Holiday beer tasting at The Shack

The Shack is kicking off December with their annual Christmas and Holiday Beer Tasting this Tuesday at 6pm. If you have not been to one of The Shack’s Tuesday night parties, you are missing out on Sacramento’s best opportunity to try beer that you have probably never had. Every Tuesday, owners Gary and Jen Sleppy feature anywhere from five to a dozen different beers, frequently with a food pairing for the offering, be it Belgian, German, or other.

This Tuesday, The Shack will offer a dozen different holiday beers, mostly Belgians with a few Americans. Chef Sleppy (that’s Gary) will have a buffet spread of food (bigger than appetizers, smaller than a meal) to accompany the beverages, and patrons will also get to take home a Belgian beer glass, all for $25. If you have not been to The Shack in the four years since the Sleppys have owned it, you are missing out on one of the best American pubs in the area, with handmade food and impeccable selection of beer and wine. I am expecting that the evening will be topped with Gary’s homemade truffles.

Check out the list of the delicious beers they expect to serve. A few others will be added before Tuesday. RSVPs are strongly encouraged.

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Updates for the Hungry: Liquor License Edition

The Flaming Grill, everyone’s favorite burger joint to be located across the street from a catholic girls school, has finally gotten a beer and wine license. What does that mean to you and me? Well, it means later hours for one. Look for the ‘Grill to be open until at least 9pm on most nights. Right now the taps are pouring the likes of MGD and Pyramid, but look for more craft brews in the future. Really, what would go better with their killer ahi sandwich than a nice Trumer Pils?
Flaming Grill- 2319 El Camino Ave, Sacramento

Dad’s Kitchen is finally open for business. The new restaurant from the owners of Dad’s Sandwich Shop opened its doors a few weeks ago and reports are already coming in that the food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner lives up to expectations. The taps are flowing too, adding a lovely, hoppy bite the lineup of sandwiches, salads, and (during dinner hours) entrees. So grab and “Angry Road Man” with a pint of “Monkey Knife Fight” and see if the funny names make the items any more fun to order.
Dad’s Kitchen- 2968 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento

Finger Clickin’ Good

After working all weekend excavating about 10 tons of dirt and clay from my East Sac home, I kicked back with a bucket of chicken from our local KFC:
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This fact gives me my Sacramento tie-in to a delightful story that I just had to share with the rest of the ‘Raggers:

Those of you who have gmail know of the targeted ads posted on the sides of your inbox that “correspond” to the subject of your emails. After writing to one of my Nintendo contacts requesting some information, I noticed a target ad that stated “Like Super Mario Bros.? You’ll love this” with a hyperlink to a flash-based game for the PTEA-sponsored site Kentucky Fried Cruelty, adorably titled “Super Chick Sisters.”

From a quick perusal of Kentucky Fried Cruelty, it looks to be a celebrity-promoted, anti-delicious fried chicken, website spearheaded by the great philanthropist/philosopher Pamela Anderson. Thankfully Pammie also brought her think-tank of great minds to support her cause, including: Pink, Ryan Gosling, and Rev. Al Sharpton. Worthy of note is that the Dalai Lama is also one of those in Pam’s entourage who does not dig on the Colonel, which stunned me because I didn’t even realize that they had KFC’s in Dharamsala, India- go figure.

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Big Joe’s BBQ

Dipping your mop into the world of barbecue can be a precarious business. Other than pizza and burgers, there is no other food that Americans are more opinionated about. Some folks insist that your cooking vessel makes all the difference, whether it’s a kettle smoker, a barrel smoker, an egg shaped smoker, a flux-capacitor based meat vaporizer or just the back of an ’84 Celica. Other barbecue Einsteins insist that it’s all about the sauce, whether it’s a mustard sauce, or a tomato sauce, or a molasses sauce, or a vinegar sauce, or a tears-of-a-dolphin sauce. Don’t even start me on dry rubs.

So, suffice it to say, interjecting an opinion about anything barbecue is dangerous. That being said, I’m going to stick my neck out here. Are you ready for it? Can you take it?

Big Joe’s BBQ is the best barbecue in Sacramento. Continue reading “Big Joe’s BBQ”

Paul Martin’s American Bistro

It takes a lot to get me to go to Roseville.  It’s not a destination that I seek out, let’s put it that way.  I don’t have any specific beef with the place per se, but it doesn’t draw me in with any specific gravitational pull.  That being said, when I was invited to dine at Paul Martin’s American Bistro in Roseville recently, I jumped at the chance.  I had heard too many good things about the place from friends, acquaintances, and others in the know to turn down the opportunity.  

Many of you will scratch your heads and say, “Roseville?  Paul who’s?  Why bother?”  Of course you’d say that.  We can’t even get you to go over the J Street bridge, heck, we can’t even get you to leave your couch, why should we expect you get excited about something ten miles up the freeway?  And that’s just fine.  The truth is, there are plenty of folks up the road who recognize Martin’s as the best new restaurant in their neck of the woods.  They’re excited.  They’ll leave their couches.  They’ll put the box of Bugles down and throw on some khakis.  The ‘Bistro will not be hurting for business.  I know you don’t want to hear this, and I apologize for bringing this out into the open, but Paul Martin’s doesn’t need you.   Oh, now I’ve got your attention, now you’ve got a chip on your shoulder, now you’ve got some skin in the game.  Fair enough, read on. Continue reading “Paul Martin’s American Bistro”

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

When you think barbecue, you typically think, “Hey, how do you actually spell ‘barbecue’?”  Good question.   Traditionalists, including myself, (and really who would you listen to otherwise?  I mean c’mon, if a white kid from California doesn’t know BBQ, who does?) prefer to refer to the culinary art form as “barbecue”.  Why, you ask?  Because, it’s a real word, that’s why.  Not some abbreviation (BBQ), not some syntactical abbreviationary hybrid (Bar-B-Que), and not some cutesy shortening with punctiationary flair (‘cue).  (God, I hate people who shorten words and put apostrophes before them.  It’s so cliché.)  Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, a newish establishment in Rocklin, insists on spelling it “Bar-B-Que” on all of their literature and signage, so one strike against them already. Continue reading “Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que”

Pronto- Farmer’s Market in a Bowel [sic]

Despite its insistence on using a grammatically flawed slogan, “Real Italian, Real Fast,” Pronto continues to deliver top-notch luncheon fare.   Today’s meal was the “Farmer’s Market” salad.  Mixed greens, arugula, corn, cornbread croutons, avocado, dates, almonds, goat cheese, and a citrus tarragon dressing.  Sweet, savory, crunchy and crispy.  This very well might be my favorite salad ever.  Continue reading “Pronto- Farmer’s Market in a Bowel [sic]”

No more Cobbler for you

Out walking the neighborhood, my wife and I noticed that soul/BBQ restaurant The Cobbler was gone, replaced by a new Mexican joint called “Cantina el 7 Copas.” Does that mean “Seven of Cups” restaurant? Like it’s Tarot-themed?

We never got around to eating at The Cobbler, but with that and the bad news (for me) about Sidewalk, it’s almost time to ask: Are tacos becoming the next crepes?

Esquire Grill: American as Apple Compote

Eat AmericanSometimes you just feel like a good “date” dinner, the kind of dinner where you sit for a few hours, chatting, eating, sipping wine, chatting more, eating more, sipping more wine, chatting a little louder, eating too much, slurping wine, hooting and laughing and disrupting others’ dinners, etc.  So to that end, on a recent Saturday night, Mrs. Eats and I found ourselves entering Esquire Grill.  Now I had never actually sat down to a full meal at the ‘Squire before– drinks sure, appetizers definitely, dessert absolutely–but never a full snout to tail meal.  This was to be one of those splurging nights; with a two-for-one coupon and a $50 gift certificate, we figured that we could go pretty crazy and still be not break the bank.

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