2155 Town Center Place, Suite E110, West Sacramento, CA 95691. (916) 372-2240.

Last Wednesday, I was lucky enough to meet up with one of my favorite people on Earth- Gretchen, the Wonder Woman behind those great posts we see on Sac Mod. We decided to venture out West Sacramento and The Eatery for our nosh and conversation. I ended up getting there a tad early. The restaurant which was located on the far side of the Nugget stripmall had not opened quite yet but the friendly staff was still willing to seat it's early bird customers, which I thought was a nice move. I opted to take a load off on one of the chairs in the entryway, wait for G and scope out the joint a bit since I had a few minutes. Now I know you're thinking stripmall...and are probably picturing stark walls, fast food wall menus and perhaps some cheesy artificial plants. Well, The Eatery's decor is anything but that. It's tastefully decorated and exudes a charming ambiance - much like you'd find in any upscale cafe you'd find in East Sacramento (designer lighting, wood flooring, and floral pieces on the tables).

The lunch menu was pretty light, consisting mostly of sandwiches and salads. Gretchen opted to go with a mushroom and white cheddar risotto, which she allowed me to taste when it arrived. It was a good sized portion, cooked perfectly and delicious! I decided to go with the much touted about Eatery Burger, which is cooked to order. The burger was seasoned well and accompanied by fresh butter lettuce, sliced tomatoes, red onions and zingy zucchini pickles. I thought the burger tasted pretty good but wasn't crazy about the bun which was cold and a bit doughy tasting...after a few bites, I ended up discarding the bun and eating the burger solo. The homemade fries were great, however, hot and crisp- just the way I like them. For dessert, I had a glass of moscato (hey, it was past noon!) and Miss G went with the S'More which was a work of art- a dense chocolate cake accompanied by a toasted marshmallow cloud and some caramel loop-di-loops. I caved and snuck a bite...the cake was so decadent and scrumptious! Wowzers, a definite winner!

The service at The Eatery seems to see-saw back and forth during our visit. Our server was nice but a bit unpolished. At the beginning of our meal, he came over to tell us about the special, which he described as, "a shrimp wrap with- mayo, shrimp and other stuff."  Yes, "other stuff." Then I listened as he told the next table the same thing. While some may be intrigued by, "other stuff," it tends to not make me want to jump on ordering it. Other small slips occurred during the meal as well, such as- I was brought the wrong wine and we were never offered a dessert menu (we inquired about the desserts after the bill had been left on our table.) But on the other hand, there were some pluses- I felt like our waiter checked back on us frequently despite the restaurant being busy, we were never rushed to vacate our table after we finished, and when the wine error was pointed out, we were advised to enjoy the port on the house (as it paired well with our dessert) and he'd be right out with my moscato. Anyhow, good service overall, just needs some fine tuning.

So, this "lady of leisure" had a nice time at The Eatery with Gretchen. If I was in the area already and wanted something more substantial than a panini at Nugget then I would probably stop in but I don't see this girl driving from the Grid to specifically eat there. It didn't wow me that much. I do hope it does well though as it would be nice to see more upscale restaurants opening up in West Sac...enough with the chain restaurants and fast food shops in the 95691.

* As a side note, I just wanted to mention this cool Dwell contest/project that Gretchen was telling me about during lunch, The contest is in regards to trying to save the Sacramento Zoo entrance as a MCM landmark. The entrance has three hyperbolic paraboloids which are rare, did you know that? I didn't! Fascinating! (Anyhow, the contest is only going on for one more week and could use your help. It'll just take a second, so vote now and vote often! You don't even have to register- just click! - Dwell Contest: Sacramento Zoo). Thank you. :)
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