Aug 02

Harry’s Cafe

2026 16th St

Sacramento, CA 95818

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Located on a fairly easy to miss street corner on 16th Street, Harry’s Cafe serves up a variety of traditional American breakfast items along with Chinese and Hawaiian meals. When we arrived, there was only one table available inside and a few available outside. We were quickly greeted and seated to a table with the breakfast menu provided. We were asked for our drink orders and given time to make our menu selections. The restaurant seemed clean and had a variety of memorabilia on the walls. Only 3-5 staff members ran the front of the house including Harry himself.

Today, we decided to order the #43 Asian Fried Chicken with rice and eggs, #41 Fried Rice with egg, and #9 Two Pancakes. The Asian Fried Chicken was surprisingly crunchy and juicy. The country gravy was smothered over the crispy chicken filled with flavors of sausage and creaminess. The eggs were an excellent compliment cooked scrambled to the point of being extremely silky and soft. The eggs tasted freshly cracked and cooked. There was a bit too much green onion garnish all over the dish, but it did not detract too much from the meal. The fried rice looked great with the same soft egg on top and tasted very fresh overall. The rice was not too oily and had fresh BBQ pork. The entire dish tasted delicious and savory. The pancakes were amazing! I would of never thought that pancakes from a restaurant serving Asian food would taste this good. The outsides had a slight crunch or crispiness on them and each cut of pancake stayed together perfectly. The insides were not floury like at other breakfast restaurants and the overall batter provided additional sweetness. When topped with the provided soft butter and syrup, the dish was heavenly.

Overall, Harry’s Cafe serves up an interesting array of American and Asian breakfast items. With the quick service and variety of menu items, anyone should be able to find something they want to eat. After ordering, food arrives fairly quickly. Unfortunately, the prices tend to be a little high for items like the pancakes. $6 for 2 small pancakes just seems like too much for the slices of heaven. Location is also a bit of a hassle because you need to look for available street parking, which may set you back a few blocks before you can fill your empty stomach. Also, a lot of the curbs in the area are high, so be careful when opening doors. If you are looking for breakfast and can’t decide on Asian or American, then Harry’s Cafe will take care of you. If anything, you need to come here for the pancakes!

Jul 29

Pho Ca Dao – San Diego

8373 Mira Mesa Blvd

San Diego, CA 92126

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

In search for Pho in San Diego, we ended up at the local popular chain called Pho Ca Dao. With 4 locations serving the San Diego area, Pho Diego serves up authentic Vietnamese food without the Chinese food offerings. A diverse menu contains the usual Vietnamese staples in appetizers, pho, vermicelli noodle, and rice plates. Staff easily accommodated our large group in adjacent tables. Servers quickly brought waters and menus to the guests.

Today, we ordered the large sliced rare steak pho, egg rolls, combination shredded pork with pork skin steamed egg pork meatloaf marinated charbroiled lemongrass pork chops rice plate, and strawberry smoothie. After ordering, food arrived fairly quickly starting with the egg rolls. Unlike the restaurants in Sacramento, Pho Ca Dao actually serves the egg rolls with a large platter of lettuce leaves and picked veggies. Instead of just dipping the egg rolls in the sauce, you wrap the egg roll in the lettuce with the picked veggies and then dip the whole thing into the sauce. This makes the egg roll taste healthier and better. The contents of the egg roll tasted fresh and went well with the sauce. The rare steak pho came in a decent sized bowl with an abundant amount of meat. I opted to order additional meat balls as well. I was not a big fan of the meatballs because it had large chunks of tendon inside. Other than that, the pho tasted delicious and the steak was fresh. The broth was a bit light, but still had beef flavor, albeit, lighter and clearer that I would like. The both was slightly oily, but not too bad. The rice plate had quite a bit of food in it. The pork chops were marinated well and delicious. The egg meatloaf was OK, but did not taste that good. The pork skin did not taste much better than the egg meatloaf. I was very disappointed with the strawberry smoothie because it tasted very sweet and fake. The flavor did not taste realistic at all.

Overall, Pho Ca Dao serves up decent pho and rice plates in the San Diego area. I am not sure how much better it can be down in San Diego due to the few options available. With so many locations available and the abundance of staff and seating, I still feel Pho Ca Dao will provide an enjoyable experience if you are feeling pho in San Diego.

Jul 26

Hot Italian

1627 16th St

Sacramento, CA 95814

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

On this visit to Hot Italian, we were seated in the large round table past the huge commercial fan. A projector hangs from the ceiling displaying the soccer game. a paper menu is provided by the staff that shows various drinks, salads, and pizza options. Servers were quick to answer questions and explain the menu. Water was provided in large chilled bottles to pour into individual cups. Many of the pizzas offered can be crafted as a panini, calzone, or salad. In addition to the pizzas on the menu, Hot Italian offers a special limited edition pizza that changes over time. Pizzas tend to be large enough to share for 2 people

Today, we ordered the #32 JOVANOTTI with prosciutto cotto, pepperoni, mushrooms, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and robiola cheese. The crust comes fairly thin with great texture and was cooked all the way through. There was an adequate amount of toppings on the pizza, and all of the ingredients tasted fresh. There was not a lot of sauce on the pizza, but there was just enough to bring in a bit of heat and body to the pizza. The pepperoni was fairly large and the prosciutto came in large slices, but both kind of just melded into the overall pizza and did not taste very special. The provided dipping oils added flavor to the crust. I particularly like their spicy oil that has infused pepper flavors.

Overall, Hot Italian serves up legitimate Italian pizza. However, I do not see myself regularly spending $18 for a think small pizza that only tastes OK to me. The quality and service is definitely here at Hot Italian, but I cannot construe a good value proposition to continue to eat here. I would of been just as satisfied to eat a customizable pizza at Pieology at a fraction of the cost. Again, the pizza tastes good, just not $18 good. If you want authentic Italian pizza, come to Hot Italian, but I doubt I will be coming back.

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