Cafeteria 15L

Dining News: Iron Horse Tavern Coming to R & 15th in April 2015

Iron horse tavern

Iron Horse Tavern, by the team that brought Sacramento Mix Downtown and Cafeteria 15L, will open in April 2015, reports S.T. Vanairsdale in Sactown Mag.

The Iron Horse Tavern, set to open next April at the intersection of 15th and R streets, is the latest bar and restaurant project to imprint a spirit of urbane sophistication on the revived former railway stretch south of midtown. Named after the locomotives that once rumbled down R Street, Iron Horse features a style that interweaves the area’s industrial heritage with sleek international touches...

Iron Horse’s glass doors, meanwhile, will open onto the surrounding patio, where guests can dine and drink alfresco. Chef Christian Palmos of Cafeteria 15L—a downtown sister eatery in the Wong family of restaurants—will oversee the menu at Iron Horse as well. (Wong demurs when asked about planned dishes, opting to describe the cuisine as “creative American—maybe American with a twist.”)

Read the entire story in Sactown Mag.


You can also keep up with new developments by following Iron Horse Tavern online at, which is also the source of the photo above.

More News:

Cafeteria 15L: Good management trickles down to the plate for delicious meal - I recently went to Cafeteria 15L and had an excellent meal. The food was delicious and fairly priced, the service was conscientious and friendly, and the casual, modern space buzzed with energy. My friends and I had a near perfect evening and talked of visiting again soon...But it did get better the next day, when I spoke with executive sous chef Katrina Mattia. The enthusiasm this employee had for her company was infectious, refreshing, and made the meal, in retrospect, an even happier memory. Andrea Thompson in Sac Biz Journal.

10 area restaurants to plan a last-minute Thanksgiving feast - If you and yours are still sorting out your Thanksgiving destination or facing some unexpected changes to your original plans, fear not: Here are 10 local spots that will be serving up their own specialties for holiday diners this Thursday. (Just be sure to inquire soon about reservations—spots are filling up quickly!) Alex Hernandez in Sactown Mag.

Feast Q&A: Jason Poole, of Sacramento’s Hyatt Regency, on serving Thanksgiving - One such holiday-dinner destination is the 26-year-old Hyatt Regency, where executive chef Jason Poole and his staff are planning on a few people dropping by for a meal. Poole was one of the major coordinators of the Tower Bridge Gala Dinner, the culmination of Farm-to-Fork Celebration in September. The Hyatt’s usual brunch menu has been expanded for Thanksgiving to 70-plus items to be served at eight stations at Dawson’s, Vines and Amourath lounge. The price is $55 general, $28 children ages 5 to 12, free for 5 and younger. Seatings will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at 1209 L St. Reservations: (916) 443-1234 or We caught up with Poole on Monday. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

New Oak Park Brewing opens, draws crowds, then scrambles to find new chef - The owners estimate that upwards of 1,200 people attended the preview opening Saturday. It was a huge coup for the brewery and for the Oak Park neighborhood, which has been undergoing a high-profile renewal in recent years....The head chef, Christopher Davis-Murai, the day before the official opening abruptly announced he was bailing out. That left the folks at Oak Park Brewing to deal with more than their share of new-business adjustments mere hours before customers were going to start showing up. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

New craft brewery coming to Rancho Cordova - A new craft brewery in Rancho Cordova will have the atmosphere of an old mining town, according to its owner. Mike Ryan plans to open Argonaut Brewing Co. by June 2015. The brewery will fill approximately 5,000 square feet at 11366 Monier Park Place. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: Jackrabbit Brewing to Open in West Sac in the Fall


Jackrabbit Brewing Company will open a tasting room in late Sept. or early Oct., reports Tori Masucci Cummins in Sactown Mag.

In the coming months, Jackrabbit will expand from 1,500 to 4,500 square feet with a public taproom that would be open on the weekends, a front patio and bar area. Launched in 2011, Jackrabbit is currently a production-only brewery that operates out of its location in a West Sacramento business park down the road from Yolo Brewing Company and Bike Dog Brewing Co.

Jackrabbit plans a pre-construction kickoff party scheduled for sometime in late July that will give patrons an opportunity to view the brewery space before demolition, sample free beer and sign up for an exclusive growler club.

Read the entire story in Sactown Mag.

The opening of Jackrabbit Brewing's Taphouse will be the third stop in what some are calling the Port Brewing District, with the first two being Bike Dog Brewing and the recently-opened Yolo Brewing Company.

Jackrabbit Brewing can be found at 1315 Terminal St. in West Sac, or online at

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2 Sacramento-area restaurants land spots on OpenTable’s list of 100 top neighborhood gems - Customer reviews lifted Taylor’s Kitchen in Sacramento and The Chef’s Table in Rocklin to spots on OpenTable’s list of the Top 100 Neighborhood Gem Restaurants in America. “Some of our great customers must have mentioned something nice about us,” said co-owner Kathy Johnson. “We’re in the middle of a lot of neighborhoods, and a lot of them like to claim us.” Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee.

Thai Canteen makes it through critical year in midtown - Midtown can be a tough place to open a new restaurant, especially if there are several others nearby of the same genre. Many restaurants never even make it through their first year. I'm happy to report that Thai Canteen on 16th Street just celebrated its one-year anniversary on May 28. Tee Devahasdin is relieved to have made it. “It's been a challenge; I was nervous to open in midtown,” he confesses. Devahasdin, his sister Bua and her partner Deo Suwan own the Thai Canteen in Sacramento and another one in Davis which opened in November of 2010. Bua and Deo now run the Davis store, and Tee is in charge of the one in midtown. He even moved into the apartment building above it, eliminating any commute. Andrea Thompson in Sac Biz Journal.

Sacramento International Airport to get six new restaurants, with an emphasis on local fare - Under the 10-year, $80 million contract, SSP will bring Peet’s Coffee to Terminal A, along with three local spots: burger joint Squeeze Inn, Italian restaurant Paesanos and comfort food purveyor Cafeteria 15L, which already has a restaurant in Terminal B. Isabelle Taft in the Sac Bee.

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The 5 Most Inviting 1st Date Happy Hours, From The Queen of Dating

  Queen of Dating Logo - Horizontal

At the recent Girls on the Grid Most Eligible Bachelor and Bachelorette event at Mix Downtown, I met Jenn, The Queen of Dating, who provides in-person coaching for people who want to improve their dating skills.

As an avid reader of Cowtown Eats, Jenn's been using the site to tell her clients where to go on dates.

While I'm not looking to turn this into Girls Cowtown Eats on the Grid, I thought the Cowtown Eats audience would appreciate some of her professional advice and thoughts.

The Queen of Dating will I will also be teaming up to put on Cowtown Eats happy hours, starting this summer. Look for details coming soon.

So without further delay, here are the 5 most inviting first date happy hours, from Jenn, The Queen of Dating.


Lucca - When you walk into Lucca during happy hour, the room is full of laughter, spunk and optimism.  Great drinks, cheap eats and an upscale environment provide an inviting and cost efficient first date location.  Lucca won’t break the bank and you will get to sample the menu without looking cheap.


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Dining News: Chef Adam Pechal, Fellow Taste Contestant to Lead Kitchen at Crawdad's


Crawdad's River Cantina, the party spot next to Chevy's on the river, will soon feature food by Chef Adam Pechal and fellow ABC cooking show contestant Paul Caravelli, reports the Sac Bee's Chris Macias.

Shults, who also owns midtown’s Pour House and Vanguard 1415 at 14th and L streets, tapped Pechal for the project just as the chef was preparing to close Restaurant Thir13en. The two had talked about partnering on a project during the past year to combine Pechal’s cooking skills with Shults’ nightlife experience...

Pechal, a semifinalist contestant on ABC’s “The Taste,” will also serve as executive chef. He’ll be joined by Paul Caravelli, a fellow contestant from “The Taste” who cooked in the Chicago area during the show’s run, to help lead the kitchen.

Pechal plans to keep the seafood-centric menu at Crawdad’s but add some new twists. He hopes to work with such Sacramento-area purveyors as midtown’s Sunh Fish and Sloughouse’s Passmore Ranch to supply such ingredients as catfish, clams and calamari. Pechal will also bring his Capitol Burger, a staple of Restaurant Thir13en with house-made pickles, to Crawdad’s.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

Pechal hinted that he would have a new project when Restaurant 13 closed at the end of January.

I'm hopeful that Pechal can help elevate dining on the river. Chevy's definitely has its place, but it's not something you'd call a upscale dining experience. Pearl On The River tries to fill that role, but the three times I've eaten there, I've found that it's food is good, but unremarkable. Hopefully Pechal will help make the river a year round destination.

More News:

Plates2Go: Lunch for the cause - Part of the local St. John's Shelter Program for Women & Children, Plates2Go makes for a quick and affordable Midtown lunch option. More importantly, it gives formerly homeless mothers the opportunity to learn new skills and find jobs in the local culinary and restaurant workforce. Rachel Leibrock in Sac News & Review.

Tako Korean BBQ: A tale of two food ethnicities - Bulgogi sliders are the true hit of the menu. These are Korean-marinated steak stuffed into light bread, served with cabbage, cheese and a tangy house sauce, and my only complaint is that the cheese isn’t melted—such a touch would give the dish a bit more oomph...Tako achieves what fusion food attempts to do, though there’s plenty of room for improvement and growth. It’s what all fusion food must do. Push boundaries. Experiment. Learn from failures. Exceed past successes. Tako seems well on the way in all of this. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

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Dining News: Bandara is 'Safe' but 'Predictable'

Bandera, located at Fair Oaks and Howe, is a longtime favorite of many Sacramentans. I've eaten there a few times and have enjoyed their "no corkage" policy and their jalapeno cornbread served in a cast iron pan. But I've found their food otherwise decent, but uneventful. If I'm driving out that way, I'd rather try something like Plan B.

But every time I drive by, Bandera's lot is full and there's often a line out the door.

Luckily, Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson takes the time to try to decode why the restaurant is so popular.

Bandera is not a great restaurant by any stretch of imagination, yet it enjoys a great reputation. How?

First, the people who work there — unlike the macho salad or the ribs — are, indeed, amazing. They’re well trained, courteous, attentive. They work as a team. It’s a well-oiled, synchronized system. And they do all the little things such as smile and say goodnight that make you feel special. That, for one, makes the food taste better and the experience feel richly satisfying...

Second, from conversations with friends and acquaintances, I have concluded that Bandera is loved by people who order the same food nearly every time. I’m not here to judge that, only to offer that the practice doesn’t necessarily allow one to see food and flavors in new and exciting ways.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

More News:

Sacramento Burger Battle on Sept. 18 - Burger lovers, save the date: On Wednesday, Sept. 18, some of your favorite restaurants are going to duke it out, culinary-style, at Raley Field in West Sacramento. The goal? To be named “Best Burger in Sacramento” by a panel of judges who include Patrick Mulvaney of Mulvaney’s B&L, Chris Macias of The Sacramento Bee, and Russ Parsons, food editor and columnist of the Los Angeles Times. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

VIDEO: Burgess Brothers Celebrates Anniversary - [Saturday marked] one year since the Burgess brothers opened their restaurant across from Sacramento City College on Sutterville Road. “[The year] actually flew by. It’s been a huge learning process. Struggle? I’d say it’s been a whirlwind,” said Jonathan Burgess. Rowena Shaddox on FOX 40.

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Dining News: 4 Reasons You Can't Rely On Sac Mag's Readers Awards


First, let me make it clear. I'm not talking about the awards given by their staff. While I may not always agree with them, I find their choices to be well thought out and rational. I'm talking strictly about the awards voted on by their readers.

Much like high school elections, these awards are genearlly popularity contests. And much like high school elections, that means the results are hit and miss.

Here are 4 glaring examples why some people consider Sac Mag's reader awards a joke:

1. Hook & Ladder won third place for something it doesn't even offer.

If you need any example of why you can't rely on this reader's survey, this is it.






2. Two chain coffeehouses placed ahead of any of our city's fine coffee establishments.

There's nothing wrong with Starbucks or Pete's. I go to Starbucks much too often because it's across the street from my office. But if I wanted Sacramento's best cup of coffee? I'd head to Old Soul. Or Insight Coffee Roasters. Or Temple Coffee. Or Broadacre. The list goes on and on...





3. Joe's Crab Shack wins any food-related award.

There's definitely a place for Joe's Crab Shack in Sacramento. It's full every time I pay them a visit, and for good reason -- a great concept, they're family friendly, and they offer a little entertainment too from their servers. But one of those reasons isn't their gourmet food. And the fact that they tied for first for Best Crab Cakes is just ridiculous.






4. Best Happy Hour dominated by SRO Restaurants.

I might be Sacramento's foremost expert on happy hours. I've visited more than 200 happy hours, and try to a variety of places so I don't get stuck in a rut. There's nothing wrong with Riverside Clubhouse, Bistro 33 El Dorado Hills or Bistro 33 Davis's happy hours. I find them decent. But there's no way they're the best 3 our region has to offer. Just off the top of my head, Ella has a great high end happy hour with craft cocktails and gourmet appetizers. R15 has cheap beer and filling bar eats. Mix Downtown has tasty eats paired with great daily specials. Paesanos has a fantastic happy hour that could double as an early dinner and discounts on craft beer. Blackbird's happy hour is a great place for upscale food at a discount. Those are in no particular order, but ones that I like going to. The 3 "winners" are fine, but they're not the best.

Here's the entire list, but rememember to read it with a grain of salt, in Sac Mag.

PS: I'm not alleging the results are rigged either. I'm sure that the list accurately reflects the votes cast.

More News:

Cafeteria 15L launches brunch this Sunday - Starting this Sunday, Aug. 4, Sacramento’s weekend-brunch-going crowd can add another destination to the go-to list downtown: Cafeteria 15L, where executive chef Christian Palmos will be churning out more of the restaurant’s signature “American comfort classics, but with a twist.” Stephanie Towne on Sactown Magazine.

Second Sacramento Burger Battle Set for Sept. 18 - Burger lovers from around the region will convene on Raley Field this fall for a charitable event to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. The second-annual Sacramento Burger Battle, organized by area blogger Rodney Blackwell, will feature 15 chefs vying for title of best burger. Cody Kitaura in Davis Patch.

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Daily Dining News: Burglary Scare at Doughbot Donuts


Early Wednesday morning, beloved gourmet donut restaurant Doughbot Donuts tweeted that there was trouble at the store.

There was much social media speculation. Was it a burglary? Vandalism? All hoped that not too much damage was done. In a demonstration of how close the Sac restaurant community was, many restaurants asked their customers to pay a visit to Doughbot over the next week to help out a fellow business in distress.

Doughbot later posted what exactly had been taken from the store.


But through the work of good neighbors, all's well that ends well.


More News:

Thiemann earns early promotion but will still cook at Ella - There's a lot going on with the local restaurant scene these days, but one thing you may not have heard about is the expanded role of Michael Thiemann, the chef at Ella Dining Room & Bar, who has been winning raves since taking over for Kelly McKown. The Selland Group, which owns Ella, as well as The Kitchen and Selland's Market-Café, didn't put out a public announcement about it, but Thiemann's role has definitely expanded in recent weeks to include oversight of all of the kitchens. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

A Decadent Night at Cafeteria 15L - It’s been a while since I dined at midtown’s Cafeteria 15L, but a recent dinner at this popular spot convinced me that I need to put it on my regular rotation. We plowed enthusiastically through the kitchen’s “Le Tour of Mac and Cheese” special: three creative versions of this traditional American nosh. One bowl contained creamy lobster mac ‘n cheese, another rendition offered fried bacon and cheese “bites,” and a third sported grilled tomatoes. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

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