2500 Watt Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95825. (916) 482-2175.
"Drink for the Thirsty, Food For The Hungry," is what the colorful stained glass that hangs over the middle of Sam's dining room proclaims...and fill us up with food and drink it did. Last night Mr.S. and I decided to hit up a movie for date night. I'd been interested in seeing "Argo," for awhile, so we headed over to Century to check it out. I'm not sure if it was because it was mid-week or because a zombie apocalypse was impending but the movie theatre was practically deserted. Our movie theatre maybe had eight people in there tops. The film which dealt with the rescue of six US diplomats from Tehran, back in '79 during the Iran hostage crisis was quite intense and riveting. I would definitely recommend it. After our movie, we were starving so we tried to head over to a local eatery by Mr.S.'s home for a bite to eat and unfortunately, it was closed. It was only 9 o'clock! Ok, this is one of my major pet peeves with Sac. I love my city but why does every blasted place close early in this town? Gah! Anyhow, as Mr.S. and I were trying to decide on a Plan B, somehow we started talking about Sam's Hof Brau. Seriously, I have no idea how it came up. Eventually the conversation steered to, "Hey, let's see if it's still open!" I was curious, especially as I hadn't set foot in the place in 15+ years.
We walked in and a cloud of warmness enveloped us. There's a homey vibe imparted there with it's out-of-date chandeliers, dark crimson walls and old-timey red leather booths. The place feels comfortable from the get go. Mr.S. told me the place is usually packed to the gills when it's dinner time but it was relatively quiet when we got there. We got in line and I just had to stare for a second at the incredible array of meats being showcased at the carving station. Mr.S. ordered a pastrami Reuben and since I was a bit chilly, I opted for the French dip thinking the hot au jus might warm me up a bit. The gentleman behind the counter got to work immediately cutting us some thick slabs of juicy meat. (There was some finesse to his style and I was pretty impressed that he never once touched the meat with his fingers.) Moments later, I was presented with a nice fatly stacked French dip and I also opted for a side of German red cabbage. Mr. S. was served up a freshly toasted Reuben stuffed with sauerkraut and a side of Thousand Island. We dropped our weary butts in the closest booth and got to work eating. For the first few minutes, it was like a mini-food orgy...all you heard were a lot of, "Mmmm's" and other various happy eating noises. The roast beef on my sandwich was well cooked and paired perfectly with the au jus soaked sourdough bread. It was a mini moment of bliss. My side order of German red cabbage was also a winner, it had a nice balance of sweetness and tanginess and wasn't mushy in the least. The highlight though, was Mr.S.'s pastrami Reuben. Good god! He gave me a bite and I had a moment where I seriously contemplating just shoving it in my purse and running out the door. I didn't want to give it back! The meat was nice and salty, with the middle moist and the outside cooked just a tad more- just the way I like my pastrami. Slathered with the thick Thousand Island dressing, it made my tastebuds do a little carnivorous happy dance. Although I really liked my French dip, I definitely had sandwich envy.
By the time I finished my last bite of dinner, my jeans felt a tad tighter and my body felt a ton happier. Embarrassingly, I had to restrain myself from patting my belly in satisfaction. It was a fun date night...a bit unconventional in our movie and restaurant choices but definitely fun. Now with the colder weather here to stay awhile, I definitely foresee myself going back to Sam's for some old school charm, friendly service and a pastrami Reuben of my own! Maybe I'll see you there?