There’s a new burger joint in town called Burgerocity

Folsom has a new burger joint in town called Burgerocity.

I have been reading about Burgerocity on Facebook for several months now, reading their updates about the new place, the menu, ingredients, the photos of the decor, the day that Good Day Sacramento stopped by and more. Today I finally went over to check them out.

Unlike most typical fast food burger joints, this place touts its their quality of food that sets them apart from the competition. (I liked hearing that, my quest was to find out if is true, it is).  For their burgers they use Certified Hereford Beef that is fresh and never frozen, and they say that the cattle are grown on a grain and grass fed vegetarian diet with no hormones or fillers, 100% chuck.  That sounds great to me!

This place also has a vegetarian Nuttyburger that I hear is really good along with 100% Kosher Beef Hot Dogs, including a Chicago Dog version.
I like their outlook and simple menu.

Today I stopped by for lunch.  Right off the
bat I have to give them props for having a very nice outdoor seating area with plenty of tables, inside it was equally nice with a good open streamlined decor that fit the place perfectly.

The restaurant was packed, word is already getting out about this new place, I saw several people there that I knew and they all looked very happy.

I ordered the “Heffer” (two patties) with Cheddar, Mushrooms, Grilled Onions and the works $5.99 along with an order of Garlic Fries $2.99.   After ordering, I got my soda and found a table, my burger came up in about 5 minutes.

Dissecting the burger:  

The Bun: the sesame seed bun was very nice and fresh.  It held up good thru out the carnage. Rating – Very Good

The Beef:  the burger was very good, the taste reminded me of something in between Harris Ranch burger and In-n-Out burger. It definitely had a higher quality taste that was detectable and made a difference.  Rating – Great

The Toppings: I think it’s really cool that you get the burger with the works and you ALSO get to choose from a nice list of Free Toppings that include: sauteed mushrooms, grilled onions, relish, jalapenos and more. Rating – Great

The Fries:  The fries had a good topping on them, the garlic was tasty….but for me personally, I did not like the fries a whole lot -but only because they seemed a bit overcooked…. that could just be me, my wife lives crunchy fries where I like slightly cooked fries… I think it’s just a personal preference. Rating – OK

All in all it was a very good meal,  I related this place to a cross between 5 Guys Burgers, Smash Burger, and The Counter.  The double burger, fries and soda I had came to under $12.00, that’s not bad, I think next time I’ll try the Heffer with jalapeno’s.  I would recommend this place.  My only lament is that they don’t serve beer, but that’s not always a necessity.

Check ’em out –

Burgerocity
157 Iron Point Road, Folsom CA. (916) 351-5777
http://www.burgerocity.com
Hours: Sun – Thurs 10am – 10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-11pm

World’s Best Pizza

What is it about pizza that makes us love it so much? Is it the savory cheeses, the pliable crust or the aromatic sauce? Perhaps it’s the customizable nature of the treat. Each pizza is different; across the country — the world, even — foodies get to compliment their pies with the toppings they most love. You can call it an Italian creation, an American staple or even a Brazilian standby, but one thing’s for sure: we all crave pizza. But where should you expect to taste the best slice?

#6: Rome, Italy

While other cities try to entice you with the whole pie, Rome’s claim to fame is offering pizza al taglio, or “by the cut.” This variety has a thin crust and is normally baked on rectangular trays in a wood-burning oven. Tasty toppers include prosciutto, asparagus, zucchini, eggplant and potato, but when in doubt, you can also order a traditional margherita with just tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil. Vendors will allow you to determine just how big a slice you want (you’ll be charged based on its weight), after which they’ll cut your slice, fold it and wrap it in paper to go.

Where to Taste: Pizza al taglio is a convenient snack to have while sightseeing. You could order from Da Michele by the Trevi Fountain (opt for the kosher aliciotti e indivia with anchovies and endives), or at Da Remo by the Pantheon (try the zucca pizza with pumpkin).

#5: Chicago, USA

The foundation of any Chicagoan’s pizza is a thick, crunchy layer of crust that’s been stretched up the sides of a deep-dish steel pan. That dough is then layered, starting with mozzarella cheese, followed by any preferred toppings (such as pepperoni, mushrooms or sausage) before it’s coated in a layer of chunky tomato sauce. The first Chicago-style pie was served at Pizzeria Uno in 1943, and present-day diners can still frequent this Ohio Street and Wabash Avenue fountainhead to eat one of the city’s most identifiable dishes. Bonus: you don’t need to be in Chi-town to taste the magic; Pizzeria Uno is now a popular chain restaurant (known as Uno Chicago Grill) throughout the country.

Where to Taste: An employee at the original Pizzeria Uno, Rudy Malnati is the disputed creator of the traditional deep-dish pizza recipe. And according to many, his son Lou serves up one of the best incarnations of Chicago’s “casseroles” in the entire city. You can eat at his establishment, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, in the River North area.

#4: Osaka and Hiroshima, Japan

Sometimes called the “Japanese pancake” and at other times called the “Japanese omelette,” okonomiyaki’s flat shape and assorted ingredients have also earned it the nickname, “Japanese pizza.” Even the phrase okonomiyaki loosely translates to “cooked as you want it,” which sounds a little like what makes pizza so special in the first place. But what exactly is okonomiyaki? At its base is batter (made from flour, eggs, water, cabbage and cooking stock) paired with your desired combination of cheese, vegetables, fish and meat. In the city of Osaka, where the most popular version of the dish originated, all the ingredients are cooked together (by grilling on both sides) before the pizza is topped with a sweet brown sauce, mayonnaise, katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and aonori (seaweed flakes). If you’re dining in Hiroshima, the cook will fix your okonomiyaki batter first before layering on the other fixings.

Where to Taste: Several Japanese eateries earn a shout-out for their “Japanese pizza.” Osaka’s Mangetsu restaurant serves an okonomiyaki original sauce that “tingles and tantalizes your taste buds to the point you can’t stop eating the food that’s covered in it,” according to a satiated Virtual Tourist. And foodies across the web recommend Hassho, a Japanese chain scattered through Hiroshima Prefecture, for the best sampling of that city’s style of the dish.

#3: São Paulo, Brazil

Many Paulistanos in this self-proclaimed “Pizza Capital of the World” have a ritual of eating pizza every Sunday. And it’s not hard to find a place to indulge, as Reuters reports that there are more than 6,000 parlors in this city. São Paulo’s obsession with pizza dates back to the early 20th century, when Italian immigrants moved to the Braz district and their culinary tastes began to infiltrate Brazilian culture. Now, city residents even celebrate “Pizza Day” on July 10. People in São Paulo barely use tomato sauce, but they practically smother their pies in mozzarella cheese; popular pizza varieties include Portuguesa (also sprinkled with ham, onion, hard-boiled eggs and black olives) and Casteloes (which adds spicy Calabrese sausage). Whatever you do, be sure to abstain from adding ketchup to your slice — though this is a popular topping in the rest of Brazil, no self-respecting Paulistano would dare besmirch their pizza with the condiment.

Where to Taste: Casual and hard-core foodies agree that the best place to try a little São Paulo pizza is Braz, one of the city’s most popular parlor chains. Pizza is served rodízio style, where you pay a fixed price for all-you-can-eat and servers mill the premises offering various types of pie.

#2: New York City, USA

One of the more recognizable pies of the United States, New York-style pizza is characterized by a puffy outer crust that gets thinner and crispier toward the middle. Tricks of the trade include hand-tossed dough and cooking the pizza on a stone rather than in a pan. And as any New Yorker will tell you, there’s another key element to the Big Apple’s slices — the city’s delectable tap water. Who is to say whether the water’s importance is myth or actual method (The editors of the foodie blog Serious Eats even conducted a considerably comprehensive but ultimately unsatisfactory study)? Eddie & Sam’s pizzeria in Tampa, Fla. seems to think so: The owners proudly boast to importing New York tap water for the making of their dough.

Where to Taste: The hands-down favorite for New York parlors is Lombardi’s Pizzeria, located in NoHo. Considered the first pizza parlor in the United States, Lombardi’s also gets a shout-out from travelers for using fresh ingredients. Just come ready to chow down — this pizzeria doesn’t sell by the slice.

#1: Naples, Italy

There’s a reason the city of Naples earns the first slot on our list. It’s because the Neapolitan pizza is the most enduring recipe the world over, and recipes originated in other cities are often just variations on Napoli’s theme. And considering there’s even an organization devoted to the upholding the authenticity of the dish — the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana — it’s evident that this city takes dough-making and cheese-melting seriously. The wheat flour dough of a true pizza napoletana is kneaded into a pancake shape that shouldn’t exceed 11 inches across, before it’s smothered in fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil and San Marzano tomatoes. It’s then cooked in a wood-fired dome oven at approximately 900 degrees Fahrenheit for no more than a minute and a half.

Where to Taste: Serious foodies disagree on where you’ll find Naples’ best pizzas, but there are a few favorites: Located on the city’s Via Sersale, Antica Pizzeria da Michele is one of the more popular spots — as evidenced by the long lines (and its cameo appearance in the movie Eat, Pray, Love). There’s also Pizzeria Brandi, oftentimes credited as the place that first served pizza margherita.

When to drink Water

We all need water, but did you know there is a correct time to Drink Water ?

I knew you needed certain amounts of water to flush the toxins out of your body, but this was news to me.

From A Cardiac Specialist!

Drinking water at certain time maximizes it’s effectiveness on the body:

2 glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs

1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion

1 glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure

1 glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack

Tricks of the Restaurant Trade: 7 Ways Menus Make You Spend

This is a really great yahoo financial article about menus by Marlys Harris
I am totally proud. My younger son Ezra recently graduated from the CIA. Not the government spy agency but the Culinary Institute of America. Based in Hyde Park, N.Y., it trains chefs and restaurant managers, and according to its website, is “recognized as the world’s premier culinary college with an industry-wide reputation for excellence.” I hope so, because, over the years, we paid a lot of tuition.

Ezra’s education, however, included mastering some skills almost as surreptitious as those employed by a secret agent. Example: Menu engineering, the topic of his honors thesis.

“The menu is the heart of the restaurant. It embodies the restaurant’s demographics, concept, physical factors and personality,” Ezra wrote in solid prose that is an obvious genetic inheritance from his mother. But don’t kid yourself. A menu, he confided to me in an exclusive interview, is also a sales vehicle, and many restaurants — smart ones — use it to get you to eat right. And, we’re not talking about your health, but about their profits.

Restaurant dishes generally divide up four groups, says Ez. First come stars — popular items for which diners are willing to pay much more than the dishes cost to make. Example: penne with vodka sauce. Plowhorses, are popular but less profitable items, like steak. Puzzlers are high-profit items that are tough to sell, say, sweetbreads. Finally, there are dogs that not many people like and aren’t profitable. Why they are on anybody’s menu, I’m not sure. Clever menu engineering exists to steer you to stars and puzzlers, to spend as much as possible and to enjoy doing it. After all, restaurateurs want repeat business.

There’s nothing wrong with any of that. Nevertheless, before you order your next Lasagna Classico at Olive Garden, Crunchy Rabbit at Jean Georges in Manhattan or Egg McMuffin at You-Know-Where, you might want to be aware of these seven common menu ploys.

1. First in show. Many restaurants group their offerings under the obvious headings: pasta, beef, seafood, entrees, appetizers and so on. Testing has shown that if you decide on chicken, you are more likely to order the first item on the chicken list. That’s where a savvy restaurant will place its most profitable chicken dish. A really sharp chef might put a puzzler like sweetbreads first in a grouping. “They only cost about $3, so the margin is huge,” says Ez. Of course, you’ve got to hope that enough people like sweetbreads.

2. Menu Siberia. Unprofitable dishes, like a seafood combo plate that require expensive ingredients, and lots of work, are usually banished to a corner that’s less noticeable or in a multi-page menu stashed on page five.

3. Visual aids. If you draw a line around it, people will order. That’s why many menus box off something they want to promote. Chicken wings are a prime example. They’re “garbage,” says my son of one of my favorite noshes. “They cost pennies so they’re huge profit items.” Photos also sell dishes. An album of what look like ten-inch-high pies set on each table at Bakers Square make it hard to resist ordering a slice. Fancy-schmancy restaurants, however, like this one in Westport, Conn., consider photos déclassé; from them the most you’ll get is a sketch or two.

4. Package deals. So you stop by McDonald’s for a mid-afternoon burger. When you get to the counter, however, what’s really in your face are photos of Extra Value Meals. You figure, says Ez, “Hey, I could eat two patties, I could use some fries, and now I’ll get a soft drink too.” The single burger you intended to buy is off in menu Siberia, on the board far to the right, but you’ve already spent more than you intended. A small percentage of the chain’s 47 million customers dropping a few extra bucks each day translates to millions in additional revenue. Another example: Olive Garden’s Bottomless Pasta Bowl ($8.95). “It’s very unlikely you’re going to eat more than two bowls,” says Ez. And, as one whiny diner noted, you’re like to scarf so many free breadsticks first that you won’t have room for all those noodles.

5. Dollar-sign avoidance. Focus groups who’ve been asked to opine on menus display an acute discomfort with dollar signs and decimals. Keeping money as abstract as possible makes spending less threatening. Many high-tone foodie establishments that charge an arm and a leg for, say, a bowl of lentils and groats now omit such crass symbols from their menus — like Spoonriver, a place I like in Minneapolis. I almost don’t notice that I’ve paid $12.50 for a rather small chicken quesadilla. Once upon a time, menus used leader dots (… .) to connect the entree with the price. You won’t find them much anymore either.

6. The small plate-large plate conundrum. A restaurant may offer two chicken Caesar salads, one for $9 and one for $12. You may think that you’re getting a break ordering the small one, but, says Ez, that’s really the size they want to sell. And if a diner decides, hmmm, I may as well get the larger one because I’ll never get rich saving three bucks, the restaurant will throw on some extra lettuce, making the price differential almost pure profit.

7. Ingredient embroidery. Foodie-centric restaurants practically list the recipe for each dish making each ingredient sound ultra-special. (An item is more likely to sell if it dwells on the fact that, say, the cheese came from cows at the Brunschwagergrunt Farm in western Wisconsin or that the organic mushrooms were raised by a former duchess with an advanced degree in microbiology.) Even at a humble eatery, however, a dish labeled Mom’s Special Mac and Cheese or “The BeeBop Bar’s Mac and Four Cheese casserole” sells better than just plain old mac and cheese. “It may not be any more special than what you get somewhere else, but you’ll start to think you can only get it there,” says Ez. And that will keep you coming back again and again.

You won’t find these gambits at every eatery. Not all restaurant owners plan their menus as carefully as they should. If they did, contends my kid, maybe they would stop placing entrées in the middle of the right hand page, prime menu real estate, because “most people who go to a restaurant are going to order an entrée anyway.” he says. “That’s where I’d put desserts.”

S. Pelligrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Organized by Restaurant magazine, the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is an annual snapshot of the opinions and experiences of over 800 international restaurant industry experts. What constitutes “best” is left to the judgement of these trusted and well-travelled gourmets.

There is no pre-determined check-list of criteria; for example an interesting experience in a simple establishment, where exceptional innovation was discovered, could be judged better than a more opulent meal from a widely feted restaurant team. The results are a simple computation of votes.

Given that this well-constructed list is based on personal experiences it can never be definitive, but we believe it is an honourable survey of current tastes and a credible indicator of the best places to eat around the globe.

World’s Top 50 Restaurant List

http://www.theworlds50best.com/awards/1-50-winners

Battle Royale, Beer Lovers: Manderes Vs. Samuel Horne’s Tavern

Battle Royale, Beer Lovers: Manderes Vs. Samuel Horne’s Tavern

A myfolsomite thought it would be fun to every once in a while pit one Folsom establishment against another in a head-to-head battle. So I am passing this along today to get your input too.

Please post your replies/comments below and I will submit them to the survey and post the final scores in a few days.

Today is a battle of the beer-centric pubs Manderes and Samuel Horne’s Tavern. Each venue will be scored on 5 criteria: Beer selection (30%), food (25%), service(15%), ambiance(15%), Miscellaneous (15%)(i.e. anything else that you want to consider, is the availability of TVs for sporting events important? Do they have special events? Is it convenient to where you live…basically anything else you want to consider). Each is on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the least favorable impression and 5 being the most favorable impression. After a few days I will tally the results and declare a winner.

And our contestants:

Manderes, 402 E. Bidwell St
Manderes was opened, I believe in 2008, and filled a niche not seen in Sacramento, a place for true beer lovers. Featuring American craft beer, Belgian beers of all stripes and great beers from around the world it certainly is not wanting for those who love to be adventurous in the beer. Manderes also offers dining fair that is bar favorites with a high end twist and fare such as Lobster ravioli that you would not find at most bars. Manderes is supposed to be moving up more toward Blue Ravine, but I do not think it has yet. Manderes has won several awards as the best bar in Folsom.

Samuel Horne’s Tavern, 719 Sutter Street
Opened in December 2009, Samuel Horne’s Tavern created a unique and friendly stop in historic Folsom. Focusing only on American Craft Beers (no Bud Light here), Samuel Horne’s features a rotating set of sixteen craft beers on tap with information on the style, alcohol, hoppiness, etc helpfully displayed on chalkboards above. If you see nothing you like there are dozens of other unique beers form Northern California, Oregon and places beyond. The beertenders, as they are called will offer you a taste and if Dylan the owner is there he can tell you everything you need to know. The food is classic American done very well, with a twist here or there thrown in, like the Cootie burger: Pepper jack cheese, raw spinach, mayonnaise, and pepperoncinis topped with an over-easy fried egg. Cozy but comfortable with classic beer signage as adornment, the popularity has made it hard sometimes to find a seat. Samuel Horne’s has many beer related events including a full week of beer lovers excitement during Sacramento Beer Week.

There you are:
So grade from 1 to 5 on Beer Selection, Food, service, ambiance, and Miscellaneous and add in your own comments!

I’m actually very fond of both places and usually go to one and if that place is crowded, then I go to the other. (they’re both in my top 5 favorite places in town)

I view Manderes as a gourmet gastropub and Samuel Horne’s as a local old town pub, I like them both nearly equally but each is very distinct in it’s own style, offerings and service.

Food-wise, I love the risotto dishes that Manderes makes, they are off the hook fantastic – I highly suggest you try them all, they’re available Thurs thru Sunday… and I love the hamburgers at Samuel Horne’s and their chili – my ultimate favorite thing to eat there is the Cootie Burger with a side of chili-cheese fries, it’s a heckuva belly bomb, but it’s oh so tasty!

Manderes:
Beer 5 (they go far beyond the imagination when it comes to their selection of beers, and heck I barely leave the taps)
Food 4.5 (hands down their risotto dishes and other specials that they serve on weekends are my favorites in town)
Service 5 (I’ve been going to Manderes since it opened and know their crew like family, I always get great service there)
Ambiance 5 (the decor is perfect to me, especially the guitars, about the only downside would be the small capacity and noise levels when it’s packed- but that will be fixed in a few weeks)
Miscellaneous 5 (going there is like going to Cheers, everybody knows your name, plus they do some great beer tasting events occasionally that are a blast to attend)

Samuel Horne’s:
Beer 4.5 (very good choice of beers)
Food 4 (good pub food, not gourmet, but their burgers are some of my favorite in town)
Service 3 (you order at the bar and get your food dropped off, while the staff is great and friendly, that’s not really rate-able service)
Ambiance 5 (I really like the old time look and feel, it feels like being in a real pub from the 1800’s)
Miscellaneous 3 (trivia night is a blast and it’s a nice small get away at times)

Lets hear your reviews now – please post comments below – thanks!

A must read article about the “new” cookbook bible

You must read this great article written by Sara Fuss of Shine Yahoo, entitled “The rarifed world of Modernist Cuisine“.

Click on the article (link below) to read a very good description of the book set,  then be sure to click on each of the photos shown above the article to read the detailed culinary methodologies use to create each of the food item in the photos.

The tales of the techniques and ingredients are mind boggling. It is truly cooking at it’s extreme.

The products that are used and methods in which the items are prepared is very unusual, both artistic and scientific. It’s a side of the culinary world where creative chef’s use newly developed techniques to create the most extraordinary dishes that are beyond our wildest imaginations.

Cheers!

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/extreme-eating-inside-the-new-625-cookbook-2464738/#photoViewer=1

Shopping at your local Farmer’s Market

Shopping for quality fresh food items can sometimes be hit or miss at a grocery store depending on how long items have been on a store shelf and where the item originally came from.   I’ve had the misfortune of occasionally buying what looks like fresh packed produce only to find it spoiled or rotten within a few days of the original purchase.  That can be a major disappointment, especially when spending top dollar for those poor quality items.

As much as I love Trader Joe’s, I’ve found their produce to sometimes be too old to use and frankly they should not even be stocking that produce on their shelves after the item has reached a certain age after it’s been harvested.

Produce sold at a Certified Farmers’ Markets is freshly picked and very nutritious.  Unlike store produce which is picked many days in advance and hundred of miles away, most produce at Certified Farmers’ Markets is picked within hours of market days. And the visitor can talk directly to the farmer and learn about new varieties of fruits and vegetables, farming practices and special preparation suggestions.

A Certified Farmers’ Markets is not just a place of shopping but is a community event.  Friends meet friends, swap recipes and visit with the farmers who have become their friends.

The Placerville, Cameron Park, Folsom, South Lake Tahoe, and El Dorado Hills Certified Farmers’ Market Association, Inc. (CFMA) is an association of over 75 growers and producers who participate.

For more information about The El Dorado County Certified Farmers Market check out their website at http://www.eldoradofarmersmarket.com/

Folsom has a season farmers market that usually starts in June and is held every Sunday morning in old town Folsom on Sutter Street.

Sacramento hosts a dozen different Certified Farmers Markets on various days at several different locations in the area.  A complete list of all Farmers Markets can be found at the following website: http://www.california-grown.com/Market-times.html

One of the largest local Farmers Markets is held on Sundays 8am to noon in Sacramento at 8th and W streets under the highway 50 over pass.  This one has gotten some rave reviews and I plan to go there next weekend to check it out and report back with more details and photos.

Another local Sacramento place to check out is Denio’s Market.

A good farmers market usually has more then just produce, so you can do all your shopping at once in one place.  Many markets also have local vendors selling beef, poultry, fish, shelfish, baked breads and goods and a whole lot more.  Check out your local farmers market soon and you’ll discover an abundance of some of the best food products to be found… at the best prices to be found.

Until next time, Cheers!

Folsom’s New Beer Garden and Grill

Last night the misses and I went out to visit Folsom’s newest gastropub, The Beer Garden and Grill at 6608 Folsom-Auburn Rd. Folsom, CA 95630  (no website yet).   They opened a week ago and have so far received some fairly good reviews from locals.   Folsom could use another pub being that our two favorites (Manderes and Samuel Horne’s) tend to get fairly packed on weekends and can sometimes be hard to get into, so new alternatives are good to have as options in case a Plan B is needed when going out on the weekends.

Unfortunately we found ourselves very disappointed by the Beer Garden and Grill, I’ll call this Strike One.

The menu and list of beers, wines and concoctions looked good, and I bet any of the items would have been good…. if only we could have been able to order something.

We ended up leaving after being unable to get any service at both the bar and at a table that we later got.

I know they’re still new and I like to give the benefit of the doubt and try to be patient and it looked like they had plenty of waitresses… but apparently none of them know how to give good service (yet).  Good looks are nice, but intelligence and knowing how to take care of customers is a lot more important to help achieve success with any restaurant.

Unfortunately after a period of time, bad service becomes a serious pet peeve of mine.  I have no patience at all for poor service…or in this case, no service at all.

I always give at least 15 minutes before giving up (I even set a timer for it).  I’m not asking for much, I just want to order something… I mean come on, at least stop and acknowledge our presence and let us know you’ll be back to take our order later!  This is why I don’t got to the Sports Garage anymore either, the service is bad there too.  Went with 6 friends a month ago, we were 1 of only 2 tables and we always had to go find the one waiter/bartender/cook guy to get refills, order food and get our bill.

When I spend money going out, I want it to be money well spent on having a good time enjoying good food, drink and service – I don’t want it to be a hassle in any way.

We ended up leaving the Beer Garden Grill without getting anything and it will be a while before we go back to give them another try, it seems they still have a lot of work to do with their wait staff.

We then drove over to Samuel Horne’s in old town Folsom (on Sutter Street) and had a great time!  Even though you have to go to the bar to order, we can always count on good food, a good choice of beers and a nice friendly staff that will take our food and beverage order right away. Same with Manderes, it may cost a little more there, but the food, beer AND service is top notch and well worth it and that’s why Manderes remains my favorite place in town – because they know how to do everything right.

Having both good food AND good service is the only way any restaurant is going to survive, and that’s why Manderes and Sam Horne’s are still doing great and why I will continue to go support those places.

Maybe the owner of the Beer Garden should send his waitresses over to Manderes to see how good service works and how it makes a restaurant successful.

The Beer Garden and Grill does have potential and it’s in a nice location with lots of outdoor patio space which will be great to hang out at during the summer, I just hope they can get their wait staff up to speed because poor service will always keep me away.

The Game-Changing Cookbook

Nathan Myhrvold’s 2,400-page ‘Modernist Cuisine’ upends everything you thought you knew about cooking

Here’s the recipe for the most astonishing cookbook of our time: Take one multimillionaire computer genius, a team of 36 researchers, chefs and editors and a laboratory specially built for cooking experiments. After nearly four years of obsessive research, assemble 2,400 pages of results into a 47-pound, six-volume collection that costs $625 and requires four pounds of ink to print.

To call inventor Nathan Myhrvold’s “Modernist Cuisine: The Art & Science of Cooking,” on sale next month, a “cookbook” is akin to calling James Joyce’s “Ulysses” “a story.” The book is a large-scale investigation into the math, science and physics behind cooking tasks from making juicy and crisp beer-can chicken to coating a foie-gras bonbon in sour cherry gel. There is precedent in this genre—science writer Harold McGee has published popular books explaining kitchen science, and chefs Thomas Keller and Ferran Adrià have written about sous vide and other techniques of avant-garde gastronomy—but nothing reaches the scope and magnitude of Mr. Myhrvold’s book. While it will likely appeal to professional chefs, within its pages are insights that even the humblest home cooks can use to improve their meals. The book puts traditional cooking wisdom under scientific scrutiny, destroying old assumptions and creating new cooking approaches.

The man behind the tome is a former chief technology officer for Microsoft and an inventor of hundreds of patents (he invented an electromagnetic car engine and is seeking a patent for his French fries treated with starch and placed in an ultrasonic bath). Though many of Mr. Myhrvold’s 51 years have been devoted to math and science—by the age of 23, he held two master’s degrees and a doctorate in mathematical physics from Princeton—in the 1990s, his passion for food began to loom large. First, he got deeply into barbecue (he was on the “team of the year” at the Memphis World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in 1991), and then moved onto haute cuisine.

“My career at Microsoft really was getting in the way of my cooking,” said Mr. Myhrvold. After leaving Microsoft in 1999, he launched Intellectual Ventures, an invention and patent firm, and in 2007, with help from two young, scientifically-minded chefs, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet, he began work on the book. When publishers balked over the size and scope of the project, Mr. Myhrvold said, he ditched the conventional route and decided to self-publish through his publishing company, the Cooking Lab.

Among the book’s revelations: Expensive pots and pans are a waste of money. Organic food is no healthier than non-organic. Black coffee cools off faster than coffee with cream.

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Tower Bridge Bistro – Sacramento

Dining Room
Dining Room

Dining at the Tower Bridge Bistro was literally, one of the best restaurant experiences we’ve had in Sacramento.  My wife and I really enjoy dining out and it’s not often we find a place  like Tower Bridge Bistro that has all the best qualities and attributes of a great restaurant  working together so very well.   (Ambiance, Service, Food).

It was easy to maneuver our way to the restaurant from 50 to J street, to 3rd, then down Capital Mall, with a quick left into the Embassy Suites just before Tower Bridge.  Parking became immediately convenient with on-site valet parking. The restaurant is located inside an Embassy Suites and this hotel chain really knows how to wow its customers with an inviting great lobby that not only has fine art, sculptures and beautiful architectural views, but also many conveniences  and amenities for the hotel guests as well.

Entree

The location and views from Tower Bridge Bistro are outstanding as they are located near old town Sacramento,  on the river directly adjacent to the famous Tower Bridge.  Inside, the decor is very classy with fine woods and stone work thru out.  Beautiful views from nearly every table are afforded by the floor to ceiling glass walls that look out to river and the bridge.  We can’t wait to go back during the summer to dine on their outdoor patio.

We were greeted and seated immediately and met by our waiter David, who proved to be a very knowledgeable and gracious gentleman who made our dining experience all the better with his culinary knowledge, fast service and excellent recommendations including wine pairings.

After ordering some wine and perusing the menu we decided on a few items and entree’s to share together so we could get a good sampling of what Tower Bridge Bistro had to offer.

Dessert

The French onion soup, the roasted quail and spinach salad, the scallop and shrimp appetizers , the seared duck breast and beef tenderloin entree’s and even the decadent chocolate mousse dessert that we tried were all prepared to perfection,  and exceeded our expectations.  All the ingredients were fresh and colorful and the sauces and sides were well thought out and worked very well together.  Everything we tasted was  top notch.  Our compliments to the chef!  We cannot say enough how excellent all the food was that we were served.

I highly recommend trying the scallops appetizer, the French onion soup, and the beef tenderloin, but really, no matter what you order, I am sure it will taste great.

To summarize our experience at the Tower Bridge Bistro:  the location is great, the ambiance fantastic, service excellent  and the food outstanding.

We have found a new favorite restaurant in Sacramento and we plan to go back often.

Visiting Tower Bridge Bistro in Sacramento

It is with great anticipation that we will soon be visiting the Tower Bridge Bistro restaurant in downtown Sacramento (tomorrow).

A good friend of ours, Clay Purcell is the executive chef, and based on the many good things we’ve heard about this restaurant, he has apparently done a fine job of building up a very nice high quality restaurant menu that is enjoyed by many locals and visitors in the area.

If and when you’re ever near downtown Sacramento, be sure to visit the Tower Bridge Bistro. The restaurant’s information and menu’s can be found on their web at http://www.towerbridgebistro.com/

Later this week we’ll be sure to post a full foodie report with photos!