Monday, April 30, 2007

Potbelly's Rancho Cordova not Chicago Review

Potbelly Deli and Burgers
2878 Zinfandel Drive, Suite B
Rancho Cordova , CA

When I first saw this place a few months ago, I was half excited. Why just half? Well I thought this was the same chain as Potbelly Sandwhich Works originally from Chicago, as where I am from. So I thought it was nice that a little bit of home would be here in Sacramento. On the other hand their sandwiches, IMHO, are mediocre. They do the Quizno's thing where the sandwich gets toasted through a conveyor belt toaster.

When I first ate here, I was looking for that contraption and did not see it. I did not see any fresh sandwiches either. Well they were there, but I was enthralled with the hot sandwiches and burgers. The chain in the Sacramento area is more of a grill with sandwiches. To my delight, this place serves better food than my hometown Potbelly's.

I think the food is generally good here. Today I had a grilled Chicago dog with mustard and relish. The hot dog had nice flavor and was cooked just right; a nice amount of char on the outside while being tender on the inside.

The item I was most please about was the onion rings. Anyplace that serves onion rings, I will usually try them. I hate some onion rings like at Burger King (although I think their burgers are good). The texture seems like grated onion somehow bound together in a rings a deep fried.

These onion rings came in a variety of sizes, were breaded just right (not too thick) and the onions they used were sweet. They were nice and crunchy, but you could still taste the onion.

The one caveat is that I probably would not eat here if I had only a 30-minute lunch. The service is rather slow for the lunchtime crowd. It is generally good service, but I think they take the time to make a good product.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ruth Chris Review

OK so I lied, I'll launch and work on this site as I go!

I had an interesting dinner at Ruth Chris last Friday. It was not the food or the service that was different, but the electricity or lack of it!

We just placed our orders for our dinner; a filet, a ribeye, asparagus with hollandaise, onion rings and some gratin potatoes. About 10 minutes later the power goes out in the entire shopping center, the generator for the lights go on dimly and out table is illuminated by soft candlelight.It was rather romantic and our service continued without a hitch. We received our dinner about 5 minutes later minus my onion rings. I was hoping they would throw some oil in s stock pot an cook them for me. Oh well. We could not order the chocolate molten cake since they use a microwave to heat it. They tried to improvise with the couple next to us, but they said it was not the same. C’est la vie, we ended up going to Ettore’s to get a slice of the Kahlua cake.

The only blemish on the evening was that we had reservations at 7:30 pm and we were not seated until 8:15 pm. This was the latest that I have been seated after a reservation, EVER.


Mushrooms Stuffed with Crabmeat Broiled mushroom caps with jumbo lump crab stuffing sprinkled with Romano cheese.


Filet: The most tender cut of corn-fed Midwestern beef. (medium)

Ribeye: An outstanding example of USDA Prime at its best. Well marbled for peak flavor, deliciously juicy. (medium rare)

Wine: 2003 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

Sides: Potatoes Au Gratin: Served in a cream sauce, topped with melted sharp cheddar.

Fresh Asparagus with hollandaise

Dessert: Chocolate Kahlua cake at Ettore's

Food: 17/20

Ruth's Chris Steak House on Urbanspoon

Jack's Urban Eats Review

Jack's Urban Eats
Loehmann’s Plaza (Fair Oaks & Fulton Ave.)
2535 Fair Oaks Blvd. 916 481-5225

I have been here once before and the food was pretty good from what I remember. I originally wanted to eat at the Grand Central Station Grill on Sunrise, but it was closed.

If you have not been here, it is like Pluto's; build your own meal with separate sandwich, side and drink stations. I wanted something a little substantial so I decided to order the BBQ Chicken Sandwich. It is described as, "Chargrilled chicken breast, chipotle-mango Barbecue sauce, crisp onion, ring, smoked cheddar cheese, leaf lettuce, tomato and mayo on a ciabatta roll."

Warning: A small rant ahead: To something is barbecued or it is grilled, not both. The description and name are not consistent.

What is Grilling?
Grilling is the most common form of outdoor cooking. It employs generally high temperatures (350? plus F), usually using charcoal (either briquettes or natural lump charcoal) or a gas grill powered by propane. Grilling is done using direct or indirect heat. Often wood chips or chunks are soaked in water and added directly to the coals to give off smoke and enhance the flavor of the meat, fish or poultry being cooked. In the case of gas grills, containers are used to hold the wood chips as they are ignited by the gas jets inside.

What is Barbecuing or Smoking?

These two terms are often used interchangeably. Both involve generally low temperature (220?-250? F) outdoor cooking using natural lump charcoal or wood. This type of cooking requires the use of some sort of receptacle for water or other mixtures of liquid that is heated by the wood or charcoal to just boiling or simmering. This keeps what is being cooked moist throughout the sometimes-lengthy cooking process. Several types of specialty appliances are available or can be adapted for this type of cooking.

Anywho, so how was my sandwich? It was rather, eh not good. The chicken was not seasoned, there was no crisp onion ring and the cheddar cheese was not smoked. I ended up eating only half of it and throwing the rest away.

I'll say the garlic fries were good; plenty of garlic, nice, hot and crispy and seasoned well. I ate all of those, they were yummy.

Score: 10 = Average. I would eat here again, if this was a good value.

Jack's Urban Eats on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tex Wasabi's Rock-N-Roll Sushi-BBQ Review

Tex Wasabi's Rock-N-Roll Sushi-BBQ
I ate here a couple of Sundays ago. A usual rule of thumb that follow is to try not eat out on Sunday. Why? Well. usually the first string cooks are on Friday and Saturday night I said usually. Please do not send me a nasty e-mail.

I have done this many times and am disappointed more often then not.

I had a half slab of the pork ribs, they were OK; tender, not a lot flavor. My partner had a Red Dragon Combo with two pieces of maguro and two unagi.

I eat sushi on a fairly regular basis. This was the first time, that my sushi rice was CRUNCHY. The portions were large on the sushi, so we ate the sushi sashimi style and the fish tasted fairly fresh.

Overall: 10/20 average

Tex Wasabi's on Urbanspoon

Campton Place

Campton Place: Lunch

We had two courses plus dessert:

Cabernet Sauvignon: Chateau la Cardonne, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc, Bordeaux, France, 1998

Duck Confit with Date-Orange Chutney and Mixed Greens
The duck was perfectly cooked and the chutney added just enough sweetness to bring this dish together.

Soup of Garden Peas with Maine Lobster Broth and Mint

Pea soup eh? My gosh how can something so simple be so great. I guess "less is more" the texture was silky smooth and the broth added enough contrast of flavor to bring out the flavor of the soup.

Amuse-bouche : Yeah. I love freebies
Vichyssoise soup with caviar. I have always wanted to see what this classic dish was like. Wow. free caviar how can you beat that?

Black Angus Beef Tenderloin with Bone-marrow Crust alla Primavera

O.M.G. This was best piece of beef I have ever had in my entire life. Believe you me, I am from Chicago where beef abounds as do steakhouses. This was it though.

Glazed Pojarsky of Milk-Fed Veal with Asparagus

OK, I struck out with this choice, I had no idea what pojarsky was. This was very OK. Veal is usually to light in flavor for me.


Quark Soufflé with Balsamico-Cherriesand Mascarpone-Amarena Ice Cream

Wonderfully light and the ice cream, mmhmm. My heart started to slow as I ate the ice cream. So rich.

Food rating: 18/20

Campton Place on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 23, 2007

Launch T minus 37 days

This blog will be about the Sacramento/NorCal area food scene with objective restaurant reviews based on a 1-20 scale. I do not think 4 star ratings are the most effective way to objectively rate a restaurant. There can be a huge difference between a 2 and a 3 star restaurant. Borrowing from statistics (1 SD), most restaurants (68%) should fall into the a little below average to above average.

This page is under heavy construction, with a go live date of June 1, 2007.

Thanks for stopping by, here is something to wet your appetite from one of my favorite restaurants; Mustard's:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My Short Career Change to a Cook

A few years ago I was very unhappy with my career and decided to give cooking a try. I have a few entries from my old blog that I will transfer here. Some are about my days at cooking school and some of them are about being an intern.

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004