Meet & Eat

Dining News: RIP Level Up Lounge, Replaced by VEG


Level Up Lounge, located above the popular Thai Basil on J Street, closed in November, reports Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Replacing the night club will be VEG, a coffee, bar & tea room.

Suleka Sun-Lindley, who co-owns Thai Basil and Veg, said the idea has been in the works for about two years. She also co-owned Level Up Lounge.

She called the new concept "completely different." While Level Up Lounge catered to a nightlife crowd, Veg will specialize in breakfast and lunch service, according to Sun-Lindley. She's considering offering dinner service for select occasions, such as private events.

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

According to their Facebook page, VEG officially opened for business on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

VEG is located at 2431 J Street., and can be found online at

More News:

Empress Tavern: Retro meat-and-potatoes fare in a fun (if somewhat noisy) setting - Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, Empress Tavern is a beauty. Located below the Crest Theatre on K Street, it’s a subterranean trip to the past. The long-anticipated Empress opened in September, with its sister restaurant, the vegetarian Mother, having already paved the way above ground. Proprietors Michael and Lisa Thiemann have once again picked an offbeat theme and exceeded expectations. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Wings all day, err day - Lovers of crispy, saucy hunks of chicken have two new local options: Fire Wings and Kiki’s Chicken Place. On the cusp of Elk Grove, Fire Wings (8785 Center Parkway) dishes out mass quantities of wings in a massive number of flavors. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Dos Coyotes expanding with new stores in 2016 - Locally-owned Dos Coyotes Border Cafe plans to add up to four locations in 2016, most of which are outside the Sacramento region. It marks another step forward in the company's franchising efforts. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Sacramento Beer Week to return with larger, sudsier festival in February - Sacramento Beer Week will find a new home at Cal Expo for its opening Sacramento Brewers Showcase set to kick-off the 11-day celebration on Feb. 25. Jason Pham in Sactown Mag.

First Impressions: Land Park’s new Meet & Eat - The meaty mushroom-cheeseburger was a two-handed treat, served with excellent crisp and skinny fries. “I want to taste good-quality meat on my burger, and this one delivers,” said a lunch pal. Competing with that four-star sandwich was a trio of messy marinated-shrimp tacos. The tortillas, with satisfying corn flavor, were topped with perfectly ripe avocado, mixed greens, diced onion-tomato, cilantro dressing and, for once, a whole bunch of really tasty shrimp. The side of fiery salsa added the right bite. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: RIP Level Up Lounge, Replaced by VEG" »

Dining News: Now Open - Hawks Public House

Hawks Provisions and Public House

Hawks Public House, the more casual East Sac outpost of the critically acclaimed Hawks Restaurant in Granite Bay, opened on Tuesday, it announced on Facebook.

For the first week or two, the restaurant will only be open for dinner service. When they get their sea legs, they'll expand to add lunch service.

Here's how the Sac Bee described the restaurant back in January:

The fine-dining destination Hawks in Granite Bay will lose the white tablecloths when two casual, sister restaurants debut in adjacent buildings sharing a patio. The smaller space will specialize in pre-made grab ’n’ go breakfast (an emphasis on baked goods), lunch and take-home dinner, with a “well-edited” menu of sandwiches and salads. Note: It won’t be a deli. The larger sit-down gastropub will have a full bar and stained-concrete floors, along with Hawks’ same dedication to quality and farm-to-fork philosophy.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

Hawks Public House was first announced in 2013. It's good to see that it finally opened. I look forward to giving the place a try.

Hawks Public House is located at 1525 Alhambra Blvd. and can be found online (eventually) at

More News:

Beer Run: A craft brew language primer - Our breweries have won significant awards, the top-tier brewmasters have separated themselves from the pack, the overall quality of the beer is high and the range of styles in Sacramento is broader than ever. With such excellent brew flowing around town, what follows is an informal primer to get you up to speed and help you feel at home at your favorite brewery or beer-centric pub. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Holiday cheer - Enjoy the holiday season in luxury-mode at Formoli's Bistro, which is offering a swanky deal this month in the name of “Celebrating Home for the Holidays.” Because Sacramento is rad, and we can feel the seasonal magic right here. With Formoli's holiday light package, you'll get picked up by a limo, escorted to a four-course dinner, then driven through the Fabulous Forties neighborhood to admire the twinkling, lit-up displays. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Tacos forever - The newest is the reincarnation of Cafe Soleil, formerly in Cesar Chavez Plaza. While Cafe Soleil served American food with some Mexican dishes, Soleil Mexican American Cuisine (2790 Stockton Boulevard) serves Mexican food with some American dishes. That means breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros, street tacos, quesadillas, tostadas and enchiladas—plus some sandwiches, like turkey and tri-tip, and salads, including a chicken Caesar. The bright-orange kiosk most recently housed Sacto Chicken Co., which served Caribbean fried chicken until it closed in February. Prior to that, it was an orange-freeze stand. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Meet & Eat - Meet & Eat offers a unique spin on everyday lunch staples, including a hearty veggie sandwich filled with red beets and herb-marinated eggplant between two slices of feta cheese-encrusted focaccia bread; and a posh salmon salad topped with delicate filets of salmon and paprika-filled green olives. In Sactown Mag. (Third item.)

RIP Vampire Penguin in Davis - Vampire Penguin, the shaved snow dessert house at 130 G St., Suite C, has closed. A sign on the door refers prospective customers to its locations in Sacramento and Elk Grove. It opened in January. Wendy Weitzel in the Davis Enterprise.

Continue reading "Dining News: Now Open - Hawks Public House" »

Dining News: Now (Soft) Open - Meet & Eat


Cowtown Eats first brought you a sneak peek at Meet & Eat, a new Curtis Park restaurant by the owners of Cafe Dantorels, last week.

Since then, it's held its soft opening.

Sac Biz Journal's Sonya Sorich paid a visit took a look at the menu:

The current menu, which displays words such as "artisan" and "organic," features a variety of interesting options. Morning selections range from french toast ($10) to breakfast tacos ($12). Later in the day, a "taco bar" option features three tacos served with tortilla chips for $13 to $15.

There's an assortment of salads, burgers and sandwiches as well. Many include unique twists, such as the veggie sandwich ($13) that filled with beets and eggplant and served with fries. The salmon salad ($13) is equally intriguing, as its toppings include paprika-filled green olives.

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

The Sac Bee's Bob Shallit also has a couple more details on the place:

The plan is to offer “high-end” burgers and tacos, salads and a lot more. Breakfasts, traditional and European style, also will be served. Once its alcohol permit is awarded, the restaurant will have 24 craft beers on tap along with a diverse wine selection.

Read the entire article in the Sac Bee. (Third item.)

From what I hear, the liquor license will be in place before Thanksgiving. I look forward to giving the place a try.

Meet & Eat is located at 3445 Freeport Blvd.

More News:

Paragary’s marketing chief moves to start-up - Long-time Paragary’s marketing director Callista Polhemus has a new gig. Starting Monday, she’s taking over promotion duties for Requested, a start-up launched by Sonny Mayugba, her one-time boss at the Paragary Restaurant Group. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

So bubbly: High Mountain Tea Creama, ShareTea Davis - Because it's from the birthplace of boba, we expect Taiwanese company ShareTea to craft pretty legit tapioca drinks, even amid its rapid expansion across the United States. Luckily, the Davis post meets those lofty expectations. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Sienna New American Grill - This elegant El Dorado Hills restaurant, which offers over 20 bourbon options on its menu, is hosting its first Bourbon Dinner Nov. 19 with a lavish four-course meal and drink pairings. Heather Kemp and Johanna Pugh in Sactown Magazine. (Fourth Item.)

Happy Hour Hound: Club Pheasant - I can easily see myself heading to West Sacramento for happy hour or a proper dinner at Club Pheasant in the near future. While I was there I overheard customers raving about the lamb stew and steak sandwiches, both of which I’m excited to try. Club Pheasant’s happy hour is Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m.–6 p.m. Ronnie Cline in Submerge Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Now (Soft) Open - Meet & Eat" »

Dining News: Sneak Peek at the Not Yet Open Meet & Eat


Over the last four days, I've been getting tips that Meet & Eat on Freeport Blvd. had opened. Their new sign prominently announced their location, and cars filled the parking lot.

I stopped by during my lunch hour today to discover that they're not quite open yet, but I was able to get a quick preview. (Apparently, their sign was supposed to stay covered until they were ready to open, but Mother Nature had different plans and the recent storms forced their hand.)


The space was still a work in progress with workers busily assembling furniture and working on the finishing touches. However, they had turned what was a decaying and empty space into a handsomely-decorated neighborhood spot. It felt like a modern version of a soda fountain.


The staff present weren't ready to commit to an opening date, though barring any hiccups, my guess is that they'll be open well before Thanksgiving. They were also still finalizing the menu and weren't quite ready to share.

I live in Land Park and I'm excited to have a new neighborhood spot with ample parking to frequent. Meet & Eat is owned by the same family who run the very solid Cafe Dantorels. I look forward to giving this new restaurant a try.

When it opens, Meet & Eat will be located at 3445 Freeport Blvd.

Click here for all posts about Meet & Eat.

More News:

Café Dantorels - Having lived in Land Park for well over 7 years now, I’m a little embarrassed that it’s taken me this long to try Café Dantorels in neighboring Curtis Park. This café has been on my “to try” list for years and I finally had just the right opportunity to walk over on a recent Saturday for lunch. Liz Conant in Sac Foodies.

Twelve Rounds Brewing Company - The kitchen is also a work in progress. Murphy partnered with the owners of The Red Rabbit to run the food program, which will focus on small plates, mostly charcuterie. That won’t happen until sometime next year. In the meantime, customers can order food from nearby Evan’s Kitchen and Hot City Pizza, and food trucks make regular appearances as well. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.

Willpower killer: Fallin' Off d'Wagon, Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. - Every week, it seems, I vow to cut back on cocktails and yet every night there I am again, ready to drink the day's stresses away. Hook & Ladder has the perfect remedy for this dilemma, the aptly named Fallin' Off d'Wagon ($9). It's a simple concoction—just bourbon and an apple-ginger shrub—with a full flavor profile. Rachel Leibrock in Sac News & Review.

Can new owners break curse that has killed three similar restaurants in their space? - Sacramento Pizza Co. is filling a restaurant space where at least three other pizza shops have failed. One of its owners knows what you're thinking. "You can call us kind of crazy," said Anay Patel, co-owner and general manager of Sacramento Pizza Co. at 2700 E. Bidwell St. in Folsom. After months of preparation, the business begins its soft opening on Sunday. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Beer Run: Pangaea’s beer dinner speaks of Sacramento’s surging scene - I just experienced one of the best beer events I have ever attended in Sacramento. I’m referring to the $120 per person beer-pairing dinner at Pangaea Bier Cafe in collaboration with Russian River Brewing of Santa Rosa. Here was a cozy neighborhood pub in Curtis Park partnering with a craft brewery widely considered one of the best in the world. It was a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness, featuring Russian River’s acclaimed Framboise For A Cure, a tart and fruity barrel-aged sour that is sold only in October. It has become an annual tradition and a great community endeavor in Santa Rosa, with all proceeds from this limited-release beer going to Sutter Breast Care Services of Santa Rosa. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: Sneak Peek at the Not Yet Open Meet & Eat" »

Dining News: Meet & Eat to Replace Crepe Escape on Freeport

Cafe dantorels

After fire closed Crepe Escape in Land Park in 2013, Meet & Eat, by the owners of Cafe Dantorels in Curtis Park, will fill the space, reports Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

Turns out it’s going to be called Meet and Eat and will have a mix of locally sourced menu options. The opening date? That’s still not certain. And a beer and wine license application for the place is still pending...

One employee, who asked not to be identified, said the new place will have a “European” feel with a smaller menu than Dantorels and will provide full service at dinner as opposed to the counter service offered at the Curtis Park location.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

If you've never been to Cafe Dantorels, here's what then-Sac Bee dining critic Blair Anthony Robertson said in May 2014:

My search for answers about why this restaurant is so crowded so often came up with the only one that makes sense: The people in the Curtis Park neighborhood really want it there and want to see it succeed. It’s certainly not a destination eatery, and I can’t say it’s worth driving across town to check it out. I do recommend it as a place for a quick bite and some good beer or wine. It’s also a good bet for breakfast with quality coffee.

But if Cafe Dantorels is going to maintain its momentum and embrace the obvious goodwill from the neighborhood, it must take a careful look at what’s missing in the kitchen and take meaningful steps to improve the food.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

If there's one thing going for it, Meet and Eat doesn't face strong competition in that part of town. I hope they find success.

More News:

Drinking with your dog: Canine-friendly breweries, wineries abound - Sacramento is fast becoming a dog-friendly city, with a dozen off-leash parks and a long list of restaurants allowing pooches on patios. For wineries and breweries, which typically don’t have the health complications of having food preparation on the premises, courting canines seems like a no-brainier. Many drinking establishments with outdoor areas easily accommodate pet lovers without degrading the experience for those with allergies or fear of dogs. Others have created special playpens to accommodate animals. All stress that owners are ultimately responsible for their dogs’ behavior. Featuring Track 7, Bike Dog Brewing, Oak Park Brewing and many others. Sammy Caiola in the Sac Bee.

Ballad of chicken hearts - All around, the flavors were simple but spot-on; the execution flawless...With the bustling open kitchen, large and striking full bar and ridiculous beer bottle list of something like 40 rare brews, Empress promises to be one of the hottest destinations in town. My only question: Can you eat too many chicken hearts? Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Sacramento Farm-to-Fork Festival sets a record — and it hasn't even started - This year, the festival features five live cooking demonstration stages, up from three last year. The festival is a chance to meet the region’s chefs, growers, farmers, grocers and other foodie-type groups in the community. The vendors include everything from food trucks to ranches and supermarket displays to restaurants and museums. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

New Galleria restaurant opened this week - A major new addition to the dining lineup at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville is almost ready to serve customers. Locally owned restaurant Land Ocean opened at 11 a.m. Friday, pending final approvals, according to a post on the eatery's Facebook page. It's the second location for Land Ocean, which is co-owned by Mark Platt and Karoline Platt. The restaurant serves entrees such as steaks, chicken and seafood. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

New wine bar to open downtown in October - Oenophiles, get ready to be wined (and dined). San Francisco restaurateur John Marco is adding to downtown Sacramento’s transformation with the opening of a new wine bar at 4th and L, next to Foundation Restaurant & Bar and one block from the Golden 1 Center. Whired Wine (which gets its name from the combination of “white” and “red”) is set to open its doors in mid-October, and will feature a rotating menu of local wines, along with six taps of regional beers and even sake. It will also serve small plates, cheese and charcuterie. Amanda Lash in Sactown Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Meet & Eat to Replace Crepe Escape on Freeport" »