Nov 25

Zelda’s Original Gourmet Pizza

1415 21st St

Sacramento, CA 95811

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 

Located in the heart of midtown, Zelda’s Original Gourmet Pizza serves up Chicago style pizza. The dimly lit restaurant is decorated with various lights and old articles. If you decide to come here, you should consider ordering ahead as the pizza will take at least 30 minutes to cook.

On this group outing, I ordered their lunch special for $11, which included an individual pizza, soda, and salad. When our large group arrived, the server took our drink orders, but did mess up a couple of times with providing drinks. We were given a choice of a green salad with various dressing choices or minestrone soup. I opted for the green salad with ranch, which arrived later as a bed of lettuce, a slice of tomato, and some rings of onion. The salad was extremely basic and tasted plain with just ranch. I ordered the pizza with sausage and pepperoni. There looked to be a good amount of sauce and cheese and the size of the individual pizza sufficient. Unfortunately, the sauce was flavorless, and the crust tasted worse than cardboard. There were some pieces of meat in the pizza, but that did not help enhance the pizza taste much at all.

Overall, I was quite disappointed with the pizza at Zelda’s. Also, the server did not seem too friendly as she treated our group more like students and she a teacher. With a combination of bland food and odd service, I cannot recommend Zelda’s. Even though I was not too impressed with Chicago Fire in the past, I would have to steer you to them instead of here.

Nov 22

Halal Guys – Part 2 – Costa Mesa, CA

3033 Bristol St

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Having tried their original cart in New York City, we had to try out their new Southern California location in Costa Mesa. With a long line inside the restaurant and room for a potential line outside the restaurant, the Halal Guys serves up classic sandwiches and platters with chicken, rice, and gyro. The line was moving fairly slow at first, but it picked up quickly. Ordering here is a bit different from at the original cart, as you walk through the assembly line of sorts as people behind the counter create your order. When we ordered, they did originally screw up with the meat choices, but quickly corrected the issue.

Today, I ordered the Halal Classic platter with chicken and gyro and no tomatoes. After lettuce, rice, and meat are scooped onto the platter, someone behind the counter asks you how much sauce you want on the platter. You can let the person with the squeeze bottle know how much white and red sauce to put on. I had a lot of white sauce and a little red sauce on mines. After the top the platter with sauce, they cover it with a clear plastic cover instead of the classic paper cover. After mixing the rice, meat, and sauce together, I was able to finally get a taste of this New York classic. There may have been too much white sauce, but that is OK. The rice is a bit different here because it is more orange instead of light brown. The rice was also a bit dry and flavorless. The chicken was not as shredded as the platter in New York and was not tender. There was a good amount of gyro, but that was pretty flavorless as well. The dish only tasted better with the white and red sauces. The red sauce was still as hot as before. Even when mixed in with the sauce, the platter just didn’t taste the same.

Overall, Halal Guys still serves up a good platter of food, but it did not taste as good as the original cart in New York. If you have never tried the platter before, it is still worth trying. Prices at this brick-and-mortar location is also higher than the cart coming in at just under $10 per platter. If you want additional sauce packets, they charge $0.50 each. Considering that Halal Guys has another location opening in Long Beach and then one in Berkeley, I am willing to give them another chance to see if there is better quality food at the other locations. Otherwise, you will need to go to New York City for the original cart.

Nov 18

Bachi Burger – Part 2 – Pasadena

61 S Fair Oaks Ave #110

Pasadena, CA 91105

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Located in the heart of Old Town Pasadena, this Bachi Burger location serves up your favorites found from Las Vegas. Parking is horrible at times with limited street parking, but a few parking lots are available in the area that require payment. The restaurant was around half-capacity when we arrived, and we were seated near the front of the restaurant. A server took our drink order while we reviewed the menu.

Today, we ordered the Ox Tail Chili Cheese Fries, Banh-Mi Burger, and Miyagi-San Burger. The Ox Tail Fries were topped with a fried egg that went perfectly mixed in with their fresh chili and garlic aioli. Jalapenos add heat to the savory dish. Each bite of the fries were filled with savory goodness and adequate amount of meat. The Banh-Mi burger came with similar ingredients as a banh-mi sandwich with the addition of a burger patty. Unlike the last banh-mi burger ordered in Las Vegas, there seemed to be more ginger in this burger. The meat was fresh and well seasoned. The Miyagi-San burger was huge and came with onion rings and fried egg on top of a delicious Wagyu beef patty. Strips of bacon accentuate the burger and added another layer of deliciousness. Both burgers were huge and were hard to finish, especially after eatingĀ  the Ox Tail Fries.

Overall, Bachi Burger serves up innovative delicious burgers that are worth trying. Prices are a bit high for burgers ranging from $9-$26. Service was a bit slower as we were nearing the end of our meal. If you are in the area, you should give Bachi Burger a try. They now have a few more locations now with two in the LA area and three in the Vegas area.

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