Chefs’ Choice: Low Budget Eats


We all enjoy a snazzy restaurant experience once in a while. But snazzy restaurant can be experiences are expensive, and often time-consuming as well. We asked local chefs for their advice on where to go when money and time are tight.

Ginger Elizabeth Powers, Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates
We go to Luigi’s Slice frequently, as it’s close to our chocolate shop. It’s a perfect place to visit when you’re in a huge hurry—you can just run in and grab a slice, and run out! Their pizzas are really good. We also like Amarin for its solid, dependable Thai food. Don’t miss their yellow curry, it’s the best.
Luigi’s Slice, 1050 20th St., Ste 150, Sacramento, (916) 447-1255
Amarin Thai Cuisine, 900 12th St., Sacramento, (916) 447-9063

Georgeanne Brennan, Chef Instructor and Local Author

We always go to Huong Lan for their wonderful Vietnamese sandwiches and take-out spring rolls. There is a long list of sandwiches, and I think we’ve tried them all! And Sal’s Tacos in West Sacramento is a real family-style restaurant—they have a very good salsa selection, and the chile verde burrito is delicious. After they make it, they throw it on a griddle to crisp up the outside.
Huong Lan, 6930 65th St., Sacramento, (916) 429-9999
Sal’s Tacos, 400 C St., West Sacramento, (916) 372-3377

Eric Seeberger, Ruth’s Chris Steak House
The food at China House in Citrus Heights has lots of flavor. And the restaurant is always busy—it seems to be very popular. The won ton soup is fantastic. Yoko Sushi in Roseville is another favorite. It’s not very expensive, it’s a small, family-run establishment, and it’s not so busy that you can’t get seat at the sushi bar. I like to follow the sushi chef’s recommendations—they’re always really good.
China House, 7700 Sunrise Blvd., Citrus Heights, (916) 725-5225
Yoko Sushi, 1603 Douglas Blvd., Suite D, Roseville, (916) 786-7714

Patrick Mulvaney, Mulvaney’s Building & Loan
I like Pho Bac Hoa Viet at 19th and Broadway. You can get completely filled up for $10 with a warming bowl of their soup. I always eat it when I’m cold, or when I’m sick. And in the summer, you can actually cool yourself down, tropical-style, with the soup when you stuff it with chilis, lime juice and cilantro. Jalapeño’s on 21st Street is also great—it’s real Mexican food, and comes quick and cheap. Definitely try their tacos el patrón.
Pho Bac Hoa Viet, 1827 Broadway, Sacramento, (916) 443-7888
Jalapeno’s, 1413 21st St., Sacramento, (916) 492-0727

Buu “Billy” Ngo, Kru
We all [at Kru] go out to The Elixir Bar late, after we close up our restaurant. You wouldn’t know it, but Elixir has tons of different kinds of burgers and sandwiches. I like the Royale Burger—it has bacon and a fried egg on it. It’s just a good place to grab a quick beer and a burger before heading home.
The Elixir Bar, 1815 10th St., Sacramento, (916) 442-0693