Pizzeria Urbano

Dining News: Update on Triple Double, Replacing Zokku Near Golden 1 Center


When Triple Double was announced at the end of March, they were planning for a July 1 opening.

Now that their expected opening date is near, and Sonya Sorich has an update for us in the Sac Biz Journal.

"You will see significant changes in the next three weeks," said Kristina Elliott, the restaurant's controller. "When we're done, it's going to look unbelievable..."

The goal is to open around Aug. 1. "We want to put a stamp on 'we were here first,'" Kristina Elliott said, referring to the many new businesses expected to enter downtown in conjunction with the new arena, which is scheduled to open in fall 2016.

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

More News:

Moo Moo's Burger Barn plans Rocklin location - Don't have a cow over the deluge of new burger restaurants coming to the Sacramento region. One of the newest additions, Moo Moo's Burger Barn, is scheduled to open this fall...It's expected to open Oct. 1. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Sarom’s Southern Kitchen knows jambalaya - The dynamic is counterintuitive: Sarom Doeuk is a Cambodian cook-businesswoman with a background in doughnut shops, who now runs a restaurant specializing in Southern-style cooking and down-home barbecue. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Little Cactus Special at Nopalitos rules! - It's easy to complain that Nopalitos only serves breakfast on weekdays. But don't be a damn whiner. Instead, show up late to work at least once a month because you just had to have the classic East Sac spot's Little Cactus Special. Nick Miller in Sac News & Review.

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Dining News: Q and A with New Sac Bee Dining Critic Carla Meyer


Carla Meyer, who published her first review over the weekend after she took over for Blair Anthony Robertson as the Sac Bee's restaurant critic, graciously agreed to do an e-mail Q and A to introduce herself to Cowtown Eats readers.

1. Before we get into your new job, can you tell us a little about your journalism career?

I have been a writer and/or editor at The Bakersfield Californian, San Francisco Chronicle and The Bee. I worked in news and sports but have spent most of my career in features departments. I became a movie critic in 2000, and I have been primarily that since, though I also covered pop music and a smidge of comedy and theater for The Bee.

2. Did you start your post college life in journalism, or did you have other careers along the way?

I was still in college when I got my first job, at The Bakersfield Californian, and it has been all journalism since.

3. Why did you move to Sacramento?

To be the movie critic at The Bee.

4. Have you ever worked in a restaurant before, and where was it, what did you do and for how long?

All my jobs before my first newspaper job were in agriculture or food service (I am from Shafter, a farm town near Bakersfield).

I worked in a Mexican restaurant from ages 16-18. It was a mom-and-pop operation, and I waited tables, did some cooking and a lot of prep work (I lost a small piece of my thumb in a lettuce-chopping incident).

The restaurant's owner was a great cook -- my mom still says his beef burrito, made with chili Colorado, was the best she's ever had -- and he taught me a lot about flavors and ingredients. He and his wife always struggled to keep the place open, and they finally closed it down just before I graduated from high school.

That summer, I worked at a fast-food restaurant along I-5, mostly taking orders at the counter. This experience taught me how to be part of an efficient, high-volume operation. During college, I worked at a dorm cafeteria, mostly on the serving line or in the big, industrial dish-washing room. That cafeteria was clean as a whistle -- the standards were exacting. It taught me a lot about food safety.

I later worked at two other fast-food restaurants. My last food-service job, before I was hired at the Bakersfield Californian when I was 21, was as a pizza-delivery person. I mostly delivered, because I wanted the tips, but I occasionally stayed in the restaurant and made pizzas.

5. As you start your tenure as the Bee's dining critic, what is your goal/mission?

My goal is to help guide readers through the local dining scene. As a critic, I always write with the consumer in mind, whether I am writing about movies or restaurants. But I also take into consideration a chef or restaurant owner's intention and whether she or he has achieved that goal. I will judge every restaurant on that individual basis. So it won't be a scale where only fine-dining places can reach four stars. I did the same with movies. I gave four stars to very few movies in the past few years, but one was "Mad Max: Fury Road."

6. What have you seen recently at a restaurant that delights you?

Really good, innovative food for a shockingly low price. I would say more, but it might reveal the place, and I've only made one visit so far out of three. Even though I am not an anonymous critic, I still want to be low-key about my restaurant visits, and not tip anyone off that I'm coming.

7. What are your pet peeves about restaurants?

Poor service. I don't count overtaxed or overwhelmed as "poor." I understand places get busy, and co-workers call in sick unexpectedly, and restaurants suddenly become short-staffed. If I can tell a person is trying, I am sympathetic, because I worked in food service. But if a server or a counter person just looks bored or uninterested, it drives me bananas. Your job is to serve the customer. Why else are you there?  

Thanks again to Carla for agreeing to do the interview. You can find her on Twitter @CarlaMeyerSB.

If you missed her first review, she wrote about South, the recently-opened Southern restaurant in Southside Park.

Its fried chicken, offering a muted crunch and intriguing hints of citrus throughout, is exceptional. But it’s not the best thing on the menu, and on one of my visits, it arrived lukewarm alongside other, piping-hot items, suggesting the chicken had been sitting awhile.

South’s biggest standouts are its burger and hush puppies. The burger starts with expertly seasoned ground chuck, topped with melted havarti cheese and bacon confit and dressed with aioli, leek-shallot jam, house-made pickles and, finally, shredded lettuce that takes a brief tumble in South’s mustard-based barbecue sauce before joining its mates.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

I've only eaten at South on their very first night open, but I've been hearing buzz from friends that they're worth another trip. After reading Carla's review, I'll make sure to order the burger and Hush Puppies.

South is located at 2005 11th St., and can be found online at http://www.weheartfriedchicken.com.

More News:

Meet The Bee’s new restaurant critic - Meyer’s photo will appear with her reviews. She won’t be anonymous like previous Bee food critics, who labored to keep their identity a secret so they would receive the same treatment as average diners. Why have we decided to make this change?...By jettisoning this practice, Meyer will be able to interact more closely with Sacramento’s food and dining community. Tim Swanson in the Sac Bee.

New Shoki Ramen House set to open within two weeks - The building has a fresh coat of exterior paint. The new signage is in place. The inside has been scrubbed, and scrubbed some more. Shoki Ramen House, pending a few last-minute logistical details, is poised to open within two weeks, according to its owners, taking over the old Trails Restaurant building on 21st Street near Broadway. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

French restaurant now open in former Broiler location - A sign nearby still directs people to The Broiler, but Brasserie Capitale is officially open on the bottom floor of 1201 K St. in downtown Sacramento. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Mikuni announces new location in Folsom - The popular, locally based Japanese cuisine and sushi restaurant chain Mikuni announced today that it plans to open a new location in Folsom in early 2016. The location will occupy a 4,000-square-foot space in Folsom at East Bidwell Street just off of Highway 50. Tori Masucci Cummins in Sactown Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Q and A with New Sac Bee Dining Critic Carla Meyer" »

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.

Continue reading "Dining News: Pizzeria Urbano Reopens, Blackbird Temporarily Closed" »

Dining News: About a Bite Bakery Coming to K Street


About a Bite Bakery will replace Blush nightclub on K Street with its first downtown location.

The Gold-River based bakery will open a storefront next to Downtown and Vine, which already carried a selection About a Bite's gift boxes and desserts. Its original location is mostly just a commercial bakery where customers can pick up pre-ordered treats.

A phone message left on Tuesday evening seeking more information was not immediately returned.

When I visited the new location at lunch on Tuesday, it looks like renovation on the space had just begun and it will be months before About a Bite joins Estelle's, Ambrosia and Vampire Penguin as places to get your sweets fix on K street.


Here's how the bakery describes its offerings:

At About a Bite Bakery, we offer three uniquely delicious product lines…Bites, Bars, and Between 2 Cookies.

Are you wondering, “What is a Bite“?  Well a bite is a unique cross between cookie and  candy…and best of all it’s covered in quality couverture chocolate!

Our Bars are comprised of tasty layers of complimentary ingredients portioned into bite sized treats. What can you put Between 2 Cookies? You name it and we’ve tried it!  We start with two delicious freshly baked cookies in a wide variety of flavors  and fill them with luscious creme, gooey caramel, or rich chocolate…what could be better?

Learn more at http://www.aboutabitebakery.com/.

More News:

Fire closes Pizzeria Urbano for weeks - If you’ve been craving late-night pizza near the MARRS building the last couple of weeks, you’ve surely noticed the above sign. On Friday, March 27, a wall inside Pizzeria Urbano (1050 20th Street) caught on fire, and reopening hasn’t been as quick as hoped. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Tucos closes - The esteemed wine bar and restaurant Tucos closed last Sunday. Owner and chef Pru Mendez told me he ran out of money. Wendy Weitzel in the Davis Enterprise.

Containers to give West Sacramento project a lift - If all goes to plan, Federico Cohan sees local eateries built from shipping containers losing their novelty status and becoming a regular part of the Sacramento restaurant scene. Cohan recently announced a mixed-use development project in West Sacramento, in a lot adjacent to Broderick Roadhouse. It would encompass 15,000 square feet of retail and office space. The three-story project developed by Cohan and his Luxe Urban Life company would use a series of 320-square-foot shipping containers as the basis for the building. His team of partners in the project include Chris Jarosz, co-owner of Broderick Roadhouse. Midtown Sacramento is already home to two businesses built with shipping containers: Der Biergarten and Federalist Public House & Beer Garden. But Cohan wants to haul this concept much farther down the road. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

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