Twenty-seven tap handles dominate the bar at Alley Katz, contributing to the eatery’s more than 200 diverse domestic and international craft beers. The tap list is ever-changing and complements a menagerie of bottles ranging from familiar lagers and amber ales to sour beers, barleywines, and floral Belgian-abbey-style ales. As quoted in the Sacramento Press, owner Geronimo Avelar is a “self-proclaimed beer geek,” sourcing brews from Lagunitas, Stone, Auburn Alehouse, as well as lesser-known microbreweries. The variety encourages sippers to find their niche or expand their beer horizons at the guidance of the bartender.
With a bubbling pint to the side of the table, patrons shoot pool on one of two red full-sized tables or watch sports on one of six TVs. The 3,400-square-foot space with exposed-brick walls gives patrons plenty of elbow room to mingle or settle into wide semicircle booths to debate whether Aristotle liked his bacon soft or crispy. Throughout the day until about 9 p.m., Alley Katz’s kitchen flips burgers and serves a selection of wings, pizzas, and sandwiches to accompany their bubbly brews.
The chefs Grill Master’s Steak House don’t believe you can have too much of a good thing. That’s why they prefer to serve their robust dishes, such as slow-roasted prime rib, juicy USDA-certified porterhouse steaks, and steamed Chilean mussels sautéed in Riesling, by the pound. Even the specialties they don’t serve in gargantuan portions radiate with heartiness, including bowls of from-scratch New England clam chowder and blackened, sautéed, or broiled farm-raised rainbow trout.
To complement these meat- and seafood-based feasts, bartenders pour a generous selection of cocktails, wine, and beer, including several handcrafted microbrews and one macrobrew that can't even fit inside the restaurant. These drink gurus also channel the kitchen's bigger-is-better philosophy with the Grill Master's Monster, a hefty, ice-chilled libation comprised of juices, club soda, and shots of tequila, rum, and triple sec.
In movies, characters tend to grow the most in the third act. Cathy and James Landeros began the third act of their foray in the restaurant industry 15 years ago when they opened Freeport Bar & Grill. While the duo may not be on the receiving end of a Michael Caine monologue any time soon, they do present plenty of cinematic food at their third eatery, such as juicy steaks and pastas. They also prepare several house specialties, such as the tender pot roast bathed in dark, sweet onion gravy. Their breakfast and brunch roster features yet more contemporary American classics, including biscuits and gravy, crab benedicts, and chicken-fried steaks. Freeport Bar & Grill is only part of Cathy’s and James’s imprint on their Sacramento neighborhood. The proud owners of the restaurant also own a nearby marina, RV park, and space program funded by lobster sales.
When Kira O’Donnell of Sacramento Magazine visited FreshMed Mediterranean Cuisine, she found something unexpected: nachos. Of course, these nachos, which O’Donnell highly recommends, aren’t the type smothered in sour cream. In fact, they’re not even made with tortillas. FreshMed makes its nachos with fried pita bread and a mound of chicken shawarma, chopped parsley, and feta cheese⎯a testament to the restaurant’s authentic Afghan and Mediterranean ingredients. The dish is a good representation of the remainder of FreshMed’s menu, which includes such items as marinated lamb kebabs, falafel wrapped in soft pita, and Mediterranean salads tossed with feta cheese, tomatoes, and plenty of dried mint. FreshMed also offers catering for events, such as surprise parties where everyone jumps out of a horse.
Since he was 13 years old, helping his parents in the kitchen of their restaurant, Jose Silva dreamed of building a place like Flaming Grill Cafe. So when he finally got the chance, after 20 years in the restaurant industry, he wasn't about to blow it by making the same burgers everyone else does. Instead, alongside beef and sirloin patties, Chef Silva grills up antelope, elk, gator, and wild boar?guests might even find camel or llama if they arrive on the right day or accidentally wander into the desert. After sizzling over an open flame, these meats rest under a cover of bacon or avocado, creating what Sacramento News & Review's Kate Washington praised as a "big, oozing, cheesy, overstuffed lunch." To wash down such a meal, Flaming Grill serves up craft beer: drafts of Lagunitas, Knee Deep, Dogfish Head, and New Belgium.
Malabar owner John Cook has teamed up with executive chef Jose Luis Garcia to add a contemporary flair to time-honored American staples. The menu, which amalgamates influence from Asian, Latin American, and Italian traditions, and spares no expense in terms of ingredients. In order to make his culinary fusions work, chef Garcia relies on USDA Choice beef, hand-cut veggies, and made-from-scratch marinades and sauces.
Large plate-glass windows and modern hanging lights cast a buttery glow across Malabar's elegant dining room, illuminating plates filled with Louisiana-style wings, hickory-smoked pork, and rib-eye steaks cured over a wood fire. While perusing the restaurant's separate gluten-free and vegetarian menus, diners can quiz the bartender about the wine and beer selection.