Picky Diners

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Everyone has experienced the exasperating restaurant partner who complains that she can’t find a menu item she wants to order, or she wants to swap that sauce with this entrée. And why can’t she have a Caesar salad instead of the coleslaw, or polenta instead of fries? Save yourself the headache and take her to one of these restaurants.

Stonegrill & Bar
Why it’s perfect for the picky eater:
She can cook her own meal, at the table, on a 750-degree volcanic stone. And while it does require some cooking expertise (and patience), it leaves the dining experience (and control) completely in her own hands. There’s also a fun list of specialty cocktails to appeal to finicky sippers—we recommend the “Blushing Lady,” made with pomegranate liqueur, vodka and pink grapefruit juice.
2110 L St. (21st & L streets), Sacramento; (916) 492-2727; www.stonegrillandbar.com

The Cheesecake Factory
Why it’s perfect for the picky eater:
The Cheesecake Factory’s tagline is “Something for everyone!” Offering patrons an 18-page menu resembling a laminated phone book, the kitchen cranks out a multi-cultural circus of menu items, from Tex Mex egg rolls and mini crab cakes to chicken Piccata, Thai chicken pasta and Jamaican black pepper shrimp. We know he’ll find something yummy worth ordering.
Market Square at Arden Fair, 1771 Arden Way, Sacramento, (916) 567-0606; thecheesecakefactory.com

Tapa the World
Why it’s perfect for the picky eater:
A colorful array of tapas, traditional Spanish “small plates,” are the name of the game at this popular restaurant. Fussy diners will enjoy the broad selection, and they’re sure to find at least one or two they find appealing. Recommend they try the gambas al ajillo (rock shrimp sautéed in olive oil, heaps of garlic, fresh parsley, white wine and dried red chili flakes)—even the most exacting customer will love this dish.
2115 J St., Sacramento, (916) 442-4353; www.tapatheworld.com

Melting Pot
Why it’s perfect for the picky eater:
He can dictate very aspect of his dining experience at this entertaining establishment: from choosing which fondues he wants to order (the selection is admirable) and what accompaniments he wants with his fondue, to how long he wishes to cook each component before devouring it. Just wait until he sees his dessert choices. (We bet he’ll like the pineapple chunks and graham cracker crumb-coated marshmallows drenched in dark chocolate fondue.)
Sacramento:  814 15th St., (916) 443-2347
Rocklin: 6839 Lonetree Blvd., (916) 443-2347
www.meltingpot.com

Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Why it’s perfect for the picky eater:
She has complete control over her side dishes. At Ruth’s Chris, the famous meat selections come a la carte, leaving the side dish selection wide open for persnickety diners. From the delicious collection of potato sides (mashed, baked, au gratin, Lyonnaise or even fries, to name just a few) to the lineup of vegetables (including sautéed mushrooms, French fried onion rings, broiled tomatoes and creamed spinach), there’s sure to be a side dish your friend will embrace.
Roseville: Westfield Galleria at Roseville, 1185 Galleria Blvd., Suite P-120, (916) 780-6910
Sacramento: 501 Pavilions Lane, Sacramento, (916) 286-2702
www.ruthschris.com