I’m going to try something a little different this time out, pun definitely intended.
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Usually my focus is on one solitary and very worthy El Dorado County restaurant, the bulk of the content being about the food, the service and, if warranted, the ambiance.
This week I had three items come across my desk that I thought would be of interest to readers.
The first item is yesterday’s grand opening of Schlotsky’s, which I understand will also house a Cinnebon and a Carvel. A full-blown review for Schlotsky’s will be forthcoming but for now let me say this: while living and working in San Diego for nine years during the 1990s I reckon I ate there at least 50 or more times and referred at least as many friends and coworkers to the absolute delight that is a Schlotsky’s Original sandwich.
They’re fresh, plentiful, uniquely flavorful and will certainly give the other guys a run for their money. I haven’t had one of their sandwiches for well over a decade and have missed them terribly.
Unfortunately my duties took me out of the area yesterday and I was unable to attend the official grand opening, but don’t worry. I’ll make up for it.
Second item: The venerable institution that is Wine Spectator magazine has just honored our very own Henry’s Steakhouse (located within Red Hawk Casino) with the designation of one of the best restaurants in Northern California.
Not bad for a local establishment. You can ask just about half the Mountain Democrat staff what is their favorite place for steak or a special meal in the county and they will tell you Henry’s. The reasons are simple: executive Chef Walter Hahn and his staff know how to cook steak and everything else, too. Cooking techniques for a steak, of which there are many, have been honed to perfection; they cook their steaks over a blend of oak, mesquite and almond fire woods; they have someone called a “Grill Master” who understands every nuance from the type of cut to the grade of meat and knows how to prepare your steak just the way you like it.
Here are some reviews from real patrons of Henry’s, as if you need another reason to go there:
“Walter knows what he is talking about. Knowing the choice cuts makes eating there a pleasure.”
“I took my family to Henry’s and the steak was perfect, but the mushroom side dish was crazy delicious.”
The hor d’oeuvres are fabulous and the rack of lamb is the best. Be sure to save room for the desserts.”
Yes, Henry’s serves a great steak, but others also swear by their burgers. Reservations are definitely recommended.
Thirdly, I am happy to announce that The Old Town Grill, one of the all-time greats in our little county, has not changed one little bit and has remained exactly as it always has been, which is just how we all want it to continue.
John’s hamburgers remain among the best I have ever had, the ambiance remains no-frills cozy and the service remains stellar. If you haven’t been in a week or so, you’re due. What are you waiting for?
Fourth and last item: I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but over the last nine months or so a lot of really good, fine and worthy local restaurants have bitten the dust. It’s a shame and it is due mostly to the fact that you all aren’t eating out enough. Go ahead, try new things. Live a little. Support your community by eating locally.