A couple of quick follow-ups re: "Help - anything decent in Sacramento?"
Though I have never eaten there, "Frank Fat's" is arguably the most well-known Chinese restaurant in town. Established in 1939 on "L" Street between 8th and 9th Streets, "Frank Fat's" is said to have had more state government business done there than inside the State Capitol itself which is only two blocks away. The menu offerings will look familiar to most American diners at a price that is a bit higher than your local Chinese take out place. The surprising thing about "Frank Fat's" is that its most famous item is something that generally cannot be said to be particularly Chinese. It is their banana cream pie. Unlike most other places whose banana cream pie consists of a pudding or a custard-like filling with disc-shaped slices of banana mixed in, "Frank Fat's" banana cream pie has lengthwise slices of banana covering the first half-inch or so of the pie, then the filling on top of that, then a layer of whipped topping. Quite possibly, the most "banana-licious" pie you'll ever have! www.fatsrestaurants.com
It isn't quite the weather for it, but an orange freeze is a frozen treat that Sacramentans go for when the temperature reaches the triple digits. The scoopable confection made up of juice, water and a little sugar used be served up by the Merlino family and one of my friends actually called it an "Orange Merlino". Unfortunately, the Merlino burger place is no more and now, the locals get their summer treat from "The Original Hagen Orange Freeze" located on Walnut Ave. near El Camino Ave. There are other flavors that you can get like strawberry and pineapple. But, orange is what made this treat a favorite in the area. Though it may not be super hot when you visit Sacramento, I would suggest that you order a burger (which is supposedly very good) and get an orange freeze for dessert and pretend that it is the middle of August. Hagen's doesn't have its own website, but can be found in yelp.com
or, of course, in a Google search.
As a resident of Davis which is about 15 miles west of Sacramento along I-80, I would be remiss if I didn't mention some of my favorite places in my hometown. If you are craving a burrito or other Mexican dishes, you can stop by either "Taqueria El Burrito" in the heart of downtown Davis or "Taqueria Guadalajara" with two locations in town and a third in Woodland which is about 10 miles north of here. "The Guad", as it is also known, has long been a favorite of the students at UC Davis and, of course, the Davis community. They are known for their "Mission-style" burritos (that is, huge burritos similar to the ones sold in the Mission District of San Francisco) which can easily fill you for the rest of the evening. I especially enjoy their tacos which are relatively cheap at around $1.60 each and their huge torta, which is a Mexican sandwich, filled with your choice of meat, refried beans and some mayo with tomatoes, pickled jalapeños, onions and guacamole served on the side. I stop by North Davis location about once a week to satisfy my Mexican food craving. www.tgtacos.com
One of the newest taquerias in town is "Taqueria El Burrito" which is a stone's throw from "Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream" shop and ironically across the street from "Chipotle" on "E" Street. This is my other "go to" Mexican place whenever I am walking about downtown and I need a Mexican food fix. Good food, good service and a spacious layout with four large screen televisions make this a great place to hangout. I really enjoy their al pastor burrito though everything that I have ordered here I have thoroughly enjoyed. "Taqueria El Burrito" has no website of its own, but they may be found in www.yelp.com
and, of course, via a Google search.
"Ali Baba", located across the street from UC Davis on 3rd Street between "A" Street and University Ave., serves great Middle Eastern cuisine along with burgers at reasonable prices. My favorite is served on the weekends, which for them, begins on Friday. It is an Iranian specialty called "Fesenjoon" which is a stew made of chicken, pomegranate and walnuts and served with rice. It has an intriguing tangy sweet flavor that wonderful with the buttery basmati rice. It is indeed quite a treat! They are also known for their "Aggie Kabob" which is made to order, so you will have to wait 15 - 20 minutes before you receive your food. Just a great place to relax and enjoy a great meal. "Ali Baba" has no website of its own, but they may be found in yelp.com
and, of course, via a Google search.
For a great deli sandwich, my favorite place is a grocery store in North Davis. The Nugget Market on the corner of Covell Blvd. and Pole Line Road serves up the best sandwiches I've had anywhere. Their bake their own bread and make their own sauces and spread to make a sandwich that just beats the pants off of "Subway" which is in the same shopping center. Be forewarned that their sandwiches are a bit pricey as they sell for $7 and up. http://nuggetmarket.com/products/deli-sandwich-menu/
There is no excuse for not having a great burger in Davis when the urge strikes. Not only do we have an "In-N-Out" and "Habit Burger", there is also "Burgers and Brew" and "Tommy J's" to choose from. Currently, "Burgers and Brew" is immensely popular with the University crowd, but "Tommy J's" also gets favorable reviews for their burgers. http://burgersbrew.com/
Last but certainly not least is "The Hotdogger" which is probably the smallest eatery in town. The store is owned by Cheryl and Ivan Franks (really!) and can serve you a plain and simple dog ($3.50) to the "Gut Bomb" ($4.75) which is a hot link covered with chili, cheese, hot salsa, peppers, onions and tomatoes. http://www.thehotdogger.com
If none of the aforementioned places is what you crave when visiting Davis, please check out http://daviswiki.org
. There you will find a list of most of the eating establishments here in town along with other info. I hope you enjoy your visit here and maybe your college-aged son or daughter can take a tour of university which we are all proud of!