Magpie Cafe

Dining News: Save $5 at Federalist, Hot Italian or Pizza Rock via Caviar This Month


It's National Pizza Month, and in honor of that, the food delivery app Caviar is trying to help you save a few bucks while enjoying a pie.

Order from local pizzerias Federalist, Hot Italian or Pizza Rock and save $5 off any purchase of $15 or more by using the code SACSLICE5.

I used the Caviar app for the first time on Friday evening and ordered a pizza from Hot Italian at about 6:33 p.m. and it arrived at my house at 7:12 p.m. The pizza was still piping hot, and I loved it. (I loved it even more since Hot Italian gave away free pizzas with the purchase of a pizza last week.)


You can download the Caviar app at (Disclosure: I get a few bucks in free Caviar credit if you click on that link.)

SlicedSeparately, Sacramento is in the midst of Sliced, where a loose confederation of pizza places have all decided to get together to offer pizza specials or host pizza events from Oct. 17 through Oct. 25. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have a good Web site or Facebook page that lists all their events so I can't do a thorough post on it.

There's a partial list on Facebook if you want to check that out. Here are also a couple media hits the organizers have received:

AUDIO: Restaurants like the Federalist Come Together to Celebrate the Best Pizza in Sacramento - A special week for the Sacramento food scene begins Saturday. "Sliced: A Celebration of All Things Pizza" is a week dedicated to celebrating the best pizza in Sacramento, with nightly specials, chef competitions, instructional courses and even a Sac Brew Bike tour. Marvin Maldonado and Liza Madigan from Federalist Public House in Midtown are here in the studio with us for our Friday Food segment. Kitty O'Neal on KFBK.

VIDEO: Pizza Week in Sacramento - Sliced Pizza Week is October 17-25 and Gary is out getting all of the details. Local pizzerias -- Federalist Public House & Beer Garden, Hot Italian, Masullo, Chicago Fire, Buffalo Pizza, Urbano and more -- will be celebrating and demonstrating their craft for all to enjoy. There will be nightly specials, chef competitions, instructional courses and one crazy bike tour with Sacbrewbike for the first 60 people who sign up. Details for the Pizza Crawl can be found at Gary Gelfand on FOX 40.

Guide to Sliced - This is the first annual SLICED: A Celebration of All Things Pizza, so this week think not of present-day you. Think of future you. The you who’s going to have to explain to your future grandchildren why you don’t know what it was like during the first ever SLICED in Sacramento. Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t do that to posterity. Instead, help make history by hitting the open road in search of wood-fired, deep-dish, by the slice and thin-crust delights. Before you don your half-shell, though, pizza please peruse our extra cheesy guide. Cowabunga! Michelle Labi-Klonecke on City Scouts Mag.

VIDEO: Sacramento celebrates all things pizza - From October 17th – 25th, local pizzerias will be celebrating and demonstrating their craft for all to enjoy. From nightly specials, to chef competitions, instructional courses and even a bike pizza tour, featuring Ed Roehr of Magpie Cafe. On KCRA.

More News:

Sacramento Reverse Food Truck - Thanks to fan favorites like Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen and Bacon Mania, our waistlines are now intimately familiar with the concept of food trucks. But have you ever heard of a reverse food truck? Essentially, reverse food trucks collect quality food from local farmers markets and donate/deliver the food to local hunger relief organizations. Sacramento is now home to one, aptly named: Sacramento Reverse Food Truck. Laura Braden on Girls on the Grid.

Continue reading "Dining News: Save $5 at Federalist, Hot Italian or Pizza Rock via Caviar This Month" »

Dining News: Now Open Downtown - Triple Double Sports Bar


Triple Double Sports Bar, which replaces the Zokku at 4th & J, opened earlier this week, reports Sactown Mag's Tori Masucci Cummins.

Nathan Hilderbrand—a native of New Orleans who has held stints in acclaimed restaurants there, including Commander's Palace and The Ruby Slipper Café —will serve as Triple Double’s executive chef, taking over for former co-owner Trevor Elliott who, along with his wife Kristina, has left the team...

The restaurant includes an oyster bar framed by pendant lights and colorful abstract murals by local artist James Goodchap that depict famous sports figures like Joe Montana, Serena Williams, Muhammad Ali and Oscar Robertson (the basketball great holds the record for the most triple-doubles in NBA history).

Read the entire story in Sac Mag.

Sac News & Review's Janelle Bitker has more on the menu:

Small plates, salads and sandwiches hover around $9; the most expensive entree—pulled pork-stuffed hush puppies with braised greens, slaw and cracklins—costs $22. Southern influences dot the menu: pork cheeks come braised over grits; fried brussel sprouts over Pimento cheese; Caprese salad with fried green tomatoes; and a shrimp po’boy with creole remoulade. Dessert options include deep fried Oreos stuffed with foie gras. The chef and ownership team have roots in New Orleans, but don’t expect to see any gumbo or crawfish etouffee—yet, anyway.

Read the entire story in Sac News & Review.

The new restaurant's facade is a more modest version of what the owners said they would have when I talked to them in April. Back then, they said the street-facing side would have CPI Paneling, which will allow Triple Double to display messages on via a LED grid, and the interior ambiance will be "a little industrial with a southern influence.

That original vision is still visible on the Web site


When I drove by the restaurant this week, it looked like the exterior had been painted, but no extensive renovation had been done.

Still, the outside appearance of a restaurant is way down on the list of things that will make or break this restaurant. The owners seemed like very nice people, and I hope they succeed.

Triple Double is located at 419 J Street, and can be found online at

More News:

Sean Derfield, owner of two Sacramento bars, gradually healing after light-rail collision - Beyond that, Derfield knows what the future looks like. Once he began to heal and his mind cleared, he took stock of his life and decided to make serious changes. In addition to the saloon and bustling beer bar, Derfield owns the shooting arcade River City Shooting Gallery. Erika Derfield, a first-grade teacher at Cosumnes River Elementary in Sloughhouse, does the books for the three businesses. “In the hospital, I told her that working 85 hours a week is over. Owning three businesses, you’re constantly going 24/7. But that’s why I have employees and I never used them to the fullest extent,” Sean said. “I need to delegate more and enjoy life, take more vacations and stop saving the money for that rainy day.” Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Brews brothers? New beer operation to team with coffee roaster - Another company is looking to enter Sacramento’s fast-growing brewpub business with plans for a 3,000-square-foot taproom and brewing operation behind the Old Soul coffee shop in midtown. In an application with the city, backers of Big Stump Brewing Co. said they hope to operate a 10-barrel brewing operation at 1716 L St. in vacant space owned by the coffee company. Big Stump would sell its craft beers to customers at the brewpub and also market its products to area bars and restaurants, according to the application. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

Triumphant brunch: Fried chicken & cheddar biscuit, Roxy Restaurant and Bar - I have gone to Roxy for brunch three times in the last few weeks. I admit it—I'm smitten. Brunch is usually a restaurant horror show of surly servers, tipsy patrons and greasy food slathered in broken hollandaise. Not so at Roxy. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

A sweet spin: Horchatte, Nido by Magpie - For a refreshing, nuanced spin on an iced latte, order the horchatte ($4 for a small). The base is Nido's housemade horchata—the Mexican rice milk-based beverage—which is slightly sweet and toasty from a bounty of cinnamon. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Bistro 103 - Located in historic Auburn, this New American restaurant that opened in February has just added a new weekend brunch menu with farm-to-fork dishes like decadent bananas Foster pancakes topped with flambéed sliced bananas, cinnamon sugar, walnuts and butter; or the savory braised beef cheeks eggs Benedict. In Sactown Magazine. (Third item.)

Continue reading "Dining News: Now Open Downtown - Triple Double Sports Bar" »

Dining News: Another Restaurant Says No to Postmates


Much like Uber and other sharing economy companies, Postmates, while growing quickly, is creating its fair share of enemies along the way.

The latest restaurant to announce it will not take orders from Postmates or other third party delivery companies is The Rind. Here's what they posted on Facebook late last week:

Dear Cheese Fans, due to concerns regarding THIRD PARTY DELIVERY SYSTEMS, including POSTMATES, we will be denying orders via these platforms.

We have recently discovered that Postmates has been delivering our product without our consent, thus delivering at less than the high standards that we believe you deserve. Additionally, we have been BULLIED recently by their representatives in our small restaurant in front of guests and lied to on the phone. This does not represent The Rind.

Yes, we all love a good delivery system, however we made a choice to not deliver in an effort to provide you a consistently delicious and beautiful product. Additionally, because Postmates has us on their platform in part because you love us, it is because we love you that we will have to deny Postmates as a delivery system in order to meet our mission. They may or may not take us off their platform permanently, so I apologize if you see us on it and think we are working with them. We are not.

I have spoken to a representative and was informed that if an order is initiated and then denied, you will not be charged! We apologize for the confusion, and we hope you will continue to support us as we strive to consistently do what we have been doing for the past 2.33 years!

Thank you all for your support and understanding!

Sincerely your cheesiest friends in town,

Sara & Steve

In the comments to that Facebook post, The Rind clarifies that they do allow take out for their food, just not through Postmates and their ilk.

We are happy to do take out to guests and have been since day 1. Giving to a third party loses any assurances of food safety and quality control, thus the primary reasons to focus on giving the food directly to you instead of them. Thank you for understanding.

While I have great respect for the restaurant owners and they can run their business however they want, I'm not sure I understand why they would allow a customer to do take out while not allowing a third party to deliver the food for me.

I understand that there are foods that do well when delivered (burritos, sandwiches, cooked Asian food, etc.) and foods that don't do well (anything raw, charcuterie, cheese plates, etc.). The customer has to understand that when they order from Postmates. If their order is ruined, Postmates is to blame and not the restaurant's fault.

I also hear the argument that food is meant to be eaten the second it's served, but let's be honest - there are many reasons that doesn't happen. A friend will bring pizza over to your house, and it's 20 minutes old when you dig into it. You may grab lunch to eat at your desk, but get an important phone call delays your meal for 30 mins. A co-worker brings in doughnuts and bagles to share with the office and it sits for 2 hours before you see it. It happens all the time, and I don't see a flood of complaints blaming restaurants for the diminished food quality due to the passage of time.

I asked Postmates to comment, and a spokeswoman said that they are acting as an agent of the customer who is requesting a service. In addition, they are driving volume and revenue to restaurants who would otherwise not be able to serve that customer.

Thus far, the list of restaurants that I've seen who won't have said they prefer not to work with Postmates are:

  • The Rind
  • Kru
  • Fish Face Poke Bar (Technically, owner/chef Billy Ngo questioned "the safety of a third party transporting raw fish to customers" but hasn't explicitly said that they won't. I'll check during open hours.)
  • South
  • Mother
  • Pushkin's

Many of the restaurants on that list are very successful and probably don't need the extra revenue. I'll continue to eat in at those restaurants. But for us consumers, we can bring our delivery dollars elsewhere to restaurants who want our business and who will take our money.

Previously: Postmates Not Loved by Many Sacramento Restaurants

* Updated at 10:08 p.m. reflecting uncertainty over Fish Face's status.

More News:

Magpie Cafe: Free bird - In July, Magpie flew its cramped coop on R Street and opened a new location on the corner of 16th and P. The current space is not only larger, but more open, with lots of windows and a high ceiling...Fortunately, many of the stand-out menu items are still available. The California farmstead cheese plate ($16) has always been outstanding. You get five California cheeses paired with fantastic dried figs, fresh seasonal fruit (lately figs and nectarines) and plenty of crisp toasts. Ann Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Hot, hot and cold - Watch out for a new food truck from Hot Italian chef and co-owner Fabrizio Cercatore...It won’t be a mobile Hot Italian, rather, a Passione Pizza truck...Cercatore said he anticipates the food truck allowing him to offer more pizza crusts at events, including whole wheat and gluten-free. He’s currently working on sprouted grain as well. He’s working on a lot. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

The Sommelier & The City: “Let Me Introduce Myself” - Apparently, telling the guy you’re dating you can’t meet up until 1 am on a Tuesday night because your business dinner (with four men in tailored Italian suits) went three hours longer than anticipated (due to copious amounts of rare and very expensive Champagne) doesn’t really go over well. Who could blame this Vino Vixen for NOT turning down free spectacular wine (that costs as much as my monthly salary) with men that have the power to skyrocket my career? Come on, most men can’t even turn down a free room temperate can of Coors Light, let’s keep it real. I digress… to put it simply, dating a Sommelier is hard. Jienna Basaldu on Girls on the Grid.

Eat, drink and give back - Speaking of restaurants, downtown’s Mayahuel is the site of one of the area’s cooler fundraising events: #Network4Cause. One evening nearly every month, the eatery’s banquet room/tequila museum is made available for a different nonprofit organization to bring in guests and generate some cash. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee. (Second item.)

Bloggers conference here in 2016 - Riding the momentum of its burgeoning farm-to-fork reputation, Sacramento has landed the International Food Bloggers Conference – and all of that potential exposure in cyberspace – for July 2016. The conference, which attracts 300-plus attendees who routinely blog, tweet and use other social media to chronicle their food experiences, is considered the latest coup for the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: Another Restaurant Says No to Postmates" »

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


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: Fire Ravages Morgan's Bar & Grill in East Sac

Morgan's Bar & Grill at 33rd & S streets was gutted by a fire early last week, reports the Sac Bee's Bill Lindelof.

The blaze was reported about 2:45 a.m. at Morgan’s Bar & Grill, 3348 S St. When firefighters arrived, they saw flames at the back of the building, according to Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Chris Harvey.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire without it spreading to nearby structures. A fire investigator was trying to determine whether the fire began on the outside or the interior of the restaurant.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

Since then, the restaurant has given several updates via its Facebook page.


No official statement from Shawn or Carrie Morgan, but we are definitely closed indefinitely. Sad day to say the least.. gotta clean up.

Posted by Morgans Bar & Grill on Monday, August 31, 2015



Thank you everyone for your kind words and thoughts! Our business would be nothing without all your support and love! We...

Posted by Morgans Bar & Grill on Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I''m thankful that nobody was injured in the fire, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the owners and displaced employees.

More News:

Farm-to-Fork Festival to kick off with fresh-food drive - Sacramento’s third Farm-to-Fork celebration will open in less dramatic fashion than the previous two. The event, which culminates Sept. 27 with the (sold-out) Tower Bridge Dinner, will kick off at 5 a.m. Sept. 9 with a fresh-food drive on Capitol Mall. Contributions will go to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, which will distribute food and serve as a clearinghouse for other food banks in the region. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

About A Bite, Harvest Bar held grand openings last week on K Street - After a trial run this summer, a new culinary addition to Sacramento’s K Street gets its official grand opening Wednesday. About A Bite Bakery and Harvest Bar by Downtown & Vine will host a joint ribbon cutting at 3:30 p.m. at the space the businesses share at 1200 K St., Suite 9. It’s next door to Harvest Bar’s parent Downtown & Vine’s “Urban Wine Country” bar and restaurant. Debbie Arrington in the Sac Bee.

Tipping at Magpie - Magpie Cafe recently instituted an innovative new tipping policy that allows diners to tip kitchen staff as well as servers. The new policy was designed to “level the playing field” between kitchen workers and servers, says Janel Inouye, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Ed Roehr. Magpie’s line cooks and dishwashers make $9 to $15 an hour; servers make $9 an hour plus tips, which add significantly to their total pay. “They can walk out with $300 in their pocket,” Inouye says. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.

Beer Me at the CA Craft Beer Summit! - It’s been a big year for craft beer in Sacramento. We have sixty-six craft breweries in the region, eleven within city limits and nine I can ride my bike to, with more planned to open later this year...But why is all of this important? Because Sacramento is an emerging community for craft beer lovers and on September 11-12 we are lucky enough to host the first-of-its-kind CA Craft Beer Summit and Brewers Showcase. Leia Ostermann on Girls on the Grid.

Finnegan’s Public House: Head down to the corner - It’s a pretty exhaustive menu and a lot for a small kitchen to keep track of, but so far they seem to be turning out solidly good, very large portions. Brave the traffic on Stockton and the odd parking lot. It’s worth finding Finnegan’s. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Continue reading "Dining News: Fire Ravages Morgan's Bar & Grill in East Sac" »

Dining News: Small Fire Temporarily Closes Rio City Cafe


A small kitchen on Monday night forced Rio City Café in Old Sacramento to close for the week, general manager Scott Meier told Cowtown Eats on Wednesday morning.

Nobody was injured in the fire and the damage was minor. Meier is now awaiting inspection so he can reopen the restaurant, hopefully on Friday.

Another notable restaurant closed by a kitchen fire was Ella back in January 2014 when a grease fire closed the restaurant for a weekend.

When Rio City Café reopens, they'll continue to serve what they're calling their Gold Rush Menu, a BBQ-themed menu running through Old Sac's Gold Rush Days celebration on Labor Day Weekend.


Rio City Café is located at 1110 Front Street in Old Sacramento, and can be found online at

Thanks to the team at About a Bite bakery for the tip. Make sure you check out their new location on K Street behind the Hyatt.

More News:

Plunge into poke – it’s really cool - In terms of culinary trends, 2015 will be remembered in Sacramento as the Year of Poke. Variations of this Hawaiian seafood salad have long been a staple of local menus, be it as a starter course at Bandera or nestled in the fish counter at Oto’s Marketplace. But now, the raw seafood dish known as poke (pronounced “po-kay”) is primed to become the new shawarma, shabu shabu or other dish du jour. The poke craze in Sacramento was kicked off by Fish Face, the poke bar run by Billy Ngo of Kru at R Street’s WAL Public Market. Since opening in early July, Fish Face has processed up to 120 pounds of fresh tuna daily – sometimes selling out of product – to meet its customer demand. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Beer glassware: It’s not just about what you drink - Why do you drink beer? Your answer will have a lot to do with how you drink beer. If you consider craft beer to be an engaging sensory experience and if you’re committed to seeing, smelling and tasting your beer, then the glassware into which it is poured will be an important consideration. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Foundation Restaurant & Bar: Uneven but stable - One of the real winners is Foundation’s Big Ol’ BBQ burger. There are four burgers on the menu, but the waitress assured us this was a good one. She was right: Topped with sharp cheddar, caramelized onions, two big strips of bacon and house-made barbecue sauce, it was a winner. The beef flavor came through well and the bun held up despite the oceans of sauce and juice that poured forth. Stock up on napkins for this one...Foundation is perfectly fine, if a bit uneven in execution. It’s a good option for lunches and drinks and, come 2016, or whenever the arena opens, it should be packed to the rafters. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Berry nutty: Strawberry Fields 4EVER, WholeHearted Juice Co. - Try the Strawberry Fields 4EVER ($11 including $1 deposit for the 16-ounce bottle), which delights with almonds, strawberries, cacao butter, dates, vanilla, ocean minerals and sea salt. It's slightly sweet, salty and nutty with a quiet reminder of chocolate-covered strawberries. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Tales and Ales: A Red Solo Cup Anniversary Party - Come celebrate 56 years of enchantment at Fairytale Town, Sacramento’s favorite (and only) storybook park. On the evening of Aug. 29, Fairytale Town welcomes all generations of fans to an anniversary party. While the kids enjoy Fairytale Town’s countless attractions, adults can join local craft breweries in unlimited beer tasting. Fill up your red Solo cup as many times as you want from some of the featured local breweries, including Lost Coast Brewery, Oak Park Brewing Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Track 7 Brewing Co. and more. Sara Stidham in Sac Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Small Fire Temporarily Closes Rio City Cafe" »