AM20: Alley Katz Citrus Heights

etr-am-20-alley-katz-001-2016-12-20-21-15-34

This is a bit of a goof post to be honest.  I never would have thought to do a review of this bar, but having visited it 4 times now for Tuesday trivia over the last several months I have to share what a bizarre experience it is.

etr-am-20-alley-katz-002-2016-12-20-21-13-49

To start, a very brief bit of information about Alley Katz and this location.  Alley Katz originated in Midtown Sacramento (and still has a location there).  They popped up in this really strange location, on Arcadia Dr in-between Rite Aid and the old Circuit City building, sometime ago – maybe a year or two?  This spot has been a number of different night clubs in the past and is quite a large space.

etr-am-20-alley-katz-003-2016-12-20-20-30-15

etr-am-20-alley-katz-008-2016-12-20-21-02-04

The size of this bar is staggering, considering the very divey-nature of the place.  The 1st floor is the main area and contains the bar which hosts a TON of usually pretty good beer. This is the shining feature of Alley Katz Citrus Heights.  There is also another bar set somewhat in the middle towards the patio doors, but this one is completely unused.  A pool table and some arcade games are positioned along the walls on either side of this.  Upstairs you will find, get this, a second unused bar.  This area feels deserted, save for the other pool table located up here.  There are some seats, but it really feels like the staircase should be roped off and the level closed.

etr-am-20-alley-katz-004-2016-12-20-21-10-35

etr-am-20-alley-katz-005-2016-12-20-21-13-14

etr-am-20-alley-katz-010-2016-12-20-21-10-47 etr-am-20-alley-katz-011-2016-12-20-21-09-36 etr-am-20-alley-katz-006-2016-12-20-21-13-05 etr-am-20-alley-katz-007-2016-12-20-21-11-42

I mentioned the patio, and that is a generous term.  This is an equally gigantic space that is almost completely unused.  It’s about as big as the interior.  There used to be a volley ball court here, complete with sand, but it has since been paved over and a giant chess/checkers board painted on top.  There are maybe a couple tables out here, but not much more than for smokers to step outside and use.  Finally, the bathrooms.  Actually pretty clean the couple times I’ve gone in there, they have the strangest, most upscale style sinks that I would never expect to find in a place like this.

etr-am-20-alley-katz-009-2016-12-20-18-50-29

So, onto the food situation.  It’s a complete crapshoot every time.  On our first visit we were told that someone had vandalized their grills propane hookups so they had an extremely limited menu.  On our second visit I got a menu from the bartender and when we eventually went up to place our order I was told that all they were serving was tacos (taco tuesday) and like one or two random specials.  I was baffled as to why the guy would even bother to give me a menu in the first place.  The tacos were very blah.  On the 3rd visit I opted to eat at home prior to coming, but my teammates braved the kitchen once again and ordered burgers.  When they were brought out by a person from the kitchen they were told, sorry but they are a little cold.  That was that, no offer to replace them or anything, just, this is how it is, enjoy your cold burgers.

etr-am-20-alley-katz-012-2016-12-20-18-55-37

This last week was probably our most successful food experience yet, not that it’s saying much!  I ordered the Alley Katz burger and added cheese and bacon (ultimately a good move since all it comes with is lettuce, mayo, ketchup and mustard).  This came out pretty quick and was surprisingly hot and pretty tasty, especially the bacon.  The odd thing about it was that it didn’t come with french fries, but instead a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips.  That was a bummer because I was really in the mood for fries.

etr-am-20-alley-katz-013-2016-12-20-19-35-55

My friends ordered a couple sloppy joe sliders and a bourbon stout tri tip plate.  The tri tip plate was supposed to come with rice, but instead arrived with some salad with no dressing and a small dish of pinkish coleslaw.  A trip up to the bar to ask about the lack of rice yielded the response “we don’t have any rice”.  Ok then…  Ultimately, they said the tri tip was not good and that the sliders were unusual but fine.

etr-am-20-alley-katz-014-2016-12-20-19-47-01 etr-am-20-alley-katz-015-2016-12-20-19-47-07

I was still hungry so I ordered the nachos and added pulled pork.  These come with tomatoes, jalapeños, sour cream and, of course, nacho cheese.  When it arrived the pork was somewhat warm, but the rest was fairly cool.  Given the place was chilly enough to warrant a jacket, the entire plate cooled off immediately and we ate cold nachos that were entirely too spicy.

etr-am-20-alley-katz-016-2016-12-20-19-52-56

Given the Yelp reviews that I skimmed over, I feel that this post is a very accurate representation of what to expect here.  The service is virtually nonexistent.  I have never approached the bar and been acknowledged in less than a minute.  The only reason we continue to come here is because the trivia and it’s host are actually quite good, and of course there is always good beer to be had.  I’m genuinely curious what Friday/Saturday nights are like, but I doubt I’ll ever actually come check it out.  Have you had an experience here?  Tell me about it in the comments!

Website: none

yelp_logo

 

Advertisements

AM19: Cafeteria 15L (SMF)

img_2873

I’m off and up out, but got to the airport early so here’s a quick post about Cafeteria 15L inside Terminal B of the Sacramento International Airport!

img_2872

Flying out of Terminal B allows some great food selection, including Burgers & Brew and Jacks Urban Eats.  Today was the first time I ever tried Cafeteria 15L though.  This is a satellite location of their downtown restaurant.

img_2871

I seated myself on the “patio” for maximum people watching potential.  I was greeted within a minute or two and offered a coffee.  They only have seven items on the breakfast side of the menu which include a waffle, a couple omelets, a breakfast sandwich and a breakfast burrito, which is what I ordered (egg, chorizo, potatoes and pepper jack cheese, served with salsa and guacamole)[$12.99].

img_2868

img_2867

Prices are typical for the airport, so about 75% higher than they should be.  My coffee was piping hot and delicious.  The burrito arrived about 7 minutes after ordering it.  It was also hot and steaming.  There was a small amount of a blended salsa and fresh guacamole on the side.  The guacamole reminded me a bit of Jimboy’s guac.  Fresh, but with an extra flavor that I’ve never been able to put my finger on.  It is good though.

img_2869 img_2870

Although this is not a huge burrito, it was packed tight with loads of eggs and chorizo.  The potatoes were not in a huge abundance, which was fine with me (less filler!).  The pepper jack was not very visible but I did taste its slight kick in most bites.  The eggs were perfectly fluffy and the chorizo savory, tender and rich in flavor.  This was easily one of the best things I’ve ever had here in the airport, and I will definitely be checking out more in Cafeteria 15L on future trips.

Website: http://cafeteria15l.com

(Scanned) SMF Menu: Click Here

yelp_logo

AM16: Taylor’s Corner

ETR AM 16 Taylor's Corner 001 2016-06-11 11-23-38

I have an occasional habit of driving aimlessly in search of lunch on the weekend.  Last weekend this happened, and although I eventually settled on MooYah in Rocklin, the route I took in the end was less than direct, as the GPS trail below shows.  I noticed this little burger shack along the way that had me extremely curious though, and today I went back to check it out.

Route

This is Taylor’s (or Taylor’s Corner), aptly named as it sits right on the corner of Sierra College & Taylor in Loomis.  I find these type of places fascinating for some reason, probably because they are few and far between, although I know they’re not always very special (see Sam’s Classic Burgers).  This one I had high hopes for.  I think it was because they had a couple of distinctive features that set it apart from others.  They are open early for breakfast and they have a massive list of shake/malt flavors.

new doc 2_2new doc 2_1
new doc 2_3

I pulled in at around 11:30 and it was a little slow, just a few customers at the time.  The building is small and there is only outside seating.  Despite the heat of our Summers it seems like it’s actually a nice place to eat.  They have a big carport built over 4 standard picnic tables, and the other 5 tables towards the back end all have umbrellas.  On top of this, the place is set up with misters.  Today they only had the misters running on the main building itself, but with a breeze I was still getting a cool spray now and then all the way at the furthest table.

ETR AM 16 Taylor's Corner 002 2016-06-11 11-33-19

I took several minutes to look over the menu, including the insanely long list of shakes. According to their website they are constantly changing and adding to it!  I finally settled on a Double Bacon Cheeseburger (mayo, pickles, lettuce, onions, cheese, bacon, ketchup & mustard)[$8.39], a side of Garlic Fries [$3.99] and a S’mores shake [~$3 or $4, price was not listed].  It was a bit more pricey than expected with my total coming to $17.49.

ETR AM 16 Taylor's Corner 003 2016-06-11 11-42-46

The wait was not insignificant.  My shake took about 7 minutes and was brought out to me, and my food followed about 9 minutes later.  The shake was fantastic.  It was smoothly blended and had a chocolate and marshmallow-y flavor with a hint of graham cracker.  Like with Sam’s, the styrofoam cup kept it very cold for a while.

ETR AM 16 Taylor's Corner 004 2016-06-11 11-43-24

My burger looked pretty great.  Lots of melted cheese and two fairly thick pieces of delicious-looking bacon stood out.  Underneath the slightly-thicker-than-In’N’Out patties was a small amount of shredded lettuce, a few rings of white onions and three pickles.  The sauces were light and only added hints of their flavors overall, letting the beef, cheese and bacon shine.  If they told me the bacon was cooked to order I would probably believe them.  It was easily some of the best bacon I’ve ever had on a burger (fancy restaurant burgers not included).  It was crisp, but not too crisp, and still had little bits of juicy fat to them.  The bun was perfectly soft and could have been baked fresh that day for all I knew.

ETR AM 16 Taylor's Corner 005 2016-06-11 11-44-00 ETR AM 16 Taylor's Corner 006 2016-06-11 11-44-57

The fries were probably the weakest link out of the meal, and that’s not even to say they were bad!  The were extra golden and crispy, which I like in fries.  There was a whole lot of fresh minced garlic in them, though it was not apparent at first.  Much of it was in clumps down below the topmost fries.  It was tasty, I just feel that they were a buck or two overpriced for what they were.  I’d probably just get standard fries in the future.

ETR AM 16 Taylor's Corner 007 2016-06-11 11-46-19 ETR AM 16 Taylor's Corner 008 2016-06-11 11-46-35

So overall, quite impressed with this little hidden (to me anyway, since I don’t think I had ever driven that stretch of Taylor before last week) gem just to the north of Roseville.  My meal was quite filling.  The prices were just a bit high, I feel, and the wait was fairly long, but I certainly enjoyed it, especially the awesome shake.