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

Warm & Welcoming

Basha Taste of Jerusalem is a vibrant example of Palestinian cuisine. Marrying flavors of the Middle East and Mediterranean, the Fulton Avenue restaurant delivers punchy spices and expert cooking from the Levant. It’s dished out with warm and welcoming service.

When I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, Fulton Avenue cuisine was burgers, pizza and cheesesteaks. Tiny’s Drive-In and The Buggy Whip spoke with meat and potatoes and cooking from another era.

Now, Fulton Avenue draws from around the world. The street features foods from Southeast Asia, India, Latin America and especially the Middle East.

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La Dolce Vita

Sampino’s Kitchen at Joe Marty’s offers a traditional Italian American experience, spaghetti and meatballs included, on Broadway. Across the grid, newcomer Willow presents Italian food through a fine-dining lens. Both are special places.

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Good Juju

Headed to the theater for a holiday show? I’ve got the place for you. Juju Kitchen & Cocktails, a drinks and small-plate enterprise at 15th and L streets, offers a sophisticated stop for the discerning theatergoer (or anyone else).

Chef David English brings his pedigree and penchant for tasteful simplicity. Having closed his Press Bistro in late 2019, English offers many familiar dishes at Juju but with a different vibe.

Juju is a cocktail lounge. It’s a bit of a restaurant too, but alcohol comes first. A cleverly situated circular bar dominates, but a partial wall bifurcates the bar and splits the room in two.

The inner space, all ferns and soft surfaces, opens onto the Marriott Residence Inn. The outer space, all windows, is an urban fishbowl with funky cocktail vibes. The menu is the same on both sides and bears the hallmarks of English’s journey from New Orleans to Sacramento.

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Carry On

In June 2022, when Jen and Gary Sleppy announced they were closing The Shack, their beloved East Sacramento restaurant, it was a blow. The neighborhood hangout was a refuge for beer and burger lovers who considered the 90-year-old spot a home away from home.

Thankfully, an experienced restaurant and brewing group took over and continued the traditions of The Shack.

The view from Folsom Boulevard has always been humble. Holding down the corner at Folsom Boulevard and 52nd Street, the building began as a hot dog and root beer stand in 1932 and never changed much. The Sleppys took over in 2005. Combining their experience in hospitality and love of beer, they created one of the first specialty beer bars in town.

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River Dance

Scott’s Seafood on the River is a hidden gem for some, an old standby for others. Tucked away near Riverside Boulevard between Land Park and Pocket, Scott’s has delighted locals and travelers for 15 years.

Attached to the Westin hotel on the river, Scott’s hides in plain sight. Some readers may not think of heading to a hotel restaurant for a nice local meal. However, Scott’s Seafood on the River is independently owned by husband and wife Sigrid and Alan Irvine. They are independent from Westin and separate from other Scott’s in Folsom and the Bay Area.

The riverside location brings great views and Delta breezes to the dining room and patio. Earlier this year, it also brought the Army Corps of Engineers.

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