Dining News: Now Open Downtown - Gina's Filipino Cafe


Gina's Filipino Cafe, the first restaurant on the grid serving Filipino fare, opened for business on Monday at 1011 12th St.

Gina Ramirez, the eatery's owner, said in a short interview on Monday afternoon that she plans to serve lumpia (think egg rolls), embutido (a Filipino meatloaf) and pancit (Filipono rice noodles), among other items. It being her first day and apparently pretty early in the restaurant's planning process, details were still being nailed down, though she said that Filipino fare would likely start being served next week.

Ramirez also said that the restaurant plans to serve pastries and hot American and Filipino breakfast dishes.

From the outside, the previous restaurant's signage was still up, and there seemed to be little if any interior renovation work done.


The restaurant replaces 1011 12th Espresso Bar, which according to Yelp reviews, closed in May 2015.

After Espresso Bar closed, Ramirez said the building owner invited her to take over the space and open a restaurant. This is the Ramirez's first foray into the restaurant industry. Prior to owning Gina's Filipino Cafe, Ramirez worked as a realtor.

The restaurant seems to be a family affair, with Ramirez's son assisting her on their opening day.

In my discussions with her on Monday, it sounded like many of the details have yet to be finalized. However, I plan to support this small business as they get off the ground, and I look forward to another lunch option in that part of town.

Gina's Filipino Cafe is located at 1011 12th Street, and will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.

More News:

Going to Roseville's new Dunkin' Donuts? Read this first - Earlier this month, the company announced a Sept. 29 opening date for its new location at 5010 Foothills Blvd. But now, the opening has been pushed back until Oct. 6. Opening-day festivities begin at 5 a.m. and will include special events such as giveaways and a cup-stacking contest. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Favorite Sacramento Restaurants 2015 - When you are a food blogger, critic, or writer, the number one question has got to be, "What are your favorite restaurants in town?" To that end, I hereby submit my current list. The last time I did this was in 2011 and a lot has changed. In another 18 months, even more so with the 30-50 new restaurants expected thanks to the new arena. Catherine Enfield on Munchie Musings.

Haines brothers plan entertainment patio at new Pavilions restaurant - Sacramento restaurateurs Matt and Fred Haines are embarking on what might be their most ambitious project: a 3,600-square-foot eatery, called The Grove, with an equally large patio area at the Pavilions Shopping Center on Fair Oaks Boulevard. The brothers just signed a lease for the space and are excitedly talking about making it a regional draw as an entertainment locale as well as an innovative farm-to-fork dining spot. The projected opening date: March of next year. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

Sacramento's Best Patios - Hot August nights. Indian summers. Delta breezes. We have many reasons – and many seasons – to seek out the patio life in Sacramento. There’s a luxury and a freedom that comes with dining al fresco. You can laugh louder, hear one another, feel the sun (or the shade) and engage in some people-watching at the street happenings. Featuring Paragary's Restaurant, Temple Coffee, LowBrau, Coin Op and Oak Park Brewing CompanyMichelle Labi-Klonecke on City Scout Mag.

Brew News - This week Ruhstaller reintroduces Hop Sac, its wet-hopped ale, to local markets like Nugget, Corti Brothers and the Davis Co-op. Produced annually, Hop Sac features two versions this year—one made with hops from its farm in Dixon and the other created with hops from Utterback Farm in Sloughhouse. Although they use the same recipe, each of the smooth, refreshing beers is distinct. In Sactown Magazine.

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Dining News: 7x7's 'Modern Guide to Sacramento'



California's Austin, not The New Oakland.

That's how 7x7, a popular San Francisco's Web site that celebrates "trailblazing spirit and to maximize every moment in this magnificent place," describes Sacramento.

(FYI - The site's name is a reference to the roughly 49 square miles within San Francisco's borders.)

7x7 writer Garrick Ramirez is actually pretty spot on with his recommendations for those venturing from 90 miles down I-80.

Among his dining suggestions:

Preservation & Co: "Take home Sacramento-priced bottles of the shop's housemade sriracha, pickled beets, and the killer bloody mary mix that made them famous."

Ruhstaller: "The real joy comes from visiting their hop farm in nearby Dixon. Haybales, wooden spool tables, rustic shelters and sunset campfires lend a magical setting."

Coin-Op Game Room: "Old-school favorites like Roadblasters, Simpsons, and AC/DC pinball sport handy cup holders for the huge selection of craft beers."

Shady Lady Saloon: "Hidden inside a historic masonry building, this unpretentious cocktail bar plays up the city's Gold Rush past with bordello chic interiors."

Federalist Public House: "A lively crowd assembles for pizzas and pints at this modern beer garden comprised of white shipping containers, a bocce court and rooftop garden."

Also featured are Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, Devine Gelateria, Bottle & Barlow, Temple Coffee and Hook & Ladder.

This is the second time in recent months that Sacramento has been featured by a SF-focused publication.

Read the entire story on 7x7.

More News:

Alcoholic boba tea now for sale at Lazi Cow in Davis - If you’ve ever wished you could get drunk on tapioca milk tea, get ready to find fulfillment in Davis. Lazi Cow (407 G Street) shut down for a few months this spring for a major remodel. The boba shop held its grand re-opening in June with cow print walls, a large cow sculpture that doubles as a bench, a swing—why not? Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Get ready for more doughnut ice cream sandwiches - The Parlor built a following -- so much, in fact, that this week the owners confirmed a Roseville location is in the works. It will be at 1490 Eureka Road, in the Eureka Ridge shopping center, and is scheduled to open in late July or early August. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Roseville tapioca shop closes - Fans of Tapioca Express in Roseville will have to get their fix elsewhere. A sign outside the store at 1132 Galleria Blvd. says it's "closing indefinitely" Thursday. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Dining review: In Roseville, ASR’s food does not match its ambition - Roseville’s ASR Restaurant & Lounge, which measures 11,000 square feet when counting a patio outfitted with cabanas and a VIP section, unfortunately leans more rule than exception. Though admirably thorough – open every day, the restaurant serves lunch, dinner and late-night bites – it falters at the detail level, on such key matters as flavor combinations and consistent service. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Fish Face kicks off Sacramento's poke trend - Fish Face is chiefly a to-go poke stand, inspired by the shops that dish out raw fish salad by weight in Hawaii. There, you’d stare at pre-made combinations—kimchi octopus, sesami tuna, spicy shrimp—before making a decision. At Fish Face, you build your own salad. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

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Dining News: Bacon & Butter, Magpie Close...For A Week


Those who were planning to spend the upcoming holiday weekend standing in a lengthy line for Bacon & Butter will have to find new plans.

Bacon & Butter announced last week that they'll be closed through Tuesday, July 7 for scheduled maintenance on their kitchen floors.

The restaurant, helmed by chef & owner Billy Zoelin, opened at its current spot in Sept. 2014 after a lengthy renovation of a building that used to be a Chinese restaurant.

Coincidentally, Magpie Cafe is also closed through July 6, as part of a planned move from their home of 5 years on R street to their new location at 16th & P.

The existing space will become Magpie's Nido Bakery Cafe, and will be open over the next month.

Magpie's new location is in a more modern building with more space, a newer kitchen, a bar and a large patio in the shade.

Click here for more info.

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A fuzzy fizz: Cudera Napa Valley (2014), Ruhstaller - The line between wine and beer tastes fuzzy. Not literally fuzzy, of course, but Cudera is the product of grape must and wort co-fermented with both wine and beer yeast. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Dining in the dark - Remember that scene in Wall-E, where the futuristic humans are strapped into hovering recliners whilst watching TV and gorging on food? Well, there’s a movie theater in Rocklin that feels a like a step toward that type of sedentary civilization. Studio Movie Grill (5140 Commons Drive in Rocklin) provides food service in the middle of watching a movie, the seats are huge and recliner-like, and all you need to do is press a button on your chair to order another margarita. My wife and I heard about it a few months ago and finally made the trek out east to investigate this new dystopia. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

Gelato shop joins Market Square at Arden - A locally owned gelato shop has opened a second Sacramento region store. This week, Miabella Gelato & Coffee marked the grand opening of its new location at Market Square at Arden Fair, the entertainment complex that includes Dos Coyotes Border Cafe and a movie theater. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: What San Francisco Mag Says You Should Do in Sacramento


Every city has a local magazine that suggests easy day or weekend trips. We have Sactown Mag and Sac Mag that ably fill that spot locally. But it's always interesting to know what outsiders think are the highlight of your town.

San Francisco magazine recently ran a story on what to do in Sac. Here's some of what they suggested:

Ruhstaller: Celebrated local brewery, Rushtaller (SIC), has a a taproom and beer lab to test out new craft brew recipes downtown (available by appointment) where you can sample their specialty beers and limited releases made from local hops and barley, like their cold-brewed Kenyan coffee-infused ale.

Temple Coffee: The third wave coffee buzz has hit Sacramento hard, with nearly a half-dozen new shrines to caffeine opening over the past few years. If you only hit one, make it Temple Coffee Roasters, the Blue Bottle of the Central Valley.

Grange: A modern restaurant and bar packed with locals (a rarity for hotel restaurants), who come for the dinners that source ingredients from the Sacramento region’s bounty of farms and brave but familiar dishes like ahi tuna with sweet breads and pork served three ways (loin, smoked belly, chicharron) with apricot.

Read the entire story in San Francisco Magazine.

More News:

The Chef's Table buys Rocklin coffee shop - The managing partners of The Chef's Table in Rocklin have purchased a coffee shop next to the restaurant, which they plan to incorporate into their existing business. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Coconuts for the cure: The Alchemist, Liquidology - I have a new addiction and it is the juice at Liquidology in East Sac. The shop is located dangerously close to my work, the juices are smartly packaged and with an arrangement of both mainstay and special seasonal products available, it feels like every time I have the need to juice they've got me creatively covered. Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

The Rind - This well-loved cheese bar in midtown is building a side and front patio (pictured below) that will seat about 24 people total. Tori Masucci Cummins & Jessica Rine in Sactown Mag. (Fifth Item.)

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Dining News: 'Great Pancakes' at Bacon & Butter

Bacon and butter

I still haven't braved the long lines to make it out to the new Tahoe Park location of Bacon & Butter. From Ann Martin Rolke's recent review in Sac News & Review, it sounds like I'm missing out.

Owner/chef Billy Zoellin, previously of Golden Bear, has put a lot of thought into this new version of the restaurant. The interior is like a diner, but updated. Sleek subway tiles and metal surfaces balance huge wooden ceiling beams and communal tables.

The food is even more noteworthy. For Sacramentans used to subpar pancakes with a side of clowns, Zoellin’s version of breakfast is a revelation. If you’re wondering how much can be done with bacon, eggs and toast, pull up a chair and prepare to be schooled.

It’s not just that the pancakes (“flapjacks” here) are thicker or the eggs fresher; Zoellin excels at the details that make the food stand out.

The flapjacks are served as enormous disks with a buttermilk tang, topped with diced apples and pure maple syrup. In his take on the benedict, poached eggs top four cheeses grilled on buttery challah bread, with thick-cut Beeler’s bacon and silky hollandaise sauce.

Read the entire review in Sac News & Review.

Bacon & Butter is located at 5913 Broadway, and can be found online at

More News:

Blaze Pizza: A speedy pizza revolution? - Masullo, Hot Italian and Il Pizzaiolo all have a much more obvious enthusiasm for pumping out quality pizzas which Blaze appears to lack with its mind-numbingly repetitive production line. While the fast-casual pizza concept of Blaze is a great idea for picky eaters with very specific topping preferences and families with several growing kids to feed (and without much spare time), there are much better options for quality Neopolitan pizzas in the Sacramento area. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

These are the most common restaurant suggestions for Cesar Chavez Plaza - The survey received 191 responses, according to Carlos Eliason, a creative outreach specialist with the city manager's office. Locally sourced food, outdoor dining and lunch service were among the most common requests for the space, Eliason said. Which type of food should be offered? Popular suggestions included Mexican, "California fusion" and Greek/Mediterranean food, according to Eliason. He said there was an emphasis on fast-casual and healthy options. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Five things to know about the Sacramento co-op's big move - It's a little easier to envision a new Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op location, thanks to renderings of the store's interior...The new store will be in a space bordered by 28th and 29th streets on the west and east, and R and S streets on the north and south. It's near Temple Coffee and the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: New Gelato Spot at 19th & L to Open in April


La Mia Toscana, serving gelato and panini, will open in the same building as Capital Dime, The Rind and Yogurtagogo, reports Tori Masucci Cummins in Sactown Mag.

Eatuscany—owned by husband-and-wife team Franco and Stefania Zerbinati (who hail from the northern Tuscan seaside city of Viareggio, Italy)—will specialize in lunchtime fare like paninis and piadina (flatbread sandwiches) filled with Italian meats and cheeses, as well as pasta, soups and salad.

But the offering that Stefania is most excited about is Eatuscany’s artisan gelato bar, which will feature house-made gelato in classic flavors like pistachio and hazelnut. She graduated from Italy’s Artigeniale gelato school under the direction of acclaimed gelato professor Filippo Zampieron.

It's unclear what the restaurant's actual name will be. Sactown Magazine reported earlier this month that it would be called Eatuscany, although the logo on the Web site now refers to the place as La Mia Toscana.

La mia toscana

The restaurant, whatever its final name is, will compete with the much beloved Devine Gelateria, located nary a block away.

Read the entire story in Sactown Mag.

When it opens, La Mia Toscana or Eatuscany Italian Deli will be located at 1801 L Street, and can be found online at

More News:

Looking back at Sacramento Beer Week - OK, so Sacramento Beer Week has come and gone and, if you’re like me – how can we put this? – you’re beer’d out. I had so many great beers during those 11 days it was astounding, including saisons, sours, barrel-aged masterpieces, stouts, chocolate stouts, spicy chocolate stouts, coffee stouts, rare beers, all kinds of IPAs, even a few session beers consumed in the interests of pacing and self-preservation. But I was a mere lightweight compared to Louie Toro, whom many consider Sacramento’s No. 1 beer aficionado. Toro, the owner of Wireless World who spends his days fixing smartphones, is the one who got John Zervas into craft beer. Zervas is the publisher of Hops to Table magazine, which celebrated its second anniversary during Beer Week. Toro has rated 1,200 beers in the past 12 months on Untappd, the popular beer app linked to social media. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

ABC worries kept Ruhstaller away from Beer Week showcase - One of the most prominent brewers in the area, Ruhstaller was noticeably absent from Feb. 26’s opening night Brewer’s Showcase at the California Automobile Museum. According to a notice sent to its patrons, the beer company pulled out of the all-local event at the last minute because of a possible investigation of Beer Week by the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

R Street attractions -  It’ll host Fish Face, the take-out sushi concept from Billy Ngo of Kru, and Metro Juice Kitchen and Eatery, the second-place winner of last year’s Calling All Dreamers competition. Note the “Kitchen and Eatery,” not just “Company,” which means health-conscious food on top of juice cleanses...Warehouse Artist Lofts hosts its grand opening celebration at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 9, at 1108 R Street. According to developer Ali Youssefi, “The public market might take more time.” Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review. (Second item.)

BURRITO WATCH NO. 1: Slightly Skewed's California burrito - Welcome to Burrito Watch, SN&R’s new semi-regular burrito blog. Why? Because burritos rule. Let’s dig in right away. We’re staring with a burrito that sounds like a crazy idea, but turns out to be crazy good: Food truck Slightly Skewed is mashing up a Korean-style burrito with a California burrito. But they’re just calling it a California burrito. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

Tilted Kilt plans Sacramento region debut - A company that bills itself as the "best-looking sports pub you've ever seen" wants to enter the Sacramento region. And when it says "best-looking," Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery isn't necessarily referring to how the building looks. The Arizona company, which features scantily clad female servers, is looking for local franchisees. It plans to open three or four locations in the region, according to area developer Justin Lemos. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

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Dining News: Paragary's Bar & Oven Reopening Delayed

20150112_230748863_iOSStatus of restaurant on Monday afternoon.

Paragary's Bar & Oven, which closed in Feb. 2014 for a major facelift, has delayed its reopening until March, Cowtown Eats has learned.

Paragarys had initially hoped to be closed only two months, but the project will ultimately last at least 13 months. As recently as August, the owners hoped to have the restaurant open by January. Unfortunately, $600,000 remodelings take time. This is how the restaurant group's PR staff explained the delay:

We did encounter some permit delays that slowed things down a bit. The building that Paragary's is located in is over 100 years old and houses our corporate office upstairs, so we had to make sure that everything was updated to meet current structural and electrical requirements before we could continue construction.

The restaurant had been open 26 years prior to the current construction. It's taken longer than hoped, it's better to get it done right than just done quickly.

I was hoping to get to eat there during Dine Downtown again. I at there several years ago and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the cuisine. I look forward to giving the remodeled digs another visit when they reopen.

When Paragary's reopens, it will be located at the corner of 28th & N Streets.

More News:

Two new juice shops open in Sacramento area - A new calendar year didn't end the Sacramento region's obsession with fresh juices. Two new juice shops opened over the weekend. Liquidology opened in East Sacramento, and Pressed Juicery opened at Fountains at Roseville. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Asian Sweet Treats Part 2 - Frozen Delights - Often it seems like Sacramento is one of the last to the party in terms of some food trends. In this case, we are the leader and these Asian treats will become more in the mainstream market - not just a favorite with Asians, but with anyone with a sweet tooth. Asian snack food chains Quickly and Lollicup have been spreading, so it's easy to imagine that more of these Asian snack trends will as well. The first one was Vampire Penquin, which opened in Little Saigon and quickly became popular as word spread of their new treats...Next on the scene was Chelo, located in the Filipino mall at 611 Mack Road...Two more frozen treat places are Snowbee Tea Station and Snobites. Catherine Enfield in Munchie Musings.

Don’t pound beers, beers won’t add pounds - Can beer be part of the equation when you sit down to scribble out your do’s and don’ts for 2015? Can you say goodbye to the beer belly without bidding adieu to the beer? I have good news. The answer is yes. Sort of. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Psst! Here’s How To Drink at a Speakeasy Taproom - Leave it to a meticulous craft brewer to carefully curate a tasting-room experience as daring and delightful as the suds on tap. The recently opened Ruhstaller taproom downtown combines the exclusivity of a Prohibition-era speakeasy with the down-home earthiness of a Sacramento farm. If that sounds daunting, fear not: We are here to give you the inside scoop so you’ll feel like a quaffing pro. Janet Weeks in Sac Mag.

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