I Love Your Fat Face (It’s Not an Insult)

It took me a while to figure out what was going on on 19th Street. For months, I’d be driving down the one-way thoroughfare at about 30 mph, trying to share the road with cyclists, dodge vehicles coming out of the Safeway parking lot (one of the worst designed parking lots in the universe by the way), and make the light at S Street, when a waist-high sandwich board would distract me for a nanosecond. I couldn’t tell whether it was advertising clothing, popsicles, food, wine, or jewelry. When I finally stopped and pulled over one day, unable to deal with the confusion and distracted driving any longer, I realized that the sign was actually advertising for all of those things at the same time.

Confusing? Yes. But if you’re willing to put up with just a modicum of initial confusion, you’ll find yourself well rewarded at — wait for it — Fat Face @ Bows & Arrows. Is it a vintage clothing and jewelry boutique? Yes. Is it a culinarily clever café? Yes. Is it both? Amazingly, yes. Does it work? Quite well actually.

It really shouldn’t be all that confusing. Maybe I’m just too set in my ways to recognize a restaurant/boutique partnership as a standard American business model. However, my preconceived notions aside, there’s nothing wrong with eating in a vintage clothing store. Especially when the food, drink, and ambiance is utterly delightful.

Fat Face first came on the scene in Davis a few years ago, peddling popsicles of a creative, delicious nature and doling out lunch to hungry students. But when the opportunity to cross the causeway came up, it was an unlikely partnership that emerged. The vintage boutique Bows & Arrows, formerly on L Street, partnered with the ‘Face and took over a lovely space on 19th and S. Now you can pick up a pair of Daisy Dukes, Lolita sunglasses, and an absolutely divine cola-braised-pork sandwich all in one spot.

Besides the food, which without exception is creative, thoughtful, and delicious, the vibe at Bows & Arrows is exceptional. From the first second I sat down (in a classic Danish-modern dining chair pulled up to a Singer sewing table no less) I found myself wanting to spend the rest of the day there.

How bad could it be, I seemed to saying to myself, relaxing, munching on popsicles (like the avacado-lime, or red velvet) or a sandwich (give me a BLP please, bacon, lettuce, and peach topped with feta all on toasted sourdough), sipping a glass of French rose´ or maybe a pint of Allagash white, lounging in atomic era furniture, listening to European retro-pop electronica, and watching the hippest of the hip wander in and try on clothes?

Not bad at all, was the answer. Which is why I keep returning.

Fat Face @ Bows & Arrows- 1815 19th St, Sacramento


5 thoughts on “I Love Your Fat Face (It’s Not an Insult)”

  1. Totally not kidding, I read that sign wrong when going by and thought it was an eyebrow waxing place called “Brows and Arrows.”


  2. “one of the worst designed parking lots in the universe”? I agree, it’s pretty bad, but no worse than Howe ‘Bout Arden. Arden Fair’s not very good, Pavilions, Loehmann’s Plaza, Kaiser Hospital on Morse and the Kaiser clinic near Cal Expo – all designed to confuse drivers and endanger pedestrians. Bad parking lots seem to be a Sacramento specialty, like banana cream pie but not as welcome.

    Thanks for the explanation of Bows & Arrows. I had walked by it been puzzled.


    1. CJ – I think because Sacramento has so many shit-tastic parking lots, whichever one the speaker has suffered through last is by convention the worst?


  3. Cannot agree more with CJ about Howe ‘Bout Arden. It’s hard to even walk through (seriously, you could break an ankle), much less drive and park! Pavilions seems merely designed to make sure you pass every store before finding the one you want.


  4. I stopped going to Safeway just because of that parking lot. Always fearful I won’t get out alive.

    I’ll send one of my hip friends in to check out Fat Face.


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