Aug 28

The Porch Restaurant and Bar

1815 K St

Sacramento, CA 95811

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Located in midtown, The Porch serves up southern style food to the masses in their small restaurant. With an OpenTable reservation made, we were quickly seated by the hostess upon arrival to an available table. The restaurant was very busy with very few open tables available. We were able to finish reviewing the menu and decided on what we wanted to order before our server arrived.

Today, we decided to order the skillet mac & cheese with bacon, chicken & waffle, and the brisket & biscuit. I had also ordered a pineapple juice, which arrived in a fairly small glass that tasted OK, but was nothing special. The skillet mac & cheese arrived first in a small skillet. The sauce was very thin and did not seem too cheesy. The sauce had herb seasonings along with bits of roasted chilies, but the sauce was not thick enough and did not have body. The crispy bacon added the most flavor to the dish, but overall, the dish was quite disappointing. The chicken and waffle came with more of the delicious crispy bacon, but the graham cracker crusted chicken tasted a bit odd since the cracker crust added a bit of sweetness to the savory chicken. The fig newton waffle was also something different with the fruity accents, but the heavy vanilla bean shmear seemed overly buttery and unhealthy. The bacon-maple syrup was very thin and tasted greasy. The brisket & biscuit came with some fresh potatoes that tasted delicious. The large quantity of brisket did not taste very fresh, but had a good BBQ sauce infused in it. The Hollandaise sauce had hints of red pepper flavor, but was quite bland. The biscuits were a bit hard, and didn’t taste very good in the meal.

Overall, capturing a food coma is not very hard after eating at The Porch, but the food selection was less than desirable for us. After trying three of the most popular bunch items at The Porch, we left full but unsatisfied. Without having a discounted Costco gift card, we probably would not have come to the restaurant. Service was good, but the food does take a while to come out of the kitchen. Prices are quite high for the portion sizes received. If you really like southern food, then The Porch may be for you, but we do not see ourselves coming back here anytime soon.

Aug 24

Capitol Garage

1500 K St

Sacramento, CA 95814

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 

Located at a busy corner of Sacramento near the convention center, Capitol Garage serves up various traditional American dishes along with some more fusion style dishes. Plenty of street parking is available in the vicinity, but much of it is taken. There is a garage adjacent to the restaurant, but no parking validation is available. We had made a reservation on OpenTable before arrival, but there was plenty of seating available with almost every table empty. Our server quickly seated us with a view of the TVs and provided us with the menus.

Today, we decided to try the coconut curry wings, the burger with garlic fries upgrade, and the cowboy burger. The coconut curry wings came out as 4 pieces of whole wings covered in a peanut sauce. The wings were fresh and the sauce had mild peanut and curry hints. The wings were a bit hard to eat since they were whole wings, but once broken apart, they were easy to eat. Other than the light sauce, the wings were a bit bland and parts of the wings did not seem cooked though. The burger was quite simple, and you can really taste the fresh high-quality beef, but I could not taste the aioli or much of anything else. The burger was ordered medium, but seemed closer to medium-rare. The ingredients tasted fresh, but the burger deserved more flavor. The garlic fries were definitely hand-cut, but we did not taste or see much garlic at all. The fries seemed to be twice or thrice fried since they were extremely crunchy, which was not appetizing. The cowboy burger had more flavor with its caramelized onions and BBQ sauce, and the bacon was extremely crispy. The cowboy burger was a whole lot more flavorful than the regular burger, but did not seem healthy at all. The accompanying fries were just as crunchy and overcooked.

Overall, capitol garage seems like they have some decent burger options, but the overly crunchy fries and mediocre burgers are not worth it. If given a choice, I would probably go to Burgers & Brew instead for more flavorful burgers and tastier fries. Service was OK since the server also helps out behind the bar, but she did provide efficient drink refills. Prices and lack of available free parking make a drive out to the grid for a meal less desirable. Other than the fact that I saved some money by purchasing a discounted gift card at Costco, I would have probably never ended up eating at this location. If you love eating on the grid and like crunchy fries, then this place is for you, but I do not see myself coming back any time soon.

Aug 21

Bonchon

8246 Laguna Blvd

Elk Grove, CA 95758

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Located on the busy stretch of Laguna Boulevard near Highway 99, Bonchon finally opened its doors during its soft opening to a busy crowd. Known for their Korean fried chicken and sauces, Bonchon brings their international popularity to the valley. As we entered the packed restaurant, a hostess quickly seated us at an open table. We were provided with menus with most items available, but some items like the Bibimbap and others are unavailable until a later date. The tables were pretty cramped next to adjacent tables, but there was enough room to get by.

Today, we decided to order the small (10 pcs) chicken strips with half soy garlic and half spicy glaze as well as the Bull Dak. The chicken strips arrived in a large platter accompanied with a bowl of pickled radish. The chicken had a thin crispy outside that had an even crunch throughout each piece. Unfortunately, the actual chicken meat was borderline dry. The soy-garlic glaze was light and savory, but was not bold enough. The spicy glaze did add an essence of heat, but still lacked body. The picked radish did help cleanse the palate between the two flavors. I would assume that the wings or drums would be juicier since they are dark meat. The bull dak is served with a side of rice and vegetables, which helps complete the meal. The spicy chicken with rice cakes topped with onions, scallions, and mozzarella cheese definitely lives up to its fiery spicy rating. If you like spicy food and can handle the korean spicy ramen, you will like the bull dak. The chicken pieces are fairly small mixed in with the few large pieces of rice cake, but the red sauce was dauntingly spicy. The cheese helps mellow the spiciness a little, but not enough. If you don’t do well with extreme spiciness, then this dish may not be for you as you will drink multiple cups of ice water during your meal.

Overall, the soft opening for Bonchon seemed successful, and there were many other menu items that we wanted to come back to try. Their hours are quite limited at the time for 5PM to 9PM daily with no takeout option, but hopefully that all changes once they have their grand opening. Prices are reasonable for a Korean restaurant, but may seem high. Service was excellent, but food did take some time to come out of the kitchen. In the meantime, you can watch one of the six TV’s mounted on the walls. If you love Korean food and want to try something different, you must give Bonchon a try.

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