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Greg Sabin

Food Writer

About This Author

Greg Sabin is a nationally published food writer, actor, improvisational comedian, banjo player and financial planner. He does not wear hats.

Articles by this author

Double Parked

Southside Park is changing. Known as a quiet corner of the grid, a sleepy residential neighborhood centered around a tree-lined park, Southside isn’t considered a dining destination.

With two recent arrivals, Southside Super and Betty, the reputation gets a reboot.

Southside Super is a breakfast and lunch counter. Taking the space of June’s Cafe on V Street between 9th and 10th, this small, mighty enterprise delivers Vietnamese and Korean comfort food.

It’s cozy and comfortable. The eight-seat counter and handful to tables cater to quickly arriving crowds. Open since April, the restaurant has fans who stop in for the grab-and-go case and short-order menu filled with dishes found in Vietnamese and Korean home kitchens but rarely in restaurants.

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Going Deep

Zelda’s Gourmet Pizza opened in 1978. To say it hasn’t changed is false, but close. I mean, they take credit cards now. That’s a change.

To walk into the narrow, shotgun dining room and bar is to step back in time. From the high-backed plywood booths to the stubby laminate bar, the wooden trellis with plastic grapes to the sparkly black cottage-cheese ceilings, the place has a vibe.

And the vibe is perfect. The fact that the pizza is exceptional is a bonus.

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Ageless Perfection

Casa East Sac, a not-quite-year-old restaurant at 54th and H streets, is gaining fans. Whether it’s locals walking and biking on beautiful Sacramento nights or folks driving in, the restaurant has a robust following and fills up nearly every service. Impressive.

OK, I’m a pushover. Children’s magicians delight me. I love community bands. I’m easily swayed. My wife is not. And yet she considers Casa one of her favorite restaurants. Even more impressive.

Brothers Steve and Ted Gibanov started Casa in September 2022, taking a space that turned over twice in four years. The brothers’ vision works. Casa is the first restaurant they started together.

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Moveable Feasts

When Bandera closed five years ago, it was a gut punch to the Arden Arcade dining scene. But here we are, and local restaurateurs Brian and Susan Bennett filled the void at Howe Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard.

Their restaurant, Bennett’s American Cooking, stepped into the Bandera location with steaks and seafood, wine and cocktails, and an upscale, casual vibe.

Decades ago, I enjoyed the garish atmosphere of Chinois at the same site. Mirrored walls, a dimly lit room, and 1980s hues of salmon and gray suggested a Euro disco could erupt at any moment. The scene spoke to a place and time. It was contemporary fun compared to its rival across the street, Ming Tree.

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Burgers Plus

Willie’s, the Sacramento burger institution, is a three-restaurant, two-generation juggernaut that has kept thousands of locals well fed and happy for three decades. Opened in 1991, with one small Downtown location, the brand grew. Now each Willie’s has its own identity and owner.

The original location, 16th and Broadway, is a boisterous gem. Slinging Willie’s signature burgers (hammers) and chili burgers (slammers) late into the night, the spot is a magnet for after-concert goers, restaurant workers and hungry neighbors.

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