Sac Town appeases both sweet and savory teeth by serving up a one-two punch of Gunther's Homemade Ice Cream and gourmet sandwiches. Knock one of more than 40 ice-cream flavors into your mouth park with a single ($2.60) scoop, or go for a double ($4.15) or triple ($5.45) play. Other melty treats include banana-split sundaes ($6.45), milkshakes ($4.75–$5.75), and chocolate-dipped cherries ($4.50/dozen). If your stomach is aching for heat-impermeable sustenance, de-grumble it with a hearty, gourmet pastrami sandwich ($5.75), turkey sandwich ($4.95), or grilled cheese ($3.45).
At multiple locations throughout the Sacramento area—including the newest one downtown—the chefs at Perko's Cafe are busy cracking fresh ranch eggs into omelets, skillets, and scrambles featuring ingredients such as portuguese linguiça or hickory-smoked ham. They turn hand-cut, marinated steaks into tri-tip sandwiches au jus, and they build towering double-decker burgers whose half-pound ground-beef patties teeter with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and thousand-island dressing. To match the beef- and barbecue-filled menu, many of the welcoming dining rooms have a decidedly Southwestern feel, with corrugated-tin accents, old-timey tools, and booth dividers that resemble a black-and-white cow or an incredibly complex inkblot test.
Cheesesteak historians trace the sandwich's ancestry back to Pat Oliveri, a Philadelphian who combined sliced beef and onions over a Italian roll; once someone made the ingenious decision to add cheese, the classic combination was born. Today, Cheese Steak Restaurant's sandwich-smiths continue that noble tradition with more than 30 cheesesteak varieties.
Take your pick of either the classic, a chicken version, or a hoagie-style cheesesteak (topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise), and you have the option to pile it with grilled onions, hot cherry peppers, or sweet bell peppers. Other varieties feature added ingredients such as roasted cloves or garlic, mushrooms, or teriyaki sauce. There's also a veggie-only option, and diners can order twister fries, steak fries, fried mushrooms, and zucchini sticks to as a side dish or in case they need edible confetti for a chef's birthday party.
The bakers at Rose Marie Custom Cakes carry a firm belief that cakes are for more than just eating, proffering double-take-worthy confections disguised as Coach purses, open books, or footballs. The bakers start their masterpieces with a base of one of more than 40 cake flavors—including butterscotch rum and margarita—within which hide fillings, such as raspberry buttercream and vanilla-coffee mousse. Next, the cake designers choose from one of 25 colorful icings or assemble fondant and candy pieces to emphasize any event's theme, from Sponge Bob birthdays to Emily Dickinson bachelorette parties. Rose Marie's bakers also whip up decadent pies and prepackaged sweet treats for fundraisers, including chocolate-covered pretzels and loaded caramel apples.
It is not just the pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas that keep guests coming back to Pete's Restaurant and Brewhouse—the hand-crafted beers also play a major role, quenching thirsts with flavors ranging from the Uptown blonde’s light layers of honey to the highly hoppy profile of the Skinner’s Horse IPA. Pete’s team keeps meals in balance by offering food-and-beer-paring suggestions, assuring diners that the Midtown ale harmonizes with fish tacos and that the Old Town red—a malty, medium-bodied amber ale—improves coordination for slam-dunking meatballs.
Visitors wrap empty hands and hungry mouths around Togo’s freshly crafted selections that stock a menu of sandwiches, wraps, and salads. Since 1971, Togo’s has been pairing meats, veggies, and cheeses with freshly baked artisan bread to create such handheld meals as The Clubhouse, with apple-wood-smoked bacon, turkey, and cheddar cheese, and Uncle Tony’s Italian, which cloaks salami, capicola, and ham in parmesan bread ($5.99 each).