Old Soul

Dining News: RIP Wicked 'Wich in West Sac

Wicked wich

Wicked 'Wich's location at the West Sac Community Center closed in late November, the City of West Sac newsletter announced recently.

Community Center Café Changes for the New Year
The owners of Wicked ‘Wich located inside the Community Center are closing current café operations as of November 23. The owners are looking at a new menu and format, and anticipate re-opening by January 19, when Los Rios College Spring Semester starts and the students return from break. Information on the new menu and format will be shared as it is received.

I reached out to Matt Chong of Team Broderick for more info, but he did not return an e-mail earlier in the week.

Team Broderick, formally known as Working Class Heroes, has been busy this year. They're currently working on working Saddle Rock, replacing Capital Dime at 1801 L Street. In recent months, they've opened a second Broderick Roadhouse at 18th & L and Localis at 21st and S. I have faith that they'll make good use of the West Sac space come January.

As a side note, chef Matt Cannedy left Wicked 'Wich in November and is now the Executive Sous Chef at Esquire Grill. That position became open when Chef Jason Azevedo was promoted to become Chef de Cuisine at Hock Farm.

* Photo via the Wicked 'Wich Facebook page.

More News:

Temple, Old Soul land on Coffee Review best of the year list - Coffee Review has chosen its top 30 coffees of 2015, and four Sacramento-roasted batches made the list. Temple Coffee and Tea led the way at No. 6 with its Panama Don Pepe Estate Geisha Single-Origin Espresso. It was released back in October and received a 96-point rating. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Bad news for Mimi's Cafe fans - Mimi's Cafe is shuttering one of its Sacramento-area locations. The restaurant at 3511 N. Freeway Blvd. in Natomas will have its final day of business on Dec. 20, according to a spokeswoman for the company. The location opened in 2006. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Happy Hour Hound: Easy on I - If you spend enough time at neighborhood bar Easy on I, it will quickly start to become a place “where everybody knows your name.” Owners Mark and Carol Hoyt know all the regulars, always welcome new patrons and are always caught laughing behind their bar. It’s obvious that Mark and Carol have a love for what they do, which is running one of the best watering holes on I Street. They make the bar and grill, on the corner of 18th and I, seem more like your local hang out spot. Easy on I is a casual, low-key bar and grill that is perfect for a Friday night or Wednesday afternoon. It’s full of everything you want at your local bar: good beers, comfortable atmosphere, awesome food and friendly people. It’s the kind of bar that you can grab a drink, a bite to eat, and meet someone new sitting on the bar stool next to you. Amy Serna in Submerge Mag.

New future for former Italian deli in El Dorado Hills - The El Dorado Hills Town Center is getting another new restaurant. Rubio's Coastal Grill will fill a space previously occupied by Mama Ann's Deli & Bakery, which closed in October. Sonya Sorich in Sac News & Review.

Linden teen wins $10,000 on Food Network’s ‘Chopped Junior’ - The Food Network threw everything from orange push-ups to a vegetable sushi roll at 14-year-old Linden resident Elisabeth Watkins, but she kept her cool and came out a winner on a recent episode of “Chopped Junior.” Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: What Southwest Air's In Flight Magazine Says You Shoud Do in Sacramento

Southwest mag

Southwest Magazine, the publication fliers find in seat back pockets, featured Sacramento in their Winter Travel Guide.

As usual, when out of towners make recommendations, there are some hits and some misses. Author Alison Miller has more hits than misses, though when she's wrong, she's really wrong.

First, what the reporter gets right, in what she calls the Next Great Food City:

Breakfast: "Local bacon and egg sandwich on a house-made English muffin from Old Soul Co."

Lunch: "Chicken-fried mushroom po'boy at Mother."

Dinner: "Five-course prix fixe menu at The Kitchen."

Nightcap: "Star bartender Ryan Seng's homemade nocino at Grange."

However, she gets one thing hugely wrong.

Lodging: "Make your home base at the centrally located Red Lion Woodlake Sacramento..."

Not sure what it's centrally located to unless she wants to be in the Costco-Arden Fair Mall-REI triangle.

But it's always good to see Sacramento get some good ink in national publications.

Click here to read it for yourself.

More News:

Black Bear Diner opening Monday in Elk Grove - Black Bear Diner, the Redding-based restaurant chain specializing in traditional comfort food and sizable portions, will open a new eatery in Elk Grove on Monday. Mark Glover in the Sac Bee.

AUDIO: Best Of Sacramento Party And The March Of Dimes - One of the biggest events in the Capital City is more than just a party this year, it’s a 15th Anniversary Party and a celebration of more than $4.5 million donated to the March of Dimes. Nov. 12 is the annual Best of Sacramento Party, hosted by Sacramento Magazine. Sacramento Magazine Publisher, Joe Chiodo and March of Dimes Volunteer Jessica Bracy talk about the event's impact on Insight. On Capitol Public Radio.

Nacho Day, bro: Seafood nachos, Lou's Sushi - Seafood nachos consist of six fried wonton “chips,” topped with smashed avocado and a blend of raw seafood pieces dressed in spicy-mayo magic, then topped with green onion and roe on a bed of red cabbage. An unexpectedly addictive and sharable appetizer. Nick Miller in Sac News & Review.

High tea: Tea Service No. 1, Empress Tavern - Tea Service cocktails at Empress are conversational, boozy and absolutely precious. It's essentially a cocktail brewed for four, poured from a teapot into glass punch glasses. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

New housing taking shape at downtown Sacramento landmark - As for the ground floor of the 105-year-old Ransohoff Building, Fathy said the partners are in talks with several users interested in taking over the 8,200-square-foot space vacated by Pyramid Alehouse in March 2013. Some of the potential users have expressed interest in keeping the beer-making equipment that Pyramid left behind. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee

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Dining News: Railbridge Cellars Opening at Elks Tower Thanksgiving-ish

Railbridge cellarsRailbridge Cellars & Co., the latest venture by the family who owns RailBridge Cellars at 400 N. 16th Street, Strings Urban Kitchen at 7th & Q streets and the Railbridge tasting room at the penthouse of the Elks Tower, is scheduled to open in late November or early December, reports the Sac Bee's Bob Shallit.

The goal is to create a 1920s-era vibe, with vintage fixtures, exposed brick and antique marble.

“You’re going to walk in and think you took a step back in time,” said Michael Gelber, president of Alexis Ventures..

Perhaps the most arresting feature will be windows allowing diners to gaze down into what was once the Elks’ basement swimming “tank.” Over the past year, Gelber has converted that area into a lounge where groups gather for meals while seated in the former pool. “VIP” seating is available in two hot tubs that were added to the room in the 1960s...

Initial plans call for Monday-to-Friday hours, with a menu influenced by the Top of the Town restaurant that drew crowds to the Elks’ penthouse in the 1950s and 1960s.

Coffee and baked goods will be available in the morning, salads and sandwiches at lunch and small plates served until about 7 p.m. along with about 50 wines, many of them vintage varieties that harken back to an earlier time.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

According to Sactown Magazine in July, the space was originally scheduled to open in early October.

When it opens Railbridge Cellars & Co. will be located at 11th & J streets, and can be found online at http://www.railbridgecellarsandcompany.com/.

More News:

Gina’s Filipino Kape - Last week, Gina’s Filipino Kape quietly opened on 12th Street in the space formerly inhabited by 1011 12th Espresso Bar. In Sactown Mag. (Fifth Item.)

Rethinking tipping, wages in Sacramento’s booming restaurant scene - There is plenty at stake as the Sacramento City Council prepares to vote Oct. 27 on a gradual minimum wage increase to $12.50 an hour over the next five years, well above the state-mandated $9 hourly wage. That worries many restaurant owners, and they’re supporting a controversial “carve-out” clause that exempts businesses from the wage hike if they can prove their workers take home at least $15 an hour with tips. The awkward and sometimes confounding issues of tipping, wages and restaurant profit margins have found their way into the spotlight, but depending on which side of the debate is talking, the city’s decision either could lead to minor tweaks for tipping or to a revamping of tipping as we know it. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Not Enough Cooks in the Restaurant Kitchen - In the last year, though, the sound has become deafening. At conferences, over beers and on social media, chefs and restaurateurs are openly worrying (not to say complaining) about a crisis-level shortage of cooks. In scores of interviews via phone and email, chefs and restaurateurs confirmed that the shortage has affected their hiring. Julia Moskin in the New York Times.

Feast Q&A: Blackbird 3.0 throws pre-reopening party - Hammering out details with the insurance company delayed repairs, Lampkin said. But Blackbird will reopen, with a new bar and concrete floor, Dec. 1. But it’s cold in December. So on Friday, Oct. 23, when the weather likely still can accommodate it, Lampkin is throwing a second alley party, to reintroduce the restaurant. The event will carry a theme appropriate to a business that has been down a few rabbit holes. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Basically a milkshake: Harvey Milk Punch, The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar - Popular since the 17th century, they usually comprise a mix of bourbon or brandy, milk and nutmeg. The Red Rabbit has a version called Harvey Milk Punch ($9) that includes Galliano liqueur as a nod to that '70s tipple, the Harvey Wallbanger. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

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Dining News: How Requested App Saved Me 20% at Formoli's Bistro


Requested, a smartphone app that helps you save money during off peak hours and helps you get a table at peak hours, is starting to show real momentum in Sacramento.

I had downloaded the app several months ago, but hadn't tried it out until this past Sunday.

At about 4 p.m., we were looking for a restaurant to eat at that night. On our list of places to go included Empress Tavern and Localis, but neither were open on Sunday.

So we turned to Requested App. At a minimum, it (like Open Table) shows what restaurants have availability that evening. But as part of that process, not only did it show us what restaurants had space, it also showed which restaurants were willing to give us a discount to dine in on a slow night.


We ended up choosing and making a reservation at Formoli's Bistro, a restaurant with a stellar reputation, but one that we generally consider too far since it's all the way in East Sac. (I know...East Sac isn't that far, but distances are relative though.) It was a restaurant that we weren't originally considering, but the 20 percent discount got us in the door.

When we arrived, we informed the hostess that we had a reservation via Requested.

They seated us quickly. We noticed the restaurant was about half full that evening, so the dollars we were spending were dollars that they weren't getting otherwise.

We decided to order the seafood gumbo and the pork chop. As expected, they were top notch. The gumbo was creamy and didn't skimp on the seafood, and the pork chop was literally the best pork chop I've ever had. It was succulent throughout, and the corn salsa below it provided a great, spicy bite.


At the conclusion of our meal, the waiter presented us a "bill," though it was more of a listing of the things we ordered to make sure their system recorded it correctly.


The app took care of calculating the discount, adding tip (which by default is set at 20 percent, though you can adjust it within limits) and billing my credit card. No need to do math or wait for the waiter to come over, collect your credit card, swipe it and return with a receipt for you to sign.

As a quick aside, the discounts are dynamic. What discounts are available depend demand. It may change by day of the week, time you're going out, etc. You may not receive the same discount I got on Sunday.

All in all, I was very impressed with the Requested system. It performed as advertised, helped restaurants fill empty chairs and helped me save a couple bucks. I'll be using them again.

You can download the Requested App here and save $10 off your first use. (Disclosure: I'll also get $10 when you use it.)

For more information, visit RequestedApp.com.

More News:

New brewery plans to team up with Old Soul Co. in midtown Sacramento - Midtown Sacramento could be getting another craft brewery, with an application into the city for establishing one in a building on L Street. Big Stump Brewing Co. would occupy 2,950 square feet at 1716 L St., in a building owned by the operators of the neighboring Old Soul Co. coffee operation. Ben van der Meer in Sac Biz Journal.

Bubbling hot - From the team behind Heat Shabu Baru comes Boiling Avenue (943 Howe Avenue), a softly opened hot pot hot spot. The space is bright and modern with industrial touches, and the menu specializes in mini, personal-sized fusion hot pots. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review. (Second Item.)

New company enters local coffee scene - Satisfying your coffee craving will soon get easier. A new local company called Brass Clover plans to offer ready-to-drink bottles of cold-brew coffee from local roasters. The company will begin by partnering with Old Soul Co. and hopes to work with other roasters on a rotating basis, according to Randall Echevarria, who owns Brass Clover with his husband, Monte Hudock. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

New Fat’s corporate chef brings breadth of experience - Fat’s Asia Bistros in Roseville and Folsom always have covered a lot of culinary ground, starting with Chinese favorites from Sacramento father ship Frank Fat’s and radiating out to other countries’ cuisines. New Fat Family Restaurant Group corporate executive chef Lin Chen has taken that concept deeper and farther, adding Singapore laksa spicy noodles, Rendang Padang (Malaysian) beef stew, gado-gado Indonesian salad and (Indian) lamb vindaloo to the bistros’ new fall/winter menu. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Amid craft brew boom, mobile beer canning business is crushing it - The idea came to them while they were still in graduate school for business administration in the Bay Area. With so many new craft breweries up and running, Lindsey Herrema and Jenn Coyle zeroed in on a business plan that would help more startups with little infrastructure to package their beer in cans and, consequently, increase their profile in the marketplace. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Sac Brew Bar Sets Opening Date


Sac Brew Bar, the brick and mortar home base for Sac Brew Bike, opens this weekend, reports Beers in Sac.

Sac Brew Bar’s Grand Opening will be on Saturday, October 3rd at 7:30PM, however, they'll be open early, starting at 10:30AM that same day. They are featuring a weekend lineup including Jackrabbit, Yolo, Bike Dog, Oak Park, Mraz, and New Helvetia.

Sac Brew Bar is located at 1519 19th St. and will be open 2PM-10PM from Tue. to Thu., and 10:30AM-10PM from Fri. to Sun. Follow Sac Brew Bike on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and to book a tour, visit: SacBrewBike.com.

Read the entire post on BeersInSac.com.

The owner tells Beers in Sac that they'll have 6 beers on tap along with 12 and 22 oz bottles.

Good Day Sac's Tina Macuha also checked out the new space.

More News:

Bill would allow party bike riders to sip suds while pedaling - Drinking and driving is, of course, illegal. But partaking while pedaling might soon be OK. Sacramento state Sen. Richard Pan has a bill on the governor’s desk that would allow customers on pub-crawl bikes to sip some beer while pedaling between stops. City officials would have to give their OK first, Pan said. Tony Bizjak in the Sac Bee.

Owner of Cafe Soleil will mount comeback on Stockton Boulevard - Jorge Ix, the restaurateur who lost a struggle to keep Cafe Soleil open in downtown Sacramento’s Cesar Chavez Park, has signed a lease to open a new restaurant at the former home of Merlino’s Freeze just southwest of the UC Davis Medical Center campus on Stockton Boulevard. Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee.

Best of Sacramento 2015: Food & Drink Readers’ Picks - Featuring Best brewery, Best Affordable Eats, Best BBQ, etc. In Sac News & Review.

Best of Sacramento 2015: Food & Drink writers' picks - Featuring best oral trip to Hawaii, Best reason to cook for yourself, etc. In Sac News & Review.

Best taste of Iraq: Babylon City Market - Though it’s an Iraqi-owned store designed for the local Iraqi community—the first of its kind in Sacramento—Babylon City Market has drawn loyal followers from other Middle Eastern countries as well. English-speakers are welcome too, of course. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

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Dining News: Pizzeria Urbano Reopens, Blackbird Temporarily Closed

Two months after a fire at Pizzeria Urbano forced its closure, the restaurant at the MARRS building reopened today, it announced on Twitter.

According to a mid-April article by Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review:

Apparently, one of Urbano’s ovens was too close to a wall. Gradually over time, the wall overheated and flamed up. It was quickly contained, but Ulloa needed to build a new wall. That process took serious time: “find a contractor, plans, bids, insurance,” Ulloa said, but most consuming is getting new permits from the city and the health department. Last week, Ulloa hoped his new wall would do the trick, but inspectors told him to rebuild on Friday.

At that time, they expected to reopen in early May. Like most restaurant construction projects, it took longer than expected.

Pizzeria Urbano is located at 1050 20th St., and can be found online at https://www.facebook.com/PizzeriaUrbano.

More News:

Water damage temporarily closes downtown’s Blackbird Kitchen - Popular downtown Sacramento restaurant Blackbird Kitchen + Beer Gallery will be closed for four to six weeks just as the season for the nearby “Concerts in the Park” is heating up. Water damage from a broken pipe is to blame, said Carina Lampkin, Blackbird’s executive chef and partner...“We’re hoping to use the down time to get everything done and reopen as Blackbird 3.0,” Lampkin said, calling it an “unexpected but welcome” renovation. Ed Fletcher in the Sac Bee.

Gastronomicon: Most American Thickburger brings out the worst in our country - There is nothing fun or cute about the Most American Thickburger, the newest monstrosity from Carl’s Jr. Much like the American Dream, it is the sale of an empty promise that leaves you both malnourished and obese. Carl’s Jr. hates America. There’s no other way to describe the utter contempt they display for our nation when they announced its name. Anthony Siino in Sac News & Review.

Startup of the Month: Requested - If you want to eat out but can’t decide which restaurant to go to, try asking yourself a different question: How much do I want to pay? That’s the idea behind Requested, a name-your-price app that’s been turning Sacramento’s dining arena into a digital bidding zone. Similar to Priceline, users choose how much they want to pay for a predetermined value (i.e. $40 for what would be a $50 tab), then choose and submit to select restaurants to see who bites. Whoever responds first wins. After the payment goes through, the customer receives a mobile voucher to be redeemed at the time reserved or within 15 minutes. Russell Nichols in Comstocks Mag.

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Dining News: Cielito Lindo to Repoen In The Next Week


Cielito Lindo, which was ravaged by fire in April 2014, is scheduled to reopen its doors in the next week.

The building sustained approximately $100,000 in damage, per the Sac Bee's Chris Macias in May 2014, and the owner suspected at the time that the fire was intentionally set. At that time, he expected the rebuilding process would take six months, but as usual, it took longer than estimated.

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

Now, Alarcon plans to reopen Cielito Lindo (3672 J Street) the first week of May: May 7 or 12, he wrote to SN&R with the help of a translator. The bold, complex flavors and upscale flair will remain, but regular customers can look forward to some big changes as well.

“The seating area will be much larger,” Alarcon said. “We’re adding two rooms and changing the colors. Everything is new and right now it is very pretty.”

The change in the interior design of the restaurant is notable because the Sac Bee's then restaurant critic criticized the drab building while praising the cuisine.

The restaurant originally opened in October 2013.

Cielito Lindo can be found at 3672 J Street, or online at http://cielitolindomexicangastronomy.com/.

* Updated headline to make it more accrurate at 8 a.m. on 5/5.

More News:

Brunch out on Mother’s Day? Here are 5 ideas around Sacramento - This is how much we love Mom. Some 80 million adults partake in a restaurant meal for Mother’s Day, according to the National Restaurant Association, making it the busiest day of the year for eating establishments...The good news is we’ve helped simplify the work by considering Mom’s personality and the kind of food that she would prefer. Keep in mind that now is the time to make a reservation, as Mother’s Day brunch tends to book up quickly. Featuring Grange, Crawdad's, New Canton, The Waffle Experience and Florez Bar & Grill. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Sacto Chicken Co. Shuts Down - The Sacramento Chicken Company, which took over the iconic, orange Merlino’s Freeze building on Stockton Blvd two years ago, has served its last chicken wing. They closed down in March. Greg Brown on SacramentoLand.

Chocolate replacing cupcakes at Roseville Galleria - A Berkeley-based chocolate maker that's expanding its retail based presence will soon have a location in the Westfield Galleria at Roseville. Tcho Chocolate will fill a kiosk previously occupied by Esther's Cupcakes, according to Heather Haskell, the company's e-commerce and retail manager. The cupcake store, which came from the owner of Estelle's Patisserie, closed last year. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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