Dining News: Orphan Improved, but Still 'Second Tier'


Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair A. Robertson wrote in 2009 that East Sac's Orphan  'badly needs to adopt the idea of flavor.'

He's revisited the place, and has given it a re-review.

While Orphan has, indeed, grown up into a reliably good restaurant with polished service and consistent cooking, it also faces stiffer competition than it did during those early, awkward days...

For lunch, you can still order breakfast items or go in the sandwich direction. We loved the health-conscious “zen breakfast” featuring grilled tofu, egg whites and steamed spinach, a dish that takes a balanced and simple approach to flavor.

The burrito with chicken was substantial and nicely assembled, including seasoned black beans and an overall eating experience of heft and rich flavor. Orphan makes three dishes featuring scrambled eggs, including an avocado scramble that had large slices of creamy avocado, scallions, tomatoes and melted Monterrey Jack cheese.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

More News:

Sacramento’s Temple tops Coffee Review’s best of 2013 list - Sacramento’s becoming better known as a beer town, but it’s already on the map as far as coffee is concerned. Respected online coffee publication Coffee Review released its Top 30 Coffees of 2013 today, with Sacramento’s Temple Coffee and Tea of Sacramento earning the No. 1 slot for it’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffee. Tim Swanson in the Sac Bee.

Craving Dessert? Three Sweets To Seek Out - ’Tis the season be gluttonous, and I’ve been devouring desserts with abandon. Three I tried recently have been real standouts. Featuring The Firehouse's vanilla creme brulee, Shady Lady Saloon's warm almond pear cake and The Waterboy's apple crostada. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

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Dining News: Red Rabbit 'Smart, Fun & Lively'


Red Rabbit celebrats its first anniversary on Saturday. I loved its concept and execution so much that that's where we went for Valentine's Day dinner last year.

A year later, Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson takes a look at the maturing restaurant.

The food, the drinks, the service, the décor, the energy in the room, even the name (a nod to the giant red rabbit art installation at the airport) – it all works. And there's room for improvement.

The braised lamb shank ($22.50) with creamy white polenta and braised Swiss chard was an excellent example of good ingredients and skillful execution. The thick, crispy square of pork belly ($9) with a lemon caper sauce was a tender, tasty, rustic, comforting appetizer. The eye-catching "winter is coming caprese salad" ($7), featuring slabs of tender golden beets instead of tomato slices, along with croquettes of warmed goat cheese, was clever and beautifully done, even if the pickled red onions threatened to overwhelm the dish with their acidity...

The food here does indeed have an edge. It's creative and thoughtful. It's all over the map with flavors, textures and ingredients. Service is solid and sometimes well above average. The menu features several winners and a few clunkers.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

More News:

Orphan Breakfast House - Some mornings just call for a sit-down, ignore-the-world, enjoy-yourself kind of breakfast. When those mornings call, Orphan Breakfast House answers. From fresh daily specials using seasonal ingredients like the Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes (three Meyer lemon poppyseed pancakes baked with fresh raspberries and surrounded by house-made Meyer lemon curd) to menu standbys like the Papas Loco (rosemary potatoes grilled with jalapenos and scallions, topped with black beans, jack cheese, fresh salsa, sour cream, avocado, cilantro and Roma tomatoes), Orphan doesn’t disappoint. Jenna Buhagiar in Sac Foodies.

Inside the performance at The Kitchen - Dining at The Kitchen Restaurant is like watching a celebrity chef cooking show — but you actually get to eat the food. Like a foodie celebration, The Kitchen is dinner and a show in one. In fact, dinner is the show. The story of that show begins with what goes into the menu and it includes with how a dish is made and then presented. The ending, fittingly, is dessert. Mark Anderson in Sac Biz Journal.

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Daily Dining News: Orphan's King Cakes are 'Glorious'

I hear mixed things about Orphan at 34th & C in East Sac. On the one hand, Sac Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson said that it "badly needs to adopt the idea of flavor." Sac News & Review's Greg Lucas gave it 3 out of 5 stars, saying that all the dishes were very similar. But that was back in 2010. More than 2 years later, Sac Mag's Kira O'Donnell seems to imply the place has turned the corner.

"I was lucky enough to visit recently to try the restaurant’s glorious “King Cakes,” buttermilk pancakes with a generous addition of peanut butter, chocolate chips and bananas. A ridiculously satisfying, sweet mélange of complimentary flavors, I’m sure the indulgent dish packed in enough calories (plus a few hundred) to cover me for the rest of my day. (Note: other not-to-miss breakfast items at Orphan Breakfast House include the hefty roast beef hash and the scrumptious artichoke scramble, served up with crusty rosemary potatoes).

Read the entire story in Sac Mag.

Other close friends have said the place is a great place to grab brunch during the summer. I've never been, but I'm now intrigued enough to give it a try.

More News:

Old Sacramento’s Fat City gets a menu makeover - And while the restaurant refreshes its menu a bit every year, the crew at Fat City, led by matriarch and chef Lina Fat, introduced a slew of new menu options this week. Among them: a pesto turkey burger with provolone and cranberry mayonnaise, and a shrimp and artichoke heart fettuccine with tomatoes in a white wine butter sauce. In Sactown Mag.

Chef David Hill set to open a second restaurant - Here's some exciting news out of Roseville (and Rocklin). David Hill's restaurant in Rocklin, The Chef's Table, opened three years ago and immediately had to confront two formidable obstacles - the plethora of chain restaurants in the area and the horrible economy that was prompting consumers to scale back on eating out. So what's the good news? The Chef's Table has done so well and has become such a fixture in the community that Hill is opening a second restaurant, to be called Hill's Kitchen, at the site of the short-lived Pause restaurant in Roseville. The concept for the new place, which is slated to open in early June, is sure to attract attention in a town not known for its seafood. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

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