Have They Got a Deal For You


Last night, my husband and I met some friends at Selland’s Market-Cafe in East Sac for dinner. Selland’s was offering a special: paella for two, plus a pitcher of Sangria, for $25. Sounded good to us. It must’ve sounded good to a lot of people, because the place was jammed, and cars were double-parked in the parking lot.


My hat is off to restaurants like Selland’s that have figured out how to attract customers in this wicked recession. A couple of weeks ago, Selland’s served pizza for two and a bottle of wine for $25. Selland’s sister restaurant, Ella, recently ran a raw-bar promo: $1 oysters. (Theyre normally $3 apiece.) Other local restaurants are doing wine flights, tastings, two-for-one deals, prix-fixe suppers . . . you get the idea.


The best promos are the ones that do more than just save you a few bucks. Selland’s paella-and-Sangria night was a blast. It felt like half my neighborhood was there. Tamera Baker, whose family owns Selland’s, says she strives to come up with specials that are “community events.” “We’re not making money doing this,” she says. “We’re just breaking even.” But the specials allow Selland’s to stay open during what is a very tough time for restaurants. 


Incidentally, Selland’s is offering that paella special all week long. (It was delicious.) Next week’s deal: carnitas tacos for two and a pitcher of beer for $20. I’ll see you there.