CG Burger – Capitol Garage – Sacramento, CAMay 22, 2012 • By Rodney
Capitol Garage is a triple threat dining spot in downtown Sacramento. Part cafe/coffee house, part full service restaurant, part lounge, it seems like the perfect spot to grab a coffee, have a lunch meeting, sit down for a relaxing Sunday brunch, or enjoy some nightlife during happy hour. The vibrant interior walls are filled with quality street art. Everything from the menus, the decor, the table signage, to the employees give you the feeling that you’re in a “cool” place. Not the fake, trying too hard to be funky cool, or an elitist, “we’re too good for you cool”, but a place that welcomes you into the fun and makes anyone feel like they belong.
This long standing Sacramento restaurant is in its second location, and the new expanded menu focuses on locally sourced, all natural ingredients as well as beef that is humanely raised. As an assist to the curious foodie, they list their local and natural providers right on the menu. It’s always good to know where you food comes from.
This was actually my first time eating at Capitol Garage, and I went with a fellow local Foodspotter. That always makes it easier when I pull out my camera and start snapping a ton of pictures before I actually take my first bite :)
There are two burgers on the menu at Capitol Garage: The CG Burger and the Jack and Blue. I spent way too long trying to decide which burger path to take. There was something about the sound of “Jack Daniel’s onions” on the Jack and Blue burger that kept whispering in my ear, but I also felt like I should start with their “regular” burger to get a baseline burger reading before I ventured out into the fancy stuff.
I ended up compromising with myself and ordered the CG Burger with bacon, cheese, and my signature favorite: a fried egg. The compromise was that I asked the server to add the Jack Daniel’s onions to my CG Burger (just to stop all that whispering :)
When the burger arrived, it oozed onions like a Dr. Octopus comic. Jack flavored onions flowed everywhere. I almost thought the burger would attack me before I could attack it first. The fried egg lay on top, slightly tilted to the side like a Kangol cap. The first bite gave me a little bit of everything: melted cheese, egg, onion, bacon and quality Five Dot Ranch beef. Surprisingly, what stood out most was the quality of the fried egg on top! That’s not to say the other ingredients were sub-par, far from it. It’s just I can honestly say that out of all the times I’ve ordered a fried egg on a burger, this was the first time I was truly able to taste the quality of the egg used. It may have been the freshest egg I’ve eaten, even including omelets and scrambled eggs. It made me want to drive down to Aptos and thank the Glaum Egg Ranch chicken that laid it!
While I’m glad I added the Jack Daniel’s flavored onions to the burger, I do have to say that they became a little unwieldy in the sandwich. Many of them ended up sneaking out of the side. I ordered the burger medium rare, but it came out more medium to medium well. That could’ve been due to burger continuing to cook as I took several photos or it could have been left on slightly too long. Either way, it was still a very juicy burger and a lot of the pure beef flavor came through. The bun wrapped the burger like a champ, holding up through all the onion escape attempts and burger juice. It had a nice, fresh baked flavor of its own and was lightly dusted with a Parmesan or cotija cheese.
The only downside to the meal were the “gourmet fries”. It was a dish that had me all excited from the menu description:
“Topped with sweet soy sauce, gorgonzola cheese and fresh basil, served with roasted red pepper aioli, jalapeno aioli and ranch for dipping”
Unfortunately, the french fries were too thin and overly cooked to really hold and soak up the tasty toppings. Basil, gorgonzola cheese, and soy sauce should have been an instant win, but I felt like I was eating potato sticks instead of nice chewy french fries with just a crisp outside.
The combination of toppings on the CG Burger worked extremely well. It’s always a pleasure when a restaurant takes pride in their burger offering instead of making it a safe, popular token addition to the menu. The whole cheeseburger benefited from the quality of each of its parts and allowed Capitol Garage to deliver a stand out burger worthy of a revisit. Even with the misstep of the fries, I’d head back to Capitol Garage anytime. I’m actually looking forward to trying their brunch that I’ve heard so much about!