North American eateries

Ratings are on a scale of 0 to 24. The scale used to be 0 to 10, so restaurants written about before 2012 may have only had their ratings adjusted by formula and not by hand (hence all the 2s, 5s, 8s, etc.) The scale works as follows:

24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16
15 14 13 12 11 10
9 8 7 6 5 4
3 2 1

An asymmetrical 0 to 24 scale may not be intuitive, I realize. But as a rule of thumb: a double-digit score means I liked it, while a single-digit score... less so. Also, as you might expect, scores from many years ago may not be very reliable, so do check the dates.

CA Central Valley

For all those folks in So-Cal who yearn to move to Nebraska but would miss the smog too much.

Click on the column titles to sort the entries!

Name Cuisine Address Last update Score
Ettore'sBakeryFair Oaks & Stebbins, Sacramento2017-08-1815
This place quickly became a must-stop while I was working in Sacramento: I was wowed by the strawberry chocolate pie, the florentines, the almond crescent cookies, and pretty much everything else I tried. I never did get around to sampling the savory options, though.
Curry ParadiseIndianHarbor Pointe & Stillwater, West Sacramento2017-08-146
This grade is generous; I gave this place an extra point because I'd never had egg curry before. But everything else was sooo bland. Getting freshly made garlic naan was nice in theory, but it was sharp and bitter. And I left with a stomachache.
Abyssinia RestaurantEthiopianFulton btw Hurley/Marigold, Sacramento2017-07-3013
Better than average Ethiopian: the collard greens, normally my least favorite part of a veggie combo, were much less bitter than usual, and while I wasn't thrilled by the soupy green lentils, the very fact that the combo included this non-standard item was a big plus as well.
Fresh MediMediterraneanFulton & Larkspur, Sacramento2017-07-2211
I was not expecting much when I went in — the place looked pretty rundown — but I tried the "Mediterranean nachos" out of curiosity and they were much better than I expected. I mean, yeah, they're just pita chips with toppings, but there was more synergy than I thought. In particular, I had some trepidation because I don't normally like feta cheese, and yet the feta sauce was really good.
Chando's TacosMexican (taqueria)local chain, Sacramento2017-07-209
High quality stuff, and I was initially thrilled to see three different types of veggie tacos, but apparently this place doesn't really do beans at all and their absence was strongly felt.
Raja's TandoorIndian3rd & A, Davis2017-05-184
All-day buffet. Pretty dire. Broccoli close to raw, naan inedibly stale, lots of cold stuff. I guess I could have gotten by on dal and rice pudding, but keeping this out of the red is generous.
Todo Un PocoMexican and ItalianLaguna Main & Laguna, Elk Grove2009-04-1414
This strange establishment's menu is half Mexican, half Italian, with a Punjabi pizza thrown in for kicks. I got the Relleños Oaxaca, an enormous plate of chiles relleños and fried bananas smothered with black beans, cheese, multiple salsas and a light salad. Certainly worth checking out should you find yourself in Elk Grove.
Osteria FasuloItalianPortage Bay btw Russell/Hudson, Davis2006-06-2111
Negative points for foisting a "complimentary cocktail" at me that made my table stink of alcohol until I had them take it away. Negative points for a menu that had about 10% as many vegetarian options as the sample menu that lured me in. Negative points for taking an hour and forty-five minutes to finish serving me a small meal in an empty restaurant. So why is this a four and not a zero? Because the pan-seared gnocchi were the best I've ever had.
CiocolatDessertB & 3rd, Davis2006-06-1511
Many, many mousses; also cakes and chocolates and scones and things. Plus some real food which I haven't tried.
Cafe BernardoBreakfast/lunchD & 3rd, Davis2006-06-135
The "eggs Bernardo" were a little gross, but perhaps other items are better.
CrepevilleCrepesC & 3rd, Davis2006-06-128
I got a crepe here with avocado, spinach, sundried tomato pesto, and provolone. It was pretty good — a little rubbery, maybe.
Bistro 33AmericanF & 3rd, Davis2006-06-098
Sort of like a toned-down TGI Friday's with higher-quality food.
Taste of IndiaIndianTracy & CA-58, Buttonwillow2005-12-1614
This is a nice Indian restaurant with good food. If it were in the Bay Area I would give it a mild recommendation and probably forget all about it. But it is not in the Bay Area. It is in Buttonwillow. Buttonwillow! Let's enjoy that again: there is a very nice Indian restaurant with genuinely good food — not "good for I-5," but genuinely high quality — in fricking Buttonwillow. Oh brave new world!
Tapa the WorldTapasJ & 21st, Sacramento2005-10-295
This was my first experience with tapas. Luckily, later ones were better. "Pan-fried potato cubes with a spicy tomato sauce" turned out to be French fries with ketchup. The romesco sauce on my grilled vegetables was purely decorative. I wanted dessert but wasn't offered any. Good times!

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