning phone interview, but it could take as long as a month.

Kathy, wife of Shoki's owner and chef Yasushi Ueyama, is a school teacher full time and is pushing to get the restaurant open in two weeks so she can assist with the opening during her spring break.

The restaurant was originally scheduled to open at the new Trails location in the first week of February. Kathy explained that they spent January cleaning the previous 24th Street location to return it to the owner, and later visiting family added delays. They started working on the new 21st street in mid-February.

20141231_041801000_iOSPicture taken on their last day of business at Shoki's former 24th St. location.

As for the exterior of the building, they "don't plan on painting the outside," said Kathy, but do plan to do touch ups as necessary.

The couple are still also working to get their liquor license squared away.

The Sac Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson also reports that Shoki plans on adding Ruhstaller Beer on draft at both their R Street and 21st Street locations.

When it opens, Shoki Ramen House will be located at 2530 21st St., and can be found online at

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Two upcoming Sacramento restaurants are hiring - The hiring process is underway at Empress Tavern and Iron Horse Tavern, two anticipated additions to the Sacramento restaurant scene. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Business partners consider board game cafe in midtown - If you're a gamer who got excited when Save Point Tavern signed a lease, and got just as giddy when Coin-Op Game Room announced its time frame for opening, get ready to gain a new level of euphoria. A third gamer-related venue is considering entering the Sacramento region. Local business partners David Gomez and Nuray Singh are gauging public interest in a board game cafe they'd like to open in midtown Sacramento. They've posted a public survey to help fine-tune their business plan. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Everything you need to know about Sac’s new Cambodian restaurant - There’s a new Cambodian restaurant open in Sacramento. Or, maybe, it’s opening soon. It’s called Taste of Angkor, it’s located at 4566 Mack Road, and it still had a “coming soon” sign draped above the door when we went on Saturday night. We talked to the owner on the phone, and it’s the family’s first restaurant. The grand opening, according to a waiter we talked to on Saturday night, is tentatively set for Friday, March 20. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

Soup's On - Soothing, filling and often cheap, soup is always a hot Dollar-Wise topic, one we’ve dipped our ladle into several times through the years. This time, the challenge was to avoid those I’ve previously written about—anything from much-revered La Bonne Soupe, for instance, or Star Ginger’s spectacular spicy Thai chicken soup (a personal favorite)—and find a few new ones. I didn’t include pho, and I limited my selections to bowls* (not cups) for $5 and under. Here’s the lowdown. Featuring Cafe Bernardo, Mirabelle Cafe, Muntean's Soups, Petra Greek & Taj Oven. Cathy Cassinos-Carr in Sac Mag.

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Dining News: Concepts by Red Rabbit, Kru & Shady Lady Coming to 7th & K

The space near the new Kings area is scarce and coveted. A developer tells CBS 13 that local restaurants will be filling out much of that space.

"We're still looking at incorporating some live music into our project," said Garrett Van Vleck, one of the owners of Shady Lady told CBS 13's Lemor Abrams. "But it's not going to be the total main focus as it originally was."


Other restaurants that will fill the 7th & K space will be concepts by Kru's Billy Ngo, Insight Coffee Roaster and Red Rabbit.

Watch the entire segment above for the entire story.

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Counter Culture: Players Sports Bar & Grill needs a new food game plan - In this case, the sports bar and grill is all about the sports and the bar, and not the grill. We left long before Dallas got lucky with a recalled defensive pass interference call and won the game.  Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Saffron Grill Cuisine: A new Persian empire - Diners can even try a taste trip to Iran via the Persian restaurant Saffron Grill Cuisine. In its second year, this family-run spot is an inviting way to experience something new. Saffron Grill is run by an Iranian-born husband and wife who base their dishes on family recipes. As with other Middle Eastern cuisines, the menu features rice, stews, salads and nuts. Persian food, though, is characterized by lots of saffron, pomegranates, walnuts and a sweet-and-sour profile. The restaurant space is small but warmly decorated, with twinkling lights and saffron-hued walls. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Lola's Lounge - When you hear consistently good things about a restaurant, you are tempted to go and check it out for yourself. This was the case for me for Lola's Lounge in old downtown Elk Grove.  Word of mouth had been good and this was the night before BAR's not so enthusiastic review in the Bee came out. I'm glad I ate there before I had read his review. Catherine Enfield on Munchie Musings.

Try It: 33rd Street Bistro's Bag o' Doughnuts - It’s been quite a while since I’ve visited 33rd Street Bistro on Folsom Boulevard. But recently I had the good fortune of breakfasting twice at this popular East Sac dining institution—and both times enjoyed great meals and attentive service...But the most entertaining (and caloric) nosh was the kitchen’s made-to-order Bag o’ Doughnuts, tossed lavishly in sugar and served up with honey butter, a dense fudge sauce and juicy strawberry compote. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Two eateries join Carmichael's planned public marketplace - A culinary hub that's in the works in Carmichael has secured its first two eateries. Mesa Mercado and Ghiotto Gelato have joined the lineup at Milagro Centre, which is billed as "Carmichael's gathering place." The retail center, which is patterned on public marketplaces, will transform the space filled by the forlorn Hillside Shopping Center on Fair Oaks Boulevard. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: Now Open - Yolo Brewing co.


Yolo Brewing Company opened to the public for the first time on Thursday, they announced on Facebook.

The next project by Mike Costello of the now-defunct Brew It Up, the new West Sacramento-based brewery provides both "small batch craft beer" and personal brewing space.

For now, the brewery is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.

Initially, the beer line-up is IPA, Brown, Scotch, Pilsner, Hefe Weizen, Pale Ale.

With the opening of Yolo Brewing Company, there really is the start of a West Sac Brewing Trail, with Bike Dog Brewery and Jackrabbit Brewing Company within walking or biking distance.

Yolo Brewing Company is located at 1520 Terminal Street in West Sac, and can be found online at

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Enotria celebrates latest grand re-opening - But an e-mail came through last week touting a re-opening of Enotria, which was held Wednesday night with a “Carnivale Spectacular” theme. Gabriel Glasier, formerly of Maranello and Slocum House, oversees Enotria’s food program and created plates of prawn “corn dogs” at Wednesday’s soiree. He said Enotria’s basically been in a soft opening since March, and spent a lengthy spring vacation traveling to Southeast Asia and learning new recipes. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Rise of the Sushirito - I can’t imagine throwing a Wrap N’ Roll Sushirrito into my regular dining routine like I would pizza or actual sushi, but I can see myself indulging maybe once every two months or so. If anything, I admire someone bringing a refreshing new concept to Midtown, and getting people so excited and curious about it. Alia Cruz in Submerge Mag.

Artisanal toast still does not exist - Cafe Bernardo introduced the concept in April, offering thick slices of Paragary Bakery bread with nutella and banana ($4), fromage blanc, banana, strawberry and honey ($5) and avocado, ham, fried egg and chili oil ($6). I ordered the fromage blanc—because I love fromage blanc—hoping against my better judgment that it wouldn’t be a heavy, sticky mess. The cheese brought a nice tang but there was too much honey, and really, too much stuff. It’s no longer toast if you can’t eat it easily with your hands. And the bread was lukewarm, still pale in color—an open-faced sandwich at best. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

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Dining News: What Darrell Corti Thinks is Wrong With Italian Food in America

Darrell corti

Darrell Corti may be Sacramento's foremost expert on food. He's probably forgotten more about food just this year than I'll ever hope to know.

In an interview with The Daily Meal, he gives his opinion on what's wrong with Italian food in America.

You grew up in an Italian-American household, have traveled extensively in Italy, and gained deep knowledge of Italian food and wine. What do you think Americans still don't understand about the way Italians eat and drink?

Americans still don't get the simplicity of it all! My Italian friends all want to know, "why do Americans abuse garlic so much?" It seems that Americans, especially young chefs, want to improve on a dish by adding more to it, when what it really wants is to be left alone (like in The Big Night) Sometimes it also seems that everything has to be partnered with something else: wines, additives like other seasonings. Most who go to Italy to work, return to sort of magnify in an "American" way what they learned. There are very few real Italian restaurants here since everyone wants his idea of Italian food to be the correct one. A big peeve is how to dress pasta. Americans like sauce with pasta, not pasta with sauce! I'm already in enough trouble answering this question!!

Before this interview, I knew that Corti (of the famed Corti Bros. store in East Sac) was an expert, but I never knew what his background was and how he continues to expand his knowledge. The Q and A is a short and quick read.

Read the entire interview in The Daily Meal.

Photo via Darrell Corti's Facebook Page.

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SF Weekly recommends Sacramento's cocktail scene - The SF Weekly’s “drink of the week” column generally focuses on a single standout libation, or gives props to Bay Area bars with standout cocktail programs. But in the most recent case, the “drink of the week” went to an entire city - and that city is our own Sacramento. While giving the obligatory descriptor to Sacramento as a place to grab a quick bite on the way to Lake Tahoe, writer Lou Bustamante spotlights four Sacramento craft cocktail spots that are well worth an extended visit: Hook & Ladder, The Red Rabbit, Hock Farm and The Shady Lady Saloon. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Midtown juice bar Peel'd coming to Roseville - A midtown juicery will open a Roseville location this month, inside a yoga studio. Peel'd, located in midtown's MARRS building, will have a juice bar inside Veera Yoga at 711 Pleasant Grove Blvd. in Roseville. A grand opening is scheduled for Saturday. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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