Love Letter: a place to take an out of town friend

The title of this love letter is a mouthful, but we all know the feeling: you have out of town guests and you need to feed ’em. Maybe they are from a city that’s considered more culinarily sophisticated than little ol’ Sac, like NYC or Portland. This happened to me a couple of weekends ago with a friend from San Francisco. He’s no snob, but the dude does work at Tartine so ya know, gotta represent.  We had leisurely coffee and then around noon were ready to head out.


I was thinking Magpie but worried it would be too crowded. We magically got a table really quickly and the weather was just beautiful (we can beat that terrible SF weather most of the time). It was everything I could have hoped. They were serving full breakfast and lunch so we had lots of choices. Our server was my favorite guy there. He kept the water flowing, which helps on the morning after. Absolutely everything was delicious.  My friend went all in with the biscuits and gravy, the best part of which is the Magpie’s reliably delish housemade sausage patty. I got the kabocha panino (that phrase sounds d-bag-ish), which comes with a little side of one of my fave salads: candied almonds, greens, fennel and watermelon radish. My husband got the chicken salad, which is pretty much a perfect dish.

The meal flowed so that we had plenty of time to talk and there was buzz but not too much noise. I insisted we try to avocado chocolate mousse and it was the crowning touch. He loved it – and this is a guy who gets the Tartine bread pudding on the regular.

So Magpie really came through and did Sac proud. Here are some other spots I take out of town guests:

Masullo – his pizza pies stand up against any in the country

Quan Nem Ninh Hoa – the make-it-yourself wraps are fun and easy, and their nem nuong is the best

Lalo’s – if you don’t know, you should know

What about you?


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