Off The Grid Launches Taco Tuesday Series


Off The Grid, the popular Bay Area-based food truck event planners, launched a new Taco Tuesday event, featuring Sacramento food trucks each serving their unique taco creations (in addition to their regular menus) at the Crocker Museum from 5 to 9 p.m.

The food trucks scheduled to attend this week are:

  • Cousins Maine Lobster
  • Chando's Tacos
  • Flavor Face
  • New Bite
  • North Border Taco
  • Slightly Skewed
  • Street Eatz
  • Tacos Los Reyes
  • 7 Sisters Gourmet Food

I attended their inaugural event last week, and found it to be well organized and a great place to stop by after work for a drink (yes, they have a bar in the Crocker courtyard) and dinner.

Continue reading "Off The Grid Launches Taco Tuesday Series" »

What to Eat and What to Skip at the California State Fair


I love eating at the State Fair. It's the one time a year when I eat fried food without guilt and try to sample the newest and craziest creations of the mad scientists of the fair food court.

With that in mind, I scoured the media coverage to find out what vendors were touting as new and different at this year's state fair. This is what I tried.


Corn Dog from Milo's, with New Batter: "I went back into the laboratory and figured out we used too much corn flour and not enough cornmeal. We made the adjustment and now I’ve got the perfect corn dog batter," owner Milo Franks told the Sac Bee. So was it "perfect?" Being a full grown adult, corn dogs haven't been a part of my regular diet since I graduated college. I have one at the fair annually, and maybe one other corn dog randomly. Was it good? Sure. But was it perfect? The best way describe it was unmemorable. At the fair, how good the corn dog tastes is really based on the fry chef. If he under cooks it, you end up with soggy breading and a cold dog. If he fries it too long, the breading becomes burned bread. Whether you decide to get a corn dog at the fair should really based on whether you like the fried treat in general. The new breading recipe didn't add or detract from the dog on a stick.

Continue reading "What to Eat and What to Skip at the California State Fair" »

RIP 3 Fires Lounge



3 Fires Lounge, located at 15th & L, will hold a "Goodbye Party" and close for the final time on Friday, July 1, it announced on Facebook this week.

The bar housed inside the Residence Inn, originally opened in 2008, will feature $4 draft beer, $3 well drinks and $5 "U-Call-Its."

3 Fires will be replaced "as a new concept in August," the restaurant elaborated on Facebook.

Over its eight years, the food and drinks have varied from good to mediocre. I look forward to whatever the hotel decides to open there.

3 Fires Lounge is located at 1501 L Street.

New Meal Delivery Service Munchery Hits Sacramento, Delights


There’s never been a better time to be too lazy to cook dinner from scratch, and with the launch of Munchery in Sacramento, it’s gotten even easier.

Munchery, a Bay Area-based meal delivery service, started serving Sacramento earlier this month and delivers fresh and healthy food that requires little to no cooking, for about $12 per entrée. The State Capital is the service’s fifth city, following San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle.

This is how it works:

  1. Order food at about $12 per meal (plus $2.95 delivery fee) before 10 a.m. for an afternoon delivery window at either your workplace or home.
  2. Delicious food is delivered. Depending on what you order, it can be ready to eat right away, or it might take you 15 or 20 mins to prepare.

The folks at Munchery were nice enough to send me a delivery so I could share my experience.


I arranged for a delivery to my on a scorching hot day in early June. You have the option of leaving a cooler outside your home, though I just scheduled it for right before I got home from work and put it in the fridge right away.

Continue reading "New Meal Delivery Service Munchery Hits Sacramento, Delights" »

Free Doritos Locos Taco at Taco Bell on Tuesday

You might still be bummed the Warriors lost the NBA Championship on Sunday night, but at least they won you a free taco from Taco Bell. That counts for something, right?

From 2 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, 6/21, Taco Bell is offering one free Doritos Locos Taco as a reward for a road team winning a NBA finals game. The first team to do that were the Warriors during Game 5.

 If you work or live Downtown, the closest Taco Bell is located at 24th & Broadway.

Win Two Tickets to Wine & Brew at the Zoo on Saturday, May 14th ($110 value)


Longtime readers may remember the annual King of Feasts event at the Sacramento Zoo. 

This year, they've transitioned to feature more local wineries and breweries -- 28 in total, all to benefit the gem that is the Sacramento Zoo.

Featured this year will be: 


  • Barefoot Wine & Bubbly
  • Bogle Vineyards
  • Carvalho Family Winery
  • Helwig Winery
  • Matchbook Wine Company
  • McConnell Estates Winery
  • Mount Aukum Winery
  • Muddy Boot Wines
  • Renwood Winery
  • Sentivo Vineyards and Winery
  • Shenandoah Vineyards
  • Sobon Estate
  • Terra d’Oro Winery
  • Three Wine Company
  • Turkovich Family Wines
  • Weibel Family Vineyards & Winery


  • Bike Dog Brewing Company
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
  • Great Basin Brewing Company
  • Hoppy Brewing Company
  • Knee Deep Brewing Co.
  • Lagunitas Brewing Company
  • Lost Coast Brewery
  • Napa Smith Brewery
  • Mendocino Brewing Company
  • New Helvetia Brewing Co.
  • Oak Park Brewing Company
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
  • Sudwerk Brewing Co.
  • Track 7 Brewing Co.
  • Two Rivers Cider Company
  • Yolo Brewing Company

And they'll be food too, available for purchase from Sacramento food trucks with 10 percent of the proceeds going to the zoo's animal care and maintenance fund, including: 

  • Drewski’s
  • La Mex Taqueria
  • GyroStop
  • The Sweet Spot

So how do you win tickets? There are three ways.

  1. Post a comment below with which winery or brewery you're most excited about trying.
  2. Tweet using the #WineandBrew, and tagging @SacramentoZoo and @CowtownEats with which brewery or winery you want to try. Here's an example. "Can't wait to try @MuddyBootWine at @SacramentoZoo #WineandBrew. Thanks @CowtownEats!"
  3. Post a comment on the Cowtown Eats Facebook page with which winery or brewery you want to try, including #WineandBrew. 

You can enter once per medium. Winner will be chosen at random after 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Please be ready to respond with your real name so you can get your tickets at will call, with proper Photo ID. Winner must be 21 years or older.

If you don't win or just want to support the Sacramento Zoo, tickets can be purchased at for $55 per person, or $15 for designated drivers.

** Congrats to Alex Harold, winner of the 2 tickets.

What You're Missing at Strings Italian Cafe (Sponsored Post)


It's easy to get caught up with the newest and hottest restaurants opening around town, but there are so many longtime/family restaurants that anchor our neighborhoods that deserve a second look.


Strings Homemade Meatloaf

Even though I've lived in Sacramento for more than 15 years, I'll admit I've driven by Strings Italian Cafes too many times without really taking the time to understand what they have to offer. So here's a Q and A with Strings Italian Cafe owner Al DeCaprio to tell us why we should stop by soon.

1. What's the concept for Strings Italian Cafe?

Strings Italian Cafe offers a variety of quality Italian dishes in a casual dining atmosphere at very reasonable prices. Our menu consists of many traditional pasta dishes such as Fettuccine Alfredo, spaghetti with Strings homemade meatballs and pizza but we also have an extended fish and chicken category. This allows for our price points to start at $10 with the majority of our menu items in the $14 - $16 category. All entrees come with your choice of unlimited house salad or soup and fresh garlic bread. Because of the variety on the menu and the reasonable prices our customer base goes from 18 to 80 and everything in between.

2. Can you tell me a little about the history of Strings Italian Cafe?

Strings the Pasta Place was the original concept in 1988. This concept was designed with a very limited menu focusing on fresh pasta entrees. But as people's tastes and expectations have evolved over the years, we have expanded our menu dramatically, especially in the fish, chicken and pork categories. With that came a name change to Strings Italian Cafe. Growing up in a big Italian family so much of what happens revolves around food. Many of the dishes and ingredients that we use today were used by my grandmother and mother. It worked then and it still works now. Customers who come to an Italian restaurant are expecting a warm and friendly atmosphere with good food and service. And I believe that we provide this.

3. If my family is a first time visitor to Strings Italian Cafe, what would you recommend we order?

That is a tough questions! I believe there are many unique and great dishes on the menu, and of course people's tastes vary when it comes to red or white sauces. But if I were to recommend 5 dishes they would be:

  • Cioppino – shrimp, scallops, white fish & mussels served in a zesty cioppino sauce with a side of garlic toast.
  • Pasta Siena – shrimp and chicken sautéed in EVOO, pesto, garlic, red chili pepper tossed with sun-dried tomatoes, penne pasta and a touch of Alfredo and hint of curry.
  • Lasagna Pastry – Our meat and cheese lasagna baked in a onion, garlic pastry shell and served with meat and Alfredo sauce.
  • Salmon Anello – Salmon fillet baked in a black truffle sauce with portabella mushrooms and finished with a touch of Alfredo sauce.
  • Zoodles – fresh Zucchini ribbons sautéed with onion, garlic, fire roasted tomatoes and tossed with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives & capers and topped with fresh basil. This dish is gluten free & vegetarian.

4. Strings Italian Cafe has more than 20 locations. Are they all the same, or is each unique?

Under the Strings umbrella there are 20 restaurants, with a new one opening in Manteca in May of 2016. Nineteen of these restaurants fall under the Strings Italian Cafe concept. Our restauraunts stretch from Yreka which is near Mt. Shasta, to Visalia, and Berkeley to Sacramento. Two years ago we entered into a partnership and opened a restaurant in the downtown area at 7th and N called Strings Urban Kitchen. This restaurant features a full liquor license with a slightly different menu and a completely new decor package. The restaurant was designed by the owner-operator to be more appealing to an urban community. The restaurant that is opening in Manteca will be called Strings Bar & Grill. This restaurant is much larger and will feature a variety of steaks on the menu along with a full bar & lounge in addition to a large dining room and exclusive private dining room for parties.

5. Does Strings Italian Cafe offer any specials?

Every Wednesday night Strings offers an all you can eat pasta night which includes salad or soup and bread. The price varies from store to store but is approximately $8.75. We do have a Kids eat Free on Sunday & Monday's after 4:00 when accompanied by an adult. And of course we offer a Senior discount of 15% off of the entree.

6. Is there anything else somebody should know about Strings Italian Cafe before they visit?

If they haven't been to Strings in a while they will be surprised at the quality and selection that is now being offered.

Strings Italian Cafe can be found online at or at 4848 Madison Ave, Sacramento, CA