Wicked 'Wich

Dining News: RIP Wicked 'Wich in West Sac

Wicked wich

Wicked 'Wich's location at the West Sac Community Center closed in late November, the City of West Sac newsletter announced recently.

Community Center Café Changes for the New Year
The owners of Wicked ‘Wich located inside the Community Center are closing current café operations as of November 23. The owners are looking at a new menu and format, and anticipate re-opening by January 19, when Los Rios College Spring Semester starts and the students return from break. Information on the new menu and format will be shared as it is received.

I reached out to Matt Chong of Team Broderick for more info, but he did not return an e-mail earlier in the week.

Team Broderick, formally known as Working Class Heroes, has been busy this year. They're currently working on working Saddle Rock, replacing Capital Dime at 1801 L Street. In recent months, they've opened a second Broderick Roadhouse at 18th & L and Localis at 21st and S. I have faith that they'll make good use of the West Sac space come January.

As a side note, chef Matt Cannedy left Wicked 'Wich in November and is now the Executive Sous Chef at Esquire Grill. That position became open when Chef Jason Azevedo was promoted to become Chef de Cuisine at Hock Farm.

* Photo via the Wicked 'Wich Facebook page.

More News:

Temple, Old Soul land on Coffee Review best of the year list - Coffee Review has chosen its top 30 coffees of 2015, and four Sacramento-roasted batches made the list. Temple Coffee and Tea led the way at No. 6 with its Panama Don Pepe Estate Geisha Single-Origin Espresso. It was released back in October and received a 96-point rating. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Bad news for Mimi's Cafe fans - Mimi's Cafe is shuttering one of its Sacramento-area locations. The restaurant at 3511 N. Freeway Blvd. in Natomas will have its final day of business on Dec. 20, according to a spokeswoman for the company. The location opened in 2006. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Happy Hour Hound: Easy on I - If you spend enough time at neighborhood bar Easy on I, it will quickly start to become a place “where everybody knows your name.” Owners Mark and Carol Hoyt know all the regulars, always welcome new patrons and are always caught laughing behind their bar. It’s obvious that Mark and Carol have a love for what they do, which is running one of the best watering holes on I Street. They make the bar and grill, on the corner of 18th and I, seem more like your local hang out spot. Easy on I is a casual, low-key bar and grill that is perfect for a Friday night or Wednesday afternoon. It’s full of everything you want at your local bar: good beers, comfortable atmosphere, awesome food and friendly people. It’s the kind of bar that you can grab a drink, a bite to eat, and meet someone new sitting on the bar stool next to you. Amy Serna in Submerge Mag.

New future for former Italian deli in El Dorado Hills - The El Dorado Hills Town Center is getting another new restaurant. Rubio's Coastal Grill will fill a space previously occupied by Mama Ann's Deli & Bakery, which closed in October. Sonya Sorich in Sac News & Review.

Linden teen wins $10,000 on Food Network’s ‘Chopped Junior’ - The Food Network threw everything from orange push-ups to a vegetable sushi roll at 14-year-old Linden resident Elisabeth Watkins, but she kept her cool and came out a winner on a recent episode of “Chopped Junior.” Cathie Anderson in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: The Buzz Coffee Brewery Opens at the Senator Hotel

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The Buzz Coffee Brewery, which relocated from 500 Capitol Mall to the Senator Hotel at 12th & L, opened on Monday.

The cafe operates out of a small space in the front of the office building formerly occupied by a Bank of America ATM.

Bryan Martin, the owner of The Buzz, told Cowtown Eats in a quick interview on Monday that he opened a coffee cart at 500 Capitol Mall, knowing that Specialtys Cafe would eventually move in and displace him. He then looked for and found this new location.

The Buzz serves coffee custom roasted by Old Soul Co. The cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.


In addition to coffee, the cafe serves breakfast burritos (Martin recommends the chorizo breakfast burrito), soup and salads at lunch and desserts by Vesela Peneva. Vesela's desserts are also served at Stick Gator, where she has gotten rave reviews.

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Reviewers on Yelp seem to like the lunch offerings. "Brian makes the BEST tortilla soup EVER. Hands down. I could never stand tortilla soup until he offered me a sample of the tortilla soup and now I can't live without out it!!   He also makes killer panini sandwiches. Always adding something new and yummy to the menu," wrote Kita E. on Yelp.

Martin also said that he's considering getting a beer and wine license for the evening crowd to enjoy a drink on what might be Sacramento's best view of the State Capitol.

In recent weeks, the Senator Hotel has been bought by new owners. This move was in the works prior to the ownership change.

According to the Sac Biz Journal's Ben van der Meer, the building's new owners are considering a ground floor restaurant.

Miles said the plan is to keep the building in office use, as it has been for the last 30 years. Among the upgrades being planned are some exterior renovations and the addition of a first-floor restaurant with outdoor space, a fitness center and some conference rooms, he said.

Cowtown Eats confirmed Monday that the planned restaurant would be in addition to The Buzz Coffee. (Update 6/3/2015: Martin told me on Tuesday that according to building management, the new ground floor restaurant is at least 3 years out.)

(Disclosure: I work in that building, and I'm excited for all the new food choices.)

The Buzz Coffee Brewery can be found at 1121 L Street.

More News:

What's going on with the former Monte Carlo Club? - The blank exterior space might suggest otherwise, but plans are still underway to reinvent the former Monte Carlo Club. The nightlife venue's new incarnation -- called B-Side -- likely will open in late June, according to Garrett Van Vleck of the local Shady Lady Saloon, who is one of the new managers. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Now Open - Cilantro's Mexican Restaurant - The new incarnation of Cilantro's Mexican Restaurant is open at 705 J St. in downtown Sacramento. This is a relocation of a restaurant that for 10 years filled a space near the Downtown Plaza. On Thursday, an employee said the new location is currently serving beer and expects to eventually expand its alcohol selection. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Wicked ’Wich: Carbo loading - Hot breakfast items include a breakfast panini with frittata, cheese and a spicy Fresno chili aioli. Or, you can start the day with a sugar jolt via the Nutella-and-banana panini with cinnamon sugar. Steel-cut oats in two sizes are also offered, with seasonal fruit and brown sugar. Actually, the panini are the cafe’s best items. They’re much smaller than the food truck monsters, but deliciously crispy and warm. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Beer Run: 10 brews worth drinking - It’s Memorial Day weekend, with the summer swelter just around the corner. Maybe you’re looking for a new beer or two to try. So let’s take a look at the ones I’ve most enjoyed so far in 2015. Many of them are available at local bars and restaurants, though when and where can be a moving target. Some you can find at bottle shops and quality grocers. A few are hard to come by but are so good you might want to put them on your wish list. Featuring Bike Dog Brewing, Knee Deep Brewing, Mraz Brewing, New Helvetia Brewing, Oak Park Brewing, Track 7 Brewing and Device Brewing. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: The Buzz Coffee Brewery Opens at the Senator Hotel" »

Dining News: Why Wicked 'Wich Cafe Isn't Selling Primanti-Style Sandwiches


Food truck Wicked 'Wich's initial claim to fame was it's Pittsburgh/Primanti Brothers-style sandwiches, which is basically a regular sandwich served with fries and cole slaw.

Unfortunately, when it opened its brick and mortar location at the West Sac Community Center last week, its trademark sandwiches were nowhere to be found, which led to a little grousing by fans, like these comments on Reddit.

Ww_redditCo-owner Matt Chong explained the change, via e-mail. "We don’t have the ability to install a deep fryer, so that’s what prompted the menu shift," wrote Chong. "Unfortunately, we won’t be selling the old-school Primanti-style sandwiches - but there are some seriously delicious options in their place."

Mystery solved. It's just a limitation of the space they were given. Chong did fill in come other details about the new cafe, again via e-mail:

  • Open Mon-Fri, 7a-5p.
  • We’re serving coffee/espresso, breakfast items (house steel cut oats, breakfast panini, pastries), sandwiches (panini style, regular. Some have Latin American influences), salads, snacks and natural sugar bottled sodas.
  • We hope to be a catalyst for people to come out and not only eat with us, but check out the great facilities that are nearby:
    • West Sac Library
    • Black Box Theater- a very cool 300 person theater inside the Comm Center
    • Event Space / Dance Rehearsal room (perfect for gatherings, meetings, dance practices)
  • The experience has been great so far. There has been a HUGE amount of West Sac folks stopping by to support us, including so many who work for the city. The people inside the building are amazing to work with as well.

If you're in West Sac and you're looking for a meal, I'd encourage you to give the new Wicked 'Wich cafe, located at 1075 West Capitol Avenue, a try.

More News:

At table with Sacramento news anchor Edie Lambert - Restaurant-wise, two of her local go-to’s are Mulvaney’s B&L (916-441-6022, www.mulvaneysbl.com ) and, for more casual dining, Formoli’s Bistro (916-448-5699, www.formolisbistro.com). Then there’s Edie’s comfort-food favorite, the bread pudding at Les Baux Bakery (916-739-1348, www.lesbauxbakery.com). “If everything is going wrong in my world, that bread pudding will dig me out,” she said. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.

Sacramento tech team creates ‘Requested’ app for restaurant discounts - An ambitious smartphone app released this week promises to bring dynamic pricing to the dining industry, allowing restaurants to fill seats on slow days while giving customers the chance to negotiate discounted meals. Called Requested, the free app for Android and iPhone is the creation of a team that includes Sonny Mayugba, co-owner of The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar, who spent 12 weeks living and working in San Francisco as part of a startup incubator project. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

M. Shahrzad Serves Up Terrific Persian Cuisine - I had a knockout dinner this past weekend at M. Shahrzad Fine Persian Cuisine in Rancho Cordova. The restaurant was packed with families and large groups when we arrived, tucking happily into the restaurant’s toothsome skewered meats, robust Persian stews and colorful appetizers. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Mother’s Beer Week Event Spectacular - “Mother’s Beer Week Event Spactacular” – That’s a big title to live up to – but if there’s one thing that Mother excels at, it’s living up to the hype. The small, veggie-centric restaurant on K St has certainly become a mainstay for the downtown lunch crowd, but you haven’t truly experienced Mother until you’ve attended one of their special events. I was lucky enough to snag tickets to their beer week event, and it did not disappoint. Brianna Nathan on Girls on the Grid.

Can ‘fast-casual’ burger chains overcome the merely fast? - As one of the region’s growing “better burger” chains, Krush Burger is on a roll. Part of a national trend, it’s biting into the traditional burger market long dominated by big chains like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King. In the last few years, America’s relish for the basic burger has shifted from the fast, low-priced products touted by the golden arches to higher-quality meals produced quickly, the so-called fast-casual better burger. Ellen Garrison in the Sac Bee.

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Dining News: Wicked 'Wich Returns


Before Broderick Roadhouse, Capital Dime and Trick Pony, there was Wicked 'Wich, the food truck that has now spawned a small chain of distinctive restaurants in Sacramento.

Now, the owners have brought back the Wicked 'Wich brand with a cafe and sandwich shop format inside the West Sacramento Community Center, they revealed on Facebook. In addition to the ownership group, Jess Milbourn, formerly of The Eatery and now chef at Broderick, is involved with the project.

I e-mailed co-owner Matt Chong for more information on Sunday night, but he did not respond.

But Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review was able to get more:

Today, Wicked ‘Wich softly opened inside the West Sacramento Community Center (1075 West Capitol Avenue). Now open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, the cafe offers breakfast, sandwiches, salads, soup and pastries along with an espresso bar. There are four small tables right by the counter, but also the rest of the Community Center for seating options.

Old ‘Wich truck fans won’t see any familiar sandwich names, and they might find the current menu tame. No banh mi fries, or fries stuffed in sandwiches, for example. But flavors still sound robust: one sandwich holds chipotle- and coffee-rubbed beef with jack cheese and chimichurri; a spin on a Cuban features citrus-marinated pork loin, ham, house-made mustard, Swiss cheese and bacon relish. Most sandwiches go for $8-$10.

Read the entire story in Sac News & Review.

More News:

New Sacramento food trucks crank the ignition - Then, as the food-truck trend gained traction, naysayers scoffed, saying all this mobile-food madness was just a flash in the pan, the culinary equivalent of “Gangnam Style.” But it’s become clear that the trucks are here to stay, having become an integral part of local food culture. Tacos from Chando’s, a Hemi sandwich from Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen, shaved ice from Local Kine – all signature Sacramento food staples. SactoMoFo food truck roundups under the freeway at Sixth and W streets draw thousands. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Sac Brewery Tour during Sacramento Beer Week! - If you’ll be beer weeking this year, chances are you’ll need a ride. Sacramento travel curator Grady O’Bryant of SacTrips has put together a brand new Hop-On Hop-Off Brewery Tour, happening Saturday 2/27 and 3/7. From noon to 8 pm, revelers can catch a ride any and every thirty minutes along the route of 15 central pubs and breweries. Cost of a day long ticket is only $30 – about what you’d pay for a cab to and from a single location. Elizabeth Welsh on Girls on the Grid.

VIDEO: Beer Week Shining Spotlight On Sacramento's Growing Craft Brewing Industry - Local entrepreneurs say they are simply tapping into demand. And if you think there's a lot of beer to choose from now, just wait. They're calling this the golden age for beer in the capital city. Lemor Abrams on CBS 13.

VIDEO: Sacramento Beer Week could draw scrutiny of state regulators - Beer week has begun in Sacramento, folks have flooded downtown and the brew is flowing. But all the excitement could capture the attention of state alcohol regulators. Melinda Meza on KCRA.

VIDEO: Sacramento all a buzz about Beer Week - Formoli’s Bistro previews the Sacramento Beer Week’s special menu which will only be available Tuesday-Thursday. On KCRA.

Continue reading "Dining News: Wicked 'Wich Returns" »

Dining News: Field House Sports Pub 'Worth the Trip'


Field House American Sports Pub, launched by the Shady Lady team, continues to draw positive reviews from food critics. This time, Garrett McCord in Sac News & Review.

Field House is an excellent sports bar with an excellent vibe, keen staff and a solid menu that, with time, will fix its flaws. My one concern is for its location, but I urge those living on the grid: Go to Field House, order a beer and some wings, and watch a game. Maybe drown yourself in a pitcher of bloody mary.

It’s worth the trip.

Read the entire review in Sac News & Review.

Back in April, Submerge Mag published another rave review, where they called the Whiskey Burger "quite possibly one of the best burgers in Sacramento."

My own experience didn't match that of these two reviewers. I went to the Arden-area restaurant on a mid-April Saturday afternoon after a Costco run, and found it a work in progress. The sliders were decent, but nothing that elicited the type of praise both reviewers lavished on the full sized burgers. The dressing on the chef salad I had was too salty - something that you don't often hear about a salad.

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But with these two reviews, maybe my visit was an off day for the kitchen. I'll head back after a future Costco run and give them another try.

More News:

Gather in Oak Park for new foodie block party - A new monthly block party is hitting Oak Park this summer, with a focus on community-building and culinary exploration. It’s called Gather, and it’s organized by the very hip people behind Unseen Heroes. Unseen Heroes also puts on GOOD: street food + design market on Del Paso Boulevard. (By the way, that returns on Sunday, June 1.) Essentially, the Oak Park Business Association saw GOOD, loved it and wanted something similar for Oak Park. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Brew Bike sets course for Sacramento beer - As the Sac Brew Bike – loaded with more than a dozen whooping and groove-busting 20- and 30-somethings – makes it way though midtown Sacramento, the bike contraption gets plenty of attention. On a recent outing, it was greeted by an older man blowing some sort of horn and moments later by a young man who decided to treat the crew with a view of his backside. Ed Fletcher in the Sac Bee.

Feast Q&A: Wicked ’Wich food truck co-owner - Progressive food ideas keep coming out of West Sacramento. What’s going on? I think it’s the government’s ability to work together. They’re able to get things done in a timely manner. It’s an inspiration to think you can go into a community and not get push-back but actually get a pull in the other direction where they say: “How can we help you get to the next level?” When we wanted to open Broderick, Mayor (Christopher) Cabaldon sat down and had coffee with us and he said, “If anything gets in your way, give me a call and let me know.” Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: Field House Sports Pub 'Worth the Trip'" »

Dining News: Now Open - Lou's Sushi

Lou's Sushi, which Cowtown Eats wrote about in mid-May, has opened at 28th & P, replacing what had been an Una Mas.

The restaurant, which opened for business in the frist week of the month, is run by Lou Valente, a chef who has done a stint at Zen Sushi at 15th & I streets and the now defunct Sushi on the River. He's also worked in LA and San Francisco.

The restaurant's first 3 weeks in business haven't been trouble free. They were shut down for a day after theives stole exposed copper pipes, which cut off their water supply.

For now, they're open Tuesday through Saturday, but expect to be open 7 days a week by the end of the year.

While ther are a lot of of sushi places in Midtown, there aren't a lot of restaurants in that part of town. I'm hopeful they can carve out a niche as a good neighborhood sushi place.

Lou's Sushi can be found online at http://www.lousushi.com/.

More News:

Osaka Sushi coming to K Street - The owners of Osaka Sushi in Woodland plan to open a Sacramento location on the K Street Mall around Dec. 1. The space in 1200 K St. previously was the sandwich shop Magnolia Grill. Mark Anderson in the Sac Biz Journal.

Natomas Denny’s Set to Open in Oct. - The new Denny’s in Natomas is expected to finally open late next month. A tentative “soft opening” date of Oct. 27 has been set for the restaurant located at 4441 E. Commerce Way. On Natomas Buzz.

T & R Taste of Texas BBQ - Based on their reactions, I'm pretty sure the kidlets and Mr.S. would most definitely welcome more takeout from T&R. The portions were Texas-sized (big), the food's reasonably priced and the ribs were tasty-- an overall good value. Being that it's not too far from the Grid, I could see it becoming a popular place to quench our BBQ fix on family dinner nights. Ally Gaffan on A Girl & Her Fork.

Continue reading "Dining News: Now Open - Lou's Sushi" »

Dining News: 4 Reasons You Can't Rely On Sac Mag's Readers Awards


First, let me make it clear. I'm not talking about the awards given by their staff. While I may not always agree with them, I find their choices to be well thought out and rational. I'm talking strictly about the awards voted on by their readers.

Much like high school elections, these awards are genearlly popularity contests. And much like high school elections, that means the results are hit and miss.

Here are 4 glaring examples why some people consider Sac Mag's reader awards a joke:

1. Hook & Ladder won third place for something it doesn't even offer.

If you need any example of why you can't rely on this reader's survey, this is it.






2. Two chain coffeehouses placed ahead of any of our city's fine coffee establishments.

There's nothing wrong with Starbucks or Pete's. I go to Starbucks much too often because it's across the street from my office. But if I wanted Sacramento's best cup of coffee? I'd head to Old Soul. Or Insight Coffee Roasters. Or Temple Coffee. Or Broadacre. The list goes on and on...





3. Joe's Crab Shack wins any food-related award.

There's definitely a place for Joe's Crab Shack in Sacramento. It's full every time I pay them a visit, and for good reason -- a great concept, they're family friendly, and they offer a little entertainment too from their servers. But one of those reasons isn't their gourmet food. And the fact that they tied for first for Best Crab Cakes is just ridiculous.






4. Best Happy Hour dominated by SRO Restaurants.

I might be Sacramento's foremost expert on happy hours. I've visited more than 200 happy hours, and try to a variety of places so I don't get stuck in a rut. There's nothing wrong with Riverside Clubhouse, Bistro 33 El Dorado Hills or Bistro 33 Davis's happy hours. I find them decent. But there's no way they're the best 3 our region has to offer. Just off the top of my head, Ella has a great high end happy hour with craft cocktails and gourmet appetizers. R15 has cheap beer and filling bar eats. Mix Downtown has tasty eats paired with great daily specials. Paesanos has a fantastic happy hour that could double as an early dinner and discounts on craft beer. Blackbird's happy hour is a great place for upscale food at a discount. Those are in no particular order, but ones that I like going to. The 3 "winners" are fine, but they're not the best.

Here's the entire list, but rememember to read it with a grain of salt, in Sac Mag.

PS: I'm not alleging the results are rigged either. I'm sure that the list accurately reflects the votes cast.

More News:

Cafeteria 15L launches brunch this Sunday - Starting this Sunday, Aug. 4, Sacramento’s weekend-brunch-going crowd can add another destination to the go-to list downtown: Cafeteria 15L, where executive chef Christian Palmos will be churning out more of the restaurant’s signature “American comfort classics, but with a twist.” Stephanie Towne on Sactown Magazine.

Second Sacramento Burger Battle Set for Sept. 18 - Burger lovers from around the region will convene on Raley Field this fall for a charitable event to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. The second-annual Sacramento Burger Battle, organized by area blogger Rodney Blackwell, will feature 15 chefs vying for title of best burger. Cody Kitaura in Davis Patch.

Continue reading "Dining News: 4 Reasons You Can't Rely On Sac Mag's Readers Awards" »