Rubicon Brewing Company

Dining News: Man Shot Outside Chando's Tacos on Wednesday Evening


A man was shot outside Chando's Tacos on Arden Way on Wednesday evening, per the Sac PD Daily Activity Log.

Here's the entry in full:

800 block of Arden Way at 1717 hours.

The victim was in the area when an argument ensued with two unknown suspects. One suspect armed with a handgun shot the victim and fled. Sacramento Fire personnel responded to the scene and transported the victim to an area hospital for a serious, but non-life threatening injury. Officers checked the area for the suspects. The investigation remains very active and no arrests have been made at this time.

Chando, the owner of the beloved Mexican restaurant, provided additional details on Facebook Friday morning:


While we're on the topic of the restaurant, Chandos Tacos also announced a price increase due, in part, to the the minimum wage hike that took effect on Jan. 1.

Chando's Tacos is located at 863 Arden Way, with two additional locations in the greater Sacramento region, and can be found online at

More News:

Twelve Rounds Brewing plans to open a distillery - Turns out, Twelve Rounds Brewing Company dreams of whiskey. The brewery plans to become Sacramento’s first distillery. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Pangaea’s cookies and beer pairing to feature coveted Firestone Walker milk stout - At 6 p.m. on Jan. 21, you can delve into the grown-up version, featuring a top-notch California craft brewery and one of Sacramento’s leading craft beer bars. Dubbed “Milk & Cookies Night,” this casual tasting event at Pangaea Bier Cafe, (2743 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento) pairs a pint of Nitro Merlin Milk Stout from Firestone Walker of Paso Robles with two brown butter and sea salt cookies by Brown Butter Cookie Co. (with shops in Paso Robles and Cayucos). Reservations are not required. The event is first come, first served. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Oldest brewery in town finally given OK to fill and sell growlers - At 11 a.m. Thursday, Rubicon Brewing made a bit of local beer history. Owner Glynn Phillips and his staff at the pub at 2004 Capitol Ave. in Sacramento began selling growlers — those extra-large to-go containers that have become a popular and lucrative part of the craft beer industry. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

2016 food fads: What’s hot, cold and old - Oysters, ramen, burnt vegetables and “reverse-seared” roasts will continue to be show-offs this year, expert observers predict. Gaining momentum will be hand-crafted ice cream in savory flavors (feta cheese, anyone?), mung beans in many forms, pizzas with sourdough crusts topped with smoked duck or fresh fruits, single-barrel spirits, flavored booze beyond vodka, beets, smoked foods, harissa and gochujang (chili pepper pastes) and crudo, the ancient dish of thinly sliced raw fish drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings. What do you think of the returns of lard, escargot and the raw bar? Prepare yourself. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

West Sacramento considering loan for new microbrewery - West Sacramento is poised to get its fourth microbrewery and tap room, in an operation by one of the founders of Knee Deep Brewing in Auburn...Revision Brewing would use the loan in two ways. One would be to buy equipment used for brewing, while the other would serve as proof of concept to attract other investors. The agenda item for the loan notes Revision’s partners have also applied for a $400,000 Small Business Administration loan. They estimated total start-up costs at $1.3 million, with the balance coming from the owners. Ben van der Meer in Sac Biz Journal.

Continue reading "Dining News: Man Shot Outside Chando's Tacos on Wednesday Evening" »

Dining News: The Violation That Led the County to Close Cafe Bernardo/KBAR


Last Tuesday, visitors to Cafe Bernardo/KBAR were greeted with a sign saying the venue had been closed by the county health department.

At the time, the reason given for the closure was "insect/rodent infestation."

The county has since posted its report online detailing the violations.

OBSERVATIONS: Major - Closure

3 live German cockroaches on wall/ledge behind 2-door reach-in refrigerator in espresso area, 3 ive cockroaches on floor along crevice between wall and floor beneath server's station across from pass thru window, 1 dying cockroach on floor of bar near cash register, 25 dead cockroaches on floor and ledge behind and beneath 2-door reach-in refrigerator in espresso area, 7 dead cockroaches on floor beneath equipment (ice bin) in bar and 1 dead cockroach on floor of dining room. Eliminate all dead and live insects. Continue with professional pest service. Last date of service 7-15-15. Seal all cracks and crevices immediately.

Read the entire report at the county's Web site.

The following day, the restaurant was reinspected (per county records), the infestation had been resolved and the restaurant and bar reopened.

As I wrote last week, it's more common than you think for restaurants to be closed by the health inspector. However, more often than not, these are isolated occurrences. I've eaten at KBAR and I plan to do so again soon.

* Headline's been edited since it was originally posted.

More News:

Craft beer shop opening soon in Lincoln - You don't have to wait much longer to visit a new craft beer venue that calls itself "the hoppiest place in Lincoln." Infusion Taproom will hold its grand opening on July 25. The business fills 1,954 square feet at 845 Twelve Bridges Drive in Lincoln. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Two Mexican restaurants shut their doors -- at least for now - It's a sad month for tacos and burritos in the Sacramento region. Two Mexican restaurants in the area have closed -- at least for now. Mas, a Mexican restaurant in Roseville, has shut its doors...Also, chain restaurant Baja Fresh has closed its location at 2100 Arden Way, but looks like it will be relocating shortly. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Surprise: Popeye’s shrimp ‘n’ chicken are on the leader board - Some weeks ago, a friend of ours confided that he breaks his vegetarian vows when it comes to Popeye’s fried chicken, calling it “the best in Sacramento.” Out of curiosity, we ordered a three-piece dark-meat combo and were shocked by how good it was. The non-greasy pieces were hot and juicy, with a touch of heat and salt, tastier than the Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Beer Run: Rubicon stands up to newcomers on craft beer scene - Rubicon Brewing has been around so long that newcomers to the craft beer scene tend to overlook this 28-year-old local treasure. It’s not hip. It’s not trendy. And the crowds at its restaurant and pub on Capitol Avenue tend to be older. How a brewery like Rubicon continues to thrive in an era of tremendous craft beer growth? When all kinds of new breweries are opening in cool places and offering plenty of innovation? Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Dollar-Wise Gourmet: Dinner Deals for Every Day of the Week - So you think all the Dollar-Wise bargains happen on weeknights, not weekends? Well, you’re partly right: The vast majority do. But as this little research experiment revealed, the local region offers some sweet savings every day of the week, even Fridays and Saturdays. Mark your calendar for these dinner deals, all under $20. Featuring Buckhorn Steakhouse, Cafe Eurpoa, Ten22, Danielle's Creperie, Rudy's Hideway, Revolution Wines and Sandra Dee's. Cathy Cassinos-Carr in Sac Mag.

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Dining News: Former Blackbird Chef Not Opening Restaurant at Art Ellis Space


Kevin O'Connor, a talented former chef at Blackbird and who did pop up dinners under the Treehouse name, will not open at the space formerly occupied by Art Ellis art supplies on J Street.

The Sac Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson reported this back in February:

O’Connor and his business partners have purchased a building on a bustling midtown block on J Street and will begin work readying the transformation from Art Ellis art supplies to a new restaurant...

O’Connor, 24, does not have an projected opening date but said he hopes for late summer or early fall. The building will include a loft space O’Connor plans to call home.

Read the original story in the Sac Bee.

First, let me be clear. I'm not saying that Robertson was wrong when the piece first went up, but the information appears to no longer be correct.

On a visit to nearby Kru in July, I peeked inside the space and saw what looked like unfinished tables from New Helvetia Hardwoods, which reclaims fallen urban trees and makes them into "practical art."


I stopped by again during Second Saturday in August and saw this sign.


I asked the staff what happened to the restaurant, and was told that the project fell through.

An e-mail asking O'Connor for comment via Treehouse was not returned.

So as best I can tell, that space remains an art gallery.

More News:

Rubicon Brewing Company lands major distributor - A taste of Sacramento beer will now be easier to find around California and beyond. Rubicon Brewing Company, a stalwart of Sacramento’s microbrewery movement, has partnered with DBI Beverage Sacramento. DBI is a major distributor of beers, with a portfolio that includes Heineken USA and major brands under the MillerCoors umbrella. DBI also distributes such craft beer favorites as Russian River Brewing, Dogfish Head, Bear Republic and Lost Coast. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

‘Farm-to-Fork’ goes pay to play - Local eateries must pay to participate in the “Restaurant Weeks” portion of the upcoming celebration of Sacramento as “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.” Flying the official “farm-to-fork” flag during the event, which runs Sept. 13-28, will cost $100 or $200. This information was shared in a recent meeting with key players in the farm-to-fork festivities. One staffer with Produce Express, a distributor for the area’s boutique farms, took to Facebook to express dissatisfaction with the surcharge. Local chefs including Michael Tuohy of Block Butcher Bar chimed in to say, basically, that the fee stinks. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Yay! Maggiano's Comes to Sac! - Years ago my then boyfriend and I went to the Winchester Mystery House for a Halloween night tour. Having arrived early, we were hungry and looked across the street at the Santana Row shopping/condo complex and ended up at Maggiano's for a fantastic Italian dinner.  It was so good, that even though I had no idea if they were independent or a chain or what, I remembered them. Catherine Enfield on Munchie Musings.

Zpizza Tap Room to open on Saturday, Sept. 20 - Sacramento resident Michael Sessler and his business partner, Chris Bright, know that beer and pizza make for a winning combination. Add in a demographic where residents have some disposable income in a neighborhood with limited dining options and voila – you’ve got the main ingredients for zpizza’s newest venture – a tap room and pizza parlor, located at 7600 Greenhaven Dr., which is set to have its grand opening celebration on Saturday, Sept. 20. Monica Stark in Valley Community Newspapers.

Duke's Plates & Pints preparing to open in Arden Town Center - A partner with Bella Bru is among the self-professed beer lovers opening a "neighborhood-focused tap house" at Watt Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard. Duke's Plates & Pints will open this fall at 510 La Sierra Drive, inside Arden Town Center. It fills a spot previously occupied by Beach Hut Deli. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: Cultured & Cured Enthusiastically Received In Opening Days

The Cultured & The Cured (which I'm convinced will soon be shortened to just Cultured & Cured) opened on Oct. 28. Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson paid a visit and shared some of his thoughts:

The products are attractively displayed and are available for takeout, or you can order food and drinks at the shop and enjoy them at one of the few available tables. The cheeses and charcuterie are sourced mostly from California purveyors.

The extensive renovation of the building, which last saw use as an electric bike shop, is impressive, with stained concrete floors, a refrigerated display case and various stylish details that give the room warmth and charm.

I ordered a duck liver pâté and a silky smooth duck liver mousse that had been marinated in port wine, both produced by Fabrique Delices, an artisan charcuterie business based in the East Bay.

I haven't had the chance to go yet, but I'm super excited about the pate. I had some on a recent vacation to France, and it was one of those things that I promised myself that I'd try to eat more of when I got back. Five weeks later, I still haven't tried to find any at a local market.

But I'll definitely give it a try when I make it out to Cultured & Cured.

Cultured & Cured is located at 36th & J in East Sac.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

More News:

Fresh look for CPK - California Pizza Kitchen is spending $1 million-plus to remodel its Arden Fair restaurant, adding reclaimed wood to the exterior and interior as it stresses sustainability and a California casual ambiance in its new decor. Tabletops are made from reclaimed barn doors, chief executive G.J. Hart told me, and LED lighting reduces the electrical drain. A new bar welcomes guests who want a more adult-oriented experience, he said, while the restaurant area remains family-friendly. Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee.

Beer Run: Rubicon tells ‘cheater pints’ to kiss their glass - But Rubicon also strives to do things the right way when it comes to serving its award-winning beers at the pub by rolling out a concept called the “honest pint.” In fact, owner Glynn Phillips and company have gone to great expense to make a point – buying an entirely new inventory of glassware with the Rubicon logo. One thing you’ll notice is that it’s a big glass, and there’s a measuring line for 16 ounces, allowing room for an aesthetically pleasing head. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Paesanos Midtown Closed for Rennovation, to Reopen on Tuesday


Paesanos Midtown closed temporarily on Monday, Nov. 11 for a modest face lift and is scheduled to reopen tomorrow, owner Mark Scribner said in an interview on Sunday.

The impetus for the closure was the need to install new flooring in the kitchen. While they were closed, they decided to get some other work done, including:

  • New coat of paint
  • New art
  • Additional bench seating to allow for a more flexible dining area
  • New chandeliers
  • Doubling their taps from 6 to 12 with the addition of a glycol cooling system

Scribner (whose parents own local winery Scibner Bend) said they decided to do the work now since there's a slight lull between the end of the summer and the holiday season. The last renovation of the space was done 12 years ago in 2001.

The menu will also get a small update with the addition of a few more pastas, pizzas and salads.

Fans of the restaurant don't need to worry - the character of restaurant they love should remain the same after it reopens tomorrow. It'll just be a little freshened up.

More News:

Sacramento Breweries - We’ve made a couple recent trips to the Sacramento area and visited 6 breweries. Here’s a rundown on what to expect at each one. Featuring Sudwerk, River City, Hoppy, New Helvetia, Track 7 and Rubicon. On Grubulub.

Biba Still Dazzles - But a recent meal at Biba reminded me that it can be very rewarding to re-visit some of our region’s well-established local restaurants. I took a friend who had never eaten at this venerable Sacramento dining institution, and our meal was a dazzler. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Paesanos Midtown Closed for Rennovation, to Reopen on Tuesday" »

Dining News: Calibrate Your Tastes Buds Via Reviews of Capital Dime


With so many reviews of Capital Dime published within days of each other, this gives readers the rare chance to figure out which reviewers they agree with. And instead of having to compare an entire restaurant experience, you can actually just do it with a few dishes that reviewers have coincidentally reviewed.

Note that I'm not saying one is right and one is wrong. Every critic's entitled to their own opinion. Like a movie or TV reviewer, you just get to figure out which one you agree with. Also, it's possible that the restaurant's inconsistent in serving a great dish one night and serving the same dish poorly the next. But still, I think this is a valuable exercise.

(Critics are color coded for convenience.)

On Capital Dime's watermelon salad:

"The watermelon salad with shrimp was outstanding — it showed finesse, elegance, a range of subtle flavors." - Sac Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson

"I know Yelpers have been orgasmically excited over the watermelon-and-shrimp salad. Not sure why. The watermelon’s gloppy texture and soft edges indicated it had likely been cut the day before. And the bonito flakes didn’t provide the saltiness needed for balance, and the mozzarella was lost. This lack of salt and a lack of acidity left us wanting feta and lime juice for a classic watermelon salad." - Sac News & Review's Garrett McCord

On Capital Dime's pastrami:

"The pastrami sliders are just ordinary, possibly because ours were served with nothing but a bun." - Sac Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson

"I found the house-smoked pastrami to be by and far the best pastrami I’ve ever had in this city. It’s intensely smoky and delightful." - Sac News & Review's Garrett McCord

On Capital Dime's Spinach Dip:

"Standout menu items included a rustic, better-than-mom’s spinach and artichoke dip, which left a subtle, lingering heat on the palate." - Sac Mag's Kira O'Donnell

"While early online reviews raved about the dip, our whole party thought the dish was unremarkable. While it had an unusual amount of spinach and artichoke, because it was covered in cheese, it was impossible to determine how fresh/local it was. We also understand that real estate costs are high in that building, but our group thought a fairer price for that dip was in the $7.50 range, not the $10 range, and come with more toast." - Cowtown Eats

Read the entire articles in the Sac Bee, Sac News & Review, Sac Mag and Cowtown Eats.

More News:

A magical night with food: Dining at Enotria, then cooking into wee hours at Kru - One of the reasons Billy Ngo, the owner and chef of Kru, is such a compelling part of the local restaurant scene is because he’s always looking for new ways to get better. He and a few friends dropped $2,600 at Meadowood in St. Helena to get a front-and-center look at Christopher Kostow’s 3-star Michelin food at the special $500-per-person chef’s table. And this past Monday, Ngo was on hand at Enotria to eat and gather intel during the restaurant’s monthly guest chef series — this time it was Michelin two-star chef Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. By all accounts, the dinner was a tremendous success, with Enotria executive chef Pajo Bruich holding his own with this major talent from the big city. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

6th Annual Midtown Cocktail Week - I’ve got three words for you Sacramento: Midtown Cocktail Week. That’s right, next week marks the start of five full days filled with craft creations and specialty concoctions from some of Sacramento’s most talented mixologists and bartenders. Starting Wednesday 8/21 and continuing through Sunday 8/25, Midtown will be buzzing with an array of events dedicated to its cocktail scene. In its 6th year, Midtown Cocktail Week is no small event.  In fact, it is one of the contributing factors to Sacramento being recognized as one of the country’s hottest cocktail destinations, in addition to Shady Lady and Pour House also being named among the Top 55 Bourbon Bars in the US. Jake Ferguson in Sac Foodies.

Continue reading "Dining News: Calibrate Your Tastes Buds Via Reviews of Capital Dime" »

Dining News: 'One of the Great Up-and-Coming Restaurants'

In this week's review, Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson goes off the beaten path and finds what he calls "one of the great up-and-coming restaurants in Northern California."

This is where I found myself, 75 minutes from home, stepping into a large, rustic-meets-elegant room on the main drag of Truckee, a quaint mountain town with little reputation for culinary wizardry. I was looking at a menu so enterprising – eclectic, forceful, rife with technique both classical and cutting edge – that the results would have to be a magnificent achievement or one very major mess...

A selection of entrees that includes a Wagyu rib-eye with locally foraged mushrooms, a strip loin of lamb with crispy eggplant, and on and on – pork belly, black cod, wild boar, deep-fried rabbit and suckling pig. There’s cauliflower and sea urchin, roasted bone marrow with ultra-rich brioche toasts.

A wine list curated for balance in price point, nuance and pairings potential. A beer selection that could rival some serious craft beer bottle shops.

Even the coffee program – yes, coffee — is meticulously thought out and executed with great care.

This is Restaurant Trokay. It’s the dream – and the life – for young powerhouse couple John and Nyna Weatherson, who have come out of nowhere to stake a claim as one of the great up-and-coming restaurants in Northern California.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

More News:

Award-winning blogger prepares foraged feast for food literacy - James Beard Award-winner Hank Shaw, a Sacramento food writer and chef, will prepare an intimate feast to benefit children's food literacy education on Aug. 31. Ingredients for the five-course meal will be foraged from the backyard farm of Amber Stott, founder of the California Food Literacy Center. He'll pair courses with local wines and craft beers, and it will all take place in Stott's manicured yard in East Sacramento. Janelle Bitker in the Sac Bee.

Rubicon Brewing plans expansion into three states; Microbrewer opens second facility, ponders two more retail sites - Now that Rubicon Brewing Co. has ramped up production significantly by opening a second facility, the Sacramento craft brewery is preparing to expand sales into three additional states. Rubicon’s owner Glynn Phillips said he’s also exploring opening a satellite tavern or pizza place in the next couple of years in West Sacramento’s Riverwalk area and in or around a new downtown Sacramento arena. Kelly Johnson in the Sac Biz Journal.

Continue reading "Dining News: 'One of the Great Up-and-Coming Restaurants'" »