Waffle Experience

Dining News: Coconut Midtown Closed Temporarily by Health Department

Coconut midtown

The Coconut Thai restaurant was closed for more than a week by county health inspectors as a result of multiple failed inspections that found "vermin and animal contamination" violations.

County of Sacramento health inspectors first closed the restaurant on Thursday, Nov. 12 for multiple violations, including vermin and animal contamination. It reinspected the restaurant on Friday, Nov. 13, and continued to find vermin and animal contamination.  (Note: I would link to the actual reports, but it appears that the county's Web site displaying these documents is down and has been broken for the last several days.)

A week later, inspectors again failed the restaurant on Friday, Nov. 20 after finding vermin and animal contamination. Finally, on Nov. 25 - nearly two weeks after it was initially closed - health inspectors allowed the restaurant to reopen.

This is the second high profile restaurant to be closed by health officials in the last month. Earlier this week, Cowtown Eats wrote about a downtown La Bou location that was forced to close for a day.

The Coconut has been lauded by critics for its bold flavors. Here's a snippet from Garrett McCord's January 2014 review in Sac News & Review:

Cream-cheese wontons aren’t the epitome of culinary Southeast Asian traditions, but damn it if they aren’t delightful. Soft cream cheese and chives in a crispy wrapper and served with a sweet chili sauce? There is nothing wrong with that, and The Coconut recognizes this...

The Coconut has made a place for itself in Midtown. Whereas Thai Basil is a practice in subtlety and expertly crafted seasonal specials, The Coconut is brash and unapologetic with flavor profiles. However, I would venture the kitchen is still fine-tuning its dishes. Plus, it delivers in Midtown. That alone should cement it in the hearts of hungry eaters.


Read the entire article in Sac News & Review.

As with other restaurants that have faced similar sanctions by the health department, I'll likely eat there again. In fact, since La Bou was closed last week, I've eaten there twice for lunch.

The Coconut is located at 2502 J Street, and can be found online at http://www.coconutmidtown.com/.

H/T CBS 13.

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Lucky Irish: Almost Famous Irish Coffee, de Vere's Irish Pub - Although it's not the year-round chill chaser needed in San Francisco, the Almost Famous Irish Coffee ($8) from de Vere's is available in summer and, blissfully, winter. Start with a custom coffee blend, lace it liberally with Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey and top it with freshly whipped cream. The only dilemma is when to order it. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Beer cheese: Fondue, The Rind - The Rind recently launched fondue nights on Mondays: get a small pot of traditional Swiss fondue—Gruyere plus white wine—with bite-sized pieces of cauliflower, broccoli, green apple and baguette for $13. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

New dining option in El Dorado Hills Town Center - There's good news for diners at the El Dorado Hills Town Center, which has seen two eateries depart in recent months. Milestone Restaurant opened in the center on Sunday, filling an approximately 3,400-square-foot space across from Bistro 33. The space was previously occupied by Cafe Campanile, which rebranded itself earlier this year and moved to a smaller location in the center. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Uber-style restaurant app catching on in Sacramento area - A Sacramento startup with an Uber-like app is raking in new customers and closing in on a big venture capital deal – thanks to a recent tweak in its business plan. The company, Requested, was launched in March with what its founders thought was a killer smartphone app for the dining industry. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

VIDEO: Cooking: Panettone French Toast - Rick Mondermann, store director for Sacramento's iconic Corti Bros. market, stops by to show us how to make some incredible Panettone French Toast. Bethany Crouch on FOX 40.

Continue reading "Dining News: Coconut Midtown Closed Temporarily by Health Department" »

Dining News: TableVine to Replace Bistro Michel


TableVine, a restaurant serving a regional wine country menu, will replace Bistro Michel and will open early next month, Cowtown Eats has learned.

"Our cleaning and cosmetic remodeling has been at a fever pitch as of late," owner Dan Sneed told Cowtown Eats via e-mail. "Trying to make our opening by the end of the month, but had one other [set]back so we hope to be open by the first week of November instead at this point."

The chef for the restaurant will be Scott McNamara, who recently left Brasserie Capitale. He was also the chef for several years at Bistro Michel. In 2011, under chef McNamara, then Sac Bee dining critic Blair Anthony Robertson raved about his cooking.

Enough about the fries (though you must get them as a side dish if they don't come with your entree). The mussels are also delicieux. On a different night, dining inside with an old friend and colleague, the two of us couldn't get enough of these mussels, fresh and clean and in broth so full of flavor we couldn't resist using our bread to sop it up. Again, there are no shortcuts to something this good.

Cowtown Eats first brought you news of the new restaurant in late August. In that post, we learned that Sneed:

[I]ntends to serve the clientele south of the State Capitol, which tends to have fewer fancy lobbyists and more rank and file state workers. He's aiming to hit a $20 price point for the dinner crowd and emphasize service.

In addition to Pearl on the River, Sneed has worked at Ella from 2008 to 2010, The Park from 2005 to 2007, San Francisco's Gary Danko from 1999 to 2005 and The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco from 2000 to 2001.

On the restaurant's Facebook page, Sneed has done a great job chronicling the progress of the restaurant as it works its way towards opening. I look forward to giving the place a try.

TableVine will be located at 1501 14th Street.

More News:

Suburban destination - Slowly but surely, the Milagro Centre is coming to fruition. Last week, the Sacramento Bee’s Bob Shallit reported that the upcoming Carmichael marketplace is finally full. One of the puzzle’s final pieces is Fish Face Poke Bar & Market from Kru’s Billy Ngo. It’s another outpost of his wildly popular poke restaurant on R Street, only this edition will also feature a small specialty grocery section. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Can prestigious beer festival prizes translate into profits? - Now that the brewery on Broadway has two very prestigious medals, the phones are ringing off the hook, craft beer fiends are lined up down the street and New Helvetia’s beer is flying off store shelves throughout the region. Right? Not quite. At least not yet. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Food 101 - No matter where you look, class is officially in session. That goes for your casual culinary education, too. Lucca Restaurant & Bar (1615 J Street) is hosting a multipart, weekly lecture series called Food 101, featuring a variety of food experts who aren't your expected chefs or restaurateurs. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

VIDEO: Food Photo Secrets - We have secrets to taking good food photos. Cambi Brown on Good Day Sac.

Hank Shaw to self-publish next book - Hunter-forager-food blogger and cookbook author Hank Shaw of Sacramento is preparing his third wild-game cookbook – after “Hunt, Gather, Cook” and “Duck, Duck, Goose” – to be on bookstore shelves by August 2016, at the start of deer-hunting season in California. For this one, though, he left the mainstream-publishing path for the riskier self-publishing trail, turning to the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: TableVine to Replace Bistro Michel" »

Dining News: Cornflower Creamery Sets Opening Date


Cornflower Creamery will open on Saturday, Oct. 3 across the street from the State Capitol at 10th & L streets, reports Dani Anguiano in Sactown Magazine.

Sacramento native Cynthia Broughton decided to launch Cornflower after noticing a lack of ice cream makers in the downtown core. “We’ve had some really landmark ice cream makers in [other] neighborhoods, like Gunther’s and Vic’s, which I grew up with,” says Broughton, a former chef. “Especially now that downtown and midtown are developing so much, I think it’s time to add another ice cream maker to that environment.”

Not to mention, add a farm-to-scoop element to the mix. “Farming is in my roots,” says Broughton, who once ran her own 5-acre organic farm in Lake County, where she raised dairy goats and grew fruit trees. “I’ve always been a fan of the local movement and I want to work in as much seasonal produce [at Cornflower] as I can find.”

Read the entire story in Sactown Magazine.

Cornflower Creamery will take over the space formerly occupied by Cafe Roma. That restaurant closed in June 2014.

It will be located at 1013 L Street, and can be found online at http://www.cornflowercreamery.com/.

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Sturgeon and succotash served under a blood orange moon in Gala Dinner - A blood orange supermoon hung in the sky above the Tower Bridge Sunday night as guests of the third annual Farm-to-Fork Gala Dinner, one of Sacramento’s most glamorous events of the year, tasted bite-sized rounds of steak tartare on puff pastry and soy-ginger marinated quail eggs. Brenna Lyles in the Sac Bee.

Why it's great that the International Food Blogger Conference is coming to Sacramento - We just got some news that I think is great for Sacramento. One of the best (and my favorite) food bloggers' conferences is coming to Sacramento in July 2016. Next year's theme: Farm to Fork (big surprise). That means about 500 of the nation's top food bloggers (and a few international) will be coming to town. Catherine Enfield on Munchie Musings.

Freeport Bakery plans major expansion - Sacramento’s venerable Freeport Bakery is planning to nearly double its space by leasing an additional storefront just two doors down from its current building in the Land Park neighborhood. The new space – which has hosted numerous businesses over the years, including Tuesday Morning, Yogurtopia, Shoe Daca and House of Pilates – will become the bakery’s “Annex” and be used for wedding cake consulting and cake decorating. Bob Shallit in the Sac Bee.

Organizers celebrate huge crowds, new ideas for farm-to-fork festival - The Farm-to-Fork Festival on Capitol Mall last Saturday was so well attended, next year’s event will be expanded -- again. An estimated 50,000 people were drawn to the third annual free festival on Saturday, said Mike Testa, chief operating officer of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau. Mark Anderson in Sac Biz Journal.

Gastronomicon: Burger King's new Whopper blackens Halloween's name - Your friend arrives to your Halloween party. His costume is clearly just a cheap mask he had in his closet. Are you happy? Do you wish he tried harder? Or do you just let it go, knowing that he could have shown up in something significantly more offensive and/or racist? The Halloween Whopper from Burger King is that guy, if that guy was put together from spare parts by a PR-obsessed bioengineer with an eye for synergizing branding opportunities. Anthony Siino in Sac News & Review.

Continue reading "Dining News: Cornflower Creamery Sets Opening Date" »

Dining News: Blackbird to Reopen by Oct. 23


Blackbird Kitchen & Bar, which closed in late May, plans to reopen by Oct. 23, it said on social media this week.

Blackbird officially says it will reopen in the month of October, but has been inviting followers to a West End party on 10/23, which means they plan to open before then.

Blackbird closed in May due to water damage from a broken pipe. Wrangling with their insurance company and additional renovations have delayed its targeted July 17 reopening.

** Update 9/29/2015 - Carina contacted me over the weekend to say that the West End Wonderland party will serve as its grand re-opening and does not expect to be open prior to that date.

In essence, this will be the third iteration of Blackbird. After the first iteration closed in Oct. 2013, it reopened with a slightly different ownership group surrounding founder and chef Carina Lampkin in Feb. 2014.

That iteration ended with the Flood of May 2015, and Blackbird 3.0 will reopen next month.

I stopped by Blackbird a week ago, and it looked like extensive work still needed to be done before reopening. Let's hope their reopening date doesn't slip again.


Blackbird Kitchen & Bar is located at 1015 9th St., and can be found online at http://www.blackbird-kitchen.com/.

More News:

A new restaurant to serve up classic American fare with a heaping dose of nostalgia - Milestone Restaurant, the second endeavor from the owners of Aji Japanese Bistro, is expected to open this fall in the El Dorado Hills Town Center. Nick Dedier (whose “hard-core fine dining” background includes stints as GM of Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc in Yountville and manager of San Francisco’s Gary Danko) and chef Russell Okubo (whose own impressive résumé includes serving as executive chef for Fat’s Family of Restaurants) opened Aji together in December 2013, and are teaming up again—this time, with another industry veteran Alexa Hazelton, with whom Dedier worked at Auberge Resorts—for Milestone, which plans a late October opening. Jessica Rine in Sactown Mag.

Sacramento Kings and JMA Ventures announce 3 new restaurants for Downtown Commons - Today, the Sacramento Kings and JMA Ventures announced three new restaurants that will open in the newly named Downtown Commons -- formerly known as Downtown Plaza -- adjacent to the new Golden 1 Center arena. The three restaurants are Pour SocietySauced BBQ and Spirits and Punch Bowl Social. In Sactown Mag.

Fruity, hazy ‘Harvest wine’ arrives in Sacramento - A European tradition whereby the grape harvest is celebrated with a glass of partially fermented juice is coming to Sacramento. Starting on or about Sept. 21, the restaurant Seasons 52 at Arden Fair will offer by glass and carafe its version of “Harvest wine,” a richly aromatic, fruity, sweet and spritzy sauvignon blanc by Mauritson Wines of Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. Mike Dunne in the Sac Bee.

VIDEO: Ginger Elizabeth’s Chocolates - Cody and Melissa scarf on some delicious chocolates provided my Ginger Elizabeth’s in honor of national chocolate day! On Good Day Sac.

Continue reading "Dining News: Blackbird to Reopen by Oct. 23" »

Dining News: More on Malt & Mash at 7th & K


The collaboration of of Bob Simpson and Trevor Shults have revealed more details of their planned three restaurant complex at 7th & K to Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

El Rey, the taco restaurant, fills part of a space. It's expected to open in November, serving tacos filled with braised and slow-cooked meats in addition to other menu items such as ceviche and margaritas. Shults called it a "high-energy restaurant" that will have multiple TV screens. El Rey will bring new life to a space that's been vacant for about two years...

Malt & Mash, the Irish pub, will fill a former Starbucks space that's been empty for three years. It will offer Guinness on draft, Irish coffee and a food menu with about eight items. It's expected to open in mid-November or early December.

Guests will be able to walk between El Rey and the unnamed venue without going outside. Malt & Mash, the only 21-and-older venue of the three, will require separate access.

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

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Ella adds $26 burger to menu - Ella Dining Room & Bar’s regular $17 burger (with the egg add-on) was already among Sacramento’s spendiest. Now, Ella has beaten itself. With a $26 burger. Called “The Twenty Six Dollar Burger." Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Try It: Butter Lettuce Salad - Ella Dining Room and Bar makes eating healthy easier than ever. The Butter Lettuce Salad has got the works with freshly shaved radish, sweet strawberries, marinated goat’s milk feta and savory tarragon vinaigrette. It’s so tasty you won’t believe that it’s actually good for you! Antoinette Ranit in Sac Mag.

Wrap N’ Roll’s sushi burritos inspire a deeper look - But tastes and textures come together beautifully in some of Wrap N’ Roll’s non-wrap dishes, starting with its “volcano” nachos. Wonton chips provide a crispy foundation for minced spicy tuna, which, bunched on chips, mimics refried beans. The nachos hold Sriracha and habanero mayonnaise along with the spicy tuna, yet the overall heat remains manageable enough for you to notice how freshly made the wonton chips taste. The guacamole was tasty as well, though not tasty enough to overcome my dismay that it was not wasabi. (Wrap N’ Roll does not offer wasabi, or fresh ginger, as sushi sides.) Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Go, go Ricezilla: Ricezillas, Lou's Sushi - The Ricezillas ($5) at Lou's Sushi are a hefty little appetizer that'll stomp your taste buds with a dense, rich flavor before a swath of burning wasabi cleans up your palate. Anthony Siino in Sac News & Review.

Apple Hill farms open for annual autumn fun - As the air gets cooler and the leaves begin to fall, Apple Hill farms and ranches start preparing for their most popular time of year: apple season. Located in El Dorado County, Apple Hill farms and ranches feature many specialty wares from berries to wine, pumpkins to Christmas trees, some available year-round. In September, most farms celebrate the fruit they’re famous for, opening for apple season Labor Day weekend. Lydia McNabb in the El Dorado Hills Telegraph.

Continue reading "Dining News: More on Malt & Mash at 7th & K" »

Dining News: This Local App Helps You Get Discounts or Skip Long Restaurant Lines

IMG_2502Screen shot from Monday night showing restaurants giving discounts.

Requested App, by a team that includes Sonny Mayugba, a partner in midtown's Red Rabbit, recently launched version three of its restaurant app.

I asked him to help Cowtown Eats readers understand what the app does and how it works.

Here's an e-mail Q & A I did with Mayugba over the last week:

1. A third iteration of Requested was just released. How has the concept evolved over time and what does it do now?

Our core concept has not changed at all: we want to help independent merchants keep doing what they love and connect great customers to great places. However, the way we’ve tried to achieve this through the product has evolved like crazy!

First, we gave users the ability to name their own price in a Request and merchants the ability to approve or deny those Requests. People liked the concept, but the app was too complicated. We spoke with hundreds of users and restaurant partners, listened to their feedback, and simplified the experience. It is the best thing we’ve ever done. Now users view a selection of dynamically-priced table options they can book which vary in price depending on time of day.

That’s just the discovery side of the app, however. The real magic of Requested is in the dining experience itself. After your table is booked, you go to the restaurant and the host already knows your name. You get excellent service and when you’re done, you can just leave. The payment for your meal, including tip (a percentage you can adjust in the app during your meal), is calculated and handled through the app. You never have to worry about waiting for the check or calculating the tip, and we email you your receipt when you walk out the door.

The seamless payment system through Requested saves servers and diners an average of 10 minutes per table, and that really adds up. The other side of it is that our default tip percentage in the app is 20%, and while users can lower the tip amount, most do not. So the value of a customer using Requested is generally higher for servers, which makes for a better, happier experience all around.

While 20% may sound steep to some people (and like I said before, they can adjust the percentage), as someone who has worked in the restaurant industry for decades and now co-owns a restaurant, I believe that staff deserves that level of tipping, so I love that the app is inadvertently helping out some of the hardest-working people I know.

2. Why did you move away from some of the previous features?

Data and behavior. When you build a product or create anything - a song, a poem, a restaurant, a new car - you have preconceived notions on how people will react. And as entrepreneurs, we’re always too optimistic. And as founders, we all have two things in common: notions of what will work and things we want to build that will make our time spent meaningful. But those two things can be nebulous and shifting. The one factor we all can agree on is data.

We launched in March of 2015. And between then and now, we shipped a few cool features. But there were three glaring data points that caused us to pivot:

Thousands of people were starting requests, but only hundreds were sending them. Of the hundreds that were sending them, only 50% were getting their request accepted.

Forcing our restaurant partners to say “no”, even to a seemingly obvious ludicrous request, was damaging across the board.

We could dive deep for hours into this question, but those were the primary factors that caused us to look at changing how the app functioned. Everyone - foodies, restaurants, press and investors - really loves our concept. But in order to accomplish our goal of making the restaurants more busy and foodies happy, we had to do the following:

Move from ~15 taps, wait 10 minutes, get a no half the time…


Make the app two taps with an instant guaranteed yes every time.

And that’s exactly what we did.

3. What restaurants in Sacramento participate?

Independent, locally owned and operated places that are awesome. We curate our merchants. You can’t just sign up. You will not see a Subway, Panera or Wendy’s on Requested. I’m not against those places, I even love In N’ Out, but our mission is to grow the business of our independent restaurants without incurring any additional fixed costs. And we’re literally doing that and it’s providing true incremental margin to their bottom line.

With the success of our latest version of the app, we’re actually a little backlogged working to get a bunch of new places live! The best way to know which places are on Requested is to take out your phone and launch the app right now. Keep checking, because the list keeps growing.

4. How does the app know how much of a discount a restaurant is offering?

Some things need to remain a secret.

5. You guys are nice guys, but there must be something for you. What's the revenue stream

Awww, thanks! Of course there’s something in it for us, we need to be around forever and you can’t do that on nothing. Our app is 100% free to consumers and there is no upfront cost or fees to our merchant partners. However, when someone places a reservation and enjoys their experience, Requested receives a percentage. We’re like eBay and HotelTonight. We only get paid if both sides of our market are successful and happy.

6. Why should someone use the Requested App instead of some of the other reservation systems out there?

There are two key differentiators:

  1. With Requested, you can get a table as usual, or get a table and score a discount on your entire bill, or score a hard-to-get table by paying a premium. We have dynamic pricing.
  2. With Requested, you pay on your phone. So when you’re done, the total sales, along with your gratuity to the server, is processed through your phone. And that saves you and the restaurant 10 minutes. We're like uber for restaurants!

7. Who is behind this app?

Requested has 8 employees, four of which are founders and we’re all local to Sacramento:

Sonny Mayugba, Nichole Barnum, Jon Shumate, and Carlos Rivera are all founders. Dani Loebs heads up growth, Randy Balzarano heads up sales, Carlos Sola-Llonch is our Senior software developer and Katie Stein is our Merchant Ambassador. We also have a key Angel investor, Dave Pringle, who leads a lot of our structure and financial development and lead our first friends and family round of investment. We have an Advisory Board of amazing and active people. Our seed series round was led by Jason Calacanis, so we work closely with him and his tribe. Plus, we were funded by Social+Capital Partnership, so they weigh in on our development as well. We also have half a dozen part-time employees. We’re a small, scrappy team driven by a love of tech and restaurants and bars.

8. Is there anything else that I haven't asked that people should know about?

That’s a great question. I want our mission to be clear: we help high quality local businesses do what they love. So as we evolve, we are saluting this everyday.

On a fun note, something we’ve started with Requested that has been really fun are our happy hour parties. We partner with our restaurants and users every week or so to talk about the app, stay in the know about innovation and happenings in Sacramento and always keep the feedback and dialogue open with our users base. To find out more about our events, I’m just going to give a quick shout out to Like us on Facebook and subscribe to our events, because usually we give away free cash on the app.

One more thing! We have a pretty killer referral program built right in the app itself. Users can send $10 to their friends to try Requested, and if the friends use it, the user who sent the invite gets $10 dropped into their account as a thank you. So if you have a big social network and love Requested, we’ll pay you to spread the word.

Lastly, I encourage anyone and everyone to contact me directly. My cell is 916-320-3560 (text me) or email me at sonny@requestedapp.com or tweet me at @sonnymayugba. Most of all, thank you for all the support. -Sonny Mayugba

For Cowtown Eats readers who are just trying out the app, you can get a $10 credit by entering the by getting the app here. (Disclosure: I get $10 also when you get the free $10 in credit.)

The Requested Team is also holding a Happy Hour at Alley Katz on Wednesday, Aug. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m., where they'll give you a code for $5 (which is basically buying your first beer) and 15 percent off the rest of the night. Click here to register.

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Meet the chefs working this year’s Tower Bridge Dinner - The chefs team for the Bridge Dinner: from left, Matt Azevedo (Z. Miller Meats), Vinnie Lazzaretto (Hook & Ladder), Brock MacDonald (Block Butcher Bar), Ravin Patel (Selland Family Restaurants), Oliver Ridgeway (Grange), Patrick Prager (Marriott Rancho Cordova), Bret Bohlmann (Boulevard Bistro) and Jim Mills (Produce Express). Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Bottle & Barlow's Jayson Wilde - Earlier this summer, bartender Jayson Wilde teamed up with barber Anthony Giannotti to open Bottle & Barlow, Sacramento’s first bar and barbershop under one roof. Wilde grew up near Natomas and learned the cocktail business as a bartender’s assistant at Shady Lady Saloon before going to work at San Francisco’s famed Bourbon & Branch. SF Weekly named him one of San Francisco’s new generation of bar stars when he was 28. Now 33, he’s back in his hometown, planting his craft-cocktail flag on the city’s white-hot R Street Corridor. Marybeth Bizjak in Sac Mag.

Pieology has quick, crispy pizza down to a science - The thin crust is perfectly crisp, with char visible on bottom, and tastes just salty enough to be memorable. There’s not enough material here to compare it with local craft pizza houses’ crusts, which tend to be larger. But crust crispiness remained consistent through the 10 Pieology pizzas we tried. Carla Meyer in the Sac Bee.

Temple Coffee & Tea - The local third-wave coffee mecca is taking its first step out of Sacramento and opened its doors in a new downtown Davis location on Aug.15. The interior will feature Japanese-inspired design with a 32-foot-long solid oak community table, thoughtful touches like a mid-century modern clock. In Sactown Mag. (Fifth Item.)

Bring the Funk - It looks like 9999 Thai-Laos Boat Noodle could still use more luck. On multiple visits, the spacious restaurant was completely empty, or contained just one other party. That meant more than 120 seats lay vacant, plus a large, desolate bar. A karaoke stage and its accompanying dramatic music videos hint at 9999’s potential as a nighttime destination. But for now, it’s just another undiscovered gem in south Sacramento. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

VIDEO: Lord of Rice - Finalists in Mikuni's Lord of Rice competition will go head-to-head to see who reigns supreme when it comes to rice. On Good Day Sac.

Continue reading "Dining News: This Local App Helps You Get Discounts or Skip Long Restaurant Lines" »

Dining News: Oak Park Brewing Company to Open This Weekend


Oak Park Brewing Co. will open its tasting room for a preview weekend on Saturday Nov. 8, it announced via Twitter on Monday.

The tasting room is located at 3514 Broadway, and will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. They plan to serve several beers, a limited menu from their kitchen along with some non-alcoholic options such as root beer and cream soda.

Back in Sept., they announced that they would be open in late October. Credit to the owners for providing a pretty accurate estimate.

Unlike some of the other tasting rooms that have opened recently, Oak Park Brewing Company also intends to serve food, according to an interview on Beers in Sac.

In a recent interview with the Sous chef, Eric Marais, I learned what might make OPBC different from the rest. Eric is a local chef, trained first at the American River Community College Restaurant Management program, and then at the Culinary Institute of America in San Francisco...

Eric returned to Sacramento in 2000, and cut his cooking teeth at several local restaurants, including Tuli Bistro, the Waterboy, and One Speed before learning about the vision of OPBC. Eric explained it as an affordable, fine- dining experience inspired by fresh, local ingredients, and a menu created in collaboration with the beer. Think Magpie at a brewery. This goes far beyond pub food. Eric noted, “This won’t be freezer to fryer. It’s farm to fork.”

The owners also gave a video update on the progress the brewery was making last week.

Oak Park Brewing Co. can be found online at http://www.opbrewco.com.

More News:

Bacon and Butter: Go for the Burger - while I’ve tried many exciting, memorable dishes at this hot new establishment, Zoellin’s burger may just take the cake. The menu changes frequently, so I can’t promise you’ll find the same version when you drop in, but I have enjoyed both a lunch version (embellished with thick-sliced bacon, arugula, and tiny, crisp shallot rings) and a breakfast version, topped with a sunnyside-up egg. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

The Waffle Experience: Waffles for days - And here’s the rub: The ideas are great, the flavors well balanced, but the waffles are sort of tough. In some cases, this works to an advantage, as when a grass-fed beef burger is paired with the leek waffles and garlic aioli. They stand up well to the juicy meat and tomatoes. At other times, as with the berry-topped waffles, they are a bit overworked. Liège waffles are supposed to be crusty and dense, but these often seemed heavier than ideal. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Let's eat: Three places to try around town - Looking for somewhere different for lunch? Our three places to try this week include a place adding wine and beer to their cheese and meat offerings, an upgrade to a restaurant and a family-owned Mexican restaurant in Folsom. Featuring The Culture & The Cured, 33rd St. Bistro, Mexquite Mexican Cuisine in Folsom. Andrea Thompson in Sac Biz journal.

New Asian N’ Cajun Slated Opened last Tuesday - A new Asian N’ Cajun restaurant in Natomas was scheduled to last Tuesday...Asian N’ Cajun is located at 4271 Truxel Road in Suite B1. It will be similar to the popular Cajun seafood restaurant Boiling Crab in South Sacramento, co-owner Vincent Dang said. On Natomas Buzz.

Continue reading "Dining News: Oak Park Brewing Company to Open This Weekend" »