Magpie Cafe

Dining News: RIP Wrap N' Roll Sushi Burrito in Midtown

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Wrap N' Roll Sushi Burrito closed on Sunday, January 17 and will reopen on Saturday, Jan. 30 as Make Fish Poke & Sushi Burrito, according to a sign on the door sent by a Cowtown Eats tipster.

Wrap N' Roll Sushi Burrito shares ownership interests with Make Fish Poke & Sushi Burrito, which opened in Elk Grove in October.

According to their Facebook page, you can have poke as a burrito, bowl, nachos or salad. They also sell snacks from $2 for spam musubi to pork belly asada fries for more than $8.

Just three days ago, Eater.com ran an article asking if poke might be the next fast casual trend. Given the fact that a restaurant changed from the quasi-trendy sushi burrity to the very trendy poke, the answer is probably yes.

I ate at the old Wrap N' Roll several times and always enjoyed myself, but found it to be too much food at times. I look forward to giving their new poke forward restaurant a try.

When it opens on Saturday, Make Fisk Poke & Sushi Burrito will be located at 1801 L Street and can be found online at http://www.makefish.com/.

More News:

Shoki Ramen House - After its original location on 24th St. closed its doors at the end of 2014, a new outpost of Shoki is slated to open at the end of January at 21st and Broadway in the building that formerly housed Trails Restaurant...The new Shoki will also offer a specialty beer created by Ruhstaller Brewery exclusively for the ramen house’s new outpost. Anna Petkovich and Johanna Puch in Sactown Mag. (Second item.)

Counter Culture: Monte Cristo sandwich at Disneyland - Closer to home, versions of the Monte Cristo are at the Village Bistro ($11.25), 7984 California Ave., Old Fair Oaks Village, 916-966-6384, www.village-bistro.com; Early Toast Mimosa House ($9) with two locations: 2023 Vine St., El Dorado Hills, 916-934-0965, and 761 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Roseville, 916- 784-1313 (www.earlytoastnuggetplaza.com for both); and the Black Oak ($11.59), 320 Orange Drive, Vacaville, (707) 448-1311, www.blackoakrestaurant.com. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Beer Run: Auburn Alehouse takes quality to next level - In 2012, Auburn Alehouse won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival for its Gold Country Pilsner, an incredible achievement in a very challenging category at what is arguably the most important beer event in the country. The brewery has also won two bronze GABF medals for this beer, in 2010 and ’13. So, what did owner/brewmaster Brian Ford do for an encore? In 2014, he spent $20,000 on lab equipment, including a dissolved oxygen meter and pH meter, in an effort to dial in his brewing procedures and take his entire lineup of beers to new heights. The focus is on quality and freshness, including a “best by” date stamped on the bottle that lets consumers know time is of the essence if they want to enjoy that same pub-quality freshness at home. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Cure for what ales you: Behind-the-scene challenges of opening Midtown Sacramento’s newest brewery - Larissa Meltz and Alex Larrabee sit around a conference table in a darkened office on L Street. It’s hard to believe this space will transform into Midtown’s newest craft brewery in a little under four months—if everything goes to plan. Engaged for over a year, Meltz and Larrabee need Big Stump Brewing Co. to open for sure by May 22 to host their wedding reception. But launching a brewery on the grid has proven tougher than expected. Graham Womack in Sac News & Review.

On the right track: Gina’s Filipino Kape - Lumpia are possibly the most well-known Filipino dish. The ones at Gina’s are long and slender, freshly fried and served with a sweet and slightly spicy dipping sauce. The pork filling isn’t plentiful, but they’re tasty nonetheless. You can also get them with a shrimp filling. They’re on the right track, introducing Filipino food to downtown, but Gina’s could use some more oomph. Some enthusiastic promotion of the menu items and what they are, plus some fine-tuning of flavors could really make it a go-to spot on the grid. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Continue reading "Dining News: RIP Wrap N' Roll Sushi Burrito in Midtown" »


Dining News: 'Magpie Visits Revealed Remarkably High Consistency in Food Quality'

Magpie

With Magpie Cafe's move to a new and larger space over the summer, is it still as good? Sac Bee dining critic Carla Meyer gives her two cents:

Magpie visits revealed remarkably high consistency in food quality and comfortable places to sit in a space I initially found too austere...

One can and should order the excellent burger, which is new to this location and already has evolved since the summer. The first burger was bigger, had cheese and was becoming too unwieldy to make for a place that’s not a dedicated burger joint, Roehr said. Diners often wanted to customize, creating 10 different experiences for every 10 burgers.

Magpie now offers one burger experience, which involves a house-baked brioche bun with a dark patch atop it courtesy of a grill flipover. The Niman chuck patty is cooked just past medium, so the salt and char tastes come through prominently. Brightened by mustard aioli and house dill and bread and butter pickles, and then peppered by arugula, this burger’s missing nothing, even with no cheese.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

I've had several meals in their new space - including the aforementioned burger at a recent lunch - and all of my experiences have been delightful.

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Magpie Cafe is located at 1601 16th Street, and can be found online at http://www.magpiecafe.com/.

More News:

‘Culinary concourse’ proposed for downtown Sacramento - Downtown Sacramento’s historic D.O. Mills Bank Building could become a farm-to-fork showplace featuring a dozen high-end eating spots under plans being floated by the owners of the ornate, century-old building...The idea is to replicate the feel of San Francisco’s Ferry Building or the Oxbow Public Market in Napa, where multiple restaurants and related businesses operate synergistically in the same space, said Valerie Mamone-Werder, business development manager with the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

Eat ’n’ drink: The local look ahead - The Food World is chatting with speculation: What trends will heat up and take off in the new year? Could there be another pastry as trendy as the Cronut? Will a fresh new cocktail push the shrub off the bar? Is there a step up from sous vide cooking? We asked a well-informed Kurt Spataro, Chris Tucker and Whitney Johnson for their 2016 forecasts for Sacramento. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Dig IPAs? Track 7 Brewing to host legit IPA ‘Invitational’ during Sacramento Beer Week - The city’s most popular local brewery, Track 7, will host its first ever Invitational Festival this year during Sacramento Beer Week. Nick Miller in Sac News & Review.

Roll-it-yourself: Hand rolls, Fish Face Poke Bar - Fish Face Poke Bar gets a lot of love for its DIY poke bowls, but its sushi is pretty genius as well. A few hand rolls ($4) are always ready to go. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Hidden Breakfast Gem: Harry’s Cafe - Harry’s Café serves Chinese, Vietnamese, and American food, all of which is a reflection of owner Harry Luong – a Chinese man who grew up in Vietnam and moved to the United States in search of the American Dream. While the lunch and dinner options are good (try the oxtail stew), it’s the breakfast options that keep me coming back. Tony Cervo in Sac Press.

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Dining News: Second Sac Restaurant Adds Kitchen Tip Option

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Following in the footsteps of Magpie, Ella has added a kitchen tip option to their receipts.

For those unfamiliar with the way tips are distributed, generally, only service staff can legally share in the tips. Kitchen staff is prohibited by law from getting a cut (unless servers choose to share their tips as a gift), and this leads to great pay disparities between the front of the house and back of the house staff.

Click here for a more detailed explanation of the issue.

Magpie was the first Sacramento restaurant to add a line where diners could choose to leave a tip of any amount for kitchen staff. Ella's option is similar, but the receipt asks if you want to "allocate 5% of the above tip to the Kitchen Staff." My server clarified that it meant that for every $100 in tips collected, $5 would go to the kitchen staff. This does not mean that if you leave a 20 percent tip, 5 percent goes to the kitchen, with the remaining 15 percent going to the servers.

One of the criticisims of the Magpie system is that some servers started to see less take home pay as diners started splitting the same tip percentage between service and kitchen staff. The Ella system seems to try to tackle this issue by strongly suggesting that 5 percent go to the kitchen, though I suppose one could change that 5 percent split to any number.

Selland's PR contact did not respond to a phone and e-mail request for comment and elaboration on Wednesday afternoon. My server at Ella during an afternoon visit said that the change took place at the beginning of the year.

While we're on the topic of tipping, there was a great San Francisco Chronicle article earlier this month that examined what's happened to restaurants that have tried to eliminate tipping and increase wages.

So when Sous Beurre Kitchen opened in the Mission in February, Mauschbaugh followed the example of five Bay Area restaurants that abandoned tipping in late 2014. He printed all-inclusive prices on his menu, which allowed him to pay his kitchen staff well above minimum wage and offer health insurance.

This October, though, Mauschbaugh aban-doned the tipless model and issued pay cuts. “We got overrun with taxes, and it became unsustainable,” he said.

Read the entire article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

More News:

Rum Rok - The weather may be cooling down but this newly opened Tiki bar has been heating up the downtown bar scene ever since it opened Dec. 9...Co-owner Bob Simpson hopes that the bar, which occupies a former nightclub space on the corner of H and 15th streets, will become a go-to stop for concert and theater-goers attending shows at nearby Memorial Auditorium and Wells Fargo Pavilion. In Sactown Magazine. (Fifth item.)

Soup as medicine: Aka Tonkotsu, Ryujin Ramen House - But there’s no rest for the busy, so I load up on soothing soups like the Aka Tonkotsu ($8.95) from Ryujin Ramen House. With spicy red ginger, green onions, BBQ pork and plenty of super-hot broth, it’s like medicine in a bowl. I love the semicooked egg, too, for its creamy smoothness. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

That parm, tho - Rocklin recently got its first Jimboy’s Tacos, which held its official grand opening last week. Welcome to Parmesan-dusted heaven, Rocklin. The Rocklin Jimboy’s (5410 Crossings Drive) joins the Folsom location and a few spots further away in testing new Jimboy’s menu items. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Tea, please - More and more boba shops keep opening in Natomas. The latest is T4 U, which boasts hip decor and excellent credentials. The first T4 opened in Taiwan in 2004, slowly adding more Taiwan locations before expanding to Malaysia in 2012. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review. (Fourth item.)

Bakery’s invisible expansion - Its customers may not realize it, but the popular Karen’s Bakery & Cafe in Old Folsom has practically doubled its space. After years of having its cooking and baking staff squeeze into a tiny kitchen, the business has leased a nearby building that formerly housed the Thai Siam Restaurant. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: Second Sac Restaurant Adds Kitchen Tip Option" »


15 Most Popular Happy Hours of November 2015

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Here are the 15 most popular Sacramento happy hours of November 2015 (based on page views) on Cowtown Eats:

  1. BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse (Last month's rank: 1)
  2. Bento Box (Last month's rank: 2)
  3. Chicago Fire (Last month's rank: 3)
  4. Zocalo (Last month's rank: 4)
  5. Fat's Asia Bistro (Last month's rank: 5)
  6. 33rd St. Bistro (Last Month: Unranked)
  7. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (Last month's rank: 5)
  8. Cheesecake Factory (Last month's rank: 10)
  9. Firestone Public House (Last Month: Unranked)
  10. Hook & Ladder (Last month's rank: 10)
  11. Burgers & Brew (Last month's rank: 12)
  12. 3 Fires Lounge (Last Month: Unranked)
  13. Magpie Cafe (Last month's rank: 6)
  14. 58 Degrees & Holding (Last Month: Unranked)
  15. Broderick Restaurant & Bar (Last month's rank: 9)

Thanks for visiting Cowtown Eats! We had more than 50,000 page views and nearly 22,500 unique visitors.

I also want to give a special shout out to Cask & Barrel, Hook & Ladder and Ernesto's Mexican Food 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.

Related Posts:


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" »


15 Most Popular Happy Hours of October 2015

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Here are the 15 most popular Sacramento happy hours of October 2015 (based on page views) on Cowtown Eats:

  1. BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse (Last month's rank: 1)
  2. Bento Box (Last month's rank: 2)
  3. Chicago Fire (Last month's rank: 6)
  4. Zocalo (Last month's rank: 3)
  5. Fat's Asia Bistro (Last month's rank: 7)
  6. Magpie Cafe (Last Month: Unranked)
  7. Cheesecake Factory (Last month's rank: 10)
  8. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (Last month's rank: 5)
  9. Broderick Restaurant & Bar (Last month's rank: 13)
  10. Hook & Ladder (Last month's rank: 11)
  11. Bottle & Barlow (Last month's rank: 4)
  12. Burgers & Brew (Last month's rank: 9)
  13. Buffalo Wild Wings (Last month's rank: 15)
  14. Shady Lady Saloon (Last month's rank: 12)
  15. Lucca (Last Month: Unranked)

Thanks for visiting Cowtown Eats! We had more than 51,000 page views and more than 20,500 unique visitors.

I also want to give a special shout out to Cask & Barrel, Hook & Ladder and Ernesto's Mexican Food 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.

Related Posts:


Dining News: RIP Noodles & Co.'s Midtown Location

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Well, that was fast.

Noodles & Co., a chain restaurant serving noodle dishes from all over the world, closed its location on 16th street.

The location was open less than 6 months in the new Legado de Ravel building at 16th & O streets.

By Thursday evening, the exterior signage had already been taken down, and a sign on the door read:

We're sad to say we're closing our restaurant in Sac Midtown. We have enjoyed serving all of you through the years and appreciate your loyal support.

A phone call to the phone number on their Facebook page goes to a pre-recorded message that says in part:

Thank you for calling Noodles & Co. This restaurant has closed. We have enjoyed being your neighbor...

The location has also been removed from the restaurant's corporate Web Site.

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Earlier on Thursday, Noodle & Co. reported a loss of $9.8 million for the quarter and told investors that they would be closing 16 restaurants by the end of the year. There's no word if this closure was one of the 16.

Despite the closing of the midtown location, fans of Noodles & Co. can still find the restaurant at Loehmann's Plaza, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove Citrus Heights, Roseville x2 and Rocklin.

Thanks to loyal Cowtown Eats readers for tipping me off to the restaurant's closure.

More News:

Why an Oregon brewery is coming to midtown - Midtown Sacramento is getting a new brewery, but only for one night. Deschutes Brewery from Bend, Ore., will hold an "ultimate craft beer block party" as a fundraiser for a local nonprofit. The family-friendly event will be held Nov. 14 on Capitol Avenue from 17th to 19th streets. It's scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and end at 10 p.m. All proceeds from the "street pub" will benefit Runnin' for Rhett, a nonprofit that offers fitness programs for adults and children throughout the Sacramento area. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Sharetea Davis - This Bay Area Taiwanese tea and boba shop opened its new Davis location on Oct. 8 to long lines. Popular drinks include traditional items like the mango and passion fruit green tea, the matcha red bean milk tea or the Okinawa pearl milk tea, as well as modern, inventive flavors like Oreo milk tea, Taro ice blended with pudding, or kiwi fruit tea with ice jelly. In Sactown Magazine. (Fifth Item.)

A cinematic feast: 8 food films more palatable than ‘Burnt’ - In “Burnt,” Adam gets some blowback for his bullying, but not enough to make storytelling sense. Elsewhere on the jerk front, Adam seems to lack regard for his customers, or food in general, apart from its ability to win him Michelin stars...As a film-turned-food critic, I can recommend the movies (available for home viewing) below over “Burnt.” We’ve also designated each film’s pièce de résistance, or its most mouth-watering or story-defining moment. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Fish Face: Addicted to poke - The strength of the poke lies in the utter freshness in every piece of seafood and produce served. Ingredients are respected and smartly executed. Service is friendly and informative, which is great as those used to stagnant sushi menus may be daunted by the sheer number of options as to what fish goes with what sauce goes with what add-ons...All I can say is that if Kru didn’t solidify Ngo’s role as Sac’s seafood master, Fish Face certainly does. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

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