Jul 27

Ettore’s European Bakery & Cafe

2376 Fair Oaks Blvd

Sacramento, CA 95825

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Located in a small busy plaza off of Fair Oaks Boulevard, Ettore’s serves up delectable European desserts while serving other guests at the full service restaurant. Today, I entered the shop in search of cakes. As you enter, the bakery is to the right and the restaurant is to the left. You wait in line to be helped by staff. After a short wait, staff acknowledged me and took my order.

Today, I decided to try the fruit basket, strawberry white chocolate mousse, and Napoleon cakes. The fruit basket tasted fresh with its strawberries, but the cream was a bit sweet. The cake itself held up well without being too dense or dry. The strawberry white chocolate mousse cake was delicious and refreshing with subtle sweetness. The strawberry on top was quite sour though. The Napoleon slice had some pretty hard puff pastry, but was very creamy. There were bits of strawberry in the cream, which made the filling taste even more delicious.

Overall, Ettore’s serves up some delicious tasting and looking cakes, but are a bit on the pricey side coming in at around $4 a small slice. You really do get what you pay for in terms of quality and presentation. Given another chance, I would definitely drop by again to try their other bakery items. If you want some fancy dessert, then it makes sense to head over to Ettore’s.

Jul 24

Blue House Korean BBQ

1030 Howe Ave

Sacramento, CA 95825

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Located on busy Howe Avenue, Blue House Korean BBQ brings in an alternative to the ever-popular Oz Korean BBQ here in town. With an ample amount of parking spaces in their parking lot, Blue House draws in meat lovers to the newly opened, newly renovated space with an abundance of food choices. We had a short wait for our party as the restaurant was not completely packed, but was close to capacity. After we were seated, the hostess provided menus while our server came to take our drink orders. The hostess did mention that if we needed to call our server, there was a button on the wall that we could press to page the server, which actually came in handy. The menu has both individual Korean menu items like BiBimBap, but also has two choices for all you can eat. The first all you can eat menu has fifteen different items on it in addition to the 4 shared appetizers. If you opt to spend $7 more per person, you can get 6 additional meat options. Today, we opted for the standard $25 per person all you can eat option.

We received the four different sharable appetizers along with our banchan (side dishes). The soft tofu soup was spicy and came with various seafood inside, which was a great value, but we didn’t really want to drink seafood soup at the time. The soybean paste soup was flavorful, but extremely savory. The steamed egg was delicious and fluffy. We ended up ordering a refill of the egg during the meal as well. The japchae was delicious and savory. The rest of the side dishes were only OK. We were not a fan of the salad. The sprouts were dry, but the broccoli tasted good. Portions were fairly small for the sides, but they do provide refills. We were seated at an electric grill, which felt like it cooked fairly unevenly. We would have preferred a gas grill that was available at some of the other tables not in the center of the restaurant. The premium black angus brisket cooked quickly, but was not very tender. The brisket we tried at GEN Korean BBQ in San Jose melted in your mouth. This brisket was more tough. The thin cut pork belly crisped up pretty easily on the grill and tasted good with their house dipping sauce. We attempted to try the signature pork cheek, but it was too crunchy and chewy. The miso pork belly came in thick slices and took a while to cook. The Pork was tasty, but you do not taste much miso flavor. The spicy pepper paste pork has pork bulgogi sauce on pork belly. The pork tasted delicious and the spicy pepper paste went perfectly with the pork. The marinated pork belly tasted savory and delicious. The cajun chicken was surprisingly delicious and tender. The chicken came in large slabs and retained its cajun seasoning during cooking. The LA galbi had deliciously marinated beef, but many of the pieces came with large bones. The bulgogi was pleasantly seasoned and came in large sheets of tender beef. Unlike Oz, this beef holds up a lot better and tastes delicious.

Overall, Blue House Korean BBQ serves up a large variety of Korean food at reasonable prices. The all you can eat does cost more than Oz, but there is a much larger selection. Given the mostly delicious food we tried on this visit, we will definitely revisit this restaurant in the future to try out their other authentic Korean dishes as well as try their more expensive all you can eat option. If you love meat,  love Korean BBQ, and don’t want to drive out to San Jose, give Blue House a try!

Jul 20

Pita Pit

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Located in a busy shopping center off of 65th Expressway, Pita Pit serves up a large variety of pita bread options to the masses. As you enter the restaurant, you proceed to the register where you place your order and pay. The various pita options are listed on the wall behind the counter. After careful review of the menu, I decided on the Club with a wheat pita. The meat is cooked on a flat top after you order so it arrives fresh. You will actually need to wait until you are called up when the meat is almost ready to customize your pita. When I was called up, I decided to add provolone cheese, romaine lettuce, carrots, and corn. After all my additions were put in the pita, I still had to wait for the meat to finish up. Once the meat was ready, it was placed in my pita pocket and rolled up. The whole ordering and preparation process took around 20 minutes, which was a bit lengthy. When I finally got back to work, I was able to try out the pita. The pita itself tasted healthy, but the meat was very salty. The garlic sauce didn’t help as it added additional saltiness. The vegetables added a clean flavor to the salty meat, but the carrots were a bit hard.

Overall, Pita Pit was a disappointment with the slow prep time and overly salty flavor. Coming in close to $10 for a pita does not help either. Given a choice, I would feel better eating at Subway instead of Pita Pit. If you want to try something different with lots of menu choices, then Pita Pit may be OK for you, but I do not like the price or quality of what I received.

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