Lowbrau

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

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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 http://vmillermeats.com/.

More News:

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: Former Sac Bee Critic vs. Current on Arthur Henry's

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Longtime readers of Cowtown Eats are familiar with this recurring thought. Just like movie critics, some will share your taste and other's won't. It's not a matter of facts, but a matter of opinion.

A recent review of Oak Park's Aurthur Henry's and the two different critics' opinion of the restaurant concept is a perfect example of that.

The Sac Bee's current food critic wrote recently that she enjoyed cooking her own food on the grill.

Why in the world, one might ask, would you pay $23 to grill your own rib-eye? Because it’s great fun. Eating a steak cooked by a professional is dining out. Grilling one’s own steak, and especially doing it alongside pals, is a party.

At least that’s the case at Arthur Henry’s, where a limited, old-school menu (highlighted by steaks, bourbon and garlic bread) combines with permanent-midnight lighting, velvet floral wallpaper and a jukebox partial to Steve Miller and Conway Twitty to send one back in time – to that period, roughly between 1965 and 1981, when mustaches, Corvettes and smoke-filled barrooms were held in equal esteem.

Read Carla Meyer's entire review in the Sac Bee.

But that's distinct from the opinion from former Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson in January 2014:

This is possibly the clumsiest restaurant concept we have ever encountered. The food comes heavily wrapped in plastic and is unsightly on the table – a skewer of raw vegetables next to a slab of raw meat next to a piece of stale bread with pale butter. The paper plates are on top of the porcelain plate we are expected to eat off of, something we found unappealing. When we unwrapped the plastic, we all made “yucky” faces...

Did we have a good time? Yes, we did, but our conversation – and many of our laughs throughout the evening – centered around how we actually like people with skill and passion handling our food, where we would discard our blood-soaked plastic wrap and who would bug the server to bring us more Handi-wipes.

I happen to agree with Meyer that Arthur Henry's is a good time. I've been there several times with friends for both drinks and for a full dinner. I'm glad that I don't have to go to the store, set up my grill, wait for the charcoal to light, and clean up. For that convenience and the restaurant's unique ambiance, it's worth an occasional visit. But that doesn't mean that Robertson is wrong. Sometimes your tastes are just different from a restaurant critic's.

Arthur Henry's Supper Club and Ruby Room is located at 3406 Broadway and can be found online at http://www.arthurhenrys.net/.

Click here to check out Arthur Henry's Happy Hour menu.

More News:

Dinner is a battlefield - The chefs at the restaurants participating in the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge are up for the test. As of press time, the full list of eateries in the friendly monthlong competition had not been announced, but the V Word is particularly excited to see what Blackbird Kitchen+Beer Gallery (reopening mid-October, according to its Facebook page) concocts, after nailing it with a risotto burger last year. Shoka in Sac News & Review.

Farm-to-scoop shop comes to downtown grid - After several small delays that stalled the shop’s opening from August into autumn, Cornflower Creamery is expected to start scooping on Oct. 10 at 1013 L St., the space formerly occupied by Cafe Roma. Broughton’s hand-crafted flavors will be far from ordinary. Instead of plain chocolate or strawberry, expect such creative offerings as pistachio-apricot, candied fennel or baklava. Debbie Arrington in the Sac Bee.

Buggy Whip restaurant locks its doors - The sign on the front door of the once-iconic restaurant has disappointed a community of diners since it was posted Sept. 15: “The Buggy Whip thanks you for your patronage. It is with much regret that we must close.” With no fanfare, business partners Larry LeSieur and Steven Segal put up the sign and walked away. Customers have learned of the closure as they have shown up for lunch or dinner, only to find the doors locked and the restaurant dark. This is the second time the Buggy Whip has closed. The first was in 2012, reopening last October. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Vela Cafe - Nadeem Haddad, who formerly ran Gyro Supreme at Downtown Plaza’s food court, and first-time restaurateur Feras Jowaniyah are set to open a new downtown Greek and Mediterranean cuisine restaurant in October. The cafe, which will be located near 10th and I streets, will feature a salad bar and deli station where customers can expect to see favorites like falafel and gyro sandwiches with pita bread (tossed in a garlic-based olive oil), shaved lamb and beef and tzatziki sauce. In Sactown Magazine. (Fifth item.)

Local maker of small-batch craft sodas to launch Burly Beverages - Oak Park resident Gabriel Aiello is on a mission to combine the benefits of natural foods with the flavor of sweet, fizzy soft drinks for Burly Beverages, his new collection of sodas made with local ingredients that is expected to launch in mid-November. Dani Anguiano in Sactown Magazine.

Continue reading "Dining News: Former Sac Bee Critic vs. Current on Arthur Henry's" »


Dining News: Now Open Downtown - Gina's Filipino Cafe

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Gina's Filipino Cafe, the first restaurant on the grid serving Filipino fare, opened for business on Monday at 1011 12th St.

Gina Ramirez, the eatery's owner, said in a short interview on Monday afternoon that she plans to serve lumpia (think egg rolls), embutido (a Filipino meatloaf) and pancit (Filipono rice noodles), among other items. It being her first day and apparently pretty early in the restaurant's planning process, details were still being nailed down, though she said that Filipino fare would likely start being served next week.

Ramirez also said that the restaurant plans to serve pastries and hot American and Filipino breakfast dishes.

From the outside, the previous restaurant's signage was still up, and there seemed to be little if any interior renovation work done.

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The restaurant replaces 1011 12th Espresso Bar, which according to Yelp reviews, closed in May 2015.

After Espresso Bar closed, Ramirez said the building owner invited her to take over the space and open a restaurant. This is the Ramirez's first foray into the restaurant industry. Prior to owning Gina's Filipino Cafe, Ramirez worked as a realtor.

The restaurant seems to be a family affair, with Ramirez's son assisting her on their opening day.

In my discussions with her on Monday, it sounded like many of the details have yet to be finalized. However, I plan to support this small business as they get off the ground, and I look forward to another lunch option in that part of town.

Gina's Filipino Cafe is located at 1011 12th Street, and will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.

More News:

Going to Roseville's new Dunkin' Donuts? Read this first - Earlier this month, the company announced a Sept. 29 opening date for its new location at 5010 Foothills Blvd. But now, the opening has been pushed back until Oct. 6. Opening-day festivities begin at 5 a.m. and will include special events such as giveaways and a cup-stacking contest. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Favorite Sacramento Restaurants 2015 - When you are a food blogger, critic, or writer, the number one question has got to be, "What are your favorite restaurants in town?" To that end, I hereby submit my current list. The last time I did this was in 2011 and a lot has changed. In another 18 months, even more so with the 30-50 new restaurants expected thanks to the new arena. Catherine Enfield on Munchie Musings.

Haines brothers plan entertainment patio at new Pavilions restaurant - Sacramento restaurateurs Matt and Fred Haines are embarking on what might be their most ambitious project: a 3,600-square-foot eatery, called The Grove, with an equally large patio area at the Pavilions Shopping Center on Fair Oaks Boulevard. The brothers just signed a lease for the space and are excitedly talking about making it a regional draw as an entertainment locale as well as an innovative farm-to-fork dining spot. The projected opening date: March of next year. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

Sacramento's Best Patios - Hot August nights. Indian summers. Delta breezes. We have many reasons – and many seasons – to seek out the patio life in Sacramento. There’s a luxury and a freedom that comes with dining al fresco. You can laugh louder, hear one another, feel the sun (or the shade) and engage in some people-watching at the street happenings. Featuring Paragary's Restaurant, Temple Coffee, LowBrau, Coin Op and Oak Park Brewing CompanyMichelle Labi-Klonecke on City Scout Mag.

Brew News - This week Ruhstaller reintroduces Hop Sac, its wet-hopped ale, to local markets like Nugget, Corti Brothers and the Davis Co-op. Produced annually, Hop Sac features two versions this year—one made with hops from its farm in Dixon and the other created with hops from Utterback Farm in Sloughhouse. Although they use the same recipe, each of the smooth, refreshing beers is distinct. In Sactown Magazine.

Continue reading "Dining News: Now Open Downtown - Gina's Filipino Cafe" »


Dining News: And the Winners of the Sac Burger Battle Are...

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Congratulations to Pangaea Bier Cafe for winning the Judge's Choice award at Thursday night's Sac Burger Battle.

Coming in second for the judge's award was LowBrau, followed by Iron Grill.

Dawson's Restaurant & Steakhouse won the Sac Burger Battle People's Choice Awards, with the Culinerdy Cruzer and Pangaea Bier Cafe receiving a honorable mention.

The annual event, by Rodney Blackwell (also known as @BurgerJunkies on Twitter) to benefit the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, pits 15 or so local restaurants against each other to determine whose burger reigns supreme. (Read a profile of the King of Burgers in Sac News & Review.)

See the winners of the 2014, 2013 and 2012 Sac Burger Battles.

This was the second burger-related accolade won in the last week by Pangaea Bier Cafe. The Sac News & Review tasted 50 restaurant burgers and deemed these the best burgers:

  • The Pangaea Burger ($13) at Pangaea Bier Cafe
  • The Magpie Burger ($15) at Magpie Cafe
  • The Chef Burger ($13) at South

Read the entire story in Sac News & Review.

More News:

Cielito Lindo emerges from fire with good food - Cielito Lindo’s food approaches that of Mayahuel, Zocalo and Centro Cocina Mexicana – other local Mexican restaurants with ambitious menus – in quality, though its decor renders it visual country cousin to those upscale city slickers. Yet Cielito Lindo’s entree prices, running about $14-$25, are on par with, or higher than, those other restaurants' prices. One might consider Alarcon cheeky for charging those prices. But for my money, Cielito Lindo is the most interesting of the four restaurants. Within its mix of sophisticated flavors, busy colors and harsh lighting, one can see talent, trial, error, perseverance and a manifestation of one immigrant’s dream. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Please Wait to Be Seated: Dozens of new restaurants will be opening their doors in Sacramento in the coming months. But are there enough patrons to fill all those seats? - However — and this is a large however — many people, including Brown, worry that Sacramento could be roaring into a restaurant glut that could put pressure on current restaurants and those arriving soon. There’s no exact number (many owners haven’t announced plans or pulled permits), but the estimate from restaurant and real estate insiders is that 40 new restaurants will open in the city’s core in the next two years. Rick Kushman in Comstocks Mag

Tiny Mraz Brewing seems bound for greatness - One name I would not be surprised to see pop up at GABF 2015 in two weeks in Denver is Mike Mraz of Mraz Brewing. He’s a skillful and creative brewer appreciated mostly by serious beer geeks, for now. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Another food gets its own celebration in Sacramento - Local restauranteurs are planning a multi-day "pizza extravaganza," according to event details posted on Facebook. The celebration, called Sliced, will be held Oct. 17 through Oct. 25. It's scheduled to include nightly specials, chef competitions, instructional sessions and a tour from Sac Brew Bike. So far, the list of participating restaurants includes Federalist Public House & Beer Garden, Hot Italian, Masullo, Chicago Fire, and Pizzeria Urbano. Others are expected to be announced later. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Feast Q&A: Sacramento’s Vegan Chef Challenge in October - The fifth annual Vegan Chef Challenge is coming up, but if you’re not a vegan, that doesn’t mean you’re left out. Anyone interested in healthy restaurant options, creative cooking ideas and, with any luck, the discovery of a new favorite dish, will find this monthlong concept more than a curiosity. Bethany Davis, a teacher who has been a vegan for going on five years, created the challenge to get chefs thinking about food just a little differently. The dozen or so restaurants participating next month will be announced soon. A vegan dish, by the way, means no meat or other animal products, including cheese, butter and eggs. If you’re looking for more details about the health benefits of plant-based eating, check out the Forks Over Knives website. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: And the Winners of the Sac Burger Battle Are..." »


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

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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.

More News:

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.

Continue reading "Dining News: Sellands, Paragary, Lowbrau & Star Ginger Coming to Golden 1 Center" »


Dining News: Former Sac Bee Restaurant Critic (Briefly) Discusses Change

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Blair Anthony Robertson took to Twitter on Thursday to give his first comments on no longer being the Sac Bee's restaurant critic.

Even with his duties as restaurant critic, Robertson's cranked out some really great stories over the years. It's on his recommendation that I now own an Aeropress, and wrote a heartwarming story about a father who bikes with his son with Cerebral Palsy. I look forward to reading more of those.

* Photo via SacBee.com.

More News:

Drian’s, inside the Round Corner: Belly up to the bar - But Perez is the pull. A man from the Philippines who used to be the chef for the Sacramento Kings under both the Ranadive and Maloof eras, he took over the Round Corner’s restaurant space in July 2014 when the last owner bailed. Since then, word of Drian’s food has quickly spread and it’s not surprising to find the city’s best chefs there pounding tequila and lumpia. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

Sock it to me: The Usual, LowBrau - I'm definitely a whiskey sort of guy. I'm also an apricot sort of guy. Not to mention a vanilla bean kind of guy. So I'm all for LowBrau's new cocktail The Usual, which comprises a throaty George Dickle whiskey, apricot liqueur, cinnamon syrup and a floral vanilla bitters. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

Franchisee bringing Jimboy's to Washington state - Jimboy's Tacos Inc. is entering Washington state. A franchisee plans to open the first Jimboy's restaurant in the state in June, the Folsom-based company confirmed Wednesday. It will be in Bothell, which is near Seattle. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

What's going on with Cheese Louise in Roseville? - An entrepreneur who plans to bring grilled cheese sandwiches to downtown Roseville remains optimistic, despite recent cheese-related business closures in the Sacramento region. Cheese Louise Diner & Grille is scheduled to open this spring. It will cover 2,500 square feet at 400 Vernon St. "We're moving forward," said Dwight Chambers, president of the restaurant's parent company, California Catering Management Inc. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Closing of Sammy Hagar restaurant deals blow to Roseville’s downtown revival effort - The closure caught many by surprise and deals another blow for the city’s decades-long effort to revitalize the neglected area. Competition from the Westfield Galleria, also in Roseville, was cited by Aaron Hagar as a reason for the lack of traffic in downtown. Roseville Mayor Carol Garcia, who had Sammy Hagar administer her oath of office in December, said city officials found out about the closure through a Facebook post from the musician. Garcia, like other officials, was stunned at how quickly things unraveled. Richard Chang in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: Former Sac Bee Restaurant Critic (Briefly) Discusses Change" »


Top 15 Happy Hours of January 2015

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I know this is a little late in the month, but I wanted to post this anyway. Here are the 15 most popular Sacramento happy hours of January 2015 on Cowtown Eats:

  1. BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
  2. Bento Box
  3. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
  4. Cheesecake Factory
  5. Chicago Fire
  6. Zocalo
  7. Fat's Asia Bistro
  8. Lucca Restaurant
  9. Firestone Public House
  10. Buffalo Wild Wings
  11. Burgers & Brew
  12. Hook & Ladder
  13. LowBrau
  14. Chevy's Fresh Mex - On the River
  15. Logan's Roadhouse

Thanks for visiting Cowtown Eats! We had more than 78,000 page views and 31,350 unique visitors.

I also want to give a special shout out to Strings Urban Kitchen for generously sponsoring Cowtown Eats and keeping the lights on here.

Thank you all for coming. If you have any tips/suggestions/thoughts, please e-mail me at Darrel@CowtownEats.com

Don't forget to check back daily for new posts and Cowtown Eats resources like the Cowtown Eats on TwitterFacebook and the Sacramento Happy Hour Map.

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