Sunday, September 09, 2007

Paul's Local Restaurant Picks

Normally I like to cook and eat at home, but sometimes I just feel like going out to a meal. I love to eat, and for me, local dining is all about friendly people and delicious food at a good price. In the five years we’ve lived here friends have introduced us to some great little places and we’ve discovered more on our own. Here’s a few of my favorites – give them a try if you haven’t yet next time you’re hungry!

Cricket’s Country Kitchen
4745 Auburn Boulevard
For a fun breakfast you can’t beat Cricket. They feature really good big breakfasts with daily specials like steak and eggs or biscuits with country gravy. From the plastic flowers out front, to the model train running around the back room ceiling, this place has the most eclectic décor you’ll ever see! It’s a fun place to take visitors and the staff is very friendly. It can get busy at peak times. Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-3pm, Sun 8am-2pm

Pasquale’s Italian Pizzeria
7609 Fair Oaks Blvd
By the décor, you’ll know exactly where you are – in a cozy neighborhood Italian restaurant. Great pizza and they’re famous for their lasagna. If you want to converse, avoid sitting under the TV if there’s a game on.

Hing’s Chinese Restaurant
5800 Madison Ave Suite Q
One of our favorites for take out or delivery, but also to dine there, Hings offers really good old fashioned style Chinese food at a great price. The have all your favorite traditional Chinese fare and it’s always good. The people there are very nice too!

6400 Fair Oaks Blvd. (Marconi at Fair Oaks Blvd.)
When I get a craving for really good Indian food, Shere-e-Punjab is the only place I go. It’s all you can eat, and the food is outstanding, so make sure you’re really hungry when you visit. There are normally some Indian music videos playing softly in the background which adds a lot to the atmosphere. Friendly people, good food and plenty of it, this place is really tops in my book.

Tara Thai Resaurant
6191 Greenback Lane (near Auburn St)
Okay, I’ll confess that Thai food isn’t one of my favorite cuisines… but OH! I haven’t had Thai food this good since we moved here from L.A. This is a new place and we’ve been there a few times already. It’s fantastic food. They have all the traditional favorites like padthai, satay and different curries. For me, their green curry is just to die for… I can make a meal of just that and white rice. But everything there is really good. They say they say their most asked for dish is a special fish with three sauces. I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds intriguing!

Felipe’s Mexican Restaurant
7959 Auburn Blvd
I hate to let the cat out of the bag to those of you who don’t know this place, but hey, we’re all neighbors right? Felipe’s has the best Mexican food in these here parts and that’s all there is to it. Not fancy at all, but people from all over flock to it. They greet you with warm chips and fresh homemade salsa. All the food is delicious and the portion sizes are Grande. The beef tacos are out of this world, honestly. As a neighbor told me a while back, the food there is “muy authentico”! We’ve dined there quite often over the last several years and we’ve always enjoyed it.

To conclude, here are a few more tips:
Did you know that the Denny’s on Auburn near Watt is not a franchise? It’s actually owned by Denny’s Corporate and is used as a model for the company. When we first went over there we noticed a difference right away. The service is great and food actually looks like the pictures in the menu. If you like Denny’s you’ll love this one!

For more great authentic Mexican food I love the Familia Lopez Carniceria market over on Manzanita (4132 Manzanita in the shopping center where the Good Will store is). It’s not a restaurant, it’s a market, but they do have a kitchen where they make take-out food to order. Ever have a craving for fresh homemade tortillas or tamales? This is the place! Experts agree that these are some of the best homemade tamales you can get… even better than we used to get in L.A. And while you’re waiting for your food you can look through the little market, which is full of Mexican specialties you won’t find at your normal supermarket. And everyone who works there is so nice!

Aficionados of fast food will tell you IN & OUT BURGER is the best. Everything is made to order fresh, including the French fries made from actual potatoes while you wait. Well, rumor has it that the closed Eppie’s restaurant over at Madison and 80 will be torn down next year to make room for… you guessed it, an IN & OUT! There goes my diet!

National Night Out 2007

Our August 7th National Night Out event here was so big that it took up the front of two houses on Meckel Street! It was a potluck, so there was lots of good food. The local Fire Department, CHP and Sheriff’s Department stopped by to say hello and gave out pamphlets. Our local Target store on Madison participated by joining in with a tent, giveaways, a snow cone machine and volunteers. Thanks to all who helped out with this fun event, and thanks to Stan for the great pictures!

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