East Broadway Rundown

Other than being the title of one of the best and most overlooked Sonny Rollins albums (I know you don’t care about jazz, just humor me), the title above refers to the fact that we’re going to race through your myriad dining options on Sacramento’s Broadway with a no-holds-barred, no-stone-left-unturned, no-child-left-behind attitude.  Are you ready?

Let’s go.  These will be in no particular order (other than geographically west to east):

Jamie’s Bar & Grill– Decent prices for hearty food. My experiences have been underwhelming, but others swear by it. Expect burgers, sandwiches, barbecue, comfort food, cigarette scarred tables, and waitresses that call you sweetheart. Don’t expect a sign above the door.
Two stars– 427 Broadway

Market Club– If you’re looking for a breakfast dive, you’ve found it. Standard breakfast fare with a few Asian touches (fried rice and fried eggs anyone?). You won’t find a better divey yet friendly place located in a produce warehouse yard anywhere.
Three stars-2630 5th St (off of Broadway in the fenced in produce yard)

Fortune House– Chinese fare with a focus on seafood. The coolest thing about this place is the massive chandeliers; the uncoolest thing is the complete lack of help with the menu from the waitstaff. Come prepared, come informed.
Two stars-1211 Broadway

Miso– A relative upstart in the neighborhood. What Miso lacks in parking, it more than makes up for in damn good sushi and an amazingly friendly owner.
Three stars– 1517 Broadway

Tower Cafe-If you’ve got friends in from out of town and want to take them someplace hip, but not too hip, nice but not too nice, not cheap but not too expensive, Tower Cafe always comes to mind, and usually winds up being your dining choice. Good service, world-vibe interior, killer desserts, nice beer selection, and a menu that makes you feel healthy and decadent at the same time. Tower Cafe keeps doing its thang.
Three and a half stars– 1518 Broadway

Chada– Of the two Thai places on this same block (see below), I prefer Chada. Genteel service, beautiful presentations, and a relaxing interior. As far as the food goes, it’s good. Is it better than Taste of Thai (see below)? It really depends on the dish and the day. As always, you can’t go wrong with the larb. I heart larb.
Three stars– 1624 Broadway

Taste of Thai– (see above) I am glad to see that two restaurants, so similar in menu, seem to be able to survive and prosper for these many years. Taste of Thai is a more informal, laid-back joint with quality coconut curry and friendly service.
Two and a half stars– 1628 Broadway

Queen Sheba– Ethiopian. Tasty Ethiopian. The staff is forward thinking enough to provide forks, so not all eating needs to be done with the sour injera bread. The vegetarian lunch buffet is decently priced and filling, without being too exciting.
Two stars– 1704 Broadway

Mana SushiDead to me. And now without ramen, totally, utterly dead to me.
No stars- 1724 Broadway

Kathmandu Kitchen– The double K keeps dishing out some delectable dishes. This is my second favorite Indian restaurant in town (let’s hear it for Mehran…anyone? anyone?), and always a solid performer. The saag paneer is tops. Don’t walk in the door unless you plan to leave stuffed. There’s just no other option.
Three stars– 1728 Broadway

Pho Bac Hoa Viet– Above average pho. Below average service.
Two stars– 1827 Broadway

Pancho’s– Uninspired, uninteresting, and underwhelming are words that come to mind when I think of Pancho’s food. Of course, “flange” and “galoshes” are also words that come to mind. Should I see a professional about that?
1 and a half stars– 2026 Broadway

Pancake Circus– Despite the long waits, despite the creepy clown decorations, despite the age-defying waitstaff that acts as a living, breathing reminder of what poor retirement planning can lead to, Pancake Circus remains one of the best breakfast experiences anywhere.
Three and a half stars- 2101 Broadway

Trails– It’s worth visiting just for the interior, which is what a 50’s Madison Avenue type would think of when trying to recreate a cowboy cookhouse. Don’t expect much from the food though.
1 and a half stars– 2530 21st St

Tugboat Fish and Chips– Like all the other Tugboats in town, this one features crispy, well-fried fish with all the trimmings. Prices are low, the tables and floor are spotless and the service friendly. Oh, and they have hot sauce, which I’m finding to be an altogether necessary condiment when eating fish and chips.
Two and a half stars– 2487 Broadway

Los Jarritos– The price is low, the food is good, the amenities are few. Sundays after church are insane.
Two and half stars– 2509 Broadway

New Canton– It’s hard to beat the dim sum without traveling out of town. Most of the dishes appear to forego the Western palate editing that most Chinese restaurants participate in. That means unique flavors, strong odors, and bits of things floating in your food that you might not be familiar with. If you’re cool with it, I am. If not, you were warned.
Three stars– 2523 Broadway

Camino Real– See Pancho’s (above).
One and half stars– 2700 Broadway

Boon Boon Cafe– CoolDMZ loves it. You should too.
3022 Stockton Blvd (corner of Stockton and Broadway)

I realize I’ve missed about a dozen chains and another dozen stores and restaurants along Broadway, so do your part and help complete the list in the comments section. One man can only eat so much you know.

13 thoughts on “East Broadway Rundown”

  1. Thanks. I’m sheepish to admit that even though that’s my area of town I have only visited three of those places, but I’ll now make a point of checking out 2-3 more.

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  2. And the key to Jamie’s is dinner – not lunch. Go for dinner (M-F) and don’t even look at the menu. Just check out the specials board. I don’t eat meat and I’ve some of the best meals ever – Salmon, petrale sole, halibut, always with a rich complimentary sauce – the almondine type one is awesome. I had a cioppino like dish once with scallops, crab, halibut in a buttery tomato broth… omg. Prices reflect the quality though. Usually the specials are in the $18-30 range.

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  3. Let’s not start any terrible rumors here people. Trails is way still open. How do I know you ask? I was there last week. Worth going in for just the wallpaper, chandeliers, and talkative wait staff. But I like the homestyle food. I’d even rate it a whole * higher. Same with Camino Real.

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  4. Maybe it is the two kids that I almost always have in tow but I am a fan of the Pancake Circus. It does not try to be anything more than just a greasy spoon breakfast place. It does that pretty well. Do not expect gourmet, expect a few clogged arteries.

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  5. Has anyone been to Bali Wine Bar lately? I haven’t been for a long time. And the last time we were there service was extraordinarily slow. But their food had always been good.

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  6. Anyone who is a state worker should rush into Trails soon: they have offered a 20% discount on dinner to state workers until the state budget passes!

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  7. If you’re going all the way to Stockton, don’t forget Broadway Soul Food, around 34th St. and Broadway. The service isn’t top notch, but the chicken tastes like it was fried in bacon fat. Mmmmmmmmm. I’ve heard the desserts are good, but they didn’t have any the two times I went.

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