Burger Battle, Coming Soon, Already Here

From Scott's Burger Shack Facebook page
From Scott’s Burger Shack Facebook page

The date’s been announced for this year’s 2nd annual Burger Battle at Raley Field. Last year’s event was pretty beefy, and this year’s will probably be even more so. My favorite burger last year was a tie between Kupro’s and Flaming Grill, the former going for a luscious meat blend on a squaw roll and the latter going for lamb with more fixings than the law allows, but I felt neither got the recognition it deserved, mostly because Kupro’s has a crap reputation amongst many and Flaming Grill is amazing, but still mostly a parking lot across from former Catholic girls school.

Should you want to start your own burger battle a little early, I draw your attention to an old favorite of many, but a new find for me, Scott’s Burger Shack.

Scott’s Burger Shack on Franklin Boulevard serves a burger called the “Fat Boy,” a hefty ½ pound patty topped with bacon, two kinds of cheese and all the fixin’s. It’s a juicy, rich, gut-busting good time. For my friends in nearby Land Park, Curtis Park, and Hollywood Park, it’s a neighborhood treat not to be missed. Be warned, however. To say that conditions at Scott’s are Spartan would be like saying the Bates Motel has a strict checkout policy. The order window is the size of a wet-nap, the three tables outside have the rich patina of 25 years of spilled ketchup, and the surrounding exhaust-flavored parking lot is less than savory. Totally worth it.

Scott’s Burger Shack– 4127 Franklin Blvd. 451-4415.

Food ****1/2 Service ** Atmosphere- none

Turkish Delight, or Trio: Third Time’s the Harm

imagesDish 1: It looked like a pile of burnt, crumbled hamburger meat over a base of somewhat loose, nearly separated risotto. Dish 2: It tasted like a chicken breast stuffed with a banana cream pie. Dish 3: Had the vegetable lasagna not been cold, it may have been satisfactory. Dish 4: For a slightly tough lamb shank, it was tasty if a bit cool.

These are not the entrees you should be serving. These are especially not the entrees you should be serving when the Eats clan has invited the Crushers to come along and evaluate a new eatery. If you don’t remember the Crushers, they’re great friends who do not hold back when served a shitty meal. And rarely stay quiet when they’re served a somewhat ok meal. They expect no errors at a $20 a dish joint, and just short-of-perfection at a $5 hash house.

This is also not the food you should be dishing out when you’re on the radar. How should you know you’re on the radar? Well, first comes the attention from Bee critic BAR, then an increase in Yelp reviews, then you wind up having two reviewers (Garrett McCord from SNR and Vanilla Garlic was at the table next to us) in on the same night. We’re talking NSA level-Zero Dark Thirty radar going on. Continue reading “Turkish Delight, or Trio: Third Time’s the Harm”

Hank Shaw wins!

America’s best food blogger of 2013
Congratulations to Hank Shaw, winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Award for Individual Food Blog.

This was Shaw’s third nomination for his blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook which chronicles his pursuit of honest food.

In addition to writing, Hank teaches food classes in the Sacramento area. His next appearance will be Friday May 10 at Whole Foods for Cajun 101.

Togo’s Pastrami Challenge: A cost-benefit analysis

Man, I miss John Candy.

For you Togo’s fans, I would like to present a brief cost-benefit analysis of the new Pastrami Challenge.

Togo’s sure knows how to celebrate pastrami. In fact, the west coast-based eatery recently celebrated National Hot Pastrami Day this past Saturday by kicking off a promotion that’s every pastrami-lover’s dream and every Vegan’s worst nightmare. It’s called The Pounder, and rightfully so, considering that this two-foot long behemoth of a sandwich is stacked to the brim with over a pound of hot pastrami.


  • The sandwich will run you roughly $23.


  • The Family size version comes in at 3,020 calories, 143 grams of fat, 9,020 grams of sodium, and 164 grams of protein. The challenge version must be at least three times this size. I couldn’t find the specs online.


  • Buy the sandwich at the regular price and then tell the crew member you are taking the challenge and fill out the paperwork!
  • Devour the Pastrami Pounder in 30 minutes to successfully complete the challenge (one person per sandwich)
  • When you’re done, alert the crew to claim your prize certificate for a free t-shirt (a hat at the Natomas location!)

Continue reading “Togo’s Pastrami Challenge: A cost-benefit analysis”

Steer clear of California Fresh — at least for now

I hope they don’t run out of Thai Soup…

I contemplated not posting this out of sheer embarrassment at actually having paid for the meal, but then I realized I would be doing my fellow Sacramentans a disservice. Fresh Choice was always a family favorite of ours, since our oldest child was a baby. We actually visited Fresh Choice the day after it closed its doors, and were really bummed for a few weeks. Our spirits were lifted this week when Cathie Anderson posted about the new restaurant California Fresh rising from the ashes of Fresh Choice. Tonight we decided to dine there on a whim. And, well, I’d write what happened next but then I found what Ali T. had to say on Yelp and I’ll just let the dude run with it because he said it all very well.

Did you ever have the chance to prepare your own salad in post-war Soviet Russia? Yeah, me neither, but the “new” California Fresh gives you the chance to feel like you did.

Read Ali T’s review before you visit California Fresh, and then don’t actually go there at least until Cathie says it’s safe to go back. Or who am I kidding, I won’t remember that I wrote this and I’ll be back in a few months to let you know if they have something besides green beans in the pasta section. THIS IS NOT A JOKE IT WAS LITERALLY JUST MAC N’ CHEESE AND GREEN BEANS OVER THERE. I’m hoping that they’ll get the cash flow going and be able to get back to where they were a few weeks ago.

Dine Downtown Or Else Downtown Will Move to Seattle

With the Kings debacle fresh in our collective consciousness, let’s focus on something this town does well, food. We’re the fark to form capital of the world, and no one’s going to take that from us. Tonight marks the start of the annual Dine Downtown Week (Jan 9-18) which is so big that it can’t be contained by a mere 7-day week but must expand over to a metric 10-day week. Each restaurant puts together a 3-course/$30 meal and waits for the throngs to come pouring in.

If you, in fact, dine Downtown all ten nights, I admire your eating enthusiasm. But, if you, like me, are holding yourself to a few nights only, these are the spots I wouldn’t miss:

Biba- sure, it feels like you’re eating in 1989 in there, but who cares? The cooking is always expert and the flavors rarely miss. You’ll get salad, pasta, and entrée for $30, way below the usual Biba mark-up.

The Porch– Try the soft shell crab & waffle. Why? Because when else are you gonna try it. Continue reading “Dine Downtown Or Else Downtown Will Move to Seattle”