Dining News: And the Winners of the Sac Burger Battle Are...


Congratulations to Pangaea Bier Cafe for winning the Judge's Choice award at Thursday night's Sac Burger Battle.

Coming in second for the judge's award was LowBrau, followed by Iron Grill.

Dawson's Restaurant & Steakhouse won the Sac Burger Battle People's Choice Awards, with the Culinerdy Cruzer and Pangaea Bier Cafe receiving a honorable mention.

The annual event, by Rodney Blackwell (also known as @BurgerJunkies on Twitter) to benefit the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, pits 15 or so local restaurants against each other to determine whose burger reigns supreme. (Read a profile of the King of Burgers in Sac News & Review.)

See the winners of the 2014, 2013 and 2012 Sac Burger Battles.

This was the second burger-related accolade won in the last week by Pangaea Bier Cafe. The Sac News & Review tasted 50 restaurant burgers and deemed these the best burgers:

  • The Pangaea Burger ($13) at Pangaea Bier Cafe
  • The Magpie Burger ($15) at Magpie Cafe
  • The Chef Burger ($13) at South

Read the entire story in Sac News & Review.

More News:

Cielito Lindo emerges from fire with good food - Cielito Lindo’s food approaches that of Mayahuel, Zocalo and Centro Cocina Mexicana – other local Mexican restaurants with ambitious menus – in quality, though its decor renders it visual country cousin to those upscale city slickers. Yet Cielito Lindo’s entree prices, running about $14-$25, are on par with, or higher than, those other restaurants' prices. One might consider Alarcon cheeky for charging those prices. But for my money, Cielito Lindo is the most interesting of the four restaurants. Within its mix of sophisticated flavors, busy colors and harsh lighting, one can see talent, trial, error, perseverance and a manifestation of one immigrant’s dream. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Please Wait to Be Seated: Dozens of new restaurants will be opening their doors in Sacramento in the coming months. But are there enough patrons to fill all those seats? - However — and this is a large however — many people, including Brown, worry that Sacramento could be roaring into a restaurant glut that could put pressure on current restaurants and those arriving soon. There’s no exact number (many owners haven’t announced plans or pulled permits), but the estimate from restaurant and real estate insiders is that 40 new restaurants will open in the city’s core in the next two years. Rick Kushman in Comstocks Mag

Tiny Mraz Brewing seems bound for greatness - One name I would not be surprised to see pop up at GABF 2015 in two weeks in Denver is Mike Mraz of Mraz Brewing. He’s a skillful and creative brewer appreciated mostly by serious beer geeks, for now. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Another food gets its own celebration in Sacramento - Local restauranteurs are planning a multi-day "pizza extravaganza," according to event details posted on Facebook. The celebration, called Sliced, will be held Oct. 17 through Oct. 25. It's scheduled to include nightly specials, chef competitions, instructional sessions and a tour from Sac Brew Bike. So far, the list of participating restaurants includes Federalist Public House & Beer Garden, Hot Italian, Masullo, Chicago Fire, and Pizzeria Urbano. Others are expected to be announced later. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Feast Q&A: Sacramento’s Vegan Chef Challenge in October - The fifth annual Vegan Chef Challenge is coming up, but if you’re not a vegan, that doesn’t mean you’re left out. Anyone interested in healthy restaurant options, creative cooking ideas and, with any luck, the discovery of a new favorite dish, will find this monthlong concept more than a curiosity. Bethany Davis, a teacher who has been a vegan for going on five years, created the challenge to get chefs thinking about food just a little differently. The dozen or so restaurants participating next month will be announced soon. A vegan dish, by the way, means no meat or other animal products, including cheese, butter and eggs. If you’re looking for more details about the health benefits of plant-based eating, check out the Forks Over Knives website. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Postmates Not Loved by Many Sacramento Restaurants



Postmates, which launched earlier this month, is an app that helps people with delivery - from grabbing something at the local supermarket for you to picking up your to go order at a restaurant and delivering it to your work or your home.

But some Sacramento restaurants aren't on board with the new disruptive app, reports Mark Glover in the Sac Bee.

Operators of Mother at 1023 K St., and South at 2005 11th St., in Sacramento, immediately voiced a litany of worries. Primary among them: The restaurants had no prior warning that they would be put on the Postmates site, and they have no control over how couriers handle their food...

N’Gina and Ian Kavookjian, co-owners of South, which touts its fried chicken and other Southern food specialties, were likewise surprised and upset.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

Postmates, which does not seek permission from restaurants before providing the service to customers, has faced friction with the restaurant community in other cities. Eater reports on Seattle restaurants who have issues with the app.

While I see the restaurant's point, I think consumers are savvy enough to know what they're getting into. I've used Postmates five times over the last two weeks (although I've tried to use it more than that, and I don't think they're staffed up yet) to deliver to my office across the street from the State Capitol.

In my experience, despite the street construction on L street, the deliveries have been somewhere between, "Wow, that was fast!" to what you'd get by sending an intern to get lunch and having them get lost on the way back. Even the longest wait, though, didn't exceed their advertised delivery time of one hour.

The Sac Bee's Brenna Lyles talks to Pushkins, Sandra Dee's, Fish Face & Kru to Postmates.

Consumers also bear some responsibility in ordering items that will still be in good shape up to an hour later. Don't get sushi (obviously) or poke, but the breakfast sandwich or tacos I ordered were still good when they arrived 35 minutes later.

Just like Uber and Lyft, they'll have growing pains and they'll work them out. I'm still excited to have them here and will continue to use them.

More News:

Over Tipping: Why I’m finished with added service fees - Magpie Café killed tipping in Sacramento. It won’t be a sudden death, nor was it intentional. But when we look back in five years, we’ll remember Magpie as patient zero. We’ll also remember its amazing biscuits and gravy. But that’s a different story. Thomas Dodson in Comstocks Mag.

'Bittersweet': Loehmann's Plaza loses another eatery - A dessert shop in Loehmann's Plaza is closing after less than two years in business. Cleary's Ice Cream & Candy Bar will have its final day on Monday. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal

Hidden Sichuan - Overall my friends were quite happy with our outing. The only drawback, the same with Sichuan Spice House, is how far away it was. It's a definite excursion to reach either one if you don't live in those particular neighborhoods. Catherine Enfield on Munchie Musings

Counter Culture: Lamb chops are tops at Yianni’s Greek restaurant - Lunch pal Dino Rotas and I stopped by for some bites one day last week. For years, he has manned the gyro booth at the annual Greek Festival over Labor Day weekend, having grown up with Greek cuisine. During the Yianni’s meal he kept saying, “This tastes just like my mom used to make.” Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

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